“The best investment you will ever make is in yourself.”-Warren Buffett
Going to Loyola University Maryland, I was quickly thrust into a world that I wasn’t used to, but came to love and respect in different aspects. Attending a Catholic, Jesuit, liberal arts university helped develop new values, particularly self-care before the idea of “self-care” was even this big thing. I learned early on in my time there that it was important to invest in yourself from all sides of the spectrum, through the Jesuit value, cura personalis.
Cura personalis is a Latin phrase that translates as “care for the whole person”. Basically, the idea is to focus attention to the specific needs of others, as well as yourself, from various aspects. Yes, emotionally and mentally, but also physically and spiritually. I even took it to mean intellectually and financially. It’s a truly a call to love and care for ourselves and others from these different areas. I’ll never forget that.
One of my biggest lessons I took from last year is that this world truly doesn’t owe you anything, and, a lot of times, you don’t get what you deserve. It’s life. Yes, you may have people in your life that are willing to help, but first, you have to help yourself. You have to make the initial investment in yourself to move to higher heights. So I made a commitment to consistently invest in myself to get to where I need to be. And I know now that there are quite a few things I’ve got to do, which I hope help you too!
The Spiritual Investment
I’m not here to judge anyone’s religious beliefs (or lack thereof). I’m a proud Christian, so I make time to invest in my relationship with God. Prayer, reading my Bible and devotions, going to and actually being involved in church—all of these things help strengthen me in personal areas in my life. My faith has helped me set very clear standards and values of what I will and won’t do, and what I will or won’t accept in my life. And I’m simply amazed at what God has done in my life and the life of my family.
Regardless of your personal beliefs, your spirituality or looking inward towards what life means to you, helps you to determine your own values and principles. It helps you to find your meaning and purpose in this life, resulting in more peace, gratitude, joy, and contentment. You can pray or meditate, or even just sit somewhere and reflect on what your connection to this world is, and how you can commit to living your best life.
The Physical Investment
Investing in yourself physically is simply eating better and committing to working out more than you do right now. Nobody’s expecting you to be a full-on gym rat when you first start out, but commit to do doing what you can to be stronger physically! So you can chase your babies or grandbabies around. So you can make it through each day with a little more energy. So you don’t have to worry about high blood pressure medicine or insulin shots. You only get one body, and it’s important that you take care of it!
That’s one of the big things I’ve promised myself I would get back to this year. I had lost a good amount of weight some years back, and ended up gaining it all back from grief and emotional eating. So I’ve slowly but surely getting back to fitness, both when it comes to hitting the gym and watching what I put on my plate. And granted, I mess up (this whole week has been a mess, to be honest), but I eventually get back up and get to work. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have specific body goals, but it’s more so for my health. I don’t want to have health issues down the line just because I couldn’t be remotely disciplined when it came to my nutrition and exercise. You don’t either!
The Emotional/Mental Investment
So many people across the world struggle with emotional and mental issues. Some are heavier than others, I know, and if you are, please do not be afraid or embarrassed to seek professional help!
For those who find themselves struggling with the occasional (or even somewhat frequent) stresses, anger issues, grief, etc., there are some other ways that you can find a little relief as well. You can seek better friends or groups with mutual interests that you can hang with who will continue to support and encourage you. You can research ways that personally help you de-stress or uplift you after long, hard days. You can settle into a good book or a show or movie on Netflix. You can take a nice vacation, or even a staycation in the privacy of your own home. You can even reach out to a mental health line or try counseling to work through some of your issues inside. There’s nothing wrong with that! You should choose whatever path or paths that helps you get to a better place mentally and emotionally.
The Intellectual Investment
Investing in yourself on the intellectual tip can help you further along in your career, your side hustle, creating your own business, bettering your community, etc.! Like I said earlier, I came to grips with the fact that, if I wanted to get ahead, I had to put in the work. I had to commit to learning more about my craft and developing more skills so that I can be a more valuable asset in my work. Just in this past year alone, I’ve learned so much and put my new skills to work for myself and others. I look forward to doing even more of that!
You can obviously read more books and articles online about your fields that intrigue you, but I also advise maybe attending different classes, conferences and workshops around your area as well. You’d be surprised what you would learn and who you would meet just by going. But you have to actually apply what you’ve learned, too. If you continue to challenge yourself by learning and using new principles, you’ll make it to higher heights in life.
The Financial Investment
This year, I’ve also committed to doing better when it comes to my financial investing. For me, this isn’t just actually investing my money in stocks and bonds. It’s also carefully watching what I’m spending the rest of my money on. I have bills and other needs to take care of, but I’m also trying to build up my savings to where it was before I moved to my new place. So I’m slowly but surely learning to be more disciplined when it comes to my funds. I’m even taking a financial class at my church to learn more about what to do and what not to do.
If you, like me, are trying to get your money in order, it really comes down to having a full monthly budget and STICKING TO IT. Every dollar for every bill, every savings transfer, every payment, needs to be accounted for. What trips me up is that I have my budget, but then will spend my money on going out to eat, or picking up stuff I see in the mall when I’m supposed to be getting just one thing (Target, I hate you!). All those little purchases add up!
For those who trying to really started in investing, I personally recommend apps like Acorn or Betterment to start out. But research as much as you can before you do anything big!
All of these are ways that I’m focused on investing in myself this year and beyond. What are some other ways that you can invest in yourself? Share with me in the comments!