Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. And when you want to invest in yourself there are 9 key areas where you can invest. (If this were financial investing, think of it like building a portfolio: stocks market, crypto, retirement accounts, etc.)
Each of the 9 key areas makes up a part of your life. When you create cohesion in these areas you have balance. And if one area is off it can negatively impact the others.
You want to make sure you are investing in the areas that are aligned with your investment goals and are going to give you the biggest returns.
The great news is that when you improve one area, the others are likely to improve as well. Because the skills you learned to make improvements in one area will help you make improvements in others.
9 Pillars of Self-Investment
The 9 key areas (pillars) of self-investment are:
- Identity and Meaning
- Physical Health
- Mental Health
- Relationships & Connections
- Career and Mission
- Education & Development
- Hobbies and Recreation
- Spirituality and Contribution
The Pillar Pyramid
The pillars can be portrayed in the shape of a pyramid, with the largest, most fundamental pillars at the bottom. The idea is that when you prioritize the pillars on the foundational level you will be able to achieve greater returns in the other pillars.
The Foundational Level
The foundational level of the pyramid is made up of 4 pillars:
- Identity and Meaning. The core of who you are, this pillar involves focusing on your place in the world. Working on this pillar will help you find clarity and get unstuck. It translates to every other pillar and includes creating boundaries and focusing on your likes and dislikes…. among other things. More about investing in identity and meaning here.
- Physical Health. By focusing on your physical health, you enjoy a higher quality of life and are better prepared to face the challenges of life. Physical health is an important factor in your overall well-being, and it will help you stay active and engaged in your life. It is imperative to note that we all have different levels of physical health and the goal is to reach your personal best without comparing to others. More about investing in physical health here.
- Mental Health. Affecting every aspect of your life, mental health is linked to physical health, relationships, job performance, and overall happiness. When you prioritize your mental health, you are more likely to be productive, have strong relationships, and be happier overall. More about investing in mental health here.
- Relationships & Connections. Focusing on connection and relationships is imperative. It is how we strengthen our place in the world. It helps us build trust, understand and appreciate different perspectives, and can lead to more meaningful and productive life.
The Higher Level
Not to be confused with being more important that the Fundamental level, the Higher level of the pyramid is reserved for aspects of your life that will thrive once your Fundamental level is fully invested. Remember, you can still work on these aspects even if you have work to do on the Fundamental level.
The foundational level of the pyramid is made up of 5 pillars:
- Career and Mission. Focusing on your career and life mission helps give your life purpose and direction. It helps provide a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, especially as you work towards achieving your goals.
- Education and Development. Essential for the growth and success, education provides you with the skills that are essential for success.
- Finances. Managing finances is an important part of living a secure and successful life. Focusing on your finances helps you plan for your future, set goals, and make smart decisions that can lead to financial stability and security.
- Hobbies and Recreation. Recreation and hobbies helps you lead a healthier, more balanced life. Spending time engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation reduces stress, provides a sense of accomplishment, helps build relationships with others, and give a much-needed break from the everyday.
- Spirituality and Contribution. Cultivating spirituality and volunteering can be a great way to find joy and fulfillment. It creates a sense of connectedness, meaning, and purpose. Engaging in spiritual activities also helps with other pillars as it helps promote personal growth, development, and meaningful relationships with others.
Where to Self-Invest
Your self-investment strategy depends on your current situation and goals. Make sure you are investing in the areas that align with your investment goals and will give you the biggest returns. So, just like in financial investments, focus on:
- Short term investments that will give you quick and easy wins
- Long term investments that will give you steady and long-term growth
If you want to start investing in yourself but don’t know where to begin, you can start by taking inventory. Download a free Likes and Dislikes Inventory template here.
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