We often talk about investing in financial or business terms. In other words, we say we’re going to invest in retirement or reinvest profits back into the business. But it’s just as important to think about investing in personal terms. Because at the end of the day, you are the most critical asset you have. And the more you prioritize your growth and development, the more you’ll excel in your relationships, business, career, and finances.
Why Invest in Yourself?
An investment in yourself is an investment in your future. The most successful people in the world are committed to self-investing because they understand and appreciate the larger benefits, such as:
- Broadening your perspective. The more educated you are, the more your perspective evolves to account for opinions and experiences other than your own. This newfound awareness makes it easier to relate to others.
- Increasing self-confidence. Any time you acquire a new piece of knowledge or a new skill, it does something to your confidence. And as you become more confident in yourself, you exude certainty and assurance. These are traits that others find attractive and compelling – particularly when hiring employees or forming business partnerships.
- Enhancing technical skills. Soft skills are great – and you should continuously refine them – but an investment in a technical skill produces a much more quantifiable return on investment. By layering technical skills on top of each other, you instantly make yourself more valuable to others.
- Take control over your future. A tiny kayak is no match for big waves and stormy seas. A large cruise ship is much better suited for weathering even the most intense swells. When you invest in yourself, you’re actively working to build a bigger “ship.” This allows you to endure more storms and gives you greater control over your future.
4 Ways to Invest in Yourself
Investing in yourself sounds great, but what does that mean? In other words, what do you do?
There are no clear-cut, standardized answers to these questions. Your version of self-investing will differ from the next person’s. It’s a highly personal and subjective endeavor. But here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
1. Read Regularly
If you study the most accomplished people – folks like Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk – you’ll find that they’re committed to reading. They read, at minimum, two books per month. And you should, too.
Reading not only exposes you to new concepts and ideas, but it also forces you to slow down, clear your mind, and focus. It’s a practice in intentionality.
2. Take Online Courses
With the growth of e-learning, it’s now easier than ever to acquire knowledge from some of the most talented people in their respective fields. It’s also less expensive than it’s ever been. In many cases, courses are free or cost just a few dollars. This provides an excellent alternative to expensive and time-consuming classroom-based learning.
Consider taking practical online courses. Something like an Excel training course or a class on public speaking is an excellent way to bolster your technical skills and add more value to those around you.
3. Adopt Healthier Lifestyle Habits
Investing in yourself is just as much physical as it is cognitive. In fact, you can’t operate at your best mentally if you aren’t performing your best physically. Here are some specific investments you can make:
- Get at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day.
- Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
- Get at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.
- Consume a fresh, balanced diet while eliminating as many processed ingredients as possible.
When you follow these pointers, you’ll feel better and perform better. This will further maximize the benefits you’re already getting from cognitive investments.
4. Join Professional Groups
You can learn a lot by joining professional groups within your industry or career field. This puts you close to other talented people, which allows you to soak up knowledge and advance your skills at a much faster rate.
Adding it All Up
You don’t have to spend $300k on a fancy degree or years in a rigorous apprenticeship to become a better version of yourself. Self-investments run the gamut. From reading books to taking online courses to participating in professional groups, there are plenty of options at your disposal. Use them strategically and you’ll gradually become the best possible version of yourself!