Reading: How will you measure your life? by Clayton M. Christensen
I have fallen behind reading as well as I have been knee deep wading through emails and alot of work. Looking forward to sharing a piece I did on Shanghai Art Deco for Lonely Planet really soon, and say tuned for March 2016’s Travel + Leisure, I contributed a piece on Macau design.
This book has been on my to read list for a while and it was right there staring at me at the library the other day, so what better timing. Everything in “How will you measure your life?” reaffirms the principles in Chade Meng’s “Search inside yourself” where the latter talks about wishing everyone happiness at first contact – this co-relates to the idea of being of service, when you meet the needs of someone else, you ensure they are happy, and you consciously and mindfully pay attention to cues and the moment to be able to engage at that level where you anticipate and serve that need of someone else – they are happy and inversely you are happy too because you just made someone’s day!
Christenson’s book breaks it down to “What job are you hired for“, and he has an interesting take on strategy, shifting gears and the purpose of doing something to solve a problem to address a need – which brings me back to service – and delivering happiness for making someone else’s life painless and smooth sailing.
He cites a brilliant case study of IKEA, a simple furniture brand that solves a problem and address a need, and no one in the market has ever tried to copy the brand that designs simple furniture that you have to assemble yourself. And they provide that service at extra cost.
“Many products fail because companies develop them from the wrong perspective. Companies focus too much on what they want to sell to their customers, rather than what those customers really need. What’s missing is empathy: a deep understanding of what problems customers are trying to solve. The same is true in our relationships: we go into them thinking about what we want rather than what is important to the other person. Changing your perspective is a powerful way to deepen your relationships.”
Well, it’s such an insightful and great book overall, if you like me, are still somewhat “looking for yourself”, have so many interests, often times in jobs that don’t develop or give you opportunities to grow – something I am still set on changing. This year, I am looking to do more things that bring joy, rather than falling into the conundrum of “focusing on the tangible aspects of the job” …thinking that more money brings more satisfaction. But first to continue working on the anxiety of lack and never having enough, or doing enough – nagged and sealed into me as a person from childhood.
I’ll leave you some last words from Christensen.
“The theory of motivation suggests you need to ask yourself a different set of questions that most of us are used to asking. Is this work meaningful to me? Is this job going to give me a chance to develop? Am I going to learn new things? Will I have an opportunity for recognition and achievement? Am I going to be given responsibility? These are the things that will truly motivate you.”
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