You may have read my article entitled “Invest in what you can ignore.” If you haven’t that’s OK. In that article I spoke about how when it comes to finance I tend to like investing in things that I can ignore. Essentially that means whether it’s a stock, real estate, or a money market account, I like investments that you don’t have to check on and be involved in often.
In the case of stocks, I’d rather invest the overall market than individual stocks I have to study. In the case of real estate, I’d rather invest in REITs than owning physical property and having to manage it. And the list goes on. The point is that these investments are about as “passive” as you can get, i.e. there isn’t much to do after you put in the initial money.
However, despite my insistence on passive investing from a financial perspective, that doesn’t mean I’m not an active investor. In fact I’m highly active in one investment in particular: MYSELF. If there’s one area in the world where you should be actively investing, it’s in yourself. Be it emotional, mental, physical, no investment yields greater results in life than you. But before we get into the specifics there’s one thing I need to clear up first:
It’s 100% OK to put yourself first
I belief that in order to live your best life you’ve got to put yourself first. That in no way means that I’m saying not to care for others, think about others, or put others above you when needed. It means that in order to be your best self FOR others, you’ve got to put yourself first and be the best version of yourself.
I always say to my wife (even though she hates it): “We have to put ourselves in front of our kids.” Of course I’d throw myself in front of a bus for my kids. But I always point out to my wife that if she and I aren’t our best selves and we don’t have a healthy marriage, our kids will suffer greatly.
In that same breath, if I’m not my best self, then I can’t be as good a husband. Putting yourself first actually allows you to be your best UNselfish, self. That being said, let’s move on. There are four places I think you should be focusing on most actively and here they are:
1. Mental Health
This one’s always first for me. Without a sound mind, you don’t have a sound body or a sound anything. You need to do whatever it is you have to do in order to stay mentally well. If that means being on medication (which I happen to be and will do an entire article on it), then that’s what you do.
If that means seeing a therapist weekly, daily, monthly, then that’s what you do. If that means meditation or yoga every single day for an hour, then that’s what you do.You need to figure out what gets your mind most clear, focused, and “well,” and do it every single day. You can’t half ass this one. That HAS to be a habitual thing.
2. Physical Health
A very close second is your physical health. While I believe the mind trumps everything, the body is not far behind. You cannot ignore your body. I mean yeah, you can, but you will be in deep shit if you do. What you eat plays a huge role in how physically healthy you are.
What you physically DO plays a huge role as well. I’m not here to lecture you on exercise and nutrition. I’ll leave that to the experts. But I will say this. If you’re not aware of and actively taking care of your body through these channels, you will suffer immensely. It’s that simple. Think of it this way. If you have a car, how do you keep it running for 100,000 miles? You MAINTAIN it. Same goes for the body. You don’t maintain it, it’s gonna break, period.
Doesn’t matter what it is. Buy a course. Take a seminar. Read the newspaper every single day. Just make sure you are learning constantly. Keep that mind fresh. You never know where it’ll come in handy. And this goes for all walks of life.
Want to be a better parent? Seek out information on how to do so. Want to learn how to fix your air conditioner? Check out a Youtube video or ask a contractor. Etc. etc. Be a seeker of information.
4. Work Related Skills
Always make sure you have a skill that’s in demand. No matter what, in some way, shape, or form, if you live in the United States you have to survive and to do that means having an income. Whether that income is large or small is not what I care about here.
What I care about is that you always have a skill that people need and will pay you for. What those skills are and how you develop them are entirely up to you. However, be sure those skills align with the current economy, i.e. reassess your skill set at least once a year.
If you stick to these four things, as Coach Bobby Finstock said in Teen Wolf, “everything else is cream cheese.”