Clayton Christensen, a man wearing many hats including professor, author, entrepreneur, missionary, husband, and father made this very bold statement in his essay “How Will You Measure Your Life?”
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.
If we say that something matters to us, why then don’t we do things that take us closer to that which matters?
It’s a question of clarity and focus.
How clear are we about the outcome we want? Tony Robbins tells us that clarifying your results (or outcome) helps you focus on your desired target. Once you know the result you’ve committed to, you must know why you want it, and why you’re taking action.
Knowing your outcome is just the first part however if you do not keep this outcome front and at the centre of everything you do then you’re going to be busy but not effective. You’ll be working hard, yet still not getting results that you set out to get.
Many times businesses focus on some methodology that is popular – balanced scorecards, activity based costing, analyzing core competencies etc. In our personal lives we can buy complete systems to make more money, lose weight or become famous. However nothing is going to work unless you know your outcome and why you want it. If you can’t answer those two questions then you will take action but not towards your outcome. You will find yourself going after those things that provide you with immediate gratification, ticking to-do items rapidly off a list that’s taking you everywhere but where you want to go.
If you haven’t given it much thought before – spend some time thinking – regardless of how long it takes – about the results you want in your life. Once you are clear, then you can set plans in motion. And once you keep this front and centre then you can decide how to spend your time, talents AND energy, that much more effectively!