How Will You Measure Your Life?

The powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements.

Tonight I stumbled upon a Harvard Business Review post about finding happiness in your life. I was intrigued by the fact that a long, insighful piece about happiness was in the HBR, of all places. Then I realized why:  How we feel about our business impacts how we feel about our personal lives, which in return effects how we perform in business, etc. Our personal lives are just as important to business performance as our business strategies.

From How Will You Measure Your Life?, six steps:

  1. Create a Strategy for your life -- "The choice and successful pursuit of a profession is but one tool for achieving your purpose. But without a purpose, life can become hollow."
  2. Allocate your resources -- " 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."
  3. Create a culture -- "Families have cultures, just as companies do. Those cultures can be built consciously or evolve inadvertently."
  4. Avoid the "Marginal Costs" mistake -- "If we knew the future would be exactly the same as the past, that approach would be fine. But if the future’s different—and it almost always is—then it’s the wrong thing to do."
  5. Remember the importance of humility -- "Humility was defined not by self-deprecating behavior or attitudes but by the esteem with which you regard others."
  6. Choose the Right Yardstick -- "Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people."

Overall, those six steps can be summed up as one important concept: Balance. From my limited experience as a working professional out of college, I can confidently say that the harder I focus on achieving balance in my life, the happier I am, the better my work output is, and the more valuable are my thought contributions and ideas.

How do you measure and achieve happiness? Would you agree that balance is the No. 1 determining factor?