Let us set aside money for the moment. I personally believe in taking a holistic approach to investing that touches following aspects of life:
Today, we’ll focus on the most important asset of all – YOU – and identify ways to grow this asset over time so it pays dividends over and over again. Below are some ideas on how to do it.
1. Invest in Good Health
Cliché as it may seem, but your kindergarten teacher is still right after all these years. “Health is wealth,” we’ve all been told as kids.
“Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God, and value it next to a good conscience,” said Izaak Walton, “for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of; a blessing that money cannot buy.”
Come to think of it. Even if you have all the money in the world – and like King Midas, everything you touch turns into gold — do you think you can truly enjoy all those trappings of wealth if you are sick and weak?
I don’t mean it in a philosophical sense. But if you wanted to find out, go and visit a hospital today. And to be really effective, go to a hospital where the rich people are admitted. There you’ll discover that money is no match to good health.
2. Invest in Inner Peace
I vividly remember the conversation I had with my then six-year-old kid as we were strolling around the neighborhood of his grandpa’s place.
We passed by this big house, which is owned by a prominent family in Davao. Inquisitive as he is, he threw out a series of grown-up questions and I really tried my best to answer each one in a way that a six-year-old brain can easily digest.
But there was this one particular question that caught me off-guard and really struggling for a good answer. He asked, “Pa, are we rich?”
What a surprise! I didn’t expect that kind of question from a kid. To me, it felt as if I were strolling next to a 170-IQ student and while I was the teacher who keeps on biting the pencil while my brain is still processing the answer.
In a show of confidence, I quickly replied, “Yes!” This grown-up pop doesn’t want to give up easily. Then there was long pause of silence. As we continued walking, I was just laughing inside while thinking, “At last, I outsmarted a genius!”
And then came the follow-up question, “Why is their house big and ours is small?”
It was an uphill walk from the rich man’s big house to his grandpa’s small house. I was struggling for oxygen as much as I was grappling to come up with a valid answer that’s devoid of all fake allibis.
With barely 5 steps to granpa’s house, I said, “Yes, we are rich because we are healthy and we have inner peace.”
Luckily for me, he understood the term “inner peace” because he watched the movie “Kung Fu Panda” when he was 3 years old. To the team that made that film, I am forever indebted to you.
So back to you. Do you consider cultivating inner peace of prime importance to your overall well-being?
“Having lots of money while not having inner peace,” said Paramahansa Yogananda, “is like dying of thirst while bathing in the ocean.” And from the Bible: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
I guess it helps to do some sort of soul searching today.
3. Invest in Knowledge and Wisdom
I’m not really a Bible man, but the story of King Solomon is something that I always like.
One night God appeared before Solomon and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
If I were Solomon I would have asked for money – or Bitcoin 😉 – so I can buy all the coffee in Starbucks and give it to the poor.
But King Solomon was wise. Instead of asking money or any wordly possessions, so he can impress his friends, he asked for “wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?”
And because of that, God blessed him even more: “Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor… wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed nor those who will come after you.”
You can read the entire story following this link:
Most people of course would first want to become rich and worry about getting smart (knowledge and wisdom) later.
Don’t be like most people.
Be like Solomon, instead.
Luckily, there’s no better time to invest in knowledge than today. We are so lucky because of the Internet, which has somehow democratized access to vast amounts of information and educational resources. So take advantage of that.
Gift yourself with an e-book.
If you’re not fond of reading, then invest in an audio book instead.
Or, if you are a visual type, enrol in some online learning courses.
Whatever you do, don’t just let Facebook be the only “book” you ever read day in and day out.
4. Invest in Good Relationship with Other People
No one gets successfully through this life without being helped by someone at some point in time. I think only the most arrogant people can’t recognize that fact.
The truth is, much of your success depends on your relationship with other people. That is, how well you can relate to them and they to you.
Just to be on track, let’s identify who these other people are. Here’s a short list:
- Immediate family — husband, wife, life partner and kids
- Parents, siblings and relatives
- Business partners, employer, employees, co-workers
- Friends, neighbors, your coach, mentor
- Everyone else – your doctor, barber, waiter, taxi driver, customers, clients, etc
While it’s important to be in good terms with everyone – even with your enemies – it’s also equally important to spend your time and energy with the people who really matter the most.
You see, some people don’t realize who the important people are in their lives. They spend the majority of their time hanging out with people who will be the first to laugh at them when they have a problem.
Be smart in your dealing with people. Some will give you the needed boost to propel you in reaching your goals. Others are making it their life mission to drain your valuable energy.
5. Invest in YOU
By this, I mean working on yourself first so you can attract and manifest the things that you want in any area of your life.
“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you,” said Robin Sharma. That’s like operating your life from the inside out and everyone benefits.
And pay attention to Henry Ford: “Old men are always advising young men to save money. That is bad advice. Don’t save every nickel. Invest in yourself. I never saved a dollar until I was forty years old.”
And remember, you are an ASSET, too. If you invest in YOU, that asset also appreciates in value.