Investing in Yourself
After work, it's hard to have the motivation to do more than sit on the couch and watch tv. It's the non-drug users drug, countless hours of meaningless television shows that waste away the hours until bed. Then you get up the next morning and do it all again. But somewhere along the way as days, weeks, even years go by, eventually the monotony leaves you yearning for more. You will realize that you did little to invest in yourself.
Think about it. When was the last time you read a book, pursued your hobby (video games don't count), or took a step towards making another check mark on your bucket list? Consider this post your call to action. The year is well under way and it's time to get started on that check list.
If you have ever taken a psychology class, then I am sure you have heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The basic idea is that human beings have certain requirements, or needs, that must be achieved for Self-Actualization or what I would call fulfillment. Most of us, at least in the developed world, have no problem meeting our physiological and safety needs. When we get to the stage of love and belonging is where things start to get sketchy. Toxic friends and family, and relationships without intimacy leave many of us from ever progressing higher on the pyramid. At this stage, our lives have purpose and meaning. It's such a rarity that it's spiritual. A stage of enlightenment that few achieve, or manage to achieve for long.
Where are you on the pyramid below?
Start out by looking at your personal life. If you have a significant other, is the relationship what you want it to be? Take a hard look and decide if it's time to take the commitment to another level, or if the relationship is just waning - end it. That is the right thing to do for all parties involved. If you don't have someone and you want to, get out of the house and put yourself in a position to meet someone.
Look at your work life. Is your job leaving you unfulfilled? Do you feel valued and feel that you are using your talents to their fullest? If not, and the boss will not let you take on other duties or roles, then start looking for a new job. If you don't have the resume to land that dream job, find out what skills you need to get it. Then start training for that new role. Take an online class, finish your degree, challenge yourself to learn something new.
Maybe you always thought about learning a second language. Audio courses like Rosetta Stone give you a chance to add a skill to your resume, and maybe prepare you to converse with the locals on that foreign trip you always planned on taking. Language courses are a great time filler on the ride to work in place of the silly commercial filled local radio station.
Now think about what makes you happy, what do you look forward to on your day off? Don't let life extinguish the fire you once had. Buy a guitar, go for a hike, find something that reignites your passion for life. That power and energy will cascade into all aspects of your life, bringing you one step closer to a life worth living.
Jeremy Wright is a self described opinionated bastard. Follow him on Facebook.