Clayton M Christensen is a Harvard Business School professor who wrote The Innovator’s Dilemma. He also happens to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He wrote an article entitled “How Will You Measure Your Life?”, which I was encouraged to read before classes start tomorrow for me at BYU. I did read it, and I found it rather enlightening.
In the article, he talks about how corporations and people live and and die following the same principles. He focuses on allocation of assets. Like corporations, people have a limited amount of time and talent, and need to find the best place to focus their efforts in order to survive. Too many corporations take the little amount of free resources they have and apply it to an area that will yield immediate results. However, they do this at the expense of their long-term plans and wants.
People do the same thing. We are driven by the need to feel needed and useful. Too often we will take what little extra time we have and use it to further our careers or education because we can feel immediate rewards of accomplishment in those areas. But this comes at a price. We could instead use that extra time to further develop those relationships that actually matter – friends, family, and Heavenly Father. Those are the relationships that will bring happiness into your life. They may not bring a sense of accomplishment until much later, but it is worth the wait. As Christensen said, ” It’s really not until 20 years down the road that you can put your hands on your hips and say, ‘I raised a good son or a good daughter.'” You may not see the fruits of your labors until much, much later down the road, but the reward will be much, much greater.
I challenge all of you to spend more time on the relationships in your life. Don’t blow off your other obligations such as school or work by any means, but be sure that if you have a few extra minutes that you spend them doing what will pay off in the long run, not necessarily what will bring immediate gratification.