It seems like everyone is focused on measuring their effectiveness and trying to gauge their success. I wonder why this is. I wonder if it is a uniquely “American” thing. Or maybe a specific sub-set of Americans. In any event, I see it all the time; all the time. People obsessed with trying to figure out if they are doing well. I had a conversation with someone this week, and we were reflecting on things. “Look how well we’ve done,” she said. But I wondered. Have we? Have we “done well?” We can point to certain accomplishments, but we can also point to frustrations and incomplete stories. And I wondered if the accomplishments we can point to really matter.
I was wondering and wondering about this. I began to think about the things that matter the most to me, and to wonder if I was doing well at those things. What I realized is that the one thing that matters most to me is to bring into focus the character and nature of the person whom I have devoted my life to following. I wrote in an earlier blog post about my decision over 42 years ago to “imitate, emulate, and follow” someone that I had discovered. The one thing that matters to me is to make that person known through my daily life. The one thing that matters to me is to be so much like that person that when people see me, they see him. So how do I determine how well I am doing at that?
This is something for which there is no measurement. It is something for which there are no “data.” So how can I tell how well I am doing? That would be the topic for another day, but today I can tell you that it isn’t through measurement, and it isn’t through data. And that is coming from a “math person.”