The correlation

There might be a 100% correlation between what you do and what you get and what you want (if you’re trying to train for the hundred-meter dash.)

Anything that makes you go faster is correlated with the goal, which is winning the race.

On the other hand, being funny isn’t always correlated with being a rich and famous comedian. Being the funniest is not the same in comedy as being the fastest is in sprinting.

And most of what we spend our time on is closer to comedy than it is to sprinting. The things we believe are important, useful or moral are not always related to the metrics that the marketplace focuses on.

That’s partly because we’re not being compared using something as simple as a stopwatch. And it’s because what other people seek out might not match what we think is the point of the work.

It’s important to figure out whether the thing you want to accomplish is correlated with the performance that some imagine it might be.

For a lot of us, that’s more difficult than it sounds.