Where to Invest First

Have you been told “Your house is the single largest investment most people make in their lifetime”? Maybe the largest, but not the best. The best investment you will ever make – is the investment you make in yourself.

You are amazing. You have special talents & perspectives no one else has, or will ever have in their lifetime. Why? How do I know this? Because you, my friend, are one of a kind. While we all share similarities due to genetic makeup & we have similar childhood experiences, what is different about each one of us gives us our own perspective. Our very own way we view the world. Because of this, you can see things I don’t see. You can help me see a bigger, or smaller, picture of life. It could be this very perspective you have which will set me on a path to accomplish great things in my life.

When we invest in stocks or companies we hope to get a return. When we invest in ourselves we should hope for the same outcome. The more we invest in ourselves, the more we will increase our chances to make better decisions, and know how to share our voice with a world who so badly needs it.

There is a macho attitude which exists in the corporate workforce. It is wrapped up & sometimes disguised as criticism. We like to brag about how overwhelmed we are with projects or day to day activities. If I only had the time for training. I have been particularly bad about this throughout my career. I have always said things to the effect of – I spend all my time making sure everything doesn’t crash. When do I have time to go get a certificate or do any training?

Now, there is certainly truth to my excuse. I’m not lying about the overwhelming responsibilities many of us, if not most, face in the corporate world. We tend to be overworked, and many times underappreciated. Thankless jobs are many times critical positions.

Not taking the time to invest in myself, however, is precisely one of the reasons why I’m overworked & underappreciated. I set the example. If I don’t think I’m worth my own investment, then how can I expect my company to think I’m work the investment? If you don’t value yourself enough to invest in yourself, then why would anyone else think they should?

It is our self-sacrifice which we believe shows our loyalty to our craft, company, or employer that can show how little we think of our own value. We must invest in ourselves first. Like the rule of savings from the book “The Richest Man in Babylon” which says to “pay yourself first”, we must invest in ourselves first. If we are physically ill – we should take care of ourselves. The ego says, we should tough it out, prove our loyalty, & head to work. Where we would undoubtedly bring the illness to our co-workers showing we care more about how we are perceived as a worker than how much we care for our company & co-workers.

In “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Dr. Covey talks about the P P/C balance. Production vs Production Capacity. Production is less effective when the Production Capacity is falling. Production Capacity falls when we don’t take the time to invest in ourselves! It falls when we don’t take the time to take care of ourselves. When we work too hard & too long we reduce our capacity to be the awesome dragons we truly are.

When you take a trip on an airplane and they go over what to do in case of an accident, what do they tell you is the first thing to do when the masks fall from the ceiling? Secure YOUR mask first, BEFORE helping others – including your children. Why? Because if we pass out because we don’t have enough air to breathe we can’t be helpful to anyone.

So, when you stop to consider where you are going to invest, whether it be money, time or training, make sure you take care of the most important investment first. So you will have the air to help others achieve their goals too.

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