It’s not others, or outside circumstances — you are the lid to your growth. I know it might not be the popular thought, and it might not be the most inspiring opening to an article you have read, but I encourage you to stop looking at others or your circumstances; you are the lid to your growth. STOP! It’s not your team. It’s not your boss. It’s not your neighbors, friends, kids, circumstances, bank account, car, or anything else you fill in the blank with…it’s you.
Does that shock you? Why? Look at your schedule. Look at where you invest your time. Look at what gets your energy. My guess is — You don’t get much investment. If you’re not investing in yourself, focused on growth, being mentored, learning and intentional about personal development, how do you expect to push past your current lid or your current self? My pitch to you today is simple: Invest In Yourself!
Recently interviewed by Fast Company [link], Nest CEO Tony Fadell stressed how important growth and being mentored was to him. He said a major part of him selling Nest to Google was about him being mentored by Larry Page, CEO of Google.
“If you’re wondering what pushed me over the edge [to join Google], that was it. I was selfish about it,” he continues. “I gotta keep growing. Because I’m old, but I’m not that old.” Fadell is 45. “I’ve still got a lot of years ahead of me, and I’m not just going to sit here.” — Tony Fadell
Did you catch what Tony said “I was selfish about it”. From my experience that is what it takes! We have to be selfish about it. We have to be selfish with our calendars…schedules…agendas, etc., or it wont happen. Investing in yourself will not happen on accident. It will only happen if you are intentional with your time, and focus. I personally had to overcome feeling guilty for carving out time during the week that is about me, and investing in myself: my Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit. But, in my opinion it’s needed and has made me much better all around.
Mind — Learning & Growing. Challenging Yourself Re-mapping thoughts.
Investing in yourself must include your mind: stretching yourself and learning constantly. For me, this includes reading a lot of articles and skimming books. Yes, I said skimming — I really do not like to read books. I find them boring most of the time, and they loose my interest quickly. Skimming them, or getting summaries works much better for me — I like to lift out the core concepts quickly and move on. That’s just what works for me…but if you enjoy the full book reading experience go for it. The most important part is learning and growing your mind and knowledge and expanding how we think.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. — Romans 12:2
Body — Exercise, Sleep, & Food! Get Healthy.
Investing in yourself does not just mean intellectually. Being sharp mentally has a lot to do with being sharp physically and being healthy. Study after study shows direct connections with our mental capacity and our over all health. Physically out of shape basically equates to mentally out of shape. It minimizes our capacity. I can not stress enough how important this is…it has changed my life! All of these are important – Exercise, Sleep & quality Food! Invest in your health, you will reap major benefits in the workplace and at home.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, — 1 Corinthians 6:19
Soul — Passions
Being passionate about your job is awesome. I LOVE what I do, and I am very passionate about it. However, I have things I love, and am passionate about outside of the workplace. I have personally found how powerful having passions outside of work can be — and how they actually make me much sharper and better at work.
A core challenge I have had in the past, and a problem I see with so many, is the issue of being defined by what we do. We can quickly land in a spot where our identity is wrapped up in what we do — who we are is what we do, and that is not healthy. To have a healthy soul we much have passions beyond what we do for a living and have outlets and fun! Take time, find passions and seek out areas to have fun. Investing in yourself requires you to feed your soul.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. — Psalm 37:4
Spirit — Seek Christ Daily, Live Spirit Filled and Guided
Investing in yourself means you must invest in your core relationships. As a Christ follower, there is no relationship more important than my relationship with Jesus. This can not grow and develop without work, dedicated attention and intentionality. I personally believe daily time with God in His word is critical — I have seen this in my life, and the positive impact it has had on my life. Putting God first in my life daily has made the biggest impact on my life. I wake up super early, sometimes in the 4am hour, but at least by 5am and start my day with Him. Reading my Bible App and then praying. This habit did not happen over night, it took time, hard work and intentionality.
Do not wait — dedicated the time, and effort when it comes to Investing in Your Spirit.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. — Matthew 6:33
To be honest, it took me nearly 40 years to figure this out. It was through solid relationships, great mentors, constantly pushing myself and often failing to realize it. I had to break through feeling guilty for dedicating time to myself, telling others “no” — as well as forming habits that were just “not normal”. It reminds me of a fantastic message and book from my pastor Craig Groeschel: Weird, (because normal is not working.) Normal is NOT working, invest in yourself so that you can be all that God desires and needs you to be.
“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” – Jim Rohn
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle
Invest In Yourself: Mind, Body, Soul & Spirit!
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