Work, Result, Side Effect

Often times what we want is a completely different thing than what it takes to get there. The most popular pitfalls are money and fame.

Let’s say I want to be rich. But I can’t work at being rich. Being rich by itself doesn’t make me more money. Selling goods, services, or ideas can make money. Investing money can make more money, but the main activity there is investing which breaks down to research, strategy, risk management and so on. Money is the end result of doing something well, if we’re lucky. Luck also covers things like the lottery and inheritance.

What about fame? Aren’t there people that are famous for being famous? No. The people that seem famous for being famous over long periods of time are experts at marketing and publicity. There is a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure your name stays on everyone’s lips. Fame is the result or side effect of something else. Again, luck also plays a role in cases like being born into royalty.

This expands to other desires as well. Say I want to be my own boss. Great, that sounds amazing and amazingly vague at the same time. How do I become my own boss? I need to run some kind of a business where I get to decide the work I take on. Being my own boss is then the result of choosing and successfully running the right type of business.

What happens if we want the result but not the work? Ask the question: If the work is miserable, is the result still worth it?