Friday, August 30, 2013

Invest In Yourself

To my son Tommy,

I thought to myself "I still want a cigarette every day." as the guy two in front of me at the convenience store paid seven bucks for a pack.  Trust me, I won't start again, but the urge is still there and probably will be for life.  I quick did the math and was happy about no longer spending close to two and a half grand a year just for me on smokes.  I looked down at what I was buying as the next guy in line paid for his gas.  I had an oversized candy bar and an overpriced coffee drink.  At first I rationalized what I was about to buy with my "found money" from quitting my nicotine habit.  Then I had a change of heart.

Somewhere deep in my mind a voice said, "Invest in yourself".  I had agreed with this idea in principal but never practiced it on a such a micro level.  I looked down at my possible "investment".  I wasn't impressed.  The only return on investment I would receive is a couple minutes of taste pleasure and a quick caffeine and sugar high.  Along with the price of the overpriced stuff, I would also have to pay in empty calories and sugar and the bad effects of this indulgence.  The correlation to smoking was hitting too close to home.  When the register came open I quick put my initial planned purchase back and switched it for an overpriced apple and overripe banana that they were offering.  I might be paying too much still, but the ROI just increased in the long term.  I think I figured out what they mean by invest in yourself and brought it to a new level in my life.

The return of investment doesn't have to be monetary.  It can be quite abstract and be anything you value.  Your investment can pay off in health; it can pay off in karma; it can pay off in love; it can pay off in pleasure; it can even pay off in keeping your own sanity.  Make sure you consider every cent you spend and every minute you spend with regards to what type of return you will get both in the short term and the long term.  I am not saying that an occasional indulgence is to be always dismissed, but you should spend the brain power to thoughtfully consider every option and how this investment can help you in the future.

Even if you overpay for something you will be able to overlook being fleeced by the price if the return on investment is there.  Take for example an overpriced wizard hat, an overpriced cloak, and an overpriced magic bubble wand in a star shape, all bought at the RennFest for a four year old.  Today as a father and son had some quality time on the front porch, these items once again realized their investment potential.  They proved their worth as we sat their on our front porch attempting to take back Catonsville one magic bubble at a time.  The money spent will never help us in our financial goals but a few extremely large bubbles sure helped us talk to our neighbors and a few who walked by our house.  Plus the smile on the face of a four year old wizard, every time you wear this outfit, is darn near priceless!

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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