When I think about investments, a financial concept that I do not quite understand usually comes to mind. While this type of investing can lead to great financial gain or loss, many believe that it is still worth the risk. As my last year of college approaches, I have come to agree that making an investment, though risky, pays off. Choosing to invest, however, goes way beyond finances and can reach into several areas of your life.
School. As you or your children return to classes this fall, it is important to be ready to invest. Invest in your classes and doing your best work. Invest in studying and discovering how you learn best. Invest in getting to know your teachers or professors and letting them invest in your life. By the time the middle of the semester or the school year comes around, many of us have left behind the goals and ambitions (like getting up early and working out before class!) that we set in the beginning. Learning to invest your time and energy into these things can make these goals easier to obtain.
Work. Full-time or part-time, working can become monotonous over time. Investing in your workplace can change your entire attitude. If your in a part-time job making just enough to get by, choose to be thankful for the opportunity. Show up on time and put in your best effort. Those working along the career path that they have worked their whole life to reach, remember how much you have invested thus far. Investing your effort and attitude wherever you work can make the days go by faster and everything more enjoyable.
Coworkers. Those who show up at your workplace have things going on at home, school, and with family and friends just like you. Invest in saying a kind word and staying away from gossip. Adding to tension among coworkers will simply lead to discontentedness. Choose to be the one to hold the door or say good morning. These small investments can improve your day and the demeanor of those around you.
Friends. Moving around every four years of my life has taught me how important investing in a group of friends is. Although sometimes it may seem like those around you already have their go-to friends and are not looking for anyone else, making the effort to have dinner with a neighbor or talk to another parent picking up their child can lead to a friendship that stands the test of time. Investing in these relationships allows you to feel more connected and involved and gives you someone outside of family to talk to about life. Without the friends I have made at school, I know I would choose to stay at my apartment way more than is healthy. They bring me out of my comfort zone and hold me accountable, causing me to grow and mature. You do not have to go out and find 100 friends to invest in- those would be acquaintances. Invest in the lives of a few close friends and they will invest in yours too.
Family. All too often, we get home from work or school tired and hungry and we fail to invest in our family. These are the people who have been there through the years, yet they see the worst part of us more often than not. Invest in your daughters, sons, sisters and brothers, and your parents. Find things to do that you enjoy and spend time together. Whether it is game night on Fridays or going to the gym on Tuesdays, there are thousands of easy things that you can choose to do to invest in your family.
Taking the time to strengthen these relationships and make memories will make an impact on your life and theirs.
Invest in your life. Sure, you can make financial investments- more power to you! Most importantly, though, invest in the people in your life and the places that you spend your time. Choosing to invest in your job or school will make those things more valuable to you. Investing in quality friendships and in your relationship with your family will strengthen and grow you and those to whom you reach out. So as this new school year approaches and we all go back to our routines, choose to shake it up a little and make an investment.
Shelby is a college student with one year before she becomes an Elementary school teacher. She loves Jesus, her family, sports and coffee! Although she would rather have control over everything in her life, she is learning that God may just be more capable. When she isn’t working or studying, you can find her spending time with her family and friends.