When looking to invest work into something that furthers your potential to make money or impact the world around you in a meaningful way, they further one of two things:
Resources you have, like money, property, connections or something that shows off your skills (projects, resume, degree)
- External appearence is a resource e.g. Attractive people are more effective in politics
- Abilities you posses, like knowledge or specific skills
Looking at the rewards that you gain from actions through this lens helps when prioritizing opportunities. From most opportunities, you gain both, but identifying which parts are especially important/fruitful will lead to more clarity going forward.
These two do interact with each other, as abilities can help you gain resources (high paying job) and resources can help you gain abilities (courses and freedom to learn)
(Idea: Resources help you succeed in the short term, abilities help you suceed in the long term)
It may help to list these as an exercise in evaluating ones position.
This duality was mentioned by Cal Newport in The ability to do deep work is a skill worth cultivating for your professional life as the main reason why Deep Work is important
Should "personal happiness" be inserted into this equation? It does not directly determine your impact, but plays a huge role in how effective you will be in using the other two parts.