INVEST – a word that can bring about many different reactions from those who hear it. For some, it brings about the notion of investing money – putting money into something that will allow you to make more money, if you invest wisely. Real Estate, the stock market, and various other investment strategies are among the most popular. For others, it can bring about a scary feeling. A notion that they might not be financially capable of investing. I strongly believe the answer to this phenomenon lies in how we define investing for ourselves, and the scale at which we decide to “invest”. We hear the word “invest” and we imagine money – lots of it. Is this really the case though? If I told you there was a way to invest that could help you follow your passion, would that be it? For some, it may. Some people spend their whole life researching and learning how to properly invest in various projects/industries and make their living that way. For others, it’s not as interesting, but that does not mean that you should not “invest”… let me explain.
While I am by no means an expert on investing, I am going to share with you my most simplified understanding of it. Investing to me, is allocating resources towards something that can allow you to raise more resources by simply allowing the “project” to operate. Putting down $10.00 and getting back $20.00 because whatever you invested in increased in value, and earned you an additional $10.00. This example uses a small amount of money, but people who make their livelihood off their ability to invest large amounts of money can make much, MUCH more when they do so wisely.
Investing is not as simple as having money and investing in companies. There is much more that goes into it. I asked a friend of mine who has dedicated much of his time to learning about investment strategies why he did so. I wanted to see if the end goal was to make money, or if there was a deeper root to why he had become so passionate about it. This was his answer:
“I invest because I find it interesting. I invest to learn. I invest because I want to achieve financial freedom. My fear is that I will stop learning things outside of my field, I use the stock market as a way to learn and be more aware about the world regarding politics and economics.”
My friend is obviously not only investing money, he is investing more. He is investing his time, and his mind to learn. So we know what investing can do. We know the benefits, and we know that while it can be scary to put down hard earned resources towards something potentially unknown, when done so properly it can help us grow our initial investment as well as our knowledge. The word I wan’t to focus on here, however, is “grow.” You have to invest, to be able to grow. This concept is applicable far beyond the simplified understanding of investing money, and this is what I want to focus on today.
To grow your confidence, you have to invest your vulnerability. To grow your mindset, you have to invest your willpower. To grow your success, you have to invest your failures. To grow your efficiency, you have to invest your discipline. To grow your knowledge you have to invest your mind. To grow your health you have to invest self-care. To grow love, you have to invest your heart and soul. These principles are key to having any type of growth in your life. People often ask me “how do you manage to think about life the way you do, how are you so positive, and how do you work so hard?” The reason I do so is because I consider it an investment. I invest my attitude towards accomplishing something in order to give me a better chance to grow towards being successful. I invest my time, because I know that quality can take time, and quality in my life is a return I want to achieve – a “profit” if you will. I invest my work ethic because I know that the things I want will not just happen for me. I have to put down an initial “investment”, in order to “profit” in the long run.
Once you understand this concept, you can apply it by asking yourself “what kind of ‘profit’ do I want in my life?” What is the ‘return’ you want? What kind of life do you want to lead, and of the things you’re doing right now, what is helping you reach that goal? The answer to these questions will help you realize where you need to “invest.” The tricky bit is just like with investing large amounts of money, investing in the wrong things can be detrimental to who you want to become. If you want to “profit” in a healthy outlook on life, investing in toxic energy and people will not allow you to get there. Really do your “research” internally. Ask yourself who you want to become, see what needs to change, and invest your self accordingly. Authenticity is crucial here. To invest in being somebody you don’t want to be will cost you, quite literally. What others invest in might work for them, but it does not mean it works for you. Be honest with yourself.
I think we can agree that happiness is the ultimate return. The most valuable profit, as it is something we feel. A state of joy that has longevity to it. But even though happiness is great, you have to invest in order to achieve it. So invest in your passions. Invest in your health. Invest in your friendships and relationships. Invest in the forces that will give you the returns you want and allow you to become who you want to be.
If the question is “do you invest?” the answer is yes – we all do. The real question is, what do you invest in, and why?
#growthmindset #investforhappiness #zuluechoinitiative