Who are you? No really, who are you today… compared to yesterday?
I was on the job not paying attention as a colleague talked my head off about a bunch of boring unrelated information that had a soporific effect on me. During the “daydream” I wondered how tomorrow would be different for me. In fact, how am I different today than I was yesterday? I need an escape I thought… and if truth be told, I need some energy, a vacation, some cash, and a hobby! This was crazy to me… you know, having these thoughts as if something were missing. I snapped back into the moment and continued with my day. Before the day was over, it would become my goal to answer my questions.
I consider myself a busy body, a constant learner, and according to my wife, a know-it-all. What I didn’t know was that there had been something missing for a while. I was not being fed and I was not growing. Maybe psychologists call it complacency and comfort? I don’t know, I’m regular degular. Who or what was to blame for this? It surely couldn’t be me. Beyond this realization, there loomed a deeper question. What does it mean to learn and grow? What is the purpose and whom does it benefit? In my mind, those things have always been about being better than the next person. But to what end? My company is sure going love the new smarter me; the me that is fit, eats healthy, and can speak to a crowd with confidence and technique…. Right?
I really reflected ya’ll! I really had to know more about this phenomenon I was experiencing. The more I spoke with my brothers on our weekly business calls, the more things began to take shape. See, we invest our time and money in this business and in each other #fortheculture. And then it clicked! I was neglecting myself. When it was time for the gym, I would always be tired. When a helpful book was suggested, I would convince myself of my lack of time. When my kids wanted to do activities, I would point out costs and how daddy needed to rest up to be fresh for work. It was excuse after excuse ya’ll. I took a trip to Mexico and was so rusty at my Spanish that I decided to get an app and re-learn it. Well that lasted all of three weeks. Every time the wife and I went out, I would struggle to find something decent to put on. These thoughts were exhausting! I was not investing in myself - physically (including appearance) or mentally!
How many of you out there can relate?
Who you are is as much defined by how you feel as it is by what you do and how you live. How you feel is arguably within your control. In Mexico I felt unprepared and insecure/helpless. At date night I felt underwhelming and slightly out of place. In the office I feel sluggish and tired (even early in the morning). I am not alone. There are things you can do, learn, or experience that will tend to these feelings. If you don’t know something, learn it! If you want to change something, work out an evolving plan that allows for gradual change. Investing in yourself does not have to cost you anything but your will power. You must will it to achieve it.
Most of the time we only make ‘investments’ in ourselves when problems are recognized or when employers deem them necessary for advancement.
Below are some of my favorite reasons to invest in ME:
· It feels great
· There is a sense of accomplishment
· I am tending to my mental health
· I prove to myself that I am capable
· It is something to brag about
· Improved personal relationships are directly proportional to a healthier, happier me
· It doesn’t have to cost a thing [to at least set the goals]
Some of the best ways to invest in yourself are listed below:
· Read a book
· Take a training
· Attend a conference
· Take care of your skin, teeth, eyebrows, physical aspects, hair…basically whatever makes you feel good
· Develop an exercise regimen
· Learn to write by writing blogs - we take and post submitted articles @ www.theblackcoffeecompany.com
· Understand finances, the stock market, how your credit score works (work to improve it)
· Join a volunteer troupe
· Learn an instrument or language
· Pamper yourself: new wardrobe, bi-weekly nail shop trips, new undies (us men keep them for years don’t we? LOL)
· Buy a passport, travel the world, gain experiences you won’t forget
· Learn to paint
· Learn to cut/style your own hair
· Learn to be a Ms./Mr. Fixit
· Prepare yourself to be a husband/wife [whatever that means lol]
I answered my questions my friends! I am well on my way to becoming a different me day after day. I shared all of this in hopes that it would reach someone. There are tons more ways to invest in yourself, both free and not so free… please drop your favorite ways to invest in yourselves in the comment section below!