We are told at a young age how important investing for the future is, whether we’re using the company’s 401k plan, investing in mutual funds or getting serious with an etrade account. We all know that investing small amounts early in our career can create a sizable nest egg for later on in life. We can even dream about getting some luck along the way and being able to retire early. In other words for many of us, investing in our financial future is an obvious win.
So why then, are we often so reluctant to invest in other aspects of our lives?
Just as our money can grow from small, consistent efforts, so too can our physical strength and endurance, our intellect, and our ability to handle difficult decisions. In fact, ever single part of our lives can be improved and made better through small, but consistent , practice and effort. And just as with our financial lives the best time to start is when we are young, but even if we missed that window, the second best time to start is TODAY.
This is especially important for the job seeker and those of us looking to take the next step in our careers. Each aspect of our lives, our health, confidence, and competence is tied together, one piece subtly influencing the other. The better all around human we become, the easier each discrete part of our lives will be.
So how should we go about investing in ourselves? I suggest by building a strong foundation and growing from there. Stick with the tried and true methods. Think of it as picking an as close to sure thing, blue chip stock as you can find. Something that probably won’t make you rich over night, but that will give you a reasonable chance of earning 4% interest over the year.
Invest in your health by taking a walk or starting a light jogging habit. Just shoot for a half an hour 4-5 times a week. Couple this with some daily calisthenics or push ups and you have a reasonable beginner’s workout plan. Over time you may want to up your game, but even if you just stick with this for the long term your investment in yourself will pay endless dividends: more metal clarity, better sleep, and improved stamina are just some of the basic benefits. How much better could you be at your job, at life, with just these minor improvements?
Don’t forget to invest in your education as well. Many people feel like that part of their lives is over once college is done. But I can tell you from personal experience that, at 45, what I learned in college, while it is not obsolete, has certainly evolved over the course of time. I’m sure your professional field is no different. We all need to stay fresh. That could mean everything from getting another advanced degree to simply giving your library card a regular weekly workout. Stay current, build on your education, and again the dividends will be worth it.
There of course are many other parts of our lives that could do with some investment. Our relationships, our spirituality, our experiences. Make a list. Create a plan of attack and invest in yourself starting today.