Is It Worth Doing?
I think all too often we tend to overcomplicate our choices. Particularly, when we're trying to decide whether we should do something or not, as it comes to our work.
A new project. A new role. A new job.
Yes, many times, the decision is an important one, and complex, impacting not only ourselves but those we love as well. It isn't easy to uproot our family and move, or to forgo income for an experience that is, in our minds, uncertain in it's eventual return. So we agonize over our options, over what the right decision ought to be.
I get it. Been there. Done that.
But perhaps getting to the answer is simpler than we might imagine. Or, more specifically, the decision criteria, at least, is relatively straightforward:
Knowledge, fun and money.*
Every choice we face, in terms of our work, should be governed by some combination of those three things.
- Knowledge - Am I learning something new? Will this advance my depth and expertise in what I do?
- Fun - Will I enjoy doing this? Am I going to have fun in this initiative?
- Money - Will it generate material, worthwhile income?
If the project delivers on only one of those three criteria, then I'd suggest it isn't worth doing. To do something to learn, but not enjoy the process or generate an income, is untenable. To have fun in a project but not teach yourself anything new or gain some economic benefit, is untenable. And (hardest of all for many of us) to do something that makes us money, without true learning, or enjoyment, is simply not worth it.
But if the initiative delivers on any two of those three, then we should do it. We are, to put it simply, growing, in ways beyond the simple economic. And we should never underestimate the psychic benefits of that.
(Of course, if we can nail all three, then taking on the initiative is a no brainer.)
Now, I get that many times there are other complexities at play in our lives - health issues, relationship challenges, familial constraints, etc. - that require special consideration. And they should. Sometimes, we can't do what we want at the time, because it's in the better interests of our relationships.
But the point here is that the decision of the work itself, the options we are choosing between, can be made with reasonable clarity, allowing for a clearer context within which we can assess these other personal considerations.