There’s a great deal more to investing than growing wealth because money isn’t the only thing you have to invest. You also must choose how you will invest your time. Growing wealth is only important insofar as it broadens your capacity to invest your time in energy in the people and causes you are passionate about.
“Time is the only treasure I have on earth”
Mitta Xinindlu, South African author
Invest in Yourself Every Day
Ultimately, the most important investment you can make is in yourself. Like the goose who lays the golden egg, your value is limited by your ability to get out there and make things happen. To live your best life, you must keep yourself mentally and physically healthy by putting forth the effort every day.
We all know how important it is to stay physically healthy. A quick trip to your family doctor can give you a twelve-month plan to maintain and even improve your health. Of course, the doctor will recommend regular physical exercise. They will also be able to give you healthful eating goals. And, as we get older, our doctor will recommend more and more screening tests. Women start with mammograms at age 40, and everyone should start screening for colon cancer after their 45th birthday. Regular trips to the dentist, optometrist, dermatologist, and any specialist your family physician recommends will pay off by keeping you healthy longer and heading off any emergencies.
Just as crucial to living a good life is putting effort into maintaining your mental health. While some people have diagnosed mental health conditions, everyone has mental health needs. Sufficient rest, relaxation, and a healthy amount of self-empathy will go a long way toward maintaining proper mental health. Sometimes they are not enough, however, because a difficult life circumstance has occurred or your brain chemistry has changed. Reaching out to a mental health professional as soon as you begin to struggle will start you on the path to healing as quickly as possible.
A college education is an enormous investment of both time and money. Statistics bear out the value of higher education in enhanced earning ability over a lifetime. But education doesn’t end with a graduation ceremony. Life is full of learning opportunities. A museum tour, a book club at your local library, a conversation with a neighbor: they are all educational opportunities. Make it a goal to learn at least one new thing every day. The Harvard Business Review points out that while American jobs used to require certain training or knowledge before starting the job today’s economy requires workers who are constantly evolving and learning new things.
Some important things in life cannot be learned from a book. They have to be experienced. Just like no amount of reading will teach you how to ride a bike, there are so many lessons that require doing something new for the first time. Travel is one of the best teachers. Meeting people from difficult cultures will change you, as you realize that there are an infinite number of ways to live a good life.
Invest in People
Investing in people is one of the most rewarding ways to spend your time. You can begin right in your own house. When was the last time you asked your partner about their goals and dreams? How can you help them be the best version of themselves?
Invest in your children, too. Whether they are still young or adults themselves, your children need you. When you are a shoulder to cry on or a sounding board, your steady presence will ground your children. Put the time into getting to know them as people, and help them to understand their own value and how they can find satisfaction in investing in others.
Mentoring is another great way to invest in people. When a younger colleague reaches out and asks for advice, be there for them. It will benefit both of you, as discussed in this article by Forbes.
Invest in Causes
It can be overwhelming, sometimes, to take in the enormity of need in our world today. It is true that one person cannot fix all the problems of the world. But if you pick just one or two causes close to your heart and support them with your time and money, you will make a real difference. You will help make the lives of others better and improve your own life at the same time.