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7 Powerful Ways To Invest In Yourself

7 Powerful Ways To Invest In Yourself

Investment legend, Warren Buffett once said the best investment anyone can make is in themselves. He wasn’t being philosophical when he said that. Economists may tell you that investing in yourself builds human capital. In other words, if you put enough time and energy into learning new skills you’ll never have to worry about financial security or finding a job.

Here are the seven best ways to improve and invest in yourself.

1. Get certified training

Learning should never really end. Even if you’ve recently graduated, there are a lot of ways you can (and should) stay ahead of the crowd. Sign up for courses in business management or get a professional qualification in your industry.

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Not only will this set you apart from rivals, but it will also help you deliver a professional service to whoever you work with. A lot of these certified courses are designed to be flexible, so you don’t have to spend too much time away from work.

These courses are also regularly updated with the latest trends in your industry, so you’ll stay updated with the cutting edge in your field.

2. Join a special interest group

Special interest groups can help you create a network of like-minded people. There’s absolutely no limit to how much you can learn from the experiences of others. Every new person you meet brings a unique perspective and a ton of fresh ideas you can apply to your work right away.

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3. Read

From Bill Gates to Elon Musk, a lot of super successful business leaders have said that their reading habit is the key to their success. Reading is a habit that will genuinely transform your life. You can start by reading just a few pages a day, every day and keep doing it forever.

4. Gamify learning

Leverage technology to make learning fun. A lot of learning apps are designed like games to aid the learning process. Solving math quizzes is a lot more fun when you’re trying to set the high score.

5. Step out of your comfort zone

Step out of your circle of competence on occasion. Try to learn skills you’ve never considered before and don’t be afraid to look silly as you take on something uncomfortable. Even if you don’t master a new skill, attempting it will boost your confidence immensely.

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6. Track your progress

If you’ve decided to invest time and money in mastering a new skill or getting a new qualification, track your progress. Track the number of hours you’ve spent reading or the number of tests you took. Tracking your progress will motivate you when you’re slacking off and help you see how far you’ve come after a while.

If you’ve been to business school, you’ve probably heard of the Japanese Kaizen philosophy. It’s a system of constant and gradual improvement that Japanese companies have used to develop a world-class manufacturing sector. But this system can also be used to help you realize your full potential. Take small but meaningful steps every day to improve yourself.

7. Create something tangible

Taking time and effort to create something tangible is a great way to grow yourself as a person. Creating something that can be seen and comprehended will provide you with utmost satisfaction. It will not only create an instant feel good factor but also will inspire you in the future in case you have any doubt upon yourself.

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You could try anything from painting, sculpting, and poetry to writing computer programs or working on a DIY project. It doesn’t even have to be particularly good. The sense of accomplishment from being able to create something is more than a valid reason to spend your time and energy.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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