As of the time this blog is being written, the stock market is in the “green” and all is looking good for an incredible finish to a record breaking year for the American stock market. This has certainly been a historical year for the stock market and the American economy as a whole. As most everyone knows, stock markets around the world reflect, to a tremendous degree, the impact and value of investments that have been made in companies, new innovations, and inventions throughout the year.
Investors are always thrilled when the value of their investments goes up. That normally is the goal in mind. However, the downside to investing is that investments go up and investments go down. Investing and stock markets around the world are always cyclical in nature. The age old adage of “What goes up must come down” captures the risky nature of investments. There is always risk involved with investing money. Billions of dollars are lost every year due to investment ventures that have gone bad. However, the good news is that there is an investment every one of us can affordably make which has no chance of failure. This investment always provides a high value dividend that can pay out over a lifetime. The even greater news is this investment is one that is never taxed and inflation can never diminish its value. This sounds like a “no brainer” investment opportunity that everyone would want to be a part of. What is this investment? The investment we are talking about is yourself!
As we near the close of a year and step over the “threshold” to a new one, now is a great time to be thinking about how we can invest in ourselves throughout this new year. Let’s take a look at ways that we can all get “wealthier” by investing in ourselves:
Learn As Much As You Can
This investment “venture” can involve personal as well as professional opportunities. What is it in our lives that makes us uncomfortable or may be intimidating to us? There is always something that causes some discomfort in most everyone’s life that many of us have a tendency to simply just surrender to and deal with as best we can. Unfortunately, we have to face these types of discomforts and challenges because they usually never go away on their own. How wonderful it would be if we took the time to identify and reflect on these challenges and then developed a plan to overcome them. One of the major personal characteristics of “Excellence Inspired” individuals is that they are active learners. Another way to look at this is to identify an issue or subject that you would like to be a “subject matter” expert in. You could be the one that others come to and consult with for answers related to this particular issue. What a great way to expand your interests and talents to become even more valuable on the job and to others around you! By the way, learning does not have to be a chore. It can be creative and include things such as learning a new hobby or learning to play a musical instrument. Be thinking about why ongoing, lifelong learning is so important.
Invest in Others
Why is this investment so important? Well, there are several rewards earned from this one. The first one that comes to mind is that we are benefiting others in need. No doubt, this reward comes to the forefront as we invest in helping others. The other reward that sometimes is unseen is that we divert attention from ourselves and focus on others. Consider individuals whom you know or have known who are self-centered and focused totally on themselves. How happy are these people? Many times the appearance of having an elevated status in society and achieving success leading to happiness is a facade. This happiness appears appealing to others, but in reality it is very superficial and can quickly evaporate. Investing in others is a wonderful way to give away some of ourselves to others. What does it look like when we give away some of ourselves? We can do that in many ways such as through time, attention, encouragement, as well as tangible resources. Be thinking of ways that you could invest in others?
Invest In Our Health
Even though this investment is listed last, we should consider it to be the most important. Nothing supersedes taking care of ourselves physically and mentally. This sounds like a pretty basic investment. Unfortunately, this is the one that most everyone neglects. The interesting thing about this investment (which is totally the opposite of basic investing principles) is that not making this one creates tremendous risk and could result in life changing, unrecoverable losses. We should all be encouraged to make an appointment with our physicians and dentists to get the routine “checkup” that everyone needs to keep themselves in peak operating condition. Identify ways that you can improve your health in the new year.
This blog is just the “tip of the iceberg” in identifying ways to invest in yourself. Please be thinking about other ways you can invest in the most important resource you have.
By the way, a reflective closing thought is this…Why do safety talks on airline flights always instruct passengers to give themselves oxygen first in the event of an emergency?
“Nobody can take away what you’ve got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven’t used yet.”
– Warren Buffet