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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 September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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