Our time. Our money. Our attention.
These are all ways that we make investments.
If you are trying to figure out what matters most in your life, then all you have to do is look at where you spend your time, money and attention. You invest in what is really important, right? Yes, most of the time this true. We spend time, money and give our attention to our home, job, education, family and volunteering. We devote hours, dollars and focus to these things. In doing so, we tell ourselves and those around us, that these things are important. They matter. These are investments that we are willing to make and they are worth it.
On the flip side, there are other investments that we make that I would consider to be indulgent investments – the giving of our time, money and attention, more out of habit, obligation or fear. We throw our time, our money and our attention at things for the wrong reasons – because we are disconnected from what we really want. We allow ourselves to be externally influenced, to follow a trend, to stick with tradition, afraid to say no or to disappoint – whatever the reason, we often end up squandering our investment for experiences and things that ultimately do not serve us.
So how can you tell the difference between indulging and investing?
Here are some examples of what indulging looks and feels like.
Closets filled with clothes we never wear
Eating more food than we need to fuel our bodies
Eating to feel something or to suppress emotion
Not getting enough sleep because we over-commit our evenings
Debt or lack of money in the bank account
General daily overwhelm
Not enough time or money to do what we really want to do
Saying “I don’t know” a lot
Here are some examples of what investing can look and feel like.
Organized and clutter-free spaces
Eating to satisfy the sensation of hunger
Getting consistent sleep
Knowing your money – what you have and how you invest
Alone time to re-charge
Daily routine that includes favorite exercise or activities
More than enough time and money to spend on what matters most
Knowing what you want
Having a future plan
Here’s how shift from indulging your time, money and attention towards investing your time, money and attention.
Ask yourself WHY? This is the most powerful question you can possibly ask yourself to begin to understand the patterns, habits and behaviors that you have developed. “Why” helps you uncover the thoughts that trigger all the results that you have in your life. “Why” will reveal your back-story, your reasons and show you what you think. This is the place to get to, in order to be able to make a shift towards investment. It can take some time and patience to uncover the deepest thoughts, but I promise that this investment will be very worth it!
Be compassionate. Once you are able to understand why you think what you think and therefore, indulge instead of invest, it’s time to be as compassionate with yourself as possible. Guilt, shame and rejecting yourself, will never inspire change towards investment. Compassion and self-love will always inspire change. If you want to move from indulging towards investing, then treat yourself like you would treat your best friend, with kindness, understanding and compassion for past decisions. Patience, support and love will move into a new way of thinking and acting – from indulging to investing.