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The Best Investment You’ll Ever Make

May 21, 2017


Today I’d like to talk about investing.

When someone talks about investing, I know the first thought that comes to mind is the investing process that involves one to spend money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by putting it into financial schemes, shares, or property, or by using it to develop a commercial venture. This is not the kind of investing I’m referring to today.

The kind of investing I’m referring to is that process of devoting one's time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result. When this process is directed to a human being, it then translates to empowering someone by giving them abilities to do certain things they could never have done before.

In both scenarios, money is involved but the difference is that in the first scenario the investment is in the money itself while in the second scenario money is used to enhance a specific person’s qualities or abilities. Time is also involved. It takes time for any investment to realize profits.

There’s only one guaranteed investment in life, and that’s you.

You are the most important place you can put your time and money, and yet you are probably the one thing that tends to get neglected in life. When other people’s priorities come up or it’s time to sacrifice something, you might be the first to bend. But investing in yourself is not a selfish act. In fact, by helping make your life better, you will by default make the lives better of everyone else around you. And investing in yourself is the best way to ensure that you are well-taken care in the future, too.

Why is investing in yourself so important?

Besides being the person you have to spend the most time with, you are also the best example of seeing an immediate return on investment. Have you ever invested in an extra hour of sleep and noticed immediately how much better you felt? Have you ever invested a little extra money each month into a savings account to find that you had a comfortable cushion when you needed it? Unlike other investments out there, investing in yourself is never a risk, because it always pays off. Even the seemingly “bad” investments (like taking that class on DIY home repairs only to make a mess of your living room mantle) are good ones because you learned something and you pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone.

So if the portfolio of “you” needs a little bit of extra love, here are some options for investing in yourself:

  1. Invest in new skills. Your education doesn’t have to stop at college. Not only does learning a new skill help you keep your resume fresh, but it can help you discover new passions and interests in life. Take advantage of professional development opportunities at your current job or take a class in a creative field you’re interested in, like painting or writing. You may be surprised what you learn and where your new skill set takes you.
  2. Invest in your health. Usually exercise and proper eating is the first thing to go when other priorities pop up. But that makes investing in your health all the more important. And being healthy is the best way to insure your other investments in life (like taking care of your family and being productive at work) keep up. Investing in your health can be as simple as a having a healthy breakfast each morning. It could mean taking walks after dinner or signing up for that personal trainer that you’ve always wanted. Do something daily to invest in your health and you’ll be sure to reap wonderful returns.
  3. Invest in your future (like your retirement). The most literal way to invest in yourself is of course investing! Contributing regularly to your future – specifically your retirement account – is one of the smartest ways to make sure that you have a sound and secure future. And while you might have to sacrifice a little bit today to make it happen, you are still investing in yourself – just a little bit off in the future!

The surest way to achieve a better quality life, to be successful, productive, and satisfied is to place a priority on investing in both personal and professional growth. The effort you put into consistently investing in yourself plays a large role in determining the quality of your life now and in the future.

So from today, determine that you will do something every day to invest in yourself.

In the area of developing your skills or climbing up the professional ladder, you can start by reading at least one self-development book every month, or you could join an informative webinar, or attend a physical workshop that is of interest to you, or enroll in an online course, go back to college, etc. Whatever it is you need to do in order to invest in your skills, go ahead and do it with all the diligence you can master. In fact, do one better and get yourself a personal coach or mentor, someone who is an authority in your line of business or profession. Align yourself with them, do what they ask you to do and in a short time, you will start reaping the benefits of having a mentor.

In the area of health – physical, mental and emotional – you need to take good care of your body. Your body is like a machine. If you care for it in the way that you might maintain an expensive car, it will perform marvelously and last for a very long time. Remember the basics:

  • Give it high quality fueltranslation: make healthy food choices as often as possible. What you eat does play a large role in your energy and ability to perform. You truly are what you eat.
  • Don’t push it too hardtranslation: rest and relax often, slow down and don’t overload your system. Also, don’t shift gears too quickly; it causes stress and damage to “your machine,” A.K.A. your body.
  • Get regular and necessary maintenancetranslation: go to the doctor when your sick – don’t put it off until you totally break down. Better yet, use preventative maintenance; get check-ups, take appropriate vitamins and pay attention to irregular or erratic behavior.
  • Polish the exteriortranslation: take care of the outside too. Many people dismiss this as frivolous and self-indulgent, but it’s not, as long as you don’t go overboard. We’re not talking about facelifts and Botox, we’re talking about getting a fabulous haircut, and wearing clothes that make you feel confident and attractive.

Investing in yourself truly makes a difference in your life, your well-being, and your ability to thrive and perform to the best of your ability. The extent to which you invest in yourself, mind and body, not only shapes the way you interact with the outside world, it often reflects the opinion you have of yourself.

Your future is in large part determined by your willingness and ability to invest in yourself now.

If you have never done it before, then it is time for you to start an investment plan for you. In the words of Robin Sharma, “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you”.


PS: This article was originally published in Tanzania's Guardian On Sunday on the 21st May, 2017, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".





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