In order to prove to myself that I have a purpose in my life, I decided to read “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clay Christensen this past weekend. I’m not usually a fan of self help books, but I’ve found that I’ve been reading more of them these days than any other genre (no Hunger Games plz). Besides the fact that the intended audience of the book is the type-A high achieving, 2+2+2 track ivy league educated parent, I found it pretty interesting and insightful, giving rational steps to get what you want out of life. I’m not going to rehash the contents of the book, but will say that if you’ve got some down time (I’m on vacation) it’s a pretty quick read (link is below).
One thing that I found most intriguing is that early on Clay came up with a set of principles for living his life, which have guided him to success in his life. I guess the contrast he draws with this are the people from college he knew who had their priorities messed up and ended up living hollow lives chasing money & prestige, or worse going to jail (he was a classmate at HBS of Jeff Skilling). This is something that I’m looking to adopt. Some days I don’t know what goes through my head. I’d like to think that I have some rational, well thought out principles that I’ve used to guide my life, but when I think about it, it’s just been a bunch of jumbled, half thought out attempts to do things with a lot of luck mixed in. I have done a lot of dumb shit, but somehow it’s worked out not terribly so far, which makes me scared shitless.
This makes me wonder… is everyone else half fumbling around in the dark? Maybe I’m a little cynical, but I look around at the people that I know and most are kind of doing whatever seems to be the most fun at this very moment, living an extension of life in college, waiting for other people to figure out the rest of their lives out for them.
How many people actually have a deliberate set of principles that they use in their lives?
How do you know you’re doing the right thing?
How do you deal with the constant temptation to bend the rules “Just This Once”?