Most people are concerned with where their money goes, and that’s understandable. Sometimes it seems as if my money often goes places without me because it isn’t always there when I go to look for it. People ride the stock market roller coaster which offers both exhilaration and panic. They do this because they feel it’s worth the investment of time and money. But often, they don’t invest in their most valuable and potentially profitable asset…themselves.
Obviously, if you don’t want to end up living in a large cardboard box, you need to invest wisely and be prudent about your finances. However, it’s just as important to invest in your own well-being.
We need money to take care of our basic needs and those of our families and we also want to be able to fully experience life and do the things that give us joy. But no matter how much financial wealth we accrue, it won’t do us any good if we aren’t around to reap the benefits. Also, we can’t take care of anyone else if we don’t take care of ourselves! Investing in yourself is not only beneficial to you, but it also makes things better for the people around you. When you take the time to be the healthiest and most balanced person you can be, everyone benefits. You may as well be a good friend to yourself because wherever you go…there you are!
How do you go about investing in yourself? Here is a starter list:
- Nurture yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. A truly successful person doesn’t adopt the motto; “I am strong. I am invincible. I am pooped!” You can work yourself to the point of exhaustion and tell yourself and others that you’re doing it for all the right reasons, but when you are nothing but a puddle on the floor, you won’t be very convincing. It’s better to set boundaries for yourself. Get proper rest and exercise. Step away from your phone and take time to quiet your mind and empty your brain of earthly woes. That’s not being lazy or irresponsible; it’s being wise. Those who care about you will be glad that you are still able to function rather than becoming a zombie. No matter how wealthy or well dressed they are, zombies aren’t good company and they are definitely no fun at parties. Besides, after you’ve worked yourself to death, people won’t praise you for your martyrdom. They will just say you should have taken better care of yourself.
- Don’t stress for success. Those two “s” words need not go hand in hand! When the stress snakes start to strangle you, pay attention! Remember the origin of the word “stress.” It dates back to the fifteenth century when people used to draw and quarter their enemies, meaning they used to literally pull them apart. That’s what our modern day stress can do to us, physically and mentally. Invest in yourself by finding ways to avoid, alter or adapt to stressful situations. Don’t mess with stress because no matter who you are, eventually, you will lose. What good is all your money if you are six feet under?
- Surround yourself with positive people. Sadly, we sometimes find ourselves in the company of trolls. These are people who revel in negativity and delight in spreading it around. Possibly it is a defense mechanism; much like a skunk spraying a foul mist, but whatever the reason, trolls do you no good. You may have even married or given birth to a troll, which can make things more difficult. The best way to counteract a toxic person is to avoid being sucked into his or her negative vortex by refusing to participate in non-productive and pessimistic talk. Balance things by adding positive and supportive people into your life. Hang out with those who like to focus on possibilities rather than hopelessness. Limit your time with emotional vampires who drain your energy.
- Make regular deposits into your laughter account. No matter how much you have in your bank account, you won’t have a healthy and balanced life if you don’t invest in your sense of humor. The world isn’t always a funny place, but there are pockets of humor everywhere you look. The physiological and mental benefits of laughter are countless; there is no better medicine and there are no bad side effects! Don’t underestimate the value of laughter in conditioning yourself for whatever may come. When you learn to take yourself lightly while taking your work seriously, you will be better able to choose your battles, come up with creative solutions and turn negatives into positives. Laughter may not make everything better for you, but it will certainly make you better for everything. If you don’t think you have anything about which to laugh, just look around because the world is a virtual laugh laboratory. Consider the sign in an airport by the lost luggage department which reads: Please make sure your plane has landed before you report your baggage lost. Even if you’ve lost your bags, that’s funny.
The only investment that is guaranteed to always provide you with positive returns is the one you make in yourself. If you don’t do it, who will?