Are you looking for the best investment that beats all else? Something that gives you a phenomenal return? I think I might have the one for you.
But first, let's start with one of my favourite quotes, or phrases:
Movement is Life.
I heard the phrase in the movie World War Z or something but it's one that constantly sticks in my head.
It has a few different levels to it, but it's really about how we need to keep progressing. It also tries to imply that standing still, or doing nothing is a potential problem. In the movie I think Brad Pitt's character encouraged a family he met to keep moving with him as staying in the one place is dangerous because of the zombies running towards them.
It get's me thinking at large how as humans we need to keep moving and growing to become the best versions of ourselves.
I want to challenge you to spend on yourself this year.
Upskill to become better and more able. Give yourself better luck through better education and preparation.
It's easy to improve growing up, but not so much as an adult
When we are younger, our parents teach us how to do things for the first time.
We get sent to school where we get up-skilled and motivated to find a career.
It's all automated.
We grow without trying. We are in environments where we keep moving. At the end of our formal academic education we end up as adults and from there we need to move ourselves.
This is where we neglect personal growth. It's no longer a given we expand and learn new things, its easy to become stagnant.
We don't realise that we have to grow to be a better cause we've never needed to before. It's been all natural.
Some of us plateau and from that regress, because so many other adults continue to grow.
I've noticed this now having reached my mid-thirties that some people can get stuck on the treadmill while others have bolted off into the distance.
In school I was content with my standing as a kid as they taught us all the same and learnt the same, but now as an adult I see that age isn't an indicator of growth.
There are people I know who are at a different level of capability to myself why others look up to me like an indicator of knowledge.
Think about how you've grown in as an adult compared to your schooling life.
What efforts are you making to help yourself get better?
I don't want to shame you or anything but get you aware of where your abilities are at and where they could ideally be if you focused on growing.
When I talk about growth and improving your abilities, I'm not talking about math, English and science. I'm talking about psychology, finance, relationship building, conversation, technology and politics. Just by reading, watching videos like these you are learning.
For me, I've learned more about myself and world in the last probably 5 years than my entire life. I've invested both time and money to get better at things that interest me. I've taken an active approach to learning and I think the results have been brilliant.
I'm more confident in my skills and stronger and better in many talents I already have. Even without easily putting a monetary gain on things, I would say this growth has been one of my best investments.
Spend the money
Spending money has a way of teaching me something.
Like buying that lemon of a car, or lending money to a friend.
I like online courses and find the paid premium ones worth the money.
Yes, you can grow without spending a cent, but personally I like to put money towards my self improvement as it:
- Keeps me accountable (I've paid money for this I need to put the effort in)
- Keeps me focused on getting a result (return on investment)
- Usually delivers better results (spent money has more of my focus)
Don't let money be a barrier to what you want to achieve. A purchase on yourself could be the gateway to what you always wanted.
I'm invested my money in reading, watching and listening to others through books, paid products and courses so I can be better at personal finance, writing on sites like these and even a better parent.
I didn't use money as an excuse.
It's easy to say education is the best investment so go do a course and leave it at that, but it's really the first step in becoming better. You need to commit to taking action.
Say you want to get fitter and stronger.
You can watch some videos, read a book, get a gym membership but you need to add a way to get you moving and driving yourself forward.
That's why personal trainers exist. We pay them to maintain our momentum.
It's an example of us needing to potentially pay twice to get a result, but we get the result we are after at a good standard in a time frame we want.
Alternatively, you can try to improve you habits so you make it easier to change, go through with growth and get better regularly.
A great book on this area is Atomic Habits by James Clear.
When you invest into both education and participation of skill, your results can be phenomenally obvious.
Make this year one to remember
So you've heard enough and want to get moving?
Let's get you in the right frame of mind then
Be aware and willing
If you don't want to change, this will not happen.
Don't talk yourself out of something potentially incredible because of one or two small poor reasons.
Talk yourself into this and know that change is possible, it's possible to make your better.
Identify and share goals
Set yourself clear goals on what you want to be. Not just career related, life related. There are some incredible timeless life skills you can learn.
- Learning to learn
- Public speaking
- Forming good habits
- Mathematical thinking
- Coordination and flexibility
There might be something more particular you want to achieve
- cooking for two
- swimming 50 laps in one session
- starting a conversation with a trainer
Last year I decided I wanted to be a better cook and a better writer. While it might not be the best investment financially, it's still something that could give me amazing returns.
Set yourself steps to get there
Try and be specific in how you will get there.
How will you learn, and how will you take action?
It might be
- online courses – free and paid (how to learn course)
- group workshop
- reading a book, multiple books
- taking a trip
- one-on-one coaching (even if it's just an initial conversation)
- ill put plenty of suggestions in the description.
Map our your steps to get this happening, such as:
- Research Spanish classes in your area
- Find or save for the money to pay for them
- Clear your calendar to make time for them
- Tell everyone you know that you are doing this
- Take the classes
- Practice every Saturday at 9am
- Right a journal on how you are feeling about the class
For me to be a better cook and writer, I joined MasterClass. I told everyone at work that I was doing this and I asked my wife to watch the shows with me.
This product was one of the best investments I've made recently. It's given me fresh angles to think about aspects of life like commiunicating, gardening, negotiation and cooking.
Be flexible as you pursue a solution
If it isn't as clear as that it's OK.
You can achieve an incredible amount in one year. Don't worry about today. One step at a time.
The fact you are trying is making all the difference. It's a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset.
and consider this …
You don't need to try something new.
Some of us when we think about learning or growing, they think about pursuing something brand new or something they've never done before.
Let me note that you don't always need to be broadening your skill set.
You can be amazed at how satisfied you'll be finding different ways to do things.
Opening yourself up to see things from a fresh perspective.
You'll find there are many number of ways to do things, even the things you've known all your life.
Tying a shoe for example, I bet you've tied your shoe the same way now as your did in primary school. Is there more than one way to tie a shoe? sure. There's probably a way that's half as quick and twice as strong.
Learning new ways of doing old things or things you've known is one benefit of constant learning and pursuit of being better.
We've relied so much on what we were taught growing up from parents and schools, it's fascinating when we find new ways to do things. It makes us more powerful and more influential.
So have a think about what you know already. Is there something you do you like?
You can bolster your personal toolbox.
Learning gives us better luck.
Not the luck you have when you win the lottery, but the luck that puts you in a better position than anyone else because you know and have done more.
My wife recently got a new job. It's at a primary school where you work with children. Now shes done the formal training required for the position, but she is also training to become fluent in sign language.
Her investment in this was what impressed the recruiting panel enough from a practical and initiative taking standpoint that she was offered the highly sought after role.
This can be you. If you've ever felt If you've ever felt like you need that ‘lucky' break. you can put yourself in a better position to create your own luck through personal growth and education.
What could the best investment for you be?
It's time to find a person or business that can make you better the way you want to be.
So spend some money on yourself, get better through learning and education. You'll grow, enjoying life, beating boredom and using your new abilities in the years and decades to come.
You along effect the changes in your life and my career.
Learning a new skill or ability gives your opportunity to pursue improved roads and adventures. The cost of not doing far exceeds the amount.
I come across people who ignore learning or put new things in the too hard basket.
Don't be the person who doesn't know how.
We live in the information age, so be informed.