I don’t know too many people that aren’t very concerned about their investments and retirement right now. With inflation continuing to rise, the market continuing to drop, and the uncertainties surrounding the slipping economy, many are seeking answers as to how they should react and prepare.
To make matters worse, you’ll find two financial experts giving two completely different pieces of advice. You don’t know who, or what, to believe. I was asked by a friend to ask my financial advisor brother what he thought about silver. His answer? “I know it kills werewolves.” Haha!
The truth is, no one has a crystal ball, we are in uncharted territory, and anyone who says anything is doing so as a guess.
As uncertain as things are, there is an investment that ALWAYS pays dividends. And that is the investment in yourself. I know that sounds positive thinking-ish, and something you’ll hear from a motivational speaker, but it’s true. No matter what’s going around the world, or within your world, spending time, energy, and money on making yourself better always pays off. I don’t love the words self-help, and much prefer the words personal growth, when discussing this topic, but no matter what you want to call it, investing in you is usually the best investment you can make.
Humans are wired to respond in specific ways in times of stress. We fight, we flee, or we freeze. These responses have helped humans survive all these years. However, this response was designed for short-term circumstances, to allow us to survive an encounter with a bear, get out of freezing waters, or weather a bad storm. These days, stress is chronic and long-lasting. Many experts say the impending economic crisis will be longer than any we’ve seen. So, we cannot get stuck in the typical stress response.
We can’t flee… there’s nowhere to go. We could fight, but no matter how tough we are (or think we are) this is a fight that doesn’t end quickly with a definitive winner or loser. And the worse thing we can do is freeze. Doing nothing is a disastrous strategy.
What we do, or at least what I plan to do, is delve deeper into the science and practice of greatness. We commit to making ourselves better. We read more books, study more successful people, and build on our skills and talents. This is a time to either develop new skills, or maximize the ones we already have. We read more books, surround ourselves with bigger thinkers, and do the things each day that make our brains bigger, our muscles stronger, and our hearts heartier. We wake up earlier, stay up later, and work a bit harder. This is the time to build a better you.
In the 2008 financial collapse, a patient asked me what I planned to do in such tough times. My answer… I’m going to work a little harder, make a little less, but keep plugging along so that when this lean season ends, and the dust settles, I am standing stronger and better than before it started.
I love what I do. I know that is a blessing. If you love what you do, commit to doing what you have to do to survive these upcoming times, and to ensure that you are in a position to thrive when it gets better. If you hate what you do for a living, I suggest taking a deeper dive into something that fires you up. Learn what you need to learn, talk to whom you need to talk to, and do what you need to do to be in a better position after the crisis than you were before.
This isn’t a competition with anyone but yourself, but as everyone around you freezes with fear, it could be the best time to get out ahead of the pack. And if you’re looking for a change, this could be your opportunity to jump into any market that you’ve longed to enter with passion, purpose, and intensity that will be loaded with potential as other, less committed individuals in that field give up and quit.
The bottom line is you need to commit to investing in yourself these next weeks, months, and years. Build your body, get fit, lose weight, read the books, practice new skills, delve into that hobby you love, and make yourself the best you can be. That is an investment with guaranteed returns. And it might be the only investment with guaranteed returns.