Clayton Christensen Tells Silicon Valley Lasting Happiness Comes From Family

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On Monday Harvard professor and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Clayton Christensen, took the stage virtually to share his business and life wisdom. He was featured on a panel at TechCrunch Disrupt talking about the topic of Disruption. During the panel, Clayton broke from the main topic slightly to speak to the Silicon Valley crowd about the importance of long-term happiness.

There is absolutely no evidence that in the long-term, our success in our professions allow us to be happy people or have happy families. And it’s really a strong core at home where we have a loving relationship with our spouse and a loving relationship with our children, that’s what provides the long-term happiness that we all seek.

He went on to discuss a problem he sees in many businesses and professionals in the way they seek to obtain happiness. Christensen suggests that the trend is to work for quick results and ignore long-term personal success.

People who have the drive to achieve, and that includes at least 100% of the people in this meeting…if we have a high need for achievement…we spend our time and energy and our talents in whatever activities give us the most immediate tangible evidence of achievement.

This, Christensen suggests, is the reason that so many professionals today do not have a strong family structure and are not able to achieve the level of happiness that they desire.

I think that’s why so many successful executives find themselves in divorce, raising children that are alienated from them, other children are being raised by somebody else and not their own.