Thursday, May 22, 2014

5 Life-Changing Ways to Invest in Yourself!

After reading The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness and completing baby steps #1-#3, I dreaded the start of baby step #4: Investing! The fear of stocks, bonds, and IRAs felt like falling off the edge of a cliff. Ignorance was bliss, but I could no longer avoid the inevitable.


Side Note: I have no faith in the "deferred life plan", term adopted from Timothy Ferris's The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated). The deferred life refers to, go to college--->debt-->work job ---> buy a home-->debt--> work more--> 401ks--> work 40+yrs-->stop working--->start living (around 65-70) !?!?!?

I digress........

Last month, I attended an amazing finance seminar held by Mind, Body, and Soul Atlanta.
Clyde Anderson, CNN Contributing Finance Expert


I was seeking a parachute a.k.a information for investing. With sweaty palms,  I approached the 3 person panel (felt like judgment day) and asked, "I'm debt free, where should I invest my money?" Speaker Clyde Anderson, CNN contributing finance Expert, replied, "invest in yourself!"  Wow, what an AHA Moment!
Those three words changed my life! Here's how...


1) FOLLOW YOUR PASSION (s)



What do you love to do? What would you do even if you didn't get paid to do it? Not only ask the question, but have confidence in the answer! Believe in yourself! I love to write and serve! I created this blog to share my life experiences to empower others. Take a class! Sign-up for seminars and/or workshops in your area. Download free apps, Coursera or iTune U, that offer FREE college courses from universities such as Harvard and Yale. Discover what your strengths are and invest time, energy, and effort to make yourself better! 

2) READ A BOOK !
 So many have gone on soul searching journeys before you and have lived to write about it! Many breakthroughs and revelations happened in my life as result of reading a book. Uncertain about what your passionate about? Reading will help you discover and perfect your passions! Here are a few that changed my life:

As a Man Thinketh
 The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity: A Modern Practical Guide to the Ancient Way (Fireside Books (Fireside))
Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success

Seeking a mentor can be one of the best investments you can make into yourself! Think of who in your circle inspires you or is living the life you desire to live. When I came to a crossroad in my life, and needed guidance, I asked for help!  Church, School, Work, and the Internet are good resources for finding a mentor. I found a great life and relationship coach, Christopher "Doc" Reid on YouTube! I have several mentors that have shaped my way of living and success.  Some paid for others didn't cost a dime though their advice was invaluable. This is what investing means and what better product to invest in than you!

4) INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH! 

“So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.” 

What good is wealth and success if you're too sick or tired to enjoy it!  You are important! You  should be your #1 priority. Nothing matters when your health and mental wellness is at risk! An active lifestyle and proper nutrition is paramount to investing in yourself. Its a long term investment with 100% return. At 25 I was 30lbs overweight, and suffering from high cholesterol. I decided at that moment I was going to make a lifestyles change! It wasn't easy, but the hardest decision was making the decision. As a result of hard work and commitment I lost 20lbs in 2 months, lowered my cholesterol below 200, look 10 years younger, have 10x more energy and stamina, and feel great!
Do something for 30mins a day 4-5x per week, avoid simple carbs like bread and pasta (at least 5 days per week), eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink at least 64ozs of water per day, don't eat past 7pm or 3hrs before going to bed, get at least 6-8hrs worth of sleep, and give yourself at least 1-2 free days per week to eat whatever you want!  Invest in a personal trainer and/or nutritionist. Eliminating  eating out serves a two-fold purpose....save money and lose the calories!

5) MEDITATE/BE THANKFUL

 In order to be the best you, you must free your mind and be grateful!! Often we are burden with the vicissitudes of life and forget to stop, breathe, and focus on what's important. Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. There's several meditation styles such as Qi gong, Tai Chi, Mantra meditation, mindful meditation, and yoga that provide many health benefits such as stress reduction.There are a plethora of books (refer to #2) and resources available on how to meditate! I keep it simple. Every morning or evening I find a calm space in my home (my bathroom once served as my inner sanctuary when the kids were smaller), select calm meditation music on Pandora,  and for 5-30 mins I take slow deep breathes counting every inhale and exhale to keep my mind from drifting. Initially I couldn't do 1 min of meditation without my mind drifting off to looming deadlines and to-do checklist. With practice I've gotten better and I'm at peace before my day starts. I thank God for health, sanity, wealth, and my beautiful family. Especially this little one

In the words of Russell Simmons, DO YOU!  And watch God return many blessings unto you! You Only Live Once, make it count!
✌️&❤️
Sapphire Starr



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