The word “investment” typically pertains to something monetary-based for financial gain. While nuanced, I want to frame this article around the act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result, regardless of dollars and cents.

More so, I want to pose a question to you: In what are you investing? Consider some of the best and worst investments.

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Yourself — Investing in your well-being.

The Good

Get disciplined with your diet, exercise, and personal wellness. The challenges faced in the gym translate into nearly every other aspect of your life. Very few people find success without a large measure of tenacity and discipline. While the highly disciplined reap greater results due to the spill-over effect, the opposite holds true for the lazy. Sloppy eating patterns and a lack of exercise leave people less confident and motivated. You’re worthy of devoting resources to personal improvement.

I've yet to meet a highly successful individual who hasn't invested in themselves somehow. We all have a hard drive (brain), but most people operate off of outdated software (knowledge) because they stop learning and investing in the upkeep and upgrade of their own personal software (knowledge base). Religiously focus on maximizing your wellness routine and filling your mind with information that improves you. All the strategies in the world won't help if you aren't maximizing your focus, expertise, and mental well-being.

The Bad

If you’re a gamer, I’m about to hurt your feelings. I realize most of the bad effects of video games are blamed on the violence they contain. Studies indicate children routinely playing more violent video games experience increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. However, I feel the larger issue is more subversive than overt violence.

Video games are pretty much the worst time investment a person can make; particularly adults. Why? Gaming is a completely sedentary activity making you fatter, skinnier, and weaker while honing an absolutely worthless skill set which impairs your social skills. I don’t care about cognitive stimulation claims attributable to gaming; it pales in comparison to face-to-face social interaction. Grown adults still gaming are wasting precious mental, physical, and emotional resources. Put down the controller and join the real world.

People — Investing in others.

The Good

People, much like a business, marriage, or family, require intentionality and a good measure of time investment. The return on investment of meaningful socialization is worth the effort. Studies demonstrate one-on-one social interaction improves mental sharpness, increases physical health, boosts the immune system, combats depression, and creates emotional stability. It becomes a snowball effect when you combine a healthy measure of personal and interpersonal investment. Unfortunately, we live in the most connected culture in the history of the world while loneliness continues to skyrocket.

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The Bad

Social media is a close second to video games when it includes mindless feed scrolling and selfies. Fatter, weaker, skinnier, filtered, and checked-out. We can’t handle the wait for our non-fat, sugar-free venti vanilla latte without checking social media. It robs us of the silence and mind space to think, imagine, problem-solve, or interact socially with the person next in line. We’re frantically busy and desperately lonely, with half of millennials and 75 percent of Gen Z-ers quitting jobs partially due to mental health issues, according to a Harvard Business Review study.

The constant excuse for the active pursuit of social engagement — “I’m too busy.” Statistically, individuals spend 2 hours and 23 minutes per day on social media. Assuming you slept seven hours per night, this equates to 51 full days spent per year on social media alone! How could you better invest seven-plus weeks of free time? Maybe you’re beginning to envision the drain on precious resources and people social media plays.

elitefts — Giving back.

Dave Tate, elitefts' CEO, lives the company’s mission and core values — particularly live, learn and pass on. It’s the reason elitefts provides the widest range of free educational resources available anywhere, including articles, videos, podcasts, Q&As, blogs, and more.

elitefts’ investment in helping its customers succeed is evident in tangible and practical ways. elitefts truly helps the strong become strong(er) by investing in the resources for their customers to grow physically and mentally. It’s where I go to get outfitted with both equipment and knowledge.

Inline Images courtesy of Anna Kutukova ©

Header image courtesy of darkovujic ©

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