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Is Your Life an Investment or a Cost?

I have saying, which is also a belief. Everything you do right now, in this moment, will unfold in your future – guaranteed. This may be an action, choice or decision. The action to sleep in rather than work out. The decision to hire a new employee. The choice you made to argue with your partner this morning.

Each tiny choice you make throughout your day is an investment or a cost in your life.

The decision to sleep in cost you your workout. The decision to hire a new employee is an investment in your team. The choice to argue with your partner cost you a harmonious environment today.

On the surface, these are small examples. But where else do we choose cost over investment?

Some of us have strong desires that sit in our hearts and minds. The desire to start our own business, land the corner office, have a washboard stomach, find our soul mate, enjoy financial freedom, or win a gold medal on the world stage.

Sometimes we even talk about it with our friends and family. “One day I will.....” or “When the time is right.....” or “I can’t wait to.....”

But sometimes action is not taken.

Sure, you read books written by inspiring entrepreneurs and dream of a laptop lifestyle. Your secretly envy those who rise above you in the workplace. You add photos of strong, buff women to your vision board to motivate you to hit the gym (or is that just me?). You enjoy spending time with your loved up friends but inside your heart breaks a little. You cheer on your sporting heroes from your lounge room.

And despite the strong and overwhelming desire to do this too, your brain gives you all the reasons (or excuses, if you like) why this is not working out for you. But most of the time, it’s BS. Your mind is an expert at keeping you in your comfort or 'safety' zone.

The truth is, most of the time we are just not willing to INVEST in ourselves and our dreams. Most of the time we see the actions we need to take as a cost, not an investment. We are not prepared to feel the pain (cost) of giving something up or confronting our own doubts and insecurities to move towards the things we really want in our life.

You want to start your own business, but you are not prepared to feel the pain and uncertainly of losing your regular salary. You are not prepared to feel the pain of sleepless nights worrying about whether your product will sell. You are not prepared to risk your home or your savings. You are worried if you become visible someone will dislike or ridicule you – and that’s a pain you can’t bear to entertain.

You want to land the corner office BUT you are not prepared to invest in further training or development. You are not prepared to give up your weekends of socialising for study. You do not want to feel the pain of possible rejection we subject ourselves to each time we go for an interview. You value evenings at home more than 15 hour days in the office.

You want a washboard stomach but you are not prepared to feel the pain of hitting the gym at 5:00am every morning and working out for two hours. You are not prepared to eliminate sugar, fat, salt and alcohol from your diet.

You crave a healthy, romantic relationship but you are not prepared to experience the pain of rejection that is often unavoidable when on the dating scene. You are not prepared to create time to meet new people and to date.

You dream of financial freedom but refuse to feel the pain of saving instead of spending. You are not prepared to forgo your immediate lifestyle for long term financial gain.

You aspire to sporting success on the world stage, but you are not prepared to feel the pain of constant training, a limited social life, regular injuries, controlled nutrition and scrutiny from the media and public.

One definition of cost is the ‘effort, loss, or sacrifice necessary to achieve or obtain something’. Sometimes the cost is too high, and that’s okay.

But if you are determined to make your dream a reality, I encourage you to focus on investment: ‘an act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.’

No matter what your aim in life – you next desire, dream or goal – investment will be required.

Whether it’s a business, career advancement, better health and fitness, your soul mate, financial freedom or sporting success you will need to:

Invest Money

To start or build your business; for higher education and training; to join a health club, gym or purchase some sneakers; on services that offer dating or ‘meet up’ opportunities; to move into a savings account or investment (there’s that word again) portfolio; to travel to national and world competitions.

Invest Time

Whilst your business builds its foundations; whilst you complete your education and training, research organisations and various career opportunities; to attend networking events; to hit the gym or the footpath; to meet new people, try new activities and going on a date; to training, train and train some more.

Invest in Yourself

Invest in a professional to help you break through your fears, doubts, and self-limiting beliefs and build your resilience and confidence. The way you think got you where you are today, but if you want to step into a bigger and bolder you, this investment is crucial. Invest in a coach, consultant, mentor, personal trainer, financial planner, nutritionist, dietitian, relationship expert - whomever it is you need. Be certain it's their mission to ensure YOU succeed.

Invest Energy

Anything worth doing takes time, money, focus, determination, commitment and a whole lot of energy. Invest your energy wisely – set aside time for you to relax, replenish and restore your mind and your body.

So next time you see someone you admire, at home or afar, consider this - what pain were they willing to go through to step into that life? What were they prepared to sacrifice? What were they prepared to learn about themselves in the process? What INVESTMENTS did they make? Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.

Now I ask you. Which of your dreams is worth pushing through the fear of pain (cost) and investing in?

Hi and thanks for reading. My name is Janelle Ryan and I am an International Personal Coach who helps high achievers create extraordinary lives.

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