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When people think “investment”, they usually think about securities, stock market movies, and old men in suits with more money than they know what to do with. For the average person, investment can seem like an esoteric concept. However, there are aspects of investment which every person is familiar with. Investing in oneself is something we all know how to do, even if we haven’t done that much of it. Investing in yourself can be accomplished in many different ways: in everyday actions, in hard work that’ll pay off later, and in an attitude that helps you decide where to put your money and energy.
- Spending the Money It Takes. It’s easy to spend as little money as possible, on just about everything. But this isn’t the best plan of attack if you think about it for more than a little while. If you constantly eat the cheapest food, this is an investment that is likely to result in poor health moving forward. If you don’t want to pay for good education because it is expensive, you likely won’t have the skills and experiences necessary to be competitive in the modern workplace. If you don’t get the best life insurance because this adds additional costs to your life, you may put your loved ones in jeopardy in the event of an unfortunate accident. In general, spending extra money can be scary, but if you do it right you’ll give yourself much better options in life.
- Move to a Place That Has What You Need. If you still live in the same small town you grew up in, chances are that the local economy and environment doesn’t have the resources or stimulation that you’ll require to be all that you can be. Getting out of town or moving to the big city can be scary, but if it exposes you to the people and industries you need to make the most of your intelligence and interests, this is the best move for you.
- Do Interesting Things That Count. People who earn wealth do so because they have a rarified perspective on life and the world. If everybody could get wealthy with their personal measure of common sense alone, everyone would be rich. By traveling, having thrilling experiences, and variously expanding on the set of experiences that go to people automatically in life, you will be much more likely to gain the insights that help people become wealthy. Even if you simply learn from the school of hard knocks and about human nature, you will be better off than many.
Some people don’t invest in themselves because it can seem like an indulgence. The money, it would seem, would be better served spending it on someone else, or investing it into some other purpose. But people who go without investing in themselves find that they have fewer opportunities and insights moving forward than those who put money into their own development. You’re all that you have in the end, so develop yourself in positive ways.
by Benjamin Carpenter