Even the mention of the word “investing” conjures up images of Wall Street, 401ks and greenbacks.
But what is investing? Dictionary.com defines investing as this, “to put (money) to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.” The second definition it listed is similar, however, it is the third definition which really gives the scope of the meaning of investing. It reads, “to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve something.” Hence the subject of this article is born.
It really is true. Investing isn’t always about putting money on the table. The following are just a few of the many ways to enhance your life through smart investing. You might even end up rich, or at least rich in spirit!
1. Education Investment
You know the drill. Education can be considered a soft investment, even though it cost a lot of money. People go to school hoping to one day earn a lot of money doing something they love. But let’s take a closer look. Even taking a single class or workshop can be life changing. You can meet new friends, learn new things, broaden your horizons and conceive new ideas by virtue of exposure. You might even meet the love of your life when participation turns into flirting. Hey, you never know LOL. Anyway, investing in your mind is a good thing. It is about raising your own stock price.
2. Time Investment
Time is one of the most valuable tools for investing. How will you use your time? Will you create something new like a business, write a book, or do ground-breaking research? Or, will you lie on the couch screaming at politicians on the TV and watching Maury? Think about it. You haven’t seen a crack addict until you have seen someone buying lottery tickets. They are shaking, agitated and sweating for virtually unwinnable odds. That is called a waste of time. Time is a real investment and is something you can control if you try. You will never really understand how valuable time is until it’s gone. If you invest your time effectively, it can make you rich just like investing money. All while enriching your life. That is the real jackpot!
3. Relationship(s) Investment
Investing in healthy relationships is a good one. Romantically, women love to put in the time and effort, hoping for that magical moment you fall madly in love. That qualifies as an investment. But what about regular relationships? Relationships like with your boss, family, neighbor or spouse. How about sending a thank you card to a client? How about being there for someone else besides yourself. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own problems, we forget that our solution is in helping someone else. Don’t just look for a compliment, give a compliment. There is no monetary value on that because it’s priceless. Love truly is an investment. A good relationship is the same.
4. Exercise Investment
Exercise is an investment. Does anyone you know have an extra body on layaway? Most of us only have one body and one life to live. Layaway is an old school way of buying something before credit cards came about. You would pay what you could until your merchandise was paid off, and then pick it up. So, why not invest in your health and well-being and pick yourself up. If you invest in fat you will get fat. If you invest in burning fat you will get lean and sexy, like you were in high school! Remember? So, invest in a little exercise every day and watch it pay off. Don’t forget to check with your doctor before starting. Go ahead and get going. Lay-away recently made a comeback, will you?
5. Reading Investment
Ok, you can have your steamy romance novel once in a while. However, don’t forget to invest some time reading in other areas. Read about science, politics, cultures, news and entertainment. Read up on a hobby you may have. Get caught up in an inspirational biography. Read up on business, or on topics that relate to your career, occupation or interest. Bookstores, libraries and this thing called the internet have anything and everything you could imagine. If you don’t have time, get an audiobook. Read about a few things you are not interested in. It’s all an investment to create a better you. A few chapters can mean a new chapter in your life believe it or not.
6. Finishing What You Started Investment
When you start something, finish it. Invest in completing tasks. Stop talking yourself out of everything. Finishing what you started, is a powerful investment tool with a huge payoff. I saw this YouTube clip the other day. There was a group of students and former students on a panel. The host asked each person if they thought going to college was worth it. One guy said, “no,” which is fine. That’s his opinion. The issue I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around is that he had three more classes to go, and dropped out. He could have gotten his bachelor’s. He wasted three-and-a-half years, money, resources and opportunity. Now he is in debt, with nothing to show for it!
Finishing is a powerful and wonderful thing that should never be underestimated. That was school, what about something simple like cleaning the house? What about starting that non-profit? Would you go on a road trip and turn around a mile away from your destination?
Obviously, there are more areas in life that can be considered and investment. However, just like you should be careful how you invest your money, you must treat your life investment the same way. Why you ask? The danger is that investment also works in the negative. If you are sitting around wasting your life, complaining, gossiping and criticizing others, what kind of return will you get? Ok, gossip pays off for TV host Wendy Williams, but you know what I mean.
What if you are neglecting yourself or eating fast food every day? What if you have been hanging around negative, do-nothing people? What if you have been doing the minimum at work for years, what will you earn on those investments?
In business, they use the term R.O.I, which means “return-on-investment.” What will be your R.O.I or your return on your investment? Remember, investing is more than just putting your money on the line, it’s about producing the life you have been searching for. That is, unless you have an extra life on layaway.