The best possible investment is to ‘Invest in Oneself’
The sole purpose of our life is to learn, grow and develop consciousness.
Only then will we be able to make the most of the pleasures of our life and grab the opportunities that come our way. However, the sad thing is the majority of us often fail to achieve that. The only way we can make the most relish the vast opportunities that lay around us is to live consciously and mindfully.
So, we need to expand our awareness level and increasing self-awareness and availing higher learning experiences throughout our life must be our purpose. For that, we must invest on ourselves.
But is the investment we make during our life journey adequate enough?
Many believe that money is the best option for investment like a stock market, gold or in real estate. Sure, the return of investment (ROI) is attractive despite heavy risks, but we often tend to forget another avenue where we can invest in. My advice is the best investment is to invest on ‘ourselves’. Skeptics often tend to measure the ROI on return percentage and from that aspect, investing in oneself a painstaking one.
Undoubtedly, the ROI is remarkably high, but then there are problems. First, the returns are slow and available in future. Secondly, returns are hidden and can’t be quantified. Therefore, we tend to ignore this crucial aspect of life. We generally don’t make concerted efforts to upgrade our own version
Maximum possible returns are to be expected when we make a strong investment in ourselves. Whether this investment takes the form of money, energy, and/or time.
Whatever the purpose/s of our life may be, they cannot be realized unless we grow in life. Investment should be gradual, steady and in more areas where we require the most. Before that, make a balance sheet of life, by identifying our strengths and weaknesses. Then set priorities and allocate resources by way of time and energy.
Now the question is why don’t we invest on ourselves the way it’s required. The answer to that question is a mixed one. Either we are ignorant about our own weaknesses where investment is needed or we are ignorant about our deficit areas.
Studies have established that we mostly feel ‘above average’, better than others. Another argument is, if I am better than others then why should I improve myself and one often tends to think ‘I am better’ compare to other, then I shouldn’t change myself.
For those who somehow consider themselves better than others, there is even less interest in changing habitual behaviour. Every day, the same sets of thoughts are recycled, as life becomes more and more habitual. When offered an opportunity to change, or to see something in a different light, such people like to say that they don’t need change. They are happily living in their own little world.
Such a life becomes easy, effortless, and, seemingly secure. However, this is a serious impediment to mental and spiritual growth. To change any strongly conditioned and habitual behaviour is an extremely wrenching and time-consuming task. Many prefer to remain imprisoned in their self-created zone of comfort and ease. In such cases, investment in oneself becomes difficult. Their some sort of motivation is needed.
It’s therefore not an easy task to convince ourselves that we need to improve. The resistance to change is the biggest impediment. No one wants disruption in his/her life, that’s running smoothly and comfortably. Many a times, to overcome this inertia, we need investment by way of mental energy.
Suppose someone never exercises in the morning, despite knowing the benefits of it, or the person who sleeps very late in night doesn’t want to get up early in the morning such a situation would need lots of self-convincing and that requires huge mental energy.
There are many areas where we require continuous upgradation in one’s personality for eg. knowledge base, mindset, behaviour, health etc. No doubt there will be starting troubles, but once we overcome our initial resistance and accept the need ‘to invest’, then the process will become an easy one to adopt. I am shortlisting 5 crucial areas that one should consider adopting if they have to move forward in life:
To create mental toughness:
No one is immune from adversities and challenging times in life. It’s those moments, the real test of life comes. We can easily get shattered by the thoughts that accompany during those bad times.
What we need during those moments is mental toughness. It’s the ability to be resilient against unexpected events, the ability to stay strong and keep working without any hindrance that helps us to fight against them. No matter how intelligent or educated we are, such incidents can make our life difficult.
To be successful in life, this quality we must possess. No one teaches us this aspect in schools or colleges; we need to learn ourselves. With the right kind of mental attitude, we should, through the practice of mindfulness and meditation, become more conscious, self-aware, and mindful.
With this, we can surely develop mental toughness, required to handle tough situations in life.
Physical health and body care:
No one can disagree with this investment. In fact, each of us do spend some time and energy to keep ourselves physically fit and healthy. Having said that, the efforts are often imbalanced or inadequate. We all need to keep this in mind, our investment should be balanced and rightly prioritised.
If we are not sleeping well or taking unhealthy food, then physical exercise will be of little value. We must look after all the 3 ingredients of a healthy body – eating balanced food, getting proper sleep and exercise.
Expand your awareness:
We need to keep expanding our knowledge base. With awareness, we know the world around us and the more we learn, the journey helps us in navigating our journey. The decisions we make, actions we take, and the choices we keep on making depend on awareness.
How much we know about ourselves is another critical requirement for the expansion of awareness. As we expand our awareness to unexplored areas, more and more opportunities arise. Therefore, it is extremely critical for all of us to expand our awareness level so that we can achieve both – success and satisfaction.
Nurture some relationships:
In our contemporary age, we are getting hyper-connected, thanks to social media. Most of us are now connected with large numbers of “friends” on different digital platforms. May be in thousands in number but how many of them are our truer friends. May be very few.
It’s only through person to person contact we can nurture our relationships. What’s happening now is that true person-to-person and caring friendships appear to be becoming rarer. True and meaningful relationships are dwindling fast in modern age. Life can become lonelier and prone to frequent boredom unless we have some true friends.
Create, and pursue your passions:
Our overall level of happiness and satisfaction is also dependent upon our passions which we develop and follow it up by pursuing them. In the absence of any such passion we can become highly susceptible to boredom and loneliness. It’s therefore very necessary that we invest our energy, time and money in creating some interests. The more we follow our passion, the happier we are while performing those activities.
When we are listening to our favourite music, painting on canvas, practicing dance with our instructor, playing games of our choice or having a long morning walk running or running on a treadmill, time seems to fly.
While pursuing any activity/interest, if we forget about time and the outer world, it means that’s the passion. We need to invest our personal resources, to get mastery over a few passions which we can follow throughout our lifetime.
Without investing in ourselves, life becomes stagnant, sometimes even robotic Obviously, such a life offers little to no satisfaction. We then merely exist not living, and not to talk about ‘living life to the fullest’. Our life will be devoid of any meaning in the absence of any personal development and growth. Therefore, whenever and wherever possible, we should invest in ourselves, so that we may continue to live meaningfully.
For more articles – Click here