Invest in Yourself

When we talk about investing, we know that Investing is, without a doubt, important. We throw around that term loosely, I find. Investing entails putting effort, whether it be time or money into something with an expectation of growth. When we talk about investing, we think about return of investment and we want something in return for the money and time that we put in. We often talk on this blog about investing in your portfolio, your RRSP and your TFSA, but we seldom talk about investing in yourself.

Related: TFSA VS RRSP

Investing in yourself is probably by far the most important type of investment. Investing in yourself does not mean buying expensive shoes, a Louis Vuitton purse, or the most recent iPad. These do not necessarily give you growth. A momentary satisfaction, perhaps, but little or no return on investment.

Investing in yourself entails personal, professional, or spiritual growth that will help you be a better person in your workplace and help you grow your career. Here are a few ways that can give a good return on investment for your current personal, professional, and spiritual state.

Investing in your Professional Growth

invest in yourselfThis is probably the most expensive way to invest in yourself but can give you a boost in your career, help give you new career options, and to reinforce your passion for continual lifelong learning. Many people also go back to school during an economic downturn to upgrade their skills.

An important thing to note about professional growth and going back to school. Before taking the commitment (often at least 1-2 years of schooling), make sure you understand the job market for the additional education you are seeking. Many people feel that there isn't much point to take 1-2 years off the peak of your working years to seek education that may not benefit you in any way financially. Another thing is to make sure you will follow through with the program and finish it. If not, the return on investment is very very dismal.

Related:  Is Post-Secondary Schooling STILL a Good Investment?

Investing in your Personal Growth

Investing in your personal growth is by far the most “bang for your buck” option. There are plenty of options out there. Toastmasters is a great meet up group for those who want to have a supportive place to improve and develop public speaking. Toastmasters is usually free and it is also a great way to meet new people. Gaining confidence with public speaking (without having to resort to taking an Ativan to calm your nerves down) is a great asset for your personal and professional growth.

In addition, personal growth also involves respecting your body and your mind. Take care of your body by exercising (30 to 60 minutes a day 4 to 7 days a week is recommended), by eating well, getting sufficient sleep, and by drinking plenty of water.

Investing in your Spiritual Growth

Spirituality colours everything that we do because it is the way that we find meaning in our lives. Without a good sense of what drives us, what calms us, and without a good sense of who we are, we risk going through the daily grind or daily motion without a direction.

Stresses of every day life, getting the groceries, making meals, getting to work on time, making that deadline for work, picking up the kids- these are all part of every day life but can add a lot of stress. Stress is a big reason for most illness that we face later in life, including heart disease and high blood pressure.

Investing in your spiritual growth can be in the form of a retreat. A meditation retreat can cost anywhere from $75 to $300 for a weekend away. You'll be fed (well) and you will learn the skills to incorporate meditation into your every day life. Studies show that with six weeks of consistent mindfulness meditation, MRI and CT scan changes are seen in the brain within 8 weeks according to eScience. That $300 is priceless for the ability to allow little things not bother you like they used to, like a stubbed toe or someone cutting you off in traffic. The change in the outlook and perspective of your life is priceless.

Readers, how have you developed your personal, professional, and spiritual lives?

5 Comments

  1. krantcents on April 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I have often said this to my students! Invest in yourself by getting an education. In high school it was for the diploma, college for the degree and it continues forever! There is always something to learn that may help you become successful.



  2. KC @ genxfinance on April 28, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Very well said. The best and most important investment that you’ll have. No one will benefit more from it than yourself.



  3. Michael on April 28, 2013 at 11:18 am

    This is well said. My experience is that you have to be happy but do something that pays decently and is in demand..It can be a trade, professional or self employment…But you have to like what you are doing…Liking your job is like rolling a boulder down a hill and not like pushing on up in shackles..
    Cheers
    M



  4. Gael on May 3, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Investing in myself has paid off: I just finished a B. Education degree last week and have been hired to teach in elementary school at $25k more than my previous job (crisis intervention worker at a women’s shelter). Going back to school has not only been fantastic for my personal development and allows me to do work that I am passionate about, it’s also been a great move financially.

    I will admit, however, that the two years as a poor student in my mid-40s was the pits!



  5. Teacher Man on May 4, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Welcome to the club Gael! Being a poor student when your system can handle discount beer is one thing, going back to school in your mid-40s is another matter entirely. Congratulations on persevering – and good luck in your classroom!



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