One of the best investments you can make in life is to invest in yourself. Contrary to what people think, it is not a selfish act. In fact, by making your life better, you will improve the lives of others around you. Investing in yourself is the best way to ensure that you are well-taken care of in the future, too. Being physically and mentally in good shape makes you happier and improves your chances of financial success. Who are the most financially successful people you know? Chances are that there is a correlation between financial success and personal qualities (e.g. being smart, optimistic, mentally alert, active and sociable).
Why is investing in yourself so important? Besides being the person you the most time with, you are also the best example of seeing an immediate return on investment. Have you ever invested in an extra hour of sleep and noticed immediately how much better you felt? Have you ever invested a little extra money each month into a savings account to find that you had a comfortable cushion when you needed it? Unlike other investments, investing in yourself is never a risk, because it always pays off.
Spending money on yourself is a good idea if you are likely to get a return on your investment through increased income or opportunities. Education is the most obvious form of investment in yourself, but there are others, such as:
- Investing in new skills: Your education doesn’t have to stop at university. Not only does learning a new skill help keep your resume fresh, but it can help you discover new passions and interests in life. Take advantage of professional development opportunities at your current job or take a class in a creative field you’re interested in, like painting or writing. You may be surprised what you learn and where your new skill set takes you. Check out Coursera, Open Culture, Alison, TED Talks, and so many online that help in learning new skills.
- Investing in your health: Usually exercise and proper eating are the first things to go when other priorities pop up. But that makes investing in your health even more important. And being healthy is the best way to ensure your other investments in life (like taking care of your family and being productive at work) keep up. Investing in your health can be as simple as a having a healthy breakfast each morning. It could mean taking walks after dinner or signing up for that personal training class that you have always wanted. Do something daily to invest in your health and you will be sure to reap wonderful returns. For example, join a gym or sports club, or hire a personal trainer. Physical fitness is known to aid mental alertness, a ‘can do’ attitude and increased stamina and can therefore result in improved performance at work and greater prospects for promotion.
- Creating the right mindset by increasing motivation and overcoming negative influences such as stress and depression: Spending money on a meditation course, motivational books and seminars, or psychological counselling are examples of how to invest in your mindset. Having a positive mindset means you are more likely to spot opportunities and follow up on them.
- Building networks of friends and contacts: Your network is your net worth. By joining clubs, networking groups or community organizations, you can build on your circle of influence. Having a wide circle of influence can pay off through increased business referrals or new business and employment opportunities.
- Doing the things you love: Spending money on hobbies, interests and your passions has a much stronger and longer lasting effect on happiness than spending money on possessions. Giving to others can also be a source of happiness. Happiness goes along with a positive, optimistic mindset that leads to success.
- Investing in your future (like your retirement): The most literal way to invest in yourself is, of course, investing! Contributing regularly to your future – specifically your retirement account – is one of the smartest ways to make sure that you have a sound and secure future.
What other things can you do to invest in your future? Let us know in the comments.