What does it mean to invest in yourself and how investing in yourself can change your life.
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Investing in yourself means spending time and money to improve yourself on different levels, including professional, physical, mental, emotional, and financial levels.
The main reason to invest in yourself is that it is the only investment that will 100% pay you back. No matter what happens to the market, your job, or global situation, when you’re healthy, wise, and smart, you’ll have a place under the sun.
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The best way to become successful, leave a better life, achieve financial independence is to put priority into investing in professional and personal growth. The quality of your life today and in the future directly depends on the efforts you make to investing in yourself.
Therefore invest in your education, health, and skills to live a better life.
20 Best ways to invest in yourself
1. Take responsibility for your own life.
Now, pay attention. This is a very significant thing to understand that will boost your life. Let me repeat this: take responsibility for your own life. This is your life, and everything you have or do with your life is totally your responsibility. Not your parents, not your teachers, not your boss, and not even your partner. You are the person who makes decisions about your life.
This doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want and not consider other people’s opinions or forget about the consequences. It merely means that whatever you have now and at whatever position you are now is 99% the result of your decisions and your work.
The good news is that it is totally in your power to change things for the better. So, stop blaming your parents, economy, or your boss for your misfortunes. Please take responsibility for your life into your hand and make it the best life possible.
2. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Without clear goals, a life journey is a hustle with no purpose. Therefore, invest some time into thinking about things you’d like to have or achieve, set goals, and take action.
Using S.M.A.R.T. criteria can help you set and achieve these goals. This abbreviation stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. In order to make sure that you will meet your goals, try to set the goals that will be all of the above.
If you’ve never heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals or want to find out more, check this awesome book by S.J. Scott called S.M.A.R.T. Goals Made Simple – 10 Steps to Master Your Personal and Career Goals.
3. Learn how money work.
Read financial freedom books, blogs, and listen to podcasts. Understand the basics of how to make, save money, and grow your income. No matter what your job is, knowing how money works will help you increase income, make 6 figures or even more, reach life goals and live a better life. My favorite books on financial freedom that changed the attitude to money and gave a whole new perspective on how money work are:
- Rich Dad, by Rober Kiyosaki
- The Richest Man in Babylon, by George S Clason
- The Power of Zero, by David McKnight
- The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, by David Ramsey
4. Take care of your physical health.
Exercise, eat healthy products, drink a lot of water, and incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle. Get enough sleep, try to reduce stress, or learn how to manage it. After all, you can’t achieve any goals or simply enjoy life if there is no “you.” So do whatever it takes to improve your health, lifestyle to live a long and happy life.
5. Take care of your emotional health.
I’m a true believer that everyone at least once in a lifetime needs to talk to a physiologist. Panic attacks, toxic relationships, low moods, stress, etc. destroy our precious energy, eat our time, and prevent us from living the best life possible.
Therefore I strongly suggest thinking of the emotional issues you may have and work through them with a specialist.
It is, at the very least, will clear your mind and help to stay focused on opportunities your life gives you instead of bragging about the problems you have.
6. Constantly improve your professional skills.
One of the most popular sources of income people have are their day jobs. When we constantly improve our skills, we become a better professional who can make a career in a short time with an increase in salary or find a better job that pays well.
7. Learn something new.
A wise investor diversifies his income. Therefore invest in yourself by acquiring new skills to occupy your mind, develop creative thinking, or have a side hustle that brings you money.
8. Spend wisely.
Audit your expenses and the attitude to the spending. Don’t spend money on things you don’t quite need or can’t afford.
9. Save 10% from each paycheck.
No matter what, invest in yourself first. Set aside a safe amount of at least 10% from each paycheck you receive to start saving money for your goals. Read about importance of saving 10% in a book The Richest Man in Babylon, by George S Clason. You can finish it in a weekend, so invest one weekend to change your life to a better one.
10. Open investment accounts.
Don’t just let the money stay on saving bank account. The money should work. Starting small investing in investment account whenever possible. Research such tools as Betterment or Acorns allows starting to invest even small amounts.
11. Find a business coach or a mentor.
One of the wisest investments into yourself can be hiring a business coach or a mentor who will help you speed up your professional and personal growth.
12. Keep in touch with friends and family.
Invest time in building and keeping relationships. They say that one of the biggest regrets dying people have is that they didn’t keep in touch with friends and family. You may not understand it now, but relationships are a very important part of our life, and they can either make it a horrible or a happy experience.
13. Organize your home or personal space.
Invest in yourself by creating a better place around you. A place that will help you relax, enjoy, and provide a positive environment for personal growth. A small and budget makeover or simply decluttering your space can give you room to breathe, therefore, create.
Here is a very good and easy to read a book about decluttering life: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo.
14. Get rid of guilt.
Get over any guilt you may have. It is a destructive feeling. If you need to apologize for something to someone, do it. If it is impossible to do in person, close your eyes, ask for forgiveness, and let it go. What is very important is to forgive yourself for not being a, or b, or c. Sometimes we set very high goals or make simple mistakes. Instead of overthinking our experiences, we need to look at them as lessons, make conclusions, and move on.
15. Create positive vibes.
Get rid of toxic relationships, unhealthy habits, things you don’t like but still have in your life. Staying on the positive side and minimizing the negativity will drastically improve your life and make it better.
16. Learn to say “no”.
It is ok to say no. Invest some time to plant this thought into your mind. It is totally appropriate to decline things that will not bring you joy, but on the opposite will waste your time, energy, and resources. Why do that? No reason. And that is a good reason to say “no” to things you don’t like or don’t want to do.
17. Learn to say “yes”.
My favorite saying states: “what’s wrong with right now?” Be open to new possibilities, new experiences, new relationships, and new habits. These kinds of investments will enrich your life in many wonderful ways and open options you might miss or never have.
As Saint Augustine said, The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.
Here is another inspiring quote about travel:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain
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Nothing, in my humble opinion, will inspire you as much as traveling, seeing new places, and having adventures. For that reason, invest in yourself to discover the world at its best to get back home and create a better life for you.
19. Learn how to understand critics.
The reason why anyone should waste their time trying to learn how to take criticism is that critics are mere reviews people give.
This should help change your attitude toward criticism. Just think of any critics you get as a review. Sometimes it is accurate, and we may listen, improve, and do a better job. Sometimes it is irrelevant, therefore no need to pay attention.
Like saying that the green sweater is green, but you want it pink. You can answer: “Well, ok, I hear you. This is your opinion and your wish. But I have a green sweater, and this is the way I want it to be. Thanks for your care, though. It is very nice of you.” Something like that.
Invest some time into learning how to deal with criticism and not let people upset you.
Here is a great book to help you do that: Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, by Douglas Stone.
20. Pursue only your true goals.
Learn the difference between YOUR true desires and other people’s goal. Don’t wait for others’ approval. The reason you are investing in yourself is that you want to be a better person, not to do it so somebody will be happy.
Achieve your goals, live your life, not the goals and lives of others.
Some people think that having a nice car, or a big house or fancy clothes, is prestigious. It may be true, but it also may be the things you don’t need. I know that I’d better spend money on a trip to Europe than on a new car. Or take a new online course than buy a big TV.
Moreover, in both of these examples, the cost of a car and a TV set is multiple times higher than the cost of a trip to Europe, not even talking about online courses. You can have multiple trips around the world and have an old but still running car, than riding a luxury car and having no money to travel.
But again, these are my dreams and goals. Maybe your true desire is to have a cool car, and traveling doesn’t look appealing to you. That is totally ok! Just make sure that it is your true wish, set the goal, and pursue it.
21. Reward yourself.
You don’t need your parents to say: “Good job!” or a friend who is going to pat you on the shoulder to reward yourself for achievement. You have you, and you can give yourself all the love, care, and recognition you need.
Therefore, set SMART goals, and remember to reward yourself with every milestone or achievement reached. This will give you motivation and desire to go on, achieve your goals, and live a life you deserve.
Final thoughts about investing in yourself
To live a full life, it is essential to make every day count. Invest in yourself to have a better financial situation, better health, and better opportunities tomorrow compared to what you have today.
If you still feel frustrated and don’t know where to start (and I do understand you), start with changing your attitude towards finances and how money works by reading these two very easy to read and understand books: Rich Dad, by Rober Kiyosaki and The Richest Man in Babylon, by George S Clason.
Start reading books about financial freedom and listen to a podcast about finances. It requires only your time, and can be gone as a background activity while you’re driving, cooking, or even exercising. This is a small investment in yourself, but it will put you in the right direction towards your future goals.