There’s nothing like a bit of compounding. A 10% return re-invested and repeated for a few years really starts to mount up!
Now imagine those returns if the investment had been in you and in life, not in money!
Investing for a return on life
I was lucky enough to be born in a culture and society and to parents who invested in me and created a habit I continued when it fell to me to fund it myself.
It wasn’t until a few years later, with a young family of my own, that the idea of consciously investing in myself to grow my life arose.
I remember the initial awareness happening. The first time was those sleepless nights of a new baby; awake all night and working all day was tough. I felt pulled in all directions and the last person to get anything was me; that downward spiral meant less energy for my wife or baby too.
It was when free energy and time was at it’s scarcest that I needed to re-invest in me the most.
Unfortunately this meant my battery was going flat fast and I realised I needed to recharge if I was going to be good for those around me with any consistency.
Consistency. That sounds like compounding!
I decided to invest an hour in the morning, before our little girl awoke, in a run and some proper food and it paid off in energy and optimism. Like many of you, I discovered that one of the simplest ways to maintain perspective is to exercise, and perspective is a wonderful return on life investment.
(That extra pint of beer, not too noticeable on its own each day, and which needed no self-discipline to drink, had started to “compound” on my midriff with the years, and just a little change in exercise gradually reversed that process too.)
Like all investments, sticking with the programme requires discipline. There are ups and downs, there are difficult days, and you have to stay with it. All investment managers will tell you “It’s time in the market! Don’t gamble!”
That means a little bit of investment in you, every day.
A key reward of self discipline is an improved habit of self discipline
And one of the rewards is an increase in your habit of self-discipline.
After a period of hard work investing in you, let’s say you push through the training and practice to discover the pleasure of a new found capability, and you start to use it more effectively in your community, the returns are profound.
You may well help bring gains for your community, your family, your team. These gains can be in money of course. Commonly they are also in time, reduced stress, actual pleasure or joy, and in memories and connection.
More fundamentally you have increased your possibilities, and your potential. The unknown future you have with limited time has also grown for you, and consequently for everyone you are connected with too.
Your inner voice may also reward you; saying well done to yourself. Feeling good about what you have achieved from the hard work. There are two really vital pieces of magic for you here:
- That moment of positive self regard is often all you need to go again, to compound the effect with more growth in life, and;
- Positive self regard is key to preventing you from sabotaging your own success in your next challenges.
What do I mean?
Many people toil through a sense of obligation to others, to self, or to something not fully understood. This can come from a need to please which they meet with pretty constant self criticism (including echo’s of criticism and constraint from those that have gone or who remain significant in their lives).
Other than for the purpose of checking for good sense plans, the unlimited critical inner voice is not a good one
It is a powerful force, affecting both thoughts and physical expressions, which can sabotage success. This means the rejection of or blindness to opportunity when it presents itself or worse. This includes conscious rejection that happens because you feel you don’t deserve it. The possibility of projecting unworthiness, and generating rejection from others, or projecting negative motives which are not real in their actions can all arise from that negative self talk.
By contrast, the ability to allow yourself opportunity grows from the investment you make in yourself.
Here are a few of my tips for good Life Investment
- Your time with people who energise you and are significant.
- Practicing what you are already great at.
- Positive self regard.
- Spending time on purpose.
If you are like me, you will also need to think about disinvestment — which bits of the Life Investment market you should exit. Here are a few:
- Time with people who drain your energy.
- Examine your own beliefs and ditch or change any that are holding you back.
- Forgive life debts quickly; move on.
I hope you don’t mind the Carpe Diem tone of this article. We all of us have bad days, and sometimes they are overwhelming. They will come again of course.
My point is to encourage a little self-investment and a disciplined self-investment strategy. It will bring joy compounded to you anyway, you may be surprised by the serendipity of the result, and on your toughest days, you will be more ready and feel better.
Leave me comments and feel free to connect with me personally.
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