Invest in yourself

When last did you do something for yourself, just because you wanted to? By the way, I am not talking about just buying clothes, shoes or indulging in all that we love to indulge in. I say this because this is how I make myself feel better after treating myself to one of my ‘spending exercises’. When we focus on the concept of Investment, we must agree that it is only an investment if it brings returns – which most times will be positive! Investing in yourself must begin with a goal and analysis of how the goal can be met and hence, the activities to engage in to reach that goal. Last week, I talked about LEARNING, which in itself is an investment in one’s self, however the subjects I choose to study and what I learn should add up to a bigger goal. Since we are on this subject, I will use myself as an example.

Few years back, I realised I had no knowledge of anything that was not directly linked to work or things that affected me directly. Start a discussion on current affairs, world trends, modern history or what many will say show intelligence and I would either shy away or stir away the conversation. I found myself giving ‘I don’t know’ as the 1st answer to any question asked by my children that was not on Maths or science. On reflection, I told myself I either had to invest in myself by broadening my sphere of knowledge or stand the risk of looking unintelligent. One thing I also learnt about myself was that I constantly gave the excuse of being brought up in a relatively ordinary family in Nigeria as a reason for not understanding high society code & ethics…. I could go on but for now, let’s stay with these two. I put together a plan of how to CHANGE me or better still become the person I secretly admired. First I started reading more, especially on subjects that were outside my comfort zone. Next was my image – toward the end of last year, I reassessed and cleared my wardrobe – I didn’t want to be defined by quantity as much as the quality of things I wore and I invested in things I felt fitted with the image I had in mind. Recently, I treated myself to a 1-week grooming course and will shortly be doing a short course on leadership development. While I am still a long way away from my final picture, I am happy I am finally making progress…

I can proudly say the money I have spent on myself the last couple of years hasn’t just been a waste as everything has fuelled an objective to a goal. This is what makes it an investment; in years to come, I might be able to thrive in circles where I would never have stood a chance and have a shot at pitching my talent to a more rewarding audience. Remember, who you become in Life will largely be based on the investments you’ve made, particularly in yourself.