During numerous interviews, Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has said that the best investment you can make is in yourself. “You are your own biggest asset. You have all kinds of potential” Buffet remarks. But, what does it mean to invest in yourself? In addition, why should we do that? And, perhaps more importantly, what does that look like? Disclaimer: Links in this post may be affiliate links.
Everyone will have their own reasons for putting time, effort, energy and resources into themselves. In this post, and video I’ll share why I believe you deserve the self investment, and tips on how to invest in yourself.
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3 reasons why you should invest in yourself
There are so many reasons you should invest in yourself. Bottom line, I believe investing in yourself comes down to three things:
- Increasing your happiness. I really don’t know a single person that has said “I am too happy”. Do you? It’s often the simple things in life that make us happy. Happiness comes from within. So stop trying to suffocate the absence of happiness with stuff.
- Reaching your full potential. That’s what we’re all about here on this website. Living your life to it’s fullest potential, whatever that looks like for you! To clarify, there is a difference between contentment and stuck.
- Not having regrets. Regret is primarily about loss. Consequently, you really only regret the things you didn’t do. What of things you did do but wish you hadn’t? Those aren’t regrets, those are mistakes. And mistakes are lessons. We’ve all had our fair share of those.
The problem lies in that many of us from an early age are told to put others first. That is to say, we’re told that self care and self investment is selfish. Newsflash, it isn’t. Putting yourself first, isn’t putting every one else last. It simply means that you are better equipped mentally, physically and emotionally to help others. For example, we’ve all heard the adage that you cannot pour from an empty cup.
3 Barriers to self investment
I’m always surprised at the amount of people who are content with the status quo of their lives. As someone who has been on the self improvement train for a while now this is alien to me. Why wouldn’t you want to be healthier? happier? Well it seems that these folks fall into five categories
- An absence of a growth mindset. They simply don’t want to challenge themselves. This could be that they are simply content to ‘follow the herd’? It’s easier to ‘settle’ when those around you are doing the same. Remember the adage of, you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with! You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people you choose to be around.
- The belief that staying the same is safer. After all, as the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side. But that shouldn’t stop you from watering your own lawn! Or adding some fertilizer. It’s also worth nothing that for some, fear of change is stronger than the fear of stagnating.
- People think they can’t afford it. The barrier to investing in yourself is lower now that it ever has been. There are books, videos, courses etc, online for free. Investing is yourself you pay in time, or money. Plus a little effort and energy. If you have time to watch TV you have time for self improvement.
Ask yourself if these statements are true of yourself. Then ask yourself – would you tell your best friend to take the ‘safe’ option? Then, think about what “I can’t afford it” means to you. For many, what it really means, “I’m not worth it”. Admittedly, that was me for a long time.
Areas of life to improve
There are lots of things to consider when making and investment in yourself. When thinking about investing in yourself, it’s a good idea to think about 5 areas, or categories of life.
- Self Development
- Relationships & community
- Health – physical & mental
Depending on how you choose to invest your time and energy, there can be some overlap. A course taken at work on leadership and communication can be self development and hemp improve relationships with friends and family as well as co-workers. Being physically healthier can help improve our relationships. Any who joins a gym knows that gym friends can evolve into a new social circle. Improving one area, tends to have a domino effect on the others.
7 ways to invest in yourself
Initially I was temped to share all the ways I’ve invested in myself. But, it would be a long list. So I decided to share a list of ways you can invest in yourself right now.
- Prioritize health & wellness. I do believe there is something to be said for the adage of: a healthy body is a healthy mind. Physical and mental health needs to be a priority for every human. If we took better care of ourselves, then we can share and take better care of others.
- Read, read, read. Always be reading. Kindles make having a full extensive library compact and portable. I LOVE my kindle for fiction, but for non-fiction I still prefer good old fashioned paper book. If you have Amazon Prime there are MANY books available for free, and/or you can sign up for Kindle Unlimited for more books.
- Listen to books/podcasts. Some people just don’t want to read. Well now there are audio books from services like Audible, so there is no excuse to not ‘reading’. I’m sure we’ll come up with a better word for this in the future. Another option is podcasts. Seriously, you can find podcasts on just about ANY niche subject these days. Personally, this is one way I get a lot of my information on new books to read, or people I want to follow.
- Watch what you watch. If you have time to sit and watch TV you have time for self improvement. Too many of us are getting sucked into hours of TV. The following fact may shock you but we haven’t had cable since the writers strike of 2007. Once they started doing all the reruns, we realized we were watching 3 programs a week. Not worth it. Plus we’d both rather watch YouTube to learn, and be inspired. And with Amazon Prime there is a LOT of free TV to watch, and some amazing documentaries.
- Level up your skills. Whether you want to learn something new, or hone existing skills this is time and practice. Perhaps you want to learn to play an instrument, write code, or speak a new language. This could mean saving money on house repairs, getting a promotion, or switching careers. Improving your skill set makes you more employable, and a more valuable employee.
- Network. If you ask a sports coach how to get better “play someone better than you” is often the reply. Likewise, I like to say if you play at the same level, you’ll stay at the same level. Find a mentor. Increase your circle of friends. Stay connected. Remember, you are average of the five people you spend the most time with.
- Courses, classes, memberships and workshops. Further study requires more resources. Time and/or money. This could be an online course, joining a membership community, taking a workshop or class at college.
Many of these require habits, goals, dedication and commitment. Subsequently, it’s not always an easy journey. There will be blocks, barriers and challenges. However, this is the work needed to reach your full potential.
I’d be remiss here if I didn’t mention my Patreon community. Because it’s a great way to invest in yourself physically, mentally, creatively, spiritually and socially. Are you ready and willing to invest in yourself to find a happier life, have no regrets, and reach your full potential?
- What barriers to self investment have you experienced?
- How do you invest in yourself?
- Which area of self investment are you lacking?