We often speak more of ‘spending time’ than of ‘investing time’. For the sake of argument, let’s look at the difference between the two. If we replace the word ‘time’ with ‘money, spending implies using up with no replenishment. Meaning that whatever is done in that time will rarely take us closer to our goals or aspirations and will not add value to who we are or where we’re going. In a worst case scenario, it will likely not produce any results of value that will have a positive impact on our lives or the lives of those involved.
Time that is invested on the other hand sounds different. Investment implies that profit is the intention behind the action. Whenever we invest money, the intention behind the action is that the return will be profitable. Similarly, when we invest time, we place a high value on it and expect a valuable return whether physical when we exercise, emotional when we spend time with loved ones, spiritual when we invest in our inner wellbeing or material when our hard work pays off in monetary returns. The results we produce take us closer to our goals and dreams and are often in alignment with our purpose, vision and values.
Here are 5 activities that are good investments of your time and will most likely reap lasting rewards over time.
1. Books that Exercises Critical Thinking
Not everyone enjoys reading. But for those who do, there is something to be said about reading or listening to books that exercise critical thinking. Some of the best books ever written do not offer answers to life’s many questions but cause readers to ponder questions that set them on the path to finding the answers they need for their individual situations.
2. Eating Healthy and Exercising Regularly
I’m sure you’ve heard these two sayings before, “You are what you eat” and “Let the food be thy medicine.” From personal experience, I know that eating healthy and exercising regularly has a positive effect on overall wellbeing. Fad diets and starvation in a quest for the “perfect body” has been reported to be a cause of disease rather than a viable way to stay healthy. Understanding our individual nutritional and fitness needs and investing in that is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for long-term health.
3. Building Good Personal and Professional Relationships
We are all interconnected in one way or another. Whether personal or professional, every relationship requires time and work in order to make it grow into a healthy one. Like plants, when neglected, relationships wither and die off. Investing in relationships means being willing to meet the needs of others by offering the value they need, be it moral, emotional, spiritual or financial. When we invest in relationships it doesn’t always mean we will immediately receive exactly what we want from the people we help, but eventually, in reciprocal relationships, we will receive the value we need in other ways.
4. Having Conversations that Broaden Thinking
Conversations can be transformational or life changing when the topics are of interest to those involved and they are engaged in the process of actively listening and sharing their thoughts. A good conversation does not necessarily have to be with people who agree with our opinions or thoughts. If anything, some of the most engaging conversations are with those who offer a different point of view that causes us to pose and ponder our stance on certain ideologies. Time invested in these types of conversation can help broaden our thinking and give us different perspectives that help us grow as individuals.
5. Traveling to New Places and Meeting New People
One of the keys to achieving growth, personal excellence or finding success is being curious about people, places and things. With curiosity comes questions and when we care enough to find out more about people, places and things, our time investments can unlock hidden depths in exploring new horizons, building great connections and tapping into opportunities we never knew existed.
What activities are you engaged in that are great investments of your time?
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