Learning to invest in yourself may be the most profitable investment you ever make. It yields not only future returns, but often a current pay-off as well.
The surest way to achieve a better quality life, and be successful, productive, and satisfied is to place a priority on investing in both personal and professional growth. The effort you put into consistently investing in yourself plays a large role in determining the quality of your life now and in the future.
1. Develop Your Skills
Improving your skills doesn’t always mean investing in higher education, though that’s surely an option, and perhaps a necessary one depending upon your career field. Investing in your knowledge and skills can take many forms.
In addition, expanding your level of knowledge and skill isn’t limited to the business arena and doesn’t necessarily need to be formal. There are many “skill investment” avenues.
Advance Your Education
Extra classes, advanced degrees, and relevant certifications, are all valuable investments. Take classes, either in person or online. (Lifehack also offers different online courses that help you to break free from your limits.)
If you’re interested in getting ahead in your career, this may be a great place to start to invest in yourself as extra skills will open more doors. Set goals around your education and start investing time in research.
Utilize Available Training
Enroll in workshops, attend conferences, or participate in webinars. Many of these are free for participants, so take advantage of them as often as possible.
Expand Your Knowledge
There’s a lot of information available on nearly any subject imaginable. To invest in yourself, read books, peruse articles, watch TED talks or YouTube videos…anything related to the talent or skill you want to work on.
Stay up-to-date on the latest trends or advancements. Subscribe to publications, read blogs of experts, and follow the latest news.
2. Explore Your Creative Side
There is a fountain of creativity within most of us that has never been tapped or certainly hasn’t been used to its highest potential. We may need to unearth and hone our individual creativity by learning a new skill or spending time on something that brings us joy.
Creativity in any form helps us to grow personally and professionally, to view problems and solutions in different ways, and to utilize other parts of our mind that may have been previously untapped. It’s important to keep in mind that creativity has many faces. It’s far broader than being a painter or sculptor; it’s also about trying new things.
- Learn a new language: Take a class or use language training software.
- Try gourmet cooking: Enroll in a formal class, by a new cookbook, or ask someone you know who enjoys cooking in a different way.
- Write something: A book, short stories, poetry, anything.
- Explore the outside world: Try gardening, bird watching, or landscape photography.
- Enjoy music: Play an instrument, learn a new one, or join a music group of some kind.
- Create something tangible: Paint, sculpt, make pottery, make jewelry, or design your own clothes.
Choose some form of activity that you have never tried, haven’t practiced in years, or have never explored fully.
3. Nurture Your Mind and Body
Nurturing both your mind and body allows you to have more to give now and in the future—more energy, knowledge, compassion, ideas, strength, and physical and mental endurance.
Expand your mind by learning new things and keeping your mind active, as this helps to grow and maintain your mental ability when you invest in yourself.
- Read: Pick up a book, a newspaper, or a magazine to get started.
- Explore culture: Attend performances, listen to different styles of music, travel, or join an organization or group composed of people from different backgrounds.
- Open your mind: Engage in conversations with those who disagree with you. Look at an argument and try to make a case for the opposing point of view.
- Keep your mind active: Play word games, board games that include strategy, or try using your brain to perform simple calculations rather than relying on a calculator.
When you decide to invest in yourself, also decide to care for your body. If you care for your body in the way that you might maintain an expensive car, it will perform marvelously and last for a very long time. Remember the basics:
Give It High-Quality Fuel
Make healthy food choices as often as possible. What you eat does play a large role in your energy and ability to perform. Socializing is good fuel for your brain, so make sure to get together with good friends as often as possible.
Don’t Push It Too Hard
Rest and relax often, slow down, and don’t overload your system. Also, don’t shift gears too quickly; it causes stress and damage to your body.
Get Regular Maintenance
Go to the doctor when you’re sick; don’t put it off until you totally break down. Better yet, use preventative maintenance; get check-ups, take appropriate vitamins, and pay attention to irregular or erratic behavior.
Polish the Exterior
Many people dismiss their appearance as frivolous and self-indulgent, but it’s not as long as you don’t go overboard. We’re not talking about facelifts and Botox; we’re talking about getting a fabulous haircut and wearing clothes that make you feel confident and attractive.
More you can do to take good care of your body and mind: 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit
Investing in yourself truly makes a difference in your life, your well-being, and your ability to thrive and perform to the best of your ability. The extent to which you invest in yourself, mind and body, not only shapes the way you interact with the outside world, but it often reflects the opinion you have of yourself.
Your future is in large part determined by your willingness and ability to invest in yourself now.
Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com
|||^||Forbes: Here’s How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health|
|||^||Real Simple: 8 Science-Backed Reasons to Read a (Real) Book|