When you think of investing in yourself, do you automatically think professionally? It’s a common notion that investing in yourself has everything to do with growing in your career, but it’s really about being a well-rounded human being.
Think about yourself as an investment in two parts.
Part one is about choices. You can choose to be disciplined so that you can be financially secure. You can choose to wake up with a positive attitude. You can choose to stick it out when things get tough.
Part two is about the things you can’t control — the non-choices. This is when you get a new boss that you can’t stand. When your car battery dies and you have no cell service. You miss your flight and you don’t speak the native language.
These two parts combined provide life experiences and growth opportunities to learn, thrive, and be your best self. Investing in yourself means…
Setting Goals & Achieving Them
Examples of SMART goals include learning how to cook four new recipes a month for a year; saving up $10,000 by the end of the year to buy a car; or reading 12 books in 12 months. Setting and achieving goals is an important life skill that teaches discipline and can be transferred to nearly all facets of adult life, including owning a business, marriage, health, and your career.
Learning What Matters to You
Let the important things in your life rise to the top and give precedence to what matters most to you. You might discover that you’re passionate about a certain charity organization and take up volunteering. A few homesick months or years might lead you back to the state where you grew up with plans to be close to family. You might plan a year of travel before taking a job. Particularly in your 20s and 30s, the important things in life begin to show themselves more clearly. Take notice.
Having a Vision for Your Future
While you likely won’t have everything in your life figured out at any given time, investing in yourself means having a vision for what you want your life to be. Then taking small actions that contribute to that vision. Journaling is a powerful tool to help you write that narrative for your future. Remember, as you progress through changes and the different stages in life, your vision can (and will) evolve.
Following Your Intuition
An important step to feeling confident in your adult decisions is to listen to your intuition. By the time you reach your 20s, you’ve developed what it’s like to have those gut feelings. Allowing guidance to come from within will flex your principles and character, developing these important qualities as you navigate important life decisions.
Investing in yourself doesn’t mean satisfying what you want. And it might not always feel like an investment. Some young professionals make the mistake of only investing in one area. For example, taking a year off to travel is a popular choice for those who are seemingly already burnt out. While travel can serve as a great personal investment, often the struggle of persevering through a difficult job circumstance can serve as a better character developer in the long run.
It is common to equate life experience with traveling the world, but tough moments (those non-choices) that may seem insignificant at the time prove to be a worthy investment in hindsight. Most of us aren’t born with the ability to find joy or humor in the mundane, it must be learned over time. Years from now when you’re able to effortlessly do something you never thought possible, that’s when you’ll be grateful for the choices you made and how you handled the circumstances you couldn’t control.
Some small actions you can take to invest in yourself include:
- Join a small group
- Read both fiction and nonfiction books
- Find a lifelong mentor
- Keep in touch with your professional network
- Take a corporate job
- Start a business
- Move to a different city
- Choose the kind of person you want to be every day
- Attend seminars and workshops
- Make time for creativity
Investing in the Next-Gen Social Media App That Pays
For the founding team at Vevue, investing in ourselves has meant investing in this business without losing sight of why this group of people came together in the first place. When we set out to change the landscape of video production and consumption, we had a clear vision and purpose for why we wanted to start this company.
The process of what we uncovered along the way has only strengthened that purpose and brought our team closer together. Even on the days when there’s no roadmap for what success looks like, we’ve been able to keep building and innovating so that we could bring this app to consumers worldwide. Along the way some of us have had kids, moved homes, experienced loss, and traveled abroad — all reminders that investing in yourself is a lifelong commitment.