What’s the best investment you can make… at any time, in any economic climate?
Please think about that for a while before you read on!
Is it property?
Is it gold?
Is it equities?
Is it bonds?
Is it a superannuation fund?
I’m certain your trusted financial advisor will give you a cocktail of all of the above. A third, a third, a third he will more than likely say to you (property, equities, cash) and then charge you a nice fee.
Well…dear reader, I don’t subscribe to that crap.
You see, in my humble opinion, the best investment a person can make is in him/herself. There is no investment that will give you a better payback/divident than investing in yourself. If at least 10% of your income, time & effort are not being invested back in yourself… then I believe you are not placing a high enough value on your biggest asset… yourself !
It really makes no difference, in my way of thinking, whether all your other financial investments are experiencing exponential growth. If you are not feeling right, if you are not healthy, if you are not clear in your mind, if you are not doing the things you love to do, seeing the things you enjoy seeing, listening to the music you love, eating the food you love, reading the things you love reading and, most important of all, learning something new each day… then who the hell cares what your investments are doing?
Talk about being comfortably numb…
The funny thing is… investing in yourself doesn’t cost much at all. Buying a CD that will give you endless hours of listening pleasure, a book that will let you learn or “imagine”, joining a fitness club or giving yourself permission to enjoy a nice walk each day, some “alone” time to think and clear your head, attending a seminar, joining a club or special interest group, doing something you love to do…
Most of these things are in fact free (or almost). All it takes is intent and a willingness to allow yourself to think of “yourself”.
Which brings us to the main question of this post. Are holidays a luxury/expense or an investment?
I guess one needs to define “holiday”…. but in my mind anything you do for yourself in order to unwind, recharge the batteries, clear your mind, allow yourself the pleasure of reconnecting with nature or giving yourself the opportunity to “experience” a new culture, language, food and sights…. is undoubtedly an investment. You don’t have to travel to the other side of the world. You can just as easily go to a beach or a mountain an hour from home… it can be just as rewarding. In fact, you don’t have to even leave home to have a holiday. You can just change your mind-set for a weekend and allow yourself the pleasure of indulging in things you love – a good book, some new music, an afternoon laying on a blanket in your back yard or the nearest park and just relaxing. It’s a matter of considering yourself worthy of such an investment in time.
If you do happen to travel then it becomes a question of seeing how you can extract maximum value for yourself from the holiday. Its not about where you go or where you stay. It’s the mental attitude you go with. Its about seeing it as a reward to yourself, an investment in your “peace of mind” state.
Yesterday I happened to be seeing some people in Oia and I walked past a hotel which is on the cliff and offers fantastic views and great facilities. I noticed a gentleman enjoying a swim alone.
You can see him in the pool looking out over the cliff. To his left is the volcano… to his right is this:
I doubt that this man was staying there alone. But he allowed himself the pleasure of standing alone in that pool, just taking in the view. I have no idea who he is, what he does for a living or where he is from. But being in that pool and doing what he was doing was obviously his choice. He was allowing himself the sheer pleasure of taking in the breathtaking view and allowing his mind to drift…lost in his own thoughts. I don’t know what it cost him to be there…. but is it an expense? Or is he investing in his own well being? His own “peace of mind”?
Personally, I don’t think one has to be at a cliff-top hotel in Oia or any other exotic location around the world. It’s the mind-set that’s important. Seeing the benefit in investing in yourself. Whether it’s half an hour alone with your headphones listening to sublime music, or reading a fantastic book, or reading a dozen blogs you love. You can just walk barefoot in a park and feel grass under your feet or have a loooong bath. Learn something new or experience something different.
We should all invest in ourselves a lot more. There are much worse investments out there ;-)