‘rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth’ – Thoreau
Return on Investment: A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment.
I am always focusing on this word ‘efficiency’. Always considering methods that will streamline, or make things most economical. And while these thoughts are on my mind while sitting in the Edward Jones office, preparing to discuss my financial investment portfolio (saying that you have an investment portfolio sounds so pretentious!), I’m writing today and thinking about how this philosophy applies to other aspects of our daily lives.
We have a finite amount of time to be alive. There are so many things I want to do! I feel if I don’t somehow multiply or compound my interest and interests, I simply won’t be living to my potential…won’t be able to reach all of my goals…and won’t be able to have a complete, fulfilling, and successful day.
Considering all of the chaos and stress and fast pace of our lives, this sounds messy, and cramming, and overwhelming. You may be thinking, ‘Right…there aren’t enough hours within a day!’ And you may be ‘burning the wick at both ends’ as they say, and feeling like there’s no catching up. How could you even consider adding new items to your plate, or reaching for new heights on your success ladder. Well, it’s always wise to consider your r.o.i. first. And practicing mindfulness throughout will keep you balanced.
speak the truth
As I age, I find myself searching for the absolute honest truth within things…good or bad…just let me see what’s real. My skin is thicker now. The insecurities mitigated. I really don’t care about a lot of nonsense that once consumed me…and that frees up a lot of space to accept truth.
One great truth always being spoken to us is our health. At Thanksgiving, when we would go around the table and say what we were thankful for, some aunt or cousin, or niece’s boyfriend would always say they’re thankful for good health. That not even a thing! It doesn’t mean anything. It’s an arbitrary, general statement used to quickly get on to the next relative. That is what I thought anyway. When you, or someone close to you becomes unhealthy, injured, or simply older and aware of new limitations…you quickly understand the fortune of good health. Turns out, it is a thing.
That is why things like exercise and diet have such great returns on investments! They are honest and effective formulas leading to good health. If you jump into an intense training program and very strict diet tomorrow, the benefits and rewards of doing so will be amazing! It’s a very simple formula. Aha! But it’s very hard work to implement and maintain. Otherwise, we’d all be doing it.
I absolutely love the sport of basketball. It has given me returns that I never expected…introduced me to so many people that I cherish…allowed me to experience passion and fun and competition and challenge…and time and time again, it has been so very honest with me. I think this is what I now appreciate most about it. ‘You get out what you put in’, is a phrase that comes to mind. I had ‘practiced’ and ‘played’ the sport from time to time, but it wasn’t until I completely focused and dedicated myself to hours of tailored training, that I came to understand what came from hard work, and how to truly invest in something for myself. At one point, during the start of my college basketball career (you can read some more about this time here…on my ‘my story’ page), I decided to, on top of a bunch of strenuous training sessions, shoot 300 three pointers a day. Along with that, the coach asked each player to shoot 100 free throws a day. I think one other player and I were the only two that did this no excuses…7 days a week. This training…the consistent repetition of movements…the culture that came with always being near a basketball and a hoop…the camaraderie gained grinding out work with others…and the grit earned by winning hard fought physical battles on my own…instilled something in me that I hold dearly to this day. The actual shooting itself became somewhat automatic for me. Three pointers felt like free throws. Free throws felt like layups. I could feel a difference. And I was proud of my investment.
Basketball is where I found this. But you can find this honest earning of truth within a lot of activities. Learning how to play guitar is where I’ve found it most recently.
shopping cart 🛒
I don’t buy as many things as I used to. I scrutinize purchases now to no end. I sit and ruminate on whether or not I really need this item…really want it. I totally consider the r.o.i. that this item will bring me over time. Is this going to be trendy to me? Will I love it in 5 years? Can I use it for 2 years, and sell it for what I buy it for? I highly recommend doing this for any big ticket items you’re considering. Also remember, buying an ‘experience’ over a tangible item is more likely to be fulfilling. In this way, money can buy happiness. I still like buying ‘things’ here and there though. Here are some things I put in my shopping cart over the last couple of years:
- road bicycle
- electric guitar
- trip to Disney
- log splitter (for firewood)
- brick and stone walkway
Who are the people around you most? Are you investing in those that you appreciate and love? One of the most effective ways to find long term happiness is through your relationships with friends and family. It starts with you though. I’ve mentioned this before…’turn your expectations into appreciation’ is what Tony Robbins says, and it totally applies to all relationships. How do you keep yourself around the people you want to be around? One simple way to start is to get rid of the folks you don’t want to be around. We often have some people in our lives that empty our bucket. They are depleting. They take and don’t give back. And they are unhealthy for us. Life is too short. Value your time more, and stop spending it on folks like this. Once your standard is set, you’ll start noticing more bucket filling folks in your proximity.
Music: Ryan Adams continues to be very inspiring for me. Here’s a great song with just him and his piano.