Invest in yourself (or be doomed)

It might sound dumb but I’m really amazed at how much time we can put into distracting ourselves. I don’t mean that mindless distraction is always bad. I watch some TV everyday and I feel good about it. Modern Family is one of my favorite… It does not make more clever, but it’s nice. Now just one show, perhaps two is enough distraction. I don’t need to stay infront of the TV for 3 hours everyday either (except if it’s a really good movie – and it has to be really good, not average good). And TV is just one distraction, it’s the easy one that comes to mind but how much distraction do we have a twork? You know your colleague who want to show this lipsync youtube video. Or this one-hour phone call that was just about complaining that “life is hard”. We spend so much time distracting ourselves and yet nothing about investing in ourselves.

What is investing?

Think of yourself as a company. Let’s say you are a cool company like Samsung Apple (I talked about Apple with a friend and I know she’s going to read this – you know who you are, ha!). You are making phones and computers. It’s fun, and this is what you are supposed to do. Investing in yourself is all the things we never think about you. For example: accounting, cleaning your stores, shipping your products, etc… If you don’t do it you have a problem. For us humans, basic investment is eating, drinking, sleeping, brushing our teeth…

And like a company, if your shipping department is a mess, then a bad reputation starts. Back to humans, if you eat at Burger King every day it will keep you alive but you willalso start to look like  a mess. And you don’t want that, don’t you? No, you want to have an optimal health. You want to feel good about yourself. Well it means that you have to work on yourself and not just on doing what you usually do. That means, invest in your mojo.

You can’t escape yourself

I know it sounds silly but we don’t really think about it, right? You are stuck in yourself until you die. So if your body can’t run a mile and if your brain can’t process more than an episode of Wipe Out, you are doomed. Sorry… I’m a computer guy and I know what I am talking about. Two years ago, my body looked like the body of the average computer guy (i.e. really thin everywhere with some pounds around my belly). I did not feel good. I used to be good at running for miles but at that point going to the grocery store was tiring. I got back problems all the time caused by stupid stuff like an uncomfortable chair or because somebody pushed me in the metro (I still have back problems, by the way. Apparently it is something that runs in my family, I don’t really understand why. But now my body fixes itself  way faster if I hurt myself).  Doing yoga every day helped a lot and now I feel good and I look good (and I think any kind of physical activiy would have been good, I’m not here to praise yoga) (“but you should do yoga! it’s awesome” aaahh shut up!)
And yet how many people don’t exercise, don’t read or try to educate themselves because they don’t have time. If they die at 45 because they are in bad shape when a cancer strikes (sorry to be pessimistic, but it happens),they will feel sorry of “not having time” when they were 30. Maybe I’m getting old or it’s just that I don’t want my life to suck, but I have a lot of awesome stuff planned in my future and I don’t want my body to be a constraint.

Schedule your investment

I’ve started to set up schedules for what I have to do during the week (thanks to this post form Johnny B. Truant). And instead of just scheduling important things, I also put some time to take naps, meditate, read, listen to music, walk outside, etc… I’m a big fan of naps. This is one of my favorite way to recharge my batteries, relieve stress accumulated during the day and clear my thoughts. I also like to take a lot of time to get ready in the morning, it takes me more than an hour. And this involves meditating, making a fresh smoothie, stretching, reading, flossing… all the things that I thought I did not have time to do but make me feel like I’m really ready to start the day and not just barely awake.

Having a walk, going to a museum, etc… All these are also really good for your personal investment. Walking in a park in the middle of the day, watching squirrels, this also helps to boos your creativity better than a Red Bull. I’m serious. (and it’s free too).

Don’t feel guilty

You are working on making yourself better, there is absolutely no reason to feel that it’s wrong. When I started practicing yoga everyday, I had this feeling that I was not putting efforts in my other commitments. I did not work as much for example. And the first thing that came to mind was guiltiness. But actually, I was still putting some efforts in what I had to do, I was just faster. I  started to be more efficient in my work because I was more focused and less tired.

Similar thing: 5 years ago, I used to live right next to my work. So I had the habit of coming home for every lunch break to take a 10 minute nap. Sometime I even took some more time to have a shower. So of course, it’s not really seen as productive to take naps in the middle of your work day and people start to think you are lazy. But in the other hand, they started wondering when they saw I was kicking ass like Steve Jobs on steroids ( I realize I’m more of an Apple nerd than I thought I was). Case in point.

So the question is: do you really need all that time to “do what you have to do” or could you be more efficient if you were in top shape? (hint: second option. Did you understand this post or what?)

Now, go have a nap or a walk outside.