When we think of the word “investment”, don’t we usually think about it the terms of money and finance? Sure we do. That’s what we’re cultured to think. In fact, Investopedia defines investment as “… an asset or item that is purchased with the hope that it will generate income or will appreciate in the future. In an economic sense, an investment is the purchase of goods that are not consumed today but are used in the future to create wealth. In finance, an investment is a monetary asset purchased with the idea that the asset will provide income in the future or will be sold at a higher price for a profit.”
So by definition, an investment is something that has a “cost” now, with the hope for a “greater return” in the future. I’d like to offer you a different perspective on investment that could likely produce the greatest return you could ever receive, and that is, the importance of “self-investment”.
So, what is self-investment? It is simply this: The dedication of resources to becoming who and what we want to become. In the most direct sense, those resources include time, money, and energy.
Why is self-investment so important? The answer to this is equally simple: because no one is going to create in you, and for you, exactly what YOU want out of life. Only you can do that.
See…to become the person you want to be, and to have the impact you want to have in life, it takes YOU to do that.
Let’s say for example you want to be a Doctor. As I’m sure you’re aware, becoming a Dr. doesn’t happen overnight. You have to dedicate the time and financial resources to learning and studies. All the while, you are expending resources for the hope of producing a greater return in the future. And don’t misunderstand me, I’m not merely suggesting you are seeking monetary gain. Many Doctor’s become such to serve in areas and countries where their monetary reward is very little.
Regardless of what trade you want to go into, or what skill you want to develop to take into the workplace, the formula is still the same. It will take something “of” you, and take something “from” you.
The key is to make the most of those resources your spending. You will never get them back. You can expend energy. You’ll never get it back. You’ll spend financial resources. You’ll never get them back, although the hope may be for more to come in the future. And lastly, you will spend time. And time is something you can NEVER get back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Why not use your resources toward getting the best possible return you can.
One of the areas I’ve seen the greatest “return on investment” is in the area of Personal Growth and Development. And this can be growth in a variety of ways. But it takes commitment on my part to suffer the cost now, for the growth and return in the future.
In his book “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”, my Mentor and Friend John C. Maxwell says: “What do I mean when I write about growth? That will be as unique as you are. To discover your purpose, you need to grow in self-awareness. To become a better human being, you need to grow in character. To advance in your career, you need to grow in your skills. To be a better spouse or parent, you need to grow in relationships. To reach your financial goals, you need to grow in your knowledge about how money works. To enrich your soul you need to grow spiritually. The specifics of growth change from person to person, but the principles are the same for every person.”
None of the above are going to happen without you making the investment. Commit to it early on, but realize that it is never too late to start.
I, and your other Teen Mentors would love to be there and support you in your growth. I’d love to hear your comments and feedback.
I truly hope this serves you well!
About the Author: Jamie PERSSE is one of Your Monthly Mentors, Founder and Principal Consultant at JC Persse Consulting based in Hastings, New York. As a life-long student and practitioner of leadership and personal and professional growth, in early 2015 Jamie pursued his passion of being a coach and mentor to help people develop. Since then, he has become business partners with, and a certified member of, the world’s largest and fastest growing team of speakers, trainers, and coaches in the world, The John Maxwell Team. Read More…