I saw the heading INVEST IN YOURSELF on a website advertising a woman’s magazine in Australia – the Women’s Weekly (which is printed monthly – go figure!).
I was interested to read more, but was a bit let down when the main thrust was about formal education (that is - school based).
It is not that I don’t agree that education (for women especially) is vital; for work opportunities, empowerment, self knowledge etc. It is just there is so much more to INVESTING IN YOURSELF than formal education.
I see investing time in your mental, physical and spiritual health as equally important.
Investing in experiences and capabilities.
Investing money to help ease financial difficulties.
Investing time in others to help invest in yourself.
Investing some time not doing anything.
Education, in some ways, can lead you to these other investments, but it is not necessarily along a clearly defined path from A to Z.
I try to invest in myself in many ways.
1. Yes, in education – I have done as much University education as I can handle at this time (...never say never), I have recently done a coffee making course, and I am always reading DIY books to help me make over the ‘sea-change’. I also question things I read about, I don’t always take things at face value. I try to get behind the information to see where the truth lies.
2. Invest in experiences – I am always willing to try new things, dare myself to do ‘stuff’, take a chance, make personal goals and wish lists. A big overseas trip planned for this year comes into that.
I plan to travel to Morocco, Turkey, Corsica, Denmark and Iceland. I didn't get to those places on my last ‘great trip’ (years ago) and I want to go to each of them for a different reason.
This of course doesn't mean that I don’t keep trying ‘experiences’ while I am at home. Just some experiences are geographically near and others are far.
3. Invest in my capabilities – ha, at the moment I am (still) learning to use a racing mal and a surf ski (you should see the bruises – they are big enough to scare children), I am becoming a power tool junkie, a yoga convert etc ...
I see all of these things as investing in my mental and emotional health as they are positive for me, and I am happier with myself and better for the people around me.
A very dear friend of mine once quoted Mick Thomas from the now defunct group ‘Weddings, Parties, Anything’ ... “you are no good to others unless you are good to yourself”. Yup, I am with him on that one.
4. Investing money-wise. I make sure that I save something, pay off my mortgage, have a nest egg so that if anything happens there is money to fall back on. The knowledge that there is enough to ‘get by’ is very stress-reducing.
5. Investing in others. Spending time with family and friends, taking time to help neighbours, volunteering, assisting strangers, donating time and making an effort. It makes you feel good. It does you good.
6. Invest in doing nothing. Let the body and the mind regenerate. This doesn’t always mean slugging on the couch watching daytime soaps – but can include walking, reading, meditating, napping, playing with the dog etc. All very regenerative activities (or non-activities – whatever you choose to do.)
Investing should be a holistic experience. Don’t just concentrate on one area, try a little bit of investment in every area of your life. I probably don't do some of the things I should be investing in, but there is lots of time for me to discover them; if I am meant to discover them (I can sense a whole post on kismet in the future!).
I suppose my personal mantra for today could be:
Live life; love life; experience life
It helps you stay positive when the negatives are dragging you down.