How much have you invested in yourself today?
I make it a point to ask myself that question at the end of every day. Not so long ago, I heard this speech about how to be successful. The speaker talked about seeing yourself as a CEO and your life as the company you manage. He went on to talk about self-investment and how important it is to make sure you always have your life’s best and most profitable plan in mind.
It got me thinking about many sessions I’ve had with my therapist over the years. She often tells me something similar and we have an exercise where I talk to the psychological board members of my life. She’s not just my therapist but also my business coach since she offers both services. She is always telling me that I need to re-invest 25% of what I make into myself.
But it isn’t enough to invest in yourself financially. Sure you should buy that dream car, take a vacation, sign up for that workshop, or upgrade your wardrobe. Indeed, all of that is a form of self-care but it isn’t the only way to invest in yourself. I believe you should take 25% of everything you have to invest in yourself. That means 25% of what you make, 25% of your time, 25% of your planning, 25% of your compassion, and so on. Just like you invest in car maintenance, one must also invest in self-maintenance.
A lot of people feel guilty about spending time on themselves. Most of society favors a hustler mentality. There is increasing pressure to show up for work when you’re sick or to never take time off for vacations. Other parents might try to make you feel guilty for not being on every school committee or maybe you’re putting this pressure on yourself to be a perfect parent.
There’s also this idea that you have to work 80 hour weeks to be a successful person or my personal favorite “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But here’s the thing, dead is where you might end up if you don’t slow down and make your well-being a priority.
I’m just as guilty of the hustler mentality and I’ve had to consciously choose to make self-care a necessary daily practice. Seeing self-care as an investment has helped me tremendously. I invest in my business so that it will be healthy and grow. Now, I do the same for myself.
Now let me be real, replacing self-investment with self-care is not going to suddenly change everything for you. You still have to show up for your self-care and you still have to decide this is something beneficial for you. But we’ve been trained to value a return on our investments so why not use what we know and apply that to our health and well-being?
Sometimes a change in perspective is all your need to get the ball rolling.