3 Quality Investments

There are a few things I need to get everything done with efficiency and excellence: my health, my equipment, my brains. We have limited resources with which to invest (our time, energy and money) but we have unlimited investment options.

When money is tight (college, graduate school, starting a new business, major life change) where do we get the greatest return on our investment?

  1. Health This includes spiritual, physical and mental health.My spiritual practice opens my day. Every morning I get up, let the dogs out, start the coffee and sit down to quiet time for bible study and prayer. Studying Holy Writ and asking for guidance sets the tone for my day.Attending to physical health includes not only sleep, exercise, healthful food and plenty of water, but also spine and neck alignment. After years of pain in my back and neck I finally invested in long-term treatment with a chiropractor. Pain is exhausting and slows me down.

    My mental health is cared for by walks, meditation, time with friends and family. Time away from work and away from the books matters. We are designed to need time spent alone and in community.

    I may be able to skip one health aspect for a day or two, but left too long the imbalance quickly manifests itself as inability to focus, loss of motivation, crankiness, lack of problem solving ability.

  2. Equipment
    1. Truck  I recently drove halfway across the continent and having been stranded on the side of the road before knew this to be a waste of time. Unexpected truck repairs puts me at the mercy of whatever shop my truck lands in.Investment Example:

      Prior to leaving, I had a new transmission put as the original one told me for quite some time it was on its way out. While I was chided for replacing my transmission before it actually failed, I knew my safety was paramount and I did not want to risk it on the drive to West Virginia.

    2. Computer I’ve seen companies put the absolute minimum into their equipment leaving the employees to waste time and energy trying to hold eqiupment needs together rather than doing the work they were hired to do.Investment Example: With my computer storage maxed out, I purchased  1TB and upgraded my software while I was at it. I need my computer for work and for school and that makes it indespensible.
    3. Phone In one of my first sales jobs an established salesman told me that he “used his phone like a weapon.” I use my phone for business, research and professional contacts, scheduling appointments, and money management. Clients reasonably expect to get a hold of me during business hours and I make every effort ensure this happens.Investment Example: Let go of the retro phone and get a smart phone.
  3. Brains Not only do I spend money on formal education, but I am equally inclined to spend money on books, seminars and lectures. Whether I am on a long drive or mindlessly cleaning the house, I listen to books, lectures and podcasts on my phone. You can log a significant number of hours listening to investment and finance books, history lessons and inspiring biographies during mindless activities.

The necessity of Health, Equipment and Brains is easy to dismiss… until we do not have them any more. Take care of that which takes care of you.

Are your investments aligned with what you depend on?

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