Curiosity -> Learning & Effort -> Impact -> Outcomes & Reward

Jeff Bezos' shared this wisdom on focusing on inputs in his 2009 shareholder letter: "Senior leaders that are new to Amazon are often surprised by how little time we spend discussing actual financial results or debating projected financial outputs. To be clear, we take these financial outputs seriously, but we believe that focusing our energy on the controllable inputs to our business is the most effective way to maximize financial outputs over time."

This advice applies to both business and personal life. 

Most people are obsessed with rewards and outcomes. They obsess over a higher salary or promotions, an amazing social life, good health, etc. But that's an ineffective approach.  Outcomes & rewards can give you goalposts of what matters to you and can be used as an occasional progress tracker, but they don't help you actually get there.  Outcomes are lagging indicators and consequences of actions. Focusing on outcomes typically makes people unhappy or anxious as outcomes are out of your control - you can do everything right, but may not see results because it takes time, or because of bad luck. 

Instead of obsessing about rewards, you have to obsess about your inputs, process, capabilities, and impact. Follow curiosities and be deeply curious so you have the energy and enthusiasm. Then focus on smart learning, efforts, and developing your abilities. Then focus on the impact you are creating. 

Focus on becoming better and doing good. Rewards will follow.