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The Importance of Investing in Yourself
Recently, I was able to contribute to an excellent, and important, article written by Jeff Rose, CFP of Good Financial Cents. Jeff had asked me to share a tip about How To Invest In Your 20’s.
Here’s how Jeff added my tip to his article featured on Forbes.com.
Tip #6: Invest in yourself.
No matter what happens with the stock market or the price of bitcoin, there is one area of your life where you have total control. “The #1 place you have total control with your investments is in yourself,” says Colorado financial advisor Matthew Jackson of Solid Wealth Advisors.
Jackson suggests investing in your personal, professional, and financial growth in whatever ways you see fit. Why? Because investing in your work ethic, skill set, or wealth of knowledge could be the best investment you’ll ever make.
“Read as many books as you can and attend conferences that support your growth,” says Jackson. “More importantly, be sure to apply the best advice to your daily life. Few things can land you an increase in pay or new opportunity quicker than highly developing your skills.”
When you invest in yourself, you simply cannot lose. If you’re in your 20’s, it’s still not too late to go back to school, earn an important certification that could advance your career, or start over in an industry you’ve always admired.
This got me thinking. Investing in yourself is not something you do just when you are in your 20’s. Investing in yourself is something you should be doing throughout your entire lifetime.
In terms of being the best you can be, I believe everyone and anyone can benefit from increasing their personal and professional skills. We all benefit from being better communicators, educators, listeners, empathizer’s, planners, organizers, critical thinkers, and innovators.
As many of you know, I train a martial art called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and we have a motto we live by. We like to keep in mind, “If you are not growing, you are dying.” Think about that for a minute. What does it mean to you?
It means a couple of things to me. First, if we are staying in a small comfortable bubble and not learning new skills, others around us may be learning those lessons and skills and surpassing us. Next, if you are ever frustrated about being stuck in a rut, maybe in how you are communicating with your spouse and children, not getting the promotion you hoped for, or you’re frustrated about what you perceive as a dead-end job, etc., the only way I see over-coming that frustration is by learning the new skills to get you going in the direction you want. Last, by investing in yourself and staying in a “state of growth” you remain in full-control of the direction you are taking your life. You may not be where you want to be in your life today, but staying in a “state of growth” and learning new skills, you will be more likely to get exactly where you want to be in the future.
If you want a better relationship with your spouse, children, and friends read some books or attend some talks about how to nurture a better relationship. If you want to be a better professional, invest in attending professional association meetings or go see a top professional in your field speak, hire or find a mentor.
This is especially important for retirees. Many retirees I’ve worked with over the last 16 years have expressed disappointment with retirement. In their words, they have communicated to me, that retirement can seem empty and leave them wondering if there is more. I believe people feeling that way are stuck in a perpetual state of motionlessness. Meaning they are not moving forward. They are not growing, nurturing, or developing new skills, new passions either personally or professionally.
Although I’ve never personally experienced this yet (I’m not retired), I can’t imagine being bored in retirement, but I do understand how it can happen. Once retirement is achieved there really is no “have to” grow that is really pressing on the mind. After all, the media and family tell retirees that retirement is about coasting…taking it easy.
After interviewing countless retirees, I’m convinced this is a deep hole leading to nowhere. I encourage my clients to think of retirement as the time in their life when they can truly pursue their passion with no obstacles holding them back. They can grow in the way they want, not they way their boss or career dictated to them during their working years.
Investing in yourself during your retirement is an important step toward developing, growing, and enjoying your true life’s passions and living a life true to yourself. There are many ways to get fulfillment in life, but without challenging yourself to grow by investing time and/or money in yourself, in my opinion, you have very little chance for true fulfillment.
Take the time to invest in yourself. Develop deeper understandings of yourself and the topics that interest you or are causing you pain in your life. Your soul will thank you!