[If you have a gold mine that continues to yield, it's tough to look elsewhere. Seth Godin is a gold mine when it comes to productivity insights, and here's another nugget that he uncovered and I picked up.]
There are certain investments that every employer, teacher, or advisor expect from you - investments like time, attention, cheerfulness, and consistency. If you are not giving these things into your shared enterprise, then they should be charging you far more. But beyond meeting minimum expectations, what else might you invest in this relationship, project, or career?
Among the most valuable investments are initiative and grit. (These two qualities are not always welcome in every environment, but they are most definitely welcome in every place that respects you for your value and success.) I speak and write all the time about initiative and grit, because I think they are crucial to your longterm success and satisfaction. But I'd like to bring your attention to an investment with potentially even MORE value, and certainly more ability to attract attention: What if you invested a willingness to take a risk?
I understand (probably better than you know) that investing your willingness to risk is precisely the opposite of what most students or professionals want from their engagement. Typical students risk nothing: "What exactly do I need to do to get an 'A'?" Typical employees crave security, too: "What do I have to do to stay off the boss's radar?" This means, of course, that most of the people around you will not risk anything jeopardizing their security.
And this, in turn, means, that you have a rare investment to offer: You could speak up to say what others will not. You could offer your best insights as to how your class or sector could improve to reach higher or better goals. You could ride the crest of the unknown the way Jordan W. Peterson describes about the magic of good podcasting. You could invest risk. And someone might thank you for it. It requires wisdom and courage to invest risk, and only the best partners can receive it. But it is the best partners that we seek, right?