How Will You Measure Your Life Book Summary

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“How Will You Measure Your Life?” is a thought-provoking book written by Clayton M. Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor and world-renowned innovation expert. The book focuses on how individuals can apply the principles of successful businesses to their own lives, in order to achieve happiness and fulfillment.

Christensen explores three fundamental questions: how can I be sure that I will be happy in my career? How can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse, children, and extended family and close friends become an enduring source of happiness? How can I avoid compromising my integrity—and stay out of jail?

To answer these questions, Christensen presents a framework for individuals to use in their personal lives, based on three key principles: purpose, priorities, and processes.

Purpose, according to Christensen, is about defining one’s own goals and values, and aligning them with the choices and actions that make up one’s life. He stresses the importance of having a clear and compelling purpose and argues that this is the key to achieving long-term happiness and fulfillment. Without a clear sense of purpose, Christensen suggests, people can easily get sidetracked by short-term distractions, and end up feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied.

Priorities, on the other hand, involve making choices about how to allocate time and resources in order to achieve one’s purpose. Christensen argues that in order to be successful, individuals need to prioritize the things that really matter to them, and focus their efforts accordingly. This may involve making difficult trade-offs, such as sacrificing short-term pleasures for long-term goals or prioritizing family time over work commitments.

Finally, processes refer to the systems and habits that individuals use to support their purpose and priorities. Christensen argues that having effective processes in place can make all the difference in achieving one’s goals. For example, he suggests setting aside regular time for reflection and planning, developing routines that support healthy habits, and building strong networks of support and accountability.

Throughout the book, Christensen uses real-life examples and case studies to illustrate these principles in action. He draws on his own experiences as a business consultant, as well as stories from his personal life, to show how the principles of purpose, priorities, and processes can be applied to any area of life.

One of the key insights in the book is the importance of focusing on the right metrics. Christensen argues that just as businesses need to measure the right things in order to succeed, individuals also need to be careful about what they measure in their own lives. For example, he cautions against measuring success solely in terms of money or status and instead suggests focusing on metrics that reflect one’s purpose and values, such as personal growth, relationships, and impact on others.

Another important theme in the book is the idea of creating a culture of integrity. Christensen argues that integrity is not just about avoiding unethical behavior, but also about making sure that one’s actions are aligned with one’s values and goals. He suggests that individuals need to be vigilant about the small compromises that can lead to bigger ethical lapses, and encourages readers to build habits of honesty and transparency in all areas of life.

Overall, “How Will You Measure Your Life?” is a powerful and inspiring book that offers a fresh perspective on the meaning and purpose of life. Christensen’s framework of purpose, priorities, and processes provides a practical roadmap for anyone looking to achieve greater happiness and fulfillment, and his insights on the importance of integrity and measurement offer valuable lessons for individuals and organizations alike. Whether you are just starting out in your career or looking to make a change, this book is sure to spark new ideas and inspire you to take action toward your own goals and dreams.

About the Authors –

Clayton M. Christensen is a critically acclaimed author of several books and the Kim B. Clark Professor at the Harvard Business School.

James Allworth is a graduate and Baker Scholar at the Harvard Business School.

Karen Dillon is an American investigative journalist and former editor of the Harvard Business Review. She was named one of the world’s most influential and inspiring women in 2011.

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