Successful people often struggle to balance their personal and professional lives. In fact, the more someone achieves, the more likely it is that he or she needs help striking up the perfect middle ground when it comes to allocating time appropriately in all areas of life.
It was with this dynamic in mind that Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon came together to pen, "How Will You Measure Your Life?," a book with a title that asks an essential question about happiness and self-worth.
Contrary to what some might assume, it's not your typical self-help book. After all, advice books on how to organize and optimally live one's life are a dime a dozen. This isn't to say that they are never valuable or that they fail to assist those who read them, but most offer such complex and differing advice, that it's hard to parse through it all to figure out the best, most applicable answers. "How Will You measure Your Life?" is unique.
An official description of the book provides an overview that perfectly summarizes the book's purpose:
This project is based upon powerful research and theories developed at Harvard Business School and other leading institutions about success, and about failure.
The aim was not to provide you with any easy answers — but instead, to prompt you to consider the most important questions you’ll ever face. Nor will it tell you what to think. Instead, it aims to teach you how to think; about your life, and your purpose, by using the best research we have on the topic.
There’s nothing here that will prescribe you a set path to happiness.
Instead, we hope to equip with the tools to lead the type of life to which you truly aspire. These are the same tools that have allowed managers to lead companies that have gone on to change the world. The theories and situations summarized within will help you understand the critical decisions that can bring disappointment and sadness in life – or happiness and success instead.
Watch Christensen go in-depth about the popular book, below:
In a recent interview with Allworth, the book's co-author, The Blaze had the opportunity to ask a multitude of questions about what all of this really means. Allworth, a former student of Christensen's at Harvard Business School, reiterated the fact that the book meshes together tested business theory with practical life results. The overwhelming premise, of course, is to address the problems that busy and successful individuals face.
"If you throw yourself into work and you don't come home and spend time with your family, you won't see them," the author explained. "You add that up over the course of 10 years it can really damage your relationships."
In the end, it is the "tools" that "How Will You Measure Your Life?" provides that will guide readers on a path to creating the lives they've always hoped and wished for. These tested elements, which are derived from business research, show how past successes can be applied for future usage.
Among the most interesting points of discussion came after I asked for the most common attributes of successful individuals. The answer was surprising. Rather than a list of specific items, Allworth said that it truly depends on the individual and that every scenario is different.
"One of the things that we assert is that there's no 'one-size-fits-all' approach that anyone can take...folks need to think through these problems for themselves," he responded.
More successful people are likely to fall into certain traps, which is why the authors attempt to drive hom the point that it's essential people assess the sum total of their actions. If one continues to implement the same strategy of devoting 80 percent of him or herself to work and 20 percent to family, it's important to consider what that sum negative total will amount to in 10 years time.
The point is: There are ramifications for action and inaction over time. This main point was evident, too, when Allworth was asked to detail what it is he hopes readers take away from the book.
"I guess what we really want peope to think about is what matters most to them in life," he said. "It's very easy to drift through life and you get all these pressures on a daily basis...everyone has a different pattern for making decisions."
Allworth wants readers to take a step back and to consider what matters most and what their primary purpose is going to be for their lives. It is these thoughts that assist in leading to viable actions that solidify personal worth and -- eventually -- happiness.
Get more information on "How Will You Measure Your Life?" here.