I finished my third book of the year: "How Will You Measure Your Life" by Clayton Christensen. I highlighted seven total passages and would like to reflect on three of them.
"But as you are getting your career off the ground, you will be tempted to do exactly that: Assume you can defer investing in your personal relationships. You cannot. The only way to have those relationships bear fruit in your life is to invest long before you need them."
I admit it. I work a lot. To the tune of 60-80 hours/week. In addition to working full-time, I maintain two blogs and run two start-ups. I'm career-focused - and busy. This book taught me I need a balance. Over the years, I've neglected friendships and turned down invites to parties because I wanted to work. I worked during the Super Bowl last year, I worked on New Year's Eve, and I learned to code on Christmas.
I love getting work done. It's a high. But, I've realized it comes at a cost. The cost of creating memorable experiences, keeping in touch with family, and re-connecting with friends near and far. It's also the reason behind writing my goals down for 2013. So, here's to a solid career foundation, but a house of friends and family.
"The path to happiness is about finding someone who you want to make happy, someone whose happiness is worth devoting yourself to."
Many people have asked why I'm picky when it comes to relationships - or why my social circle is less than 10 people. I've been trying to find an answer that satisfied me. I think it's this sentence. The more times I read it, the more it fits. It's perfect.
I want to see people happy, witness their smile, and most importantly, see them change. I hold the friends I bring in to my life to high standards. And they do the same - it's why many of my friendships have lasted - even when many of my close friends are hundreds - if not thousands - of miles away.
I like this quote so much it's going on my inspiration wall above my desk.
"That's the lesson I learned: it's easier to hold to your principals 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of time."
At the end of the book, Christensen gets into personal morals and the decision to not play in a championship basketball game because of his devotion to God. And then he said the above quote. I immediately thought about everything I've done that has gone against my principals. I've let people influence me in ways I'm not comfortable with. And I've done things I'm not proud of. Those situations taught me a personal lesson - only to be reinforced by this quote: don't deviate. Stick to your guns. And know who you are.
It takes lot for people to read books like this. I think it's because they don't want to be challenged. Challenged to think differently, to listen to another perspective, and to be fundamentally shaped by a book.
Personal development books have done wonders for me. I highly encourage you to pick one up and put yourself on a path to change.