Unexpected Benefits

Drinking more water lately has lead me to think more about virtuous cycles and the unintended and unexpected benefits that come with doing something good. 

My FitBit has always nagged at me to get in more steps and I've gotten pretty good at ignoring it... And then, I noticed I wasn't getting the notifications anymore. I figured I'd won the battle, and FitBit gave up on me... Until I checked my stats, and I was hitting my step goal every hour.

And then I realized, by drinking more water, I was having (obviously) having to use the restroom more, which meant getting up from my desk and walking more.

When Jr Developers ask me for how they can grow in their career, reading is always at the top of my list of suggestions. It's an obvious one, but so few ever follow through. Whether it's a book on business (organizational structures, producitivity frameworks, customer/product management approaches), books on science/mathematics, or - at the very least - books on technology. There are so many great and important reads out there: Uncle Bob's books, to Phoenix/Unicorn Project, Thinking in Systems (a tech book that doesn't know it's a tech book), The Goal, Jordan Mechner's published journals... I could go on and on. 

Reading broadens your perspective, and helps you discover patterns that will help you better problem solve. It will spur your creativity. It will help you "keep up" in conversations that use a lot of jargon, or reference concepts covered in those books.

Those are the intended consequences of reading. The unexpected/unintended consequence of reading, I've found, is it helps you be a better mentor & leader. Books become the tools, ideas, and strategies that you can reference in the absence of direct experience.

So: Drink more water. Read more books.

If you have a habit that you realized had an unexpected benefit, what was it?


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