Investing in self improvement is the key to survival and success

SIPs, PFs, PPFs, Bonds, Stock Market, Real Estate and the list is endless - we are spoiled for choices when it comes to investing. But how many of us actually think about investing in ourselves? If given a choice, we all would unapologetically put everything else over our need for a fulfilled life. Maybe that’s the best we have learned from our surroundings, but then there are people, most successful ones, that have been advocating for self-improvement and development for as long as I can remember. Warren Buffett says that the very best investment you can make is one that "you can't beat, can't be taxed and one that not even inflation can take away from you.” He further adds that "ultimately, there's one investment that supersedes all others: Invest in yourself. Nobody can take away what you've got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven't used yet." To me, this statement was an eye-opener. And ever since then, I make it a point to dedicate one-third of my day to my own development - emotionally, professionally, and economically. So whether you’re a CEO of a multinational company or an entry level executive, in 2021, we all are stuck in our houses, clocking in 18-20 hours a day to meet deadlines, client expectations, and sales quotas that would keep our organization afloat during tough times. We all are doing a lot more than what we had signed up for, and that’s a good thing.

But what most of us are forgetting is that this is also the time when we can and must seek novelty, new perspectives, and propel ourselves forward. How can you do that? How can you turn your weaknesses into strengths or perhaps, find your strengths if you still haven't? How to turn the tides in your favour when the whole world is grappling with the aftermath of the pandemic?

Consume productive content on TV Given the current circumstances, I truly feel that keeping your television time, primarily the news about COVID to a minimum would not only save your time but also help you get rid of unpleasant emotions. Not that keeping abreast with current happenings is a bad thing, but too much of it can play havoc on your own health and well-being. And right now, in the present moment, keeping a positive mind is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family. Greatly reduce the amount of screen time, and when you switch on the TV, be discriminant about what’s on the screen. Focus on powerful stories about courage and perseverance that can genuinely influence your lives, lift your spirits, fuel optimism and motivate you in the right direction.

Surround Yourself with the Right People

They may or may not be winners, but they should have a positive influence on your life and the choices you make. Tony Robbins says, “The only thing that will change your life, change your business, change your relationship, is that you must raise your standards,” He advocated that “Getting rid of negative people who bring you down is very important. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, lend you the knowledge, and help you learn from your mistakes. Raise your standards for your inner circle”. If we surround ourselves with people who are positive, forward-moving, self-driven, and high motivators, it will automatically help us stay focused on our goals. Knowing that you have the right kind of support from people who matter in your journey is the best gift that one can hope for.

Read Books, eBooks…

Anything that teaches you something is a great growth stimulator. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Reading is an essential component of leadership development…broad and deep reading habits can sharpen intelligence, make you a better communicator, and improve emotional intelligence. Start your day with an article or a feature in the newspaper that inspires you to make better choices. Psychiatrists recommend reading a few motivational quotes or pages from a self-help book before starting the day. Such readings have the power to stimulate your imagination and help you tap into the minds of great thinkers. My personal favourites have been:

  • Good vibes, good life- Vex King
  • The Power of Now
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad
  • The 5 Am club- Robin Sharma
  • The One Thing
  • Outliers and many more…

Alternatively, you can also join a Virtual Book Club where you can seek recommendations, meet like-minded people, exchange ideas, share your opinions, as well as enjoy being surrounded by people pivotal to your interest.

Upskill with Online Courses and Training

UPSKILLING is the WORD of the Year. If you haven’t thought about it yet, it’s time you do! As organizations move smarter and faster to digital solutions to make their business future-proof for the next normal, employees are expected to close the skills gap to drive their careers ahead. Any time we can spend to sharpen professional skills will not only make you better at your job but also re-energize you to face the new challenges of the new world with confidence and grit. Part of planning for the new normal must include enrolling yourself in online courses that help you learn skills to transition roles or enhance the already existing ones. Some of the benefits of upskilling are:

  • It boosts employability and enhances competencies
  • It is a great confidence booster
  • Offers better growth opportunities, and promotions
  • It opens up new possibilities with changing job perspectives
Here are a few helpful resources for free online courses:
  • Coursera
  • EDX
  • Udemy
  • Linkedin

Moving from Self-loathing to Self-Improvement

As we’ve struggled to leave behind our “normal” lives, we have all been forced to pivot and improve in many ways. This also means that the months or years that we are spending in the confines of our homes should be considered an important phase for self-improvement. The pandemic has given all of us the opportunity to live and thrive in extremely challenging times. We can either choose to get tangled amidst all the upheaval and confusion or decide to acknowledge it as the newfound time to grow and transform. So, would you be willing to turn this challenging time into an opportunity to boost skills?

It’s up to you.

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