I read this quote in one of Clay Christiensen’s new posts about his learnings in studying innovation the past 25 years.
It struck a chord with me because its something I fear I do exactly what he described – how can we (or I) ensure we’re investing adequate time in the relationships we can’t measure? They are what provide us with the most enduring happiness and therefore should be how we optimise our lives for maximum benefit.
“Our careers provide the most concrete evidence that we’re moving forward. You ship a product, finish a design, complete a presentation, close a sale, get paid or promoted. In contrast, investing time and energy in your relationship with your friends and family typically doesn’t offer that same immediate sense of achievement. Kids, for instance, misbehave every day, and it’s not until 20 odd years later that you can say, “I raised a good kid.” You can neglect your relationship with your spouse, and on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t seem as if things are deteriorating. People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and over-invest in their careers — even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.”