Updated: Dec 11, 2020
How often have you seen an advertisement for a seminar, workshop or certification program and said to yourself that you could not afford it, or do not have the time for it? How often have you allowed temporary decisions to cause you to lose sight of a potential long term reward? Whether we blame it on age, work schedules or responsibilities at home or at church, it boils down to one singular truth – if we do not take the time to invest in ourselves no one else will.
Why is investing in yourself so powerful? Investing in yourself, sends a powerful message to yourself and the world. The message is: The value and potential that I possess is important enough to me that I’m going to give it the energy, space and time to grow and create results.
It is easy for us to sit back, relax, enjoy life and let other persons do all the hard word. This may sound like a dream come true for some people, but for most of us this is the guaranteed recipe for living a life of hardship and unfulfilled dreams. What may come easy may not necessarily be what is supposed to come natural to us. Human beings are uniquely designed to develop and keep developing themselves. We have a high calling within us to wonder, to push, to reach for the stars. In seminary I learned that this is our D.N.A. – our Divine Natural Attribute; something that is encoded within us from our Creator. It is within all of us to be become the best version of ourselves, but this can only come through the investment of time, and often, our money.
Roy T. Bennett says, “There is no more profitable investment than investing in yourself. It is the best investment you can make; you can never go wrong with it. It is the true way to improve yourself to be the best version of you and lets you be able to best serve those around you.”
Investing in yourself yields the best return on investments you can have. Whether it’s investing in learning a new skill, developing yourself personally or professionally, or tapping into your creativity, you need to give to yourself first before you can give to others. It is our responsibility to take the time to develop our gifts and talents, so we can best serve others. Investing in yourself is an example of self-love; you must love yourself before you can expect others to love you.
Investing in yourself means spending time and money to improve yourself on different levels, including professional, physical, mental, emotional, and financial levels.
A lifetime of learning can keep both the body and mind in shape. Research shows that ongoing cognitive activity, using and stimulating your mind, has a positive effect on brain cells and helps promote mental sharpness, especially for senior citizens. Our brains yearn for that constant mental stimulation and without it, mental atrophy sets in. Some see learning as something that ends with high school, or becomes unnecessary once they get a job. Never stop learning.
Lifelong learning means exploring the things that make you tick, expanding your horizons and becoming an active participant in your personal and professional life. Lifelong learning enriches your life with the things that spark your curiosity, simply because you want to know how, what or why. The best way to become successful, live a better life and achieve financial independence is to put priority into investing in professional and personal growth.
Personal growth can take the form of taking exercise or dance classes, learning how to swim or even picking up a new sport. In any case, taking up a class or hobby can be a social activity as well as an educational one. You can make friends with similar interests and get involved with the communities you care about, reducing loneliness and stress.
Lifelong learning can also strengthen and enhance the skills you need to excel in the working world. Depending on the nature of your work, your place of employment may provide relevant courses and seminars. Many companies have professional development incentives to encourage employees to continue growth. These incentives can take the form of partial or full payments of registration fees or pay increases upon completion. Attend seminars and workshops to expand your knowledge and skills in your business life. This will also give you the opportunity to meet and interact with individuals who are like-minded.
If you are unemployed or underemployed, learning something new can improve your resume, as well as your chances of moving towards a more desired or better paying position. Invest in building your confidence. People who know their value have something to say, and others will listen. Learn to have the courage to speak your truth. The more you love yourself and own the value that you offer, the more confident you will become in sharing it with others. This confidence shines through during job interviews and certainly places you ahead of the pack when you are on the job.
So many people put up a front, like they have got it all together, but they know the truth, they know it is façade. They spend all of their money trying to look important or to keep up with an image. Knowledge is everything. I encourage you to start investing in yourself instead of things! Set yourself up for a better future and start making better choices. Building wealth takes time! Have discipline. Getting a job promotion takes focus. Stay consistent.
When you’re willing to say yes, and take that leap of faith and invest in yourself, the universe will provide you with amazing rewards. Stop blaming other people for your own behavior! Own the truth. If you don't like it, then invest the time and energy to change it. The extent to which you invest in yourself, mind and body, not only shapes the way you interact with the outside world, it often reflects the opinion you have of yourself.
I can promise this: When you invest in yourself, a world of opportunities will open up for you. No one will invest in you until you invest in yourself first. Investing in yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially, will allow you to become the best version of yourself. When you are the best version of yourself, you will be an attraction magnet to others! Opportunities will come your way.
Your future is in large part determined by your willingness and ability to invest in yourself now. There is no perfect timing or condition. If you want to achieve what you want in life, you must start to work on it now! Investing in yourself brings the greatest rewards.
• Rev. Henry A. Knowles is the Principal at the Queen’s College (QC) and Section Head for QC Centre for Further Education. He can be reached at email@example.com.