“The Holy Prophet Muhammad ’’(Peace be Upon Him) says:
The best person is the one who benefits all human beings.” (Hadith)

As a Muslim, I learned from my Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), that when we do something, we should consider about how our act will deliver valuable things to others. That guidance helped me to find my goal and define my life purpose. Fortunately, I found a connection between what I have learned from my religious life with what Professor Clay Christensen wrote.

In that article, we can understand about how Professor Clay applied some business guidance into his personal live and helped him to find a meaning of his life. The strategy could be used for everyone, although his thinking also comes from his religious faith and his life experience.

He asked three important questions to answer.

How can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career? How can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness?  And how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?

He used one of the theories from Frederick Herzberg that leads great insight on the first question. Frederick asserted that the powerful motivator in our lives is not money. They are the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements.

One time when he ran a company, he concluded that management is the noblest of professions if it is practiced well. He thought no other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team.  From his point of view, more and more MBA students come to school thinking that a career in business means buying, selling and investing in companies. However, doing deals does not provide deep rewards that come from building up people.


Create a Strategy for Your Life

To answer the second question, “How can I ensure that my relationship with my family proves to be an enduring source of happiness?” He suggested using a business theory about how the company’s strategy defined and implemented. If a company’s resource allocation process is not managed well, the result might be so far from what management hoped.

He saw his fellows in HBS were not happy, divorced, and alienated from their children. Those are because they didn’t keep the purpose of their lives front and center as they decided how to spend their time, talents, and energy. For him, had a clear purpose in life had been essential. However, he had to think hard and long about before he understood it.

When he was in college, he decided to spend at least an hour every night reading, praying, and thinking about why God put him on this earth. He said that was a very challenging commitment to keep. His purpose of life grew out with his religious faith. But he thought that faith is not the only thing that gives people direction. It might also be our family and other people. Being successful in our professional work is one way to achieve our goal, but if we doing it without purpose will make us feel empty in this life.


Allocate Our Resources

Our resolution in the way we organizing our personal time, energy and talent will narrow down our strategy to achieve our life’s goal. However, we have limited amount of those resources.  We usually focused on tangible accomplishments, but we forget about investing our time and energy in our relationship. We allocating fewer and fewer resources to the things we would have once said that mostly matters.


Create a Culture

Another thing that we should consider called “Tools of Cooperation,” to answer the question how can we be sure that our family becomes an enduring source of happiness? Families have cultures which similar to companies. At this point, we as parents could start to build a culture at our home, where children instinctively behave respectfully toward one another, obey their parents, and choose the right thing to do. Children just like employees, they build self-esteem by doing things that are hard and learning what works.


Avoid the “Marginal Cost” Mistake

To answer the third question, how to live a life of integrity and stay out of jail, we can use finance and economics theory which suggest us to ignore sunk and fixed costs, and instead base decisions on the marginal costs and marginal revenues. We oftentimes utilize the marginal cost theory in our personal lives unconsciously, when we choose between right and wrong for “just this once.”

Based on Professor Clay’s life story, it is easier to hold to our principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time. If we give in to “just this once” based on a marginal cost analysis, we would regret where we end up. We should affirm what we stand for and then make the line.


Remember the Importance of Humility

Professor Clay defined humility not by self-deprecating behavior, but the esteem with which we regard others. When we believe that only smarter people have something to teach us, our learning opportunities will be very limited. In contrast, if we have a little eagerness to learn something from everyone, our learning opportunities will be unlimited.

In general, we could be humble when we feel superb about yourself, and we want to help those around us feel excellent about themselves too.


Choose the Right Yardstick

Professor Clay also suggested us to more worry about the individuals you have contributed to becoming better people, do not worry about the level of personal prominence we have achieved. We should think about the metric by which our life will be judged, and make a goal to live every day with that until the end. Then our life would be judged a success life.


How do you think? Let me know your thoughts 🙂