Many of you may have heard of Clayton Christensen, a Harvard professor who passed away in early 2020. He wrote many articles, but the article I remember most is entitled, “How Will You Measure Your Life?” As I thought about his article, another question came to my mind: Is there a difference between doing well and doing good? Both questions caused me to pause and ask myself if what I’m doing has purpose and meaning.
Based upon Mr. Christensen’s article, one might be doing well if one is devoting time to developing relationships that bring him or her happiness, staying true 100% of the time to the principles he or she believes in, and understanding that it’s ok not to be perfect because people learn from mistakes. These are good principles to pursue because, if we are doing well, it increases the probability that we can do good.
Doing good in today’s chaotic world is where we can find purpose and meaning in our lives. Doing good may require an examination of how we allocate our resources, which are primarily time and money. Money may be allocated differently, but we have all been allocated the same amount of time. So, how can we go about using our resources to do good in our city?
• Research issues being discussed by the city council and present facts at council meetings that will assist in making decisions that will keep North Ogden a great place to live.
• Express gratitude for those who willingly serve the community. We have many volunteers in the community who serve on committees, employees with lots of passion, and elected officials who are doing their best to meet the needs of the city.
• Donate time for good causes such as the Coldwater Creek restoration project, Chalk It Up art festival, cleanup projects, and various city-sponsored activities.
• Spend more time advocating for issues you are for and less time for those things you are against. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express your opinion with things you disagree with, but doing it in a respectful and factual manner goes a long way in doing good.
• Develop relationships with your elected officials so you feel comfortable sharing ideas with them that can be considered in improving the quality of life in our community.
• Support our local businesses by shopping in North Ogden.
• Perform random acts of kindness that create a more inclusive environment.
I was recently asked how I defined success in my business career. The answer I gave surprised the individual who asked the question. I told him I measured my success not on the financial performance of the company, but on if I made a difference in the lives of others. Yes, I felt things were going well, but in the end, it was all about trying to do good.
So, the questions remain, how will you measure your life, are you doing well, and are you going about doing good not only in your community, but in life? Only you can answer those questions!