the bottom line on happiness.

23 02 2011

Clayton M. Christensen is a Rhodes Scholar, Harvard Business grad, Harvard business professor and a Mormon.

Christensen teaches a class about management theory. In each class they observe one company through a variety of management lenses in order to learn what worked, didn’t work and what direction the company needs to head in.

In the last class of the semester Christensen asked his students to observe their lives through those same theoretical lenses they used all semester.

The class is so profound he was asked to turn it into an article to be published in the Harvard Business Review. My cousin Ty, brought the article in to show me today.

I was blown away.

Christensen challenged each student to ask him(her)self three questions:
? How can I be sure I’ll be happy in my career?
? How can I be sure my relationships with my spouse and family will become an enduring source of happiness?
? How can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?

The answer:
Having a clear purpose has been essential to me.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18)

He provides 5 things we can do to keep a clear purpose. (I’m only going to discuss one tonight – the rest will come tomorrow)

1. Use your resources wisely.

Every man and woman is a business. You constantly have people asking for your services BUT you only have a limited amount of resources. (ie. time, talents, money, energy)

Driven individuals will often allocate their free time to activities that provide the most tangible results. This often leads to free time being spent on work.

Our careers provide the most concrete evidence we are moving forward.
You can immediately count a sale, teach a class, publish a paper, get paid, get promoted – BUT you won’t know you’ve raised good kids until decades later.

“If you study the root causes of business disasters, over and over you’ll find this predisposition toward endeavors that offer immediate gratification. If you look at personal lives through that lens, you’ll see the same stunning and sobering pattern: people allocating fewer and fewer resources to the things they would have once said mattered most.”

The Gospel is the same way.
We have to be able to look past immediate gratification and focus on the eternal goal.

? What do you do to keep an eternal perspective?

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