There are a million different “investment” tools out there – but which one is the best? IRAs, mutual funds, bonds and other things with initials you can’t even pronounce.
But what if I told you the best investment tool out there might be right in front of you. The best investment is yourself.
Here’s why you should invest in self-education — it’s the best investment you can make.
Note: Self-education doesn’t necessarily mean more school — sometimes it’s as simple as trying a new class, attending a new conference or experimenting with a new gym.
1. Makes You More Interesting
Who’s more interesting — the guy who learns everything he’s going to learn in life and closes his mind at 22 years old, or the old man who continues to learn a new thing every year?
Steve Martin spent the first part of his life honing his craft as a comedian. As he mastered that craft, he kept learning new things and began teaching himself the banjo. Now he’s a world class musician traveling & touring with a bluegrass band.
The most interesting man in the world didn’t become so by refusing to continue to learn, but by purposely seeking out new and challenging endeavors that would teach him new life lessons.
2. Easy Ways To Experiment
Self education is a super cheap way to experiment with new things. You can try new activities incredibly quick and for free (or almost free).
- Want to learn CrossFit? Take a free ONRAMP course at a local gym.
- Want to start a food blog? Boom — done.
- Want to learn to paint? There’s probably a wine bar that hosts a painting group once a month.
- Want to try to embarrass yourself with yoga? You can probably do that, too.
There’s a million new things to try and groups to join on a site like meetup.com. Check it out, find one or two things a month to try out and see what you think.
You don’t need to commit 4 years and $100,000 to find out if you want to do something new. You just have to try it.
3. Reminds You That Learning a Lifelong Endeavor
The process of learning — awkwardly trying something new, making mistakes and improving slowly bit by bit — is an art we spend years on as children, but often abandoned later on as we focus on “image” and “looking like we know what we’re doing.”
By investing in your self-education, you have a constant reminder that there are things that you’re not good at and can improve on. It’s a constant exercise in humility and a great reminder that learning is a lifelong endeavor.
4. Expands Your Perspective of the IMPOSSIBLE
I love the impossible — seeing the edge of what you think you’re capable of and then going beyond it.
Investing in your self-education helps you realize that the impossible is a lot farther away than you think it is. In fact, you might not even be scraping the surface right now. By pushing your limits, trying new things and learning more about what you’re capable of, you’re expanding your perspective of the impossible, living a fuller life and opening yourself up to more and more possibilities down the road.
5. No One Can Take It Away
People can foreclose on your house, they can repo your car and they can garnish your earnings, but people can’t take away your knowledge or your ability to learn new things.
When assessing where you can invest time, energy and the rest of your resources, spend it on the one thing that no one can take from you — yourself.
What are your favorite reasons to invest in yourself?
Featured photo credit: StockMonkeys.com via flickr.com