Invest in Yourself

Most of us feel the need to be connected. After all, humans are social animals and we want to be connected with the people around us. We seek approval and validation of the people all the time. We hold these attributes at a very high level and quite often we feel dejected if nobody approves of us. This can be a good quality to try and get people to notice us. But at times it often takes a lot out of you. It’s hard work to keep up with this and when we don’t get the required approval, then we start to feel there’s something wrong with us, rather than looking at outward. So what’s the alternative here? Should we try harder to impress people? Well, there’s an easy way out. Just invest in the most important person in your life – “Yourself”! That’s right, if you need to impress anyone, if you need to get validated by anyone, then it is “YOU”!

1. Focus on things you can control

Live life to the fullest and focus on the positive – Matt Cameron

   Many times in our busy schedules we try to control a lot of things which are external. We get frustrated over things on which we have very little or no control – the traffic is horrible, the commute is longer, my colleagues don’t respect me, my kids do not care about me and so on. If you observe carefully, then we have been fretting over things which we can’t influence much. Instead, we should focus on ourselves. We should focus on our internal attributes which we can control and influence. If you are frustrated about traffic then change your commute time, don’t focus on what your colleagues think about you as long as you are creating a positive working environment in the office. Few changes to our internal attributes will go a long way in ensuring we create a more stress-free life for ourselves.

2. Motivate yourself

Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay – Simone de Beauvoir

    We often feel unmotivated most of the time. We get all excited during the initial phases of a new project but tend to get unfocused as it moves along. There might be several reasons for this but one of them might be lack of motivation. We need to constantly motivate ourselves to feel excited about our work. We should create an environment where we get a positive outlook on things. You could listen to uplifting music during your day, get into the habit of working out in the morning, go for a casual walk amongst nature early morning, read a good book, play with your pet. You do not have to force yourself into these activities. Do what naturally makes you happy. Make sure you are consciously trying to motivate yourself to get the best results.

3. Stop Comparing with others

Every minute you spend wishing you had someone else’s life is a minute spent wasting yours – Unknown

    The worst thing we could do to ourselves is getting into a comparison competition with others. “Oh, my neighbor has the latest car”, “Shit, my colleague has a better package”, “Damn, my cousin has it all figured out” and so forth. The problem with this is it creates a vacuum inside you which can’t be filled with any achievement you do. Since you are always comparing your life with that of others, there can’t be any real happiness or satisfaction you would get out from your actions. There’s no end to this and you can’t expect to have a peaceful life if you are trying to outrun everybody all the time. You never know what that X person is going through at this point in his life. Appearances can be deceiving. They might be drowned in a different sorrow of their own which you do not have any idea. Try to appreciate what you have and be grateful. That doesn’t mean you should stop progressing in life. No, it doesn’t mean that. All it means is to look at your life the way it is and work towards a better life for yourself.

4. Try to have a balanced life

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony – Thomas Merton

We often overdo things in our lives. You cannot keep eating that delicious pastry every day just because you love it! It will kill you (in a literal sense). You should find a balance in life. Try to slot things in your day so that you keep everything in your life at harmony. Just because you have a deadline coming up at work, don’t neglect your family and friends by throwing yourself in your work 24*7. You will drive yourself crazy. Put aside a small amount of time in a day to have fun. Meet up with your friends, have an honest conversation with your wife, play with your kids, watch your favorite sitcom, meditate for a few minutes. If you tell yourself “I don’t have time for this” then you do not know anything about time management. These small things, done on a consistent basis reap rich dividends over a long period. When things are down and gloomy, your work doesn’t come and lift your spirits, but a friend might cheer your mood.

5. Your Health is your business

Without your health, everything else means nothing – Mary J. Blige

It’s dreadful how many of us spend so much on doctor visits and hospital bills at such a young age. We complain our ankles are giving us trouble, our back is paining, our teeth have gone bad and so on. I am not talking about old age where these things are hard to escape, but in our early 30s and 40s, we complain of these things. We are so invested in the rat race of our lives that we forget to pay attention to our bodies. We go on mindlessly eating that fast food, binge drinking, oversleeping without paying any respect to our bodies. This will inevitably put us in bad health. We cannot achieve our goals if we can’t have a healthy body. Successful people treat their bodies with the utmost respect since they know how important it is to lead the life we dream of. We make up bullshit excuses for not working out. It’s not necessary you have to go to the gym and lift weights to keep your body healthy. Indulge yourself in any form of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day and you would see the drastic changes in your life. Suddenly your mood is upbeat, you feel new energy flowing through your body and ready to take on the world. That’s the magic of exercise. Your health is your business and there’s no excuse in this day and age for not keeping your body in shape, especially with all the information available at your fingertips.

Investing in yourself is the best thing you could do. We spend the entire amount of life with ourselves, so why not make ourselves more interesting, more inspiring? Remember if you cannot make your life successful, nobody else will help you. Take the first step towards a better you, the world needs it!

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Bharath Sirgur

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