Claudia Cooley

The Framework for accomplishing what makes you happy!

“Investment”

“It’s OK to have a plan, to invest in your future – for your financial security, your love life, your personal fulfillment, and even your happiness. To have personal happiness as a stated goal doesn’t detract from the journey.” Karen Finerman

AND

Take time to gather up the past so that you will be able to draw from your experiences and invest them in the future. Jim Rohn

You are your greatest investment. The better the things are that you invest into yourself the greater your returns are going to be. At least, that’s how I look at it.

It’s typical to think of investment as just stocks, bonds and mutual funds. But that’s too narrow of a definition regarding investment for me. I like to think of investing as something you can do for yourself right now that will cause you to have a much better life in the future. Time is a huge gift and investment into you, also, commitments to relationships and creating greater health… all build a rich life… one you will love.

Steve Bloom says in his article, “Do Something Cool, Get More out of Life”, that you will want to invest in the things that provide the greatest returns.

So with this new way of thinking about investment, you should be asking if you are investing enough in yourself. Is there something you could be doing right now to get a good return on your investment in the future?

Well, there are a lot of things you could be doing right now. But I’d say that most of them aren’t really the most valuable of investments. After all, you could invest some of your time to watching TV, but it isn’t likely to do much for you after it’s all over. But there does seem to be five general things you can do to make your life better.

1. Learn more
This can make you look at the world in new ways and see opportunities for yourself that you might not otherwise see. Knowing just a little more than usual can give you the advantage you need to get to where you want to be.

Investment ideas: books, documentaries, lectures, intelligent conversation, the news.

2. Find more free time

I sometimes think that free time has a bad reputation. Many people seem to believe that too much free time means you’re somehow less valuable or important. I can’t stress enough how much I disagree with that point of view.
Free time is where life happens. It’s the space between commitments and work where the most valuable memories are created. It’s free time that allows you to go on trips, have lunch with a friend or read a good book.invest

Creating more free time means you get to experience those things much more. More free time allows you to pursue your passions or explore the world. When you’re too busy with commitments and work, you’re missing out of all of those things.

Investment ideas: reduce time at work, prioritize your tasks, say no to some requests, avoid social media, and turn off the TV for the most part.

3. Achieve goals

Everyone has goals they want to accomplish before they die. Perhaps you even have a bucket list full of things you want to do. So putting some time and effort into getting those things done would really pay off.

It doesn’t matter if those goals are to become an actor or learn a new language; you’ll feel better when you put the time and energy towards completing those things. The big payoff to all that effort will be when you can look back on your life and realize you put positive steps into making things happen.

Investment ideas: start a bucket list, make a New Year’s resolution, and make time for planning goals

4. Become healthier

Health can benefit your life in many ways. A healthy life can mean a longer and more energized life you can put towards pursuing your goals or passions. You’ll have a much wider range of physical things you can do with your life too. Being physically fit, you can participate in activities like marathon running, bike riding or mountain climbing.

Eating right and getting enough exercise can give you more energy to do everything you want to do. It can also give you more mental prowess. It’s really an investment area with the most potential to improve all the other areas of your life.

Investment ideas: go to the gym, eat healthier, go running, cut out fast food

5. Save more money

Saving money is still an important way to invest. After all, you can’t really do much within your life if debt and bills bog you down. Finding the right balance for paying your bills and saving a surplus of cash is important.

You really can’t do much without money. Even having the resources to contribute to others is limited. That’s why it is important to invest the time to find a stable income that allows you to save a portion of money without having to borrow. Sometimes that means being more careful with how you spend your money and avoiding purchases that won’t really be worthwhile. This doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun though.

I find having an investment plan that automatically is taken out of my account each month is somewhat painless. Even if it’s a small amount, in a few years it will become significant. Sticking it away with no plans to touch it… will provide you a nice nest egg in the future.

Investment ideas: pay down debt, cut monthly expenses, and don’t use credit cards unless you can pay them off at the end of each month.

Please be fully aware that this is just a framework to “focus you … on you” and to remind you of the importance of personal investment. You are building the “house” of your dreams with your own architecture in mind, which means your framework may have a very different design than mine. Treat my suggested framework as an open source document that you can adjust to suit your own needs. I’d love to hear from you and peek in on your creation.

Happy Investing!

December 2, 2016
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