Is there a yardstick with which we can measure our lives. In his extremely thought provoking and insightful article “How will you measure your life?” Clayton M. Christensen, the Harvard Business School professor, provides this extremely useful yardstick. He says “Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.”
What an extraordinary statement to make? We, as individuals, tend to measure our success in life based on achievement of personal glory, power, personal wealth etc. But what is really required for happiness and enduring satisfaction in our lives is in what way we are able to make the lives of those around us just a little better. This is truly a noble endeavor.
It does not mean that that the only way we can influence others is through charity. While charity can help there are possible several other ways in which we can help others. For e.g we could use our learning to educate. We could provide moral support to those who lack in confidence. We could spend some time in making happy those who are terminally ill or have some debilitating disease. There are several ways that we can extend our help and care for those around us.
But typically what happens is that we lead very self-centered lives. We are in a race to make the most money, grab a chuck of power, look to garner personal glory. We live a life that is self-centered all the time.
We may achieve success by way of fame,power and wealth but in the long run it may not give you as much a glow of satisfaction as helping others lead better lives.
We need to shift the focus of our lives from ourselves to those around us. That way we will lead
a far more fulfilling life!