How Will You Measure Your Life?

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As I started the first chapter of this book, I let out a mental yawn.

I had picked this book from my shortlist of books to read, a shortlist usually reserved for the best of the best as recommended by others and additionally evidenced by its ubiquitous recommendation on social media.

So why did I tire at my first read of it, and why have I subsequently rated it 5 stars?

It turns out I was very wrong. My habit of always finishing books I started absolutely came in clutch here. I’ve read books before where examples in the business world are used to explain concepts in other fields, and while it may work, its often a tedious, boring read which I cant wait to end. This is why I doubted this book initially.

What this book actually is is a collection of incredibly wise advice sourced from deep business concepts used to steer a company to success. Even for someone like me who tires easily and doesn’t care much more than average about business/start-up philosophy or culture, the examples were insightful and I found myself learning about both the business world and the lessons extracted from it for use in my life.

These aren’t your typical business examples either like “treat your employees well” or similar generic advice, these are root cause reasons for success and failure gleaned from the wide experience Clayton M. Christensen has gained in his lifetime.

Questions such as “How can I ensure that my children do the right thing even when I am not around?”, “How will I know when to seize or ignore an opportunity?” and “What job did my Spouse hire me for?” are answered in such a way that although you may never have thought of these questions yourself, you will wonder how you got through life without them.

I can describe this book as not simply advice, but meta-advice. It arms you with the tools to advise yourself in the best way such that you can deal with many of the main issues that will inevitably arise in life.

I found the chapter about culture and raising children especially insightful. By fostering a family culture reflecting the values you wish to instill in your children, you will set the scene for the homage to these values to be paid in perpetuity without needing constant supervision. After all, it is not possible to always be there with your children making sure that they honour the values you have taught them. I instantly showed chapters like this to my immediate family and used other pieces of advice from this book within days when advising friends on related issues.

Many books encourage you to make good decisions, but not many arm you with the capability to understand the underlying ideas that help you make good decisions dynamically. This is such a book and despite its relatively short length, it is worth its weight in gold with regards to the benefit that can be gained from it.

I now find myself armed with ideas about chasing emergent opportunities in life, understanding what roles my Wife may require of me for her at any given time and a deeper understanding of how to both embody and teach my future children of the values I believe to be important.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to have the same fundamental questions answered, even if they themselves never thought to ask them.

Leave a Reply