When I decide to write on a topic, I always take a survey of what’s already out there. I think about any new dimension I can add, what I can improve.
I must say, so much of “investing in yourself” I saw via my research revolved around MONEY. Things like savings accounts, retirement accounts, buying this or that.
Sure, these are good investments for the future you. However, eventually money fades. Keep this in mind-There’s no guarantee you get to retirement age my friends.
Invest in your life, not just your pocketbook. Not to mention investing in yourself can have a positive impact on your pocketbook as well. You’ll live a more productive life.
When I’m talking about investing in YOURSELF, I’m talking emotionally, mentally, and culturally. These things are difficult to put a definite monetary value on.
Perhaps you’re already caught up in the grind of a 9 to 5 (or perhaps a 9 to 8!), you need something else besides tips on how to accumulate more money. That’s what this guide is about
Ways to Invest in YOURSELF
I’m starting with the mental aspect because everything is derived from your mental state. Without a proper investment into the mental, you get stuck in ruts or depressive states. Worse, you walk around like some sort of zombie, going through the motions.
For many, mental investment includes reading self-help or motivational books. You are watering your mind with positive & good seeds.
I personally practice MEDITATION (as well as the martial art of Yiquan that relies heavily on meditation). Daily meditation has increased my ability to concentrate and stay focused. I also rely on it to give myself pep talks. As my teacher used to say-“Your brain is like a super computer, you must give it breaks every now and then.” Meditation allows for that greatly needed reset and clarity.
Granted, meditation isn’t for everyone. My response is only this-don’t knock it until you try it for a month.
Pretty much anything on this list below is a mental investment, so there is some overlap.
Here are some meditation and self-help books you might find useful:
Beginner meditation Book by Alex Anderson
Practicing Mindfulness by Matthew Sockolov
Whatever it Takes by Brandon Bornancin
7 habits of Highly Effective people by Stephen Covey
The Great Outdoors/Nature
I guess this won’t apply to you if you’re living it up in some Alaskan Wilderness or Colorado Mountain getaway. However, many of us live in cities or the suburbs. TRY to get out in Nature occasionally.
I’m a huge fan of walks in Nature (and hiking). I make time every week to go for a walk in Nature. I have a few local spots near a local river where the trail goes through some heavy woods. I love the animals, the tress, and the fresh air. Another aspect I love is the solitude. There’s something about total SECLUSION in the woods with no one around. There is nothing there but yourself and the atmosphere, it heightens your senses. and brings a tremendous amount of mental clarity. Having regular times of SOLITUDE and introspection is investing in yourself. I’d call this an environmental investment as well. Be appreciative of the nature.
Health is like mental, there’s overlap here. Don’t forget your physical health during the grind. You don’t have to look far to see a guy in his 50’s that’s worn out, having trouble walking, and is the anti-thesis of good health. The sooner you look after yourself, the better off you’ll be. The older you get, the more difficult it is to get into shape. Don’t wait until your body is a wreck to look after it.
The older you get, the more things like blood pressure, poor posture, joint problems, and diabetes can wreck your life. Without your health, you don’t have anything.
Health investment can be lots of things, but most of all, find something you enjoy. The more you enjoy it, the more apt you are to continue doing it.
- Weight lifting
- tai chi
- martial arts
I’m currently on a running/walking roll; however, I HATED running for years. In the past, I’ve done-power lifting routines, judo, other martial arts, tai chi, amongst other things.
I think what’s important is balance.
I hate to say this but I’ve known people in their 50’s that went for a run and never came back. They probably pushed their body to the limits at an age they shouldn’t have. One of my biggest gripes is how the fitness industry often doesn’t make older people aware of the risks of certain exercise behaviors. Don’t over do it if you aren’t a spring chicken.
Your physical appearance isn’t always the best indicator of health either-I’ve looked physically good (when I power lifted) but my body felt like an absolute wreck with all sorts of tension in my back.
Another aspect of health is diet and nutrition. I’m not a great model for this, that’s for sure. However, I’m getting better. What you eat fuels your body and mind, so even it is an investment in your mind. Don’t skip the fruits and veggies. Drink plenty of water. Drink two liters of water a day
ARTISTIC & CREATIVE activity
- Learn a Musical Instrument
- Painting or Drawing
- Creative Writing
- Arts & Crafts projects
Learn an Instrument, painting, drawing, or creative writing. I’ve played music professionally for 20 years. It had a tremendous impact on my life (I won’t brag, but I have in fact played Carnegie Hall, as well as six different countries). This website and blog is me investing in myself as well. I’m sharing my journey, archiving what I do, and hoping to learn as I go.
I would even add-Support the arts. Go to a museum, go to a live concert. Once a year I visit my local art museum to see what’s new.
ADDING TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL SKILLS
I recently got the following certifications from Google-Google Data Analytics, Google Analytics, and Fundamentals of Digital Marketing.
I run a small business and I can use all of these skills regardless of some “job.” Maybe you feel stuck at your current job, add a skill, move on up the ladder. There are a multitude of opportunities nowadays with places like Coursera and Google giving you FREE courses. Check out Google’s Digital Garage for some ideas. At no point should you feel like you HAVE to be at a JOB, you can change your career and life at any point.
Next up on my list of professional skills to add is I want to become a better writer (That way I don’t sound like a dum dum when I’m writing for you all :P)
GET SOME REST!
Don’t forgo your rest.
I SERIOUSLY need to do a better job here. I think part of it’s I’ve never been one to get eight hours of sleep. I usually get about six hours and at some point my body will say, “Hey dude!” and I’ll find myself conked out on a Saturday afternoon for an extended nap. All I can say is give yourself a break once and awhile. As a self-employed person, rest for me partly means cutting the emails off, and not answering business related stuff for the day. Rest isn’t just sleep or a nap, maybe you need rest from particular people. Maybe you need a break from a project. REST!
I’ve been on every continent except Africa and Australia. I must say my travels have had an incredible impact on my life. You see other cultures (and sometimes realize how great you have it!). You get exposed to different ideas, ways of living, and yummy food. This is good for your soul. Part of this might even entail learning a new language. Don’t thing this has to be some expensive international trip. Take a weekend trip to a new location in your home state if nothing else. Look at this beautiful picture I took in Greece a few years back!
PLAY, BE A KID, or a complete DOLT
Take time in your life to be a complete fool, do something nonsensical. Be silly and Be funny. Think about when you were a kid, you didn’t concern yourself with half the stuff you do now. Go be a kid for a day. Envision Adam Sandler, Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, or someone similar. Stop taking yourself so serious there!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
Have you ever done something really nice for another? How did you feel afterwards? I know, It feels good to help other people out. Not in a way where you want accolades or you’re looking for something in return. I believe we all want to feel useful. Helping another out is good for your soul. Even better when you do so in secret and the other person doesn’t know you helped them. There are opportunities all around you, especially when the elderly are concerned. Many are house-bound and can’t get out. Maybe there is a single mom nearby that needs something.
SUMMARY AND FINAL WORDS
In summary, all of this is to build an even BETTER you. Remember-As you build a better you, it will have an indirect affect on your productivity which thereby impacts your income ability. Do you have any ideas about how to Invest in yourself? How have you invested in yourself and how has it paid max dividends? I’d love to hear from you.