Ted Talks – How To Measure Your Life – Clayton Christensen

Clayton Christensen examines how the pursuit of professional success gives us a short-term sense of achievement we crave but this also has an impact on our personal lives.

I have been a fan of podcast for a while and have recently started to listen to the Ted Talks. I recommended to watch How to Measure your life? So, the other day I thought I would give it a go. The talk was by Clay Christensen – He talks about how business works in the same way as your life. I had never compared a business to life but actually from listening to this talk it all started to make sense.

As a society we have grown obsessed with short term earnings – the idea that we can make money quickly for the least amount of effort. This is harmful to us as we do not then appreciate the work that we need to put in to make something successful in the long term. Whether it is putting work into a business or putting time into our families and relationships.

Clay uses the example of having a spare 30 minutes free to do whatever we like with. We are most likely to put that spare time into something that gives us the most immediate achievement/profit which is often our employment rather than our relationships. The investment in family and friends takes a lot longer to show achievement so we often invest more in things that offer us a quicker achievement. This kind of behaviour often leads to sad results because if we do not invest our times into growing our relationships with our families and friends the relationships are not nurtured enough and so we end up with sad personal lives.

Life is not measured by your social and professional status and at the end of the day the thing that really matters is the family, friendships and community around us. We all have to work hard in our employment, but this should not be so much that it is detrimental to our personal lives. If you invest in the long term of your business/ relationships, then your business and personal happiness with have longevity.

I found this Ted talk very interesting as often I find myself comparing my life to my friends – We are often at different stages in our lives and I wonder why I am not at the same point but after listening to this podcast it reinforces that actually the things I am comparing do not actually matter. I could try to create faster moves in my employment, but this might impact on my personal life and might not actually make me happy. If I focus on nurturing myself and my employment, then over time it will have more longevity and I will have a better personal life as I will have time to spend with my family and friends. Often it seems like we are in a rush to get somewhere but actually we can’t see what’s around the corner so if we spend more time nurturing our lives and creating opportunities, we are likely to receive greater success than if we rush.


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