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Often we tend to focus on the main benefit when doing something.

That might apply whether it’s a particular job, a personal project, a hobby, a game, or other day-to-day tasks.

Perhaps we just see the money at the end of a career, or the piece of paper that says we’re “qualified” at the end of our studies, or the fame and fortune at the end of a creative project, or maybe just a nice garden minus all the weeds you’ve just pulled out.

Whatever the example you use, there is something that’s missing from this type of thinking.

And that something is …

Side-benefits

Virtually every activity has some sort of side-benefit.

Some have many.

And sometimes the side-benefits end up being the major benefits. The benefits you were never expecting.

So while studying a degree might have turned out to be a waste of time (in terms of the immediate gain from the actual piece of paper at the end), other side-benefits may have come from that.

It may have been new friends, new contacts, or simply the side-benefit that you now have a clearer idea of what interests you (which may not be the degree you were studying!).

Maybe you don’t enjoy your current job. But are there certain side-benefits that you are forgetting about? Maybe you’re getting useful contacts and skills you can use for future projects?

Or, in my case at this point in time, working on a comedy web series. It might turn out to be a complete failure. Perhaps it won’t be funny. Perhaps no one will watch it.

But its side-benefits will be many.

I will have the satisfaction of being back in the screen production “biz”. The series will give me the opportunity to develop my writing skills, marketing skills, as well as various technical skills.

Lastly, it might open me up to new opportunities and contacts I wouldn’t have otherwise had. It may very well lead to another project altogether – one that is even bigger and better than this one. Bottom line: it will be fun, no matter what happens.

But just focusing on the “big” benefit at the end of something is like wearing blinders. And those blinders might cause you to miss an important opportunity that you never saw coming.