Friday, March 4, 2011

The Survivor!

Clayton Christensen is on the cover of Forbes Magazine! Forbes calls Clayton "the Survivor" after all his health challenges the past two years.

Clayton was already a diabetic (diagnosed back in 1982), then in 2007 he suffered a heart attack, followed by a cancer in 2008 and a stroke in 2010! Talk about a series of unfortunate events! In just three years!

The Forbes article is fascinating and details the diagnosis and treatment for each of these life threatening conditions. There are quotes from Clayton's kids, his friends, his doctors, colleagues at Harvard Business school, and other business partners interspersed throughout the lengthy article.

Towards the end there are two quotes from Clayton that I love! They are both classic Clayton and I adore the fact that they're found in Forbes magazine! Not the Ensign! In other words, Clayton is no chameleon; he's the same guy whether he's featured in a business publication or a church testimonial. His beliefs are constant and he isn't reluctant to share them regardless of the audience.

In the first quote (below) Clayton shares a great lesson he learned while going through all this hardship with his health. It's a lesson that would behoove any of us to take to heart. Anyone who would like to be happy, that is! I'll share the second quote tomorrow so you can absorb them individually.

"I'm an optimistic person. But for the first time in my life, with all my problems, I focused more and more on me -- and it was depressing, literally.

Sometimes I just wanted to quit trying to learn and speak and write again and just go into my basement and build furniture. I learned an important lesson from this. I learned that focusing on my own problems does not bring happiness.

God didn't say, "Okay. For those with problems it's okay to focus on yourself. And for those who don't have problems, I want you to focus on helping others. Even in dire times God does not exempt me from his commandment to focus my life on others, because it transforms hardship to joy." - Clayton Christensen, Forbes Magazine, March 14, 2011.