You probably wouldn’t think it’s a good idea to treat your relationships like a job. Something about it seems cold and impersonal. But Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon, authors of the book How Will You Measure Your Life? Are suggesting you do exactly that.
Based on a talk Christensen once gave while teaching at Harvard Business School, How Will You Measure Your Life offers powerful insight about how to maintain the difficult balance of work and personal life. The authors suggest that, while the two may seem to be at odds with each other, work and relationships have more in common than we might think. They can even often benefit from the same advice, and you can learn how to find that balance with the Fabulous app.
Direct your resources toward your goals.
Is your life perfect exactly as it is? Be honest: It’s probably not. That’s okay! Having a perfect life is no easy feat. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work toward those ideals. The question is, however, are you actually doing that?
Think about the things that would make your life ideal for you. Now think about all the things you actively do to get yourself there. Chances are, most of your day-to-day decisions have little to do with your long-term goals. You’re just trying to get through the day.
The thing is, however, that how we allocate our resources—our time, energy, and money—determines whether we’ll be able to achieve those long-term goals. It’s normal to get caught up in the minutiae of the day, but we can’t let that derail us entirely from our goals. We can’t achieve what we don’t put work into!
One way to assess how your resources are being allocated is by logging your time. Might we suggest the Fabulous Log Your Time Challenge?
Plan to change your plans.
Personal development junkies (like us here at Fabulous) love to plan. We love buying planners, making mind maps, and setting up game plans for what we want to do and how we want to do it. The most meticulous among us will plan our days right down to the minute.
But what happens if our plans don’t work? What if we run into an obstacle that renders our plans null? Or worse, what if we spend so much time planning that we never actually do anything?
The thing is, however, that how we allocate our resources—our time, energy, and money—determines whether we’ll be able to achieve those long-term goals.
The planning trap is another one that’s easy to fall into if we aren’t careful. The authors of How Will You Measure Your Life believe that planning ahead is not inherently evil but, again, overdoing it can get in the way of the big picture.
So, go ahead and plan deliberately, but also don’t be afraid to keep an eye open for emerging opportunities. Emergent planning, being able to adapt on the fly based on changing circumstances, can open us to new ideas. It allows us to be experimental and make changes that might ultimately benefit us.
Perform meaningful work… on your relationships.
We all know the importance of deep, meaningful work. We talk about it at length here on the Fabulous blog, but admittedly, we really only talk about it from a career standpoint. However, meaningful work doesn’t only apply to our jobs. This laser-like focus can positively affect our personal relationships, too.
Think about it like this. We often take our close relationships for granted because we believe they require little maintenance. This couldn’t be further from the truth! If anything, our closest relationships require even more of our resources because they are the most meaningful to us.
This is what the authors mean by treating relationships like a job. By actively working on strengthening these relationships, their meaning increases to us. Not only that but spending time with people will love makes us happier.
So, take time to assess what your loved ones need and how you can serve them. Actively work on these relationships. They’ll flourish in turn, while training your empathy muscles, which can serve you better in future relationships, personal or professional.
How Will You Measure Your Life? Is a self-help book, but it is also a question we should seriously ask ourselves. Do we really want a life measured in dollars? Or would we rather measure our lives in moments of joy, or time spent with the people and things we most care about? Do your dreams and your sense of purpose align?
If you’re still searching for your inner purpose, Fabulous can help. Try our new Journey, The Purpose-Driven Life, by downloading our app today.