Invest in yourself! Warren Buffett’s basic advice

Invest in yourself! Warren Buffett’s basic advice

He is considered by many to be the greatest investor of all time and one of the wisest men in business history. Warren Buffett is an icon in terms of what he has achieved, a paradigm in himself. From this great man comes a small but powerful piece of advice for those who want to emulate his achievements: invest in yourself.

The act of investing can be understood simply: dedicating resources. This is what it is all about allocating and assigning certain values ​​to obtain greater ones.

The complexity of the act arises when the object of investment must be chosen when the amount of the resources must be measured and the time that the process will take must be defined. The quality with which this evaluation is made differentiates investors from each other. There converge art with science.

There is, however, a type of investment in which the factors of amount, destination, and time do not need to be taken care of. One that always has a positive return, compound growth, and no risk: the investment you make in yourself.

“Invest in yourself and you will see the benefits multiplied by ten, without anyone being able to tax or steal them.” -Buffett says.

It is about dedicating the most important resources you have: energy, time, focus, money, care, affection, etc., to your personal development, and to the vital goal of feeling and being well. And it is about doing it as a priority in your life, not as another “responsibility”.

Understanding the benefit of such an act emerges from a simple logic: oneself is its main asset, the one that sustains production capacity, the “motherboard” of the entire circuit, the central “team” of the system. If one works well, so does everything else.

If the tree is cared for, the quality of the fruits is guaranteed.

Now, what should the resources be devoted to optimizing this investment?: to everything that adds value as a person and professional?

The order is important: first the person and then the professional. Because at the end of the story, the second is always a consequence of the first.

When talking about investing in personal development, there is an inclination to think about abilities, skills, knowledge, and experience. And although this is positive, it is not enough for the final purpose, because the dedication of resources raised in this way prioritizes the professional, not the person.

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Invest resources in feeling good about yourself.

If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, you basically won’t feel good in anyone or anything. It’s that easy. And this “comfort” involves the body, mind, and spirit in similar proportions. Because without the fundamental homeostasis of these three elements, the desired product does not emerge.

They said that the famous actress Marilyn Monroe felt extremely comfortable with her body. Something exceptional, even at the level of these people constantly exposed to public scrutiny. They said that Marilyn was so natural in this that she resembled an animal in a state of pure consciousness. But she had neither the mind nor the spirit of her in the same way, and for that, she suffered all her life, to the point that she decided to end it.

It is that the “well-being and well-feeling” must emerge from within the person because otherwise, they become short-lived states. If you depend on external circumstances to feel good, you are a slave to events and have no control over anything.

The construction of that internal state demands some things that are much simpler than you think:

1. Dedicate resources to look good, however, profane this may seem.

Standing in front of the mirror and feeling comfortable is not common for people. And to assume that this is not important is a fundamental error because the aesthetic is not banal. Human beings have a natural ability to appreciate beauty, even though this does not have a defined standard. And being able to do it in front of a mirror and with yourself is something powerful.

Invest resources in the clothes you like, in the diet that suits you, and in the physical exercise that is convenient for you.

These are not “insipid expenses”, they are investments from clin to tail because they lead to a state of “feel-good” and “well-being” that favorably conditions other activities.

2. Invest resources in your social relationships.

This is essential. Life always manifests from a delicate balance of energies. And since the human being is an animal of a social nature, there he finds vital energy to “charge his batteries”.

However, investing resources in social relations involves effort and sacrifice. Because without the first, relationships remain subject to change, and without the second, they are worthless. Finding people who contribute to personal growth is not easy, it requires effort. Building and maintaining those relationships is not easy either, it requires sacrifices.

For this reason, good relationships are the product of a great investment, because they ask that something be given long before something is received.

3. Invest in your hobbies and hobbies.

Do it without any regret. These are not expenses that should be considered with marginal criteria, they are investments that consolidate your “feel-good and well-being”. And from this, attention to all other responsibilities is guaranteed.

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4. Get to know the world.

Travel, and share with other cultures and different people. Read about them, and do your research. Many times it is thought that this has to be supported by large budgets, but this is not the case. The pathways through which the world can be traveled are of all sizes and costs, and all lead to positive experiences.

There are many academics, technicians, professionals, and the like, who take their trade to the threshold of excellence but know little of the world. For this very reason, they do not achieve the well-being they want, and they feel an emptiness that keeps them incomplete.

5. Always learn something. Learn, learn, learn.

This is the process that genuinely leads to knowledge and wisdom: always learning something. Learning is a function, not a state. It is like a river that flows without stopping and waters the land it touches to make it fertile.

Learning should not be limited to anything in particular, because in that case, it becomes a dam that accumulates water, it is no longer a river that flows activating life. There are indeed things that attract more attention than others, but this does not have to lead to any learning being wasted.

From pleasant events and things, you learn as much as from what is unpleasant. It is a matter of equanimity to recognize and act on this.

Buffett dice:

“Go to bed each night a little smarter than when you woke up in the morning.”

6. Invest in quality.

All things that are of quality cost, and surely a lot. But this is precisely what the concept of value is about. Many tend to “sacrifice” and take for themselves things of little value. This kind of sacrifice is not smart. It is not an appropriate view of life.

Buy quality things! Buy the best you can for yourself, or at least always aspire to it. That eagerness, that desire, favorably conditions their actions. And when he gets what he wants, he perfects the virtuous circuit of “feeling-good and being-good.” The latter provides fuel (also quality), to conquer new peaks.

Claim quality services, and first-class attention wherever you go. Not doing so makes him an accomplice to the structural mediocrity that rules the world. Whoever invests in himself does not swell the ranks of those who think and live in terms of “just like that”. Mediocrity can only be fought with a mentality of excellence, because between the latter and the former, what intermediate state can exist?

However, investing in quality does not mean spending irresponsibly, because the concept of value is not related to price, it is rather a mental premise.

Well says Warren Buffett in this sense:

“Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”

7. Invest in knowledge, skills, and abilities to master the science and art of money.

Money is an indispensable good to live well or not live badly, as you prefer. Ignoring it is an irresponsible act and always leads to condemnation. Either you dominate money or you live dominated by it.

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Investing in this knowledge is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. It is nothing complex, as much as the popular understanding believes otherwise. The dynamics of money are based on very few rules and quite elementary ones. If its study is not more widespread, it is simply because it is not a subject that the common people give importance to.

A little bit of everything is taught at home, school, or college, but almost nothing about money. The boy is told early on to take care of her health, but nothing about the care he should have out of pocket.

That is why you have to acquire this knowledge and skills on your own, and urgently. It is an investment that pays off for a lifetime.

In this way, and at some point, you will be able to enroll in the spirit of that powerful affirmation:

“If it’s a problem that can be solved with money, then it’s not a problem.”

8. Invest time, money, and effort in doing what you love for a living.

According to a study by the American consultancy Gallup called “The State of the world of work 2023”, almost 60% of the employees in the world register in a state of “silent resignation”. In other words, they remain in their jobs solely because they consider it “the lesser evil.”

This is called job dissatisfaction. And few things are sadder in this world. To feel compelled to spend more than a third of your life doing something you don’t like is a tragedy.

The alternative is not complex. Because doing what one loves to earn a living is the consequence of making intelligent investments in oneself, it is not a utopia.

Invest time (and money) in the trades that make you feel good. Make short-term sacrifices to get the returns you expect later. That’s what an investment is all about. If the profession that you like does not pay today like others, it does not matter, because by doing what you like tomorrow you will achieve excellence, and this generates extraordinary returns.

No one stands out doing something they dislike, much less if they “force themselves” to do it for a long time. Because at least you won’t be able to compete with whoever works at ease. The best ice cream man in the world is not poor, and he is not poor for one simple reason: he is the best at what he does. And it wouldn’t be if he didn’t love his job.

Invest time, money, and effort in doing what you love for a living. Think about it…and the sooner the better.

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