Or should we pursue them because we predict they will be valuable in the future?
I think it’s both.
If you’re anything like me, you like exploring new skills, and ideas and. And it sometimes happens that I get really excited about something, but don’t decide to invest my time into it.
Almost always, I end up regretting it afterwards.
Whenever this happens to me, I remind myself about Steve Jobs. He dropped out of Reed college and started visiting a calligraphy class. He later explained that had he not done that, the Mac wouldn’t have fonts built-in.
The inner voice keeps telling us what to do. But in reality, we might be better off to just do things for their own sake and not worry so much.
But I think there’s got to be an intersection of both. We worry so much that if we just manage to dismiss it a little, we’re already at that intersection.
Take up a skill or an idea that you think is valuable, but also do it for its own sake. Even if it’s not remotely connected to your “main field”. The benefits will show themselves eventually.
It sometimes seems strange to do so many things along the “main” career. But everything might come in handy in the future, like for Steve Jobs.