Oct 24 / Kelly LaPorta, LMFT

Are You Investing In What Matters?

How to Allocate our Resources to Create our Most Meaningful Life...

Today I want to share some wisdom with you that I recently came across while reading the book “How Will You Measure Your Life” by Clayton Christenson. This book had such a profound impact on me and I highly recommend it.

I hope these thoughts help you as much as they helped me.

To put it simply, Christenson’s book makes a serious appeal to readers to start consciously considering and re-allocating where they are investing their personal life resources (think: time, attention, energy). He suggests that failure to do this is a prominent reason why many adults fall short at creating meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Have you ever felt that your attention and time is being pulled in a million different directions?

Your boss needs more hours and focus from you.
Your kids need you to play with them.

Another interesting career opportunity knocks at your door.

Your spouse complains that you don’t have enough time together.

We are bombarded by people and opportunities that demand our internal resources. And of course, we are only human. We have limited time, energy and attention to pour out.

The problem arises when we begin to allocate our resources in a way that doesn’t align with our truest long term values.

We say we value family and marriage most, but we keep working overtime.

We say building meaningful relationships with our kids is important, but when we’re around them we are glued to our phone.

We invest our personal resources into areas of life that do not align with our values and do not have a profound and meaningful long term return.

Makes sense. But why do we do this?

Well, Christenson argues, “The danger for high-achieving people is that they’ll unconsciously allocate their resources to activities that yield the most immediate, tangible accomplishments.”
We tend to invest in things we don't genuinely value because the things we do value don't offer an immediate payoff. Yikes.

We unconsciously allocate our resources to the ‘quickest return on investment’ (ie: what will give us the quickest ego stroke? A quick and significant financial reward? Status? A temporary feeling of being needed/useful?)

Think about it:

Playing shoots and ladders for the 4th time with your kids as they fight about who goes first isn’t exactly an immediate return on the ‘connection’ investment.

Prioritizing your kids soccer practice instead of working overtime to climb the ladder isn’t super glamorous.

Investing time and energy into your rocky marriage now surely feels less desirable than investing that time into that interesting new work project.

But those small and seemingly mundane investments are the building blocks to creating a meaningful, value-filled life in 30 years.

Today, consider this reflection:
  • What people and opportunities are competing for your attention in this season?
  • Which of these opportunities align with your core values?
  • How can you begin allocating more resources to the things you value, and less towards the activities that merely offer fleeting rewards?

Thinking about you this week,


Kelly LaPorta, LMFT
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