How Will You Measure Your Life?

Posted on Sep 17, 2019 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on How Will You Measure Your Life?

How Will You Measure Your Life?

In 2010, management scholar and innovation expert, Clayton Christensen, posed this question to the graduating class of Harvard Business School, then asked it in a Harvard Business Review article, and then wrote a book on the question. I pose this question to all of you, myself included – how will you measure your life?

Tyler and Gary atop “the Diving Board” on Half Dome in Yosemite after climbing “Snake Dike” route to the top.

Measuring your life’s success is part of the process of looking around to see how you are doing. How is it that you measure your life? After all is said and done what is truly most important to you? What are your deepest goals and desires? When you look back, what will be your measure of personal success? What will you be most proud of? No doubt, many of us would put family, relationships with spouses and children, faith, values, positive impact in the community, etc., as their measures of success. Now the question is, how well do you allocate your personal resources to reflect those measures of success? Do you feel like you are spending the appropriate amount of time in the areas that are most important to you? Are you spending enough time building the relationships that you feel are so important?

Reading Christensen’s book was life-changing for me. It made me look honestly at my life to see if I was really living up to my values. We work hard all our life to make things better for our family, for our friends, and for ourselves, but I wonder if we look back enough to recognize just how much we’ve done to make life great. Appreciation for what we have seems to be one of the greatest attribute one could attain. It is pretty common for people to want to be something that they are not – taller or shorter or thinner or younger or more muscular or faster or more successful or a myriad of other things. We could spend our whole life wanting to be something that we are not, but that would be a waste of time. The happiest people seem to be those who look around and realize that what they’ve got is pretty good and appreciate it.

When you analyze the success of a company, you don’t look at it in terms of its intentions, you look at it in terms of how it actually spends it’s time, money, and physical and human capital. Is it investing in new products, markets, technology or talent? Or is it just chugging along without much current investment in hopes of finding another organization to purchase?

Now what about you? As you look back on today, how did you spend your resources like time, energy, and money? Did your actions today align with your deepest goals and desires? If not, it’s never too late to make adjustments to move in the direction you really want to.

Deciding how you want your life to be measured may be the most important decision you ever make!

The profession you chose reflects your values. Tax professionals have the great opportunity to help individuals and families stay compliant with tax laws, organize their finances, take care of things they don’t want to take care of, suggest strategies to minimize taxes, and more often than not, serve their clients as a family adviser. I am constantly amazed at how much you do for your clients and how involved you are in their lives. Seeing, visiting with or talking with them every year is an opportunity to develop a wonderful relationship of trust and caring.

If you want your life measured in part by how you deal with and help others, you’ve chosen the right profession.

Your friend,

Gary Quackenbush, Esq., CSTC President

Subscribe to our free Estate Planning Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our Estate Planning team.