I recently gave a talk to 500+ high school students. In my address to them, I asked "what does it mean to invest in yourself?" A young student replied, "money." I know that most times when we think of investments, we think of investing money. Investment in yourself does involve money, but it is much more than that. The investments that I am discussing in this blog extend beyond money to also discuss time, energy, and thoughts. So I begin this blog by asking the question, "how do you invest your money, time, energy, and thoughts?" The reason I ask this question is because I truly believe that how we invest in ourselves, especially at an early age, can have a huge impact on future success and happiness.
Looking at monetary investments, do you spend money on clothes, shoes, or other similar items versus paying for a course to enhance a talent you hold or to further your knowledge on a certain topic? The clothes and shoes might be too small in a few years, but investing in a talent, your education or even saving your money will have more of a lasting impact. Investing in yourself monetarily helps you to invest in a future plan. If you know you are a talented guitar player, investing your money in guitar lesson contributes to your plan to be a guitarist in the future.
Thinking about your investments in time, take a moment to think about how you spend your time. For example, do you spend most of your time hanging out with friends or playing video games when you could be spending some time writing a college admissions essay or contributing to that book you want to write one day? Time is something that you can never get back and you do not want to look up one day and start to think about all the time investments that could have been made at an earlier age. Start to think about that now and invest your time wisely. You can use your time for fun and relaxation while also contributing to future goals.
Finally, when thinking about your energy and your thoughts, how do you spend your energy? and where do you direct your thoughts? For example, if you made a bad grade on a test, do you spend your energy thinking about that bad grade when you could be reviewing strategies that will help you do better on a test in the future? As various things happen in life, do you spend a great deal of time trying to figure out situations that may be out of your control or do you spend energy concentrating on things within your realm of control? It is not helpful to spend time dwelling on situations that you cannot change, but it is powerful to reflect on mistakes and take action in ways that prevent those same mistakes from occurring again in the future. Additionally, as you encounter various challenges in life, direct your energy toward things within your control. We may not be able to change others or certain situations, but we can certainly control our reactions to situations and where we choose to exert energy.
As you think about the questions in this blog concerning investing in yourself, it is important to note that I am not saying you should not have nice things or treat yourself once in a while. However, I am asking you to assess if you excessively invest in things that do not further your future. Excessive investments on things that do not contribute to your future can affect you later in life or prevent you from reaching your goals. Our staff at ELA Education Services, LLC want to see you make great investments now for a promising future.
If you need assistance setting a plan to invest in your future, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.