Invest in yourself: Add value to you
Karl and Bob were good friends when they attended college. After they graduated from college, life happened and they slowly lost contact. They reconnected at their 20 year reunion. They were working for similarly sized companies, graduated with nearly identical GPAs and had the same work ethic. However, for some reason, Karl was two levels higher in his organization than Bob.
At lunch a month later, Karl mentioned he had attended a training seminar in Dallas the past weekend. Bob lamented that, with the downturn in the economy, his company cut back on training, and he hasn’t been to a seminar in years. Karl shared that his company had cut back on training as well but that he paid for the training himself.
Bob looked at Karl with a puzzled expression and said he didn’t understand how someone would pay for training out of his own pocket. It was an expense he couldn’t afford and besides, if the company didn’t pay for it, it must not be too important.
Karl challenged Bob to think again. Karl explained that since he started with his company, he has always taken additional training that he paid for himself. He didn’t look at it as an expense, but as an investment in himself.
Karl has the right attitude about investing in yourself. Your talent is your best asset. It can't be taxed; it can’t be confiscated. You can take it with you, wherever you go. When you invest your time and money to improve yourself and learn new things, it is not an expense – it is the best investment you can make.
Karl proceeded to explain to Bob the four benefits from investing in yourself:
1. Investing in yourself helps you
Investments come in the form of both time and money. You can invest in your mind by going to the library and getting a book to read to educate yourself in any area of improvement. This costs time, not money. You can attend training events that require an investment of time and money. You can invest in your health by investing 30 minutes a day to go for a walk. You can invest by hiring a personal trainer or joining a gym.
When you enrich yourself, you can feel yourself grow and will feel better about yourself. It contributes to your happiness.
2. Investing in yourself helps those you touch
When you enrich yourself through your investments of time and money, you improve your relationships with others. Taking time to help others is not only an opportunity to be generous and giving with your time, it is almost always an opportunity to learn and grow, if you are present and "in the moment." You may learn new information, gain new insights into how people behave, or develop new relationships. If I help you solve a problem with a spreadsheet at work, I will usually learn something as we figure it out. Instead of, “I have to help you out,” I get to help you out and learn. Our relationship improves, as does my knowledge base.
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