I have enjoyed the writings of Clayton M. Christensen. “He is the Kim B. Clark Professor at Harvard Business School, the author of seven books … the cofounder of four companies … [and] in 2011 he was named the world’s most influential business thinker in a biennial ranking conducted by Thinkers50.”
Christensen’s latest book is How Will You Measure Your Life?
When Dr. Christensen began writing this book, he was in remission from cancer. During its writing he suffered a stroke. “A clot lodged itself in the part of my brain where writing and speaking are formulated … I could not speak or write, beyond just a few simple words initially.”
In this context he penned this story (pp. 37-38):
“When we bought our first house, I saw a place in the backyard that would be perfect for building a kids’ playhouse. Matthew and Ann were the perfect ages for this kind of activity, and we threw our hearts into this project. We spent weeks selecting the lumber, picking the shingles for the house, working our way up through platform, the sides, the roof. I’d get the nails most of the way in and let them deliver the finishing blows. It took longer that way … It was fun, however, to see their feelings of pride. When their friends came to play, the first thing my children would do was take them into the backyard and show them the progress. And when I came home, their first question was when could we get back to work.
“But after it was finished, I rarely saw the children in it. The truth was that having the house wasn’t what really motivated them. It was the building of it, and how they felt about their own contribution, that they found satisfying. I had thought the destination was what was important, but it turned out it was the journey.”
Use every minute wisely … it’s the journey.
To educators: The time we have with our students is limited. Love them, teach them and enjoy the journey.