WHICH IS THE BETTER INVESTMENT?
Some people are quite happy to spend $2000 on a holiday. However these same folks would think 10 times before spending $1000 on a training course that had the potential, for example, to improve their communication skills or even their marriage. And while many people would be fine with paying $100 per hour for a personal trainer to keep their bodies in shape, they might be reluctant to buy a $30 book to enhance their emotional intelligence. Why? The reason is this… when it comes to choosing between instant pleasure and delayed gratification, we go for the instant pleasure far more often. To clarify what I mean, let’s review this concept in the context of the above example. It’s easy to see that while the returns from a holiday are instant (e.g. suntan, relaxation, fun), the returns from a training course are typically delayed. It may take a while before you notice the benefits. Not only that, more effort is involved in attending the course and then putting into practice what you’ve learned.
WHY INVEST IN YOURSELF?
A fundamental law of life is that all living creatures either grow or die. There is no in-between – we are either growing or we are regressing. Investing in yourself is not only the best investment you can make, it’s also the best form of insurance against becoming obsolete, especially in your professional field. For example, doctors, these days, have to undergo a minimum level of ongoing training just to be able to continue to practice. Investing in yourself ensures your continual growth, and the returns from this investment are multifold – you have the potential to improve all areas of your life as a result of this investment. For example, when you improve your communication and influencing skills, not only do you improve your productivity at work, but you also enhance your intimate relationships and your parenting skills.
OPTIONS FOR INVESTING IN YOURSELF
There are several options available to help you maximize your personal and professional development. These resources include:
1. Books, CDs, DVDs. It amazes me how many people don’t read books. Yet for often less than $50, you can get access to thinking from experts in virtually any field. As an example, if you were to read one book a week, in 10 years you would have read 520 books and in 20 years more than 1000 books. This would be enough to put you in the top 1% of experts in any field.
2. Coaching. All elite athletes have professional coaches. These coaches are not necessarily the best players in the sport, but are the best at maximizing the potential of the athlete. Why then do so few people have coaches to help guide them through the ultimate sport – the sport of life?
3. Seminars, conferences, retreats. You can attend multi-day events where you can totally immerse yourself in learning from some of the best teachers in their field.
4. Formal study. You can complete university courses at many different levels (e.g. certificate, diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate).
Over the last 15 years, I have personally invested over $200,000 in my personal and professional development. I consider this to be my best investment yet because who I have become and the results I have achieved, both tangible and intangible, are priceless.
What about you? What can you do to invest in yourself? What could you do that will enhance your personal and professional effectiveness and fulfillment?
I invite you to come up with an “Investment in Myself Plan,” and to make a commitment to execute your plan.