Invest in yourself
When last did you do something for yourself, just because you wanted to? By the way, I am not talking about just buying clothes, shoes or indulging in all that we love to indulge in. I say this because this is how I make myself feel better after treating myself to one of my ‘spending exercises’. When we focus on the concept of Investment, we must agree that it is only an investment if it brings returns – which most times will be positive! Investing in yourself must begin with a goal and analysis of how the goal can be met and hence, the activities to engage in to reach that goal. Last week, I talked about LEARNING, which in itself is an investment in one’s self, however the subjects I choose to study and what I learn should add up to a bigger goal. Since we are on this subject, I will use myself as an example.
Few years back, I realised I had no knowledge of anything that was not directly linked to work or things that affected me directly. Start a discussion on current affairs, world trends, modern history or what many will say show intelligence and I would either shy away or stir away the conversation. I found myself giving ‘I don’t know’ as the 1st answer to any question asked by my children that was not on Maths or science. On reflection, I told myself I either had to invest in myself by broadening my sphere of knowledge or stand the risk of looking unintelligent. One thing I also learnt about myself was that I constantly gave the excuse of being brought up in a relatively ordinary family in Nigeria as a reason for not understanding high society code & ethics…. I could go on but for now, let’s stay with these two. I put together a plan of how to CHANGE me or better still become the person I secretly admired. First I started reading more, especially on subjects that were outside my comfort zone. Next was my image – toward the end of last year, I reassessed and cleared my wardrobe - I didn’t want to be defined by quantity as much as the quality of things I wore and I invested in things I felt fitted with the image I had in mind. Recently, I treated myself to a 1-week grooming course and will shortly be doing a short course on leadership development. While I am still a long way away from my final picture, I am happy I am finally making progress…
I can proudly say the money I have spent on myself the last couple of years hasn’t just been a waste as everything has fuelled an objective to a goal. This is what makes it an investment; in years to come, I might be able to thrive in circles where I would never have stood a chance and have a shot at pitching my talent to a more rewarding audience. Remember, who you become in Life will largely be based on the investments you’ve made, particularly in yourself.