Doesn’t coconut water taste better after harvesting a few fresh ounces rather than buying a bottle? (It will make sense if you read the post).
Recently Eliza and I sat down with a financial adviser to go over our investment strategies for the future. The normal stuff was covered, IRA’s, 401K’s, life Insurance, paying off debt’s, putting some money aside for emergencies, and with Gator’s arrival right around the corner we discussed future tuition payments. Funny part about that is we will probably have Gator’s school paid off off before mine. What’s the point of bringing this stuff up? Believe me, the last thing I want to talk about is money. Instead I want to look at some alternate definition of the word invest so the term can be more useful and meaningful.
For instance, Webster begins its definition of investment with terms like capital and financial return, but ends with what I believe is the words most powerful use; to involve or engage especially emotionally. Wikipedia also starts its investment page with a discussion of the all mighty “dollar dollar bill yall,” but does make reference to the fact that we commit capital ($) to a good (grass fed beef ) or service (crossfit) in hopes of, here comes the important part, “improving our quality of life.”
In its most simple, powerful and meaningful form I believe that an investment is any activity we are emotionally involved or engaged in to improve our quality of life. Of course having a pile of money enables us opportunities that other wise we could not afford. But, are those expensive opportunities and high dollar purchases what brings us happiness or high quality of life (HQL). I would argue not always. I believe the greatest investments we make, that yield the highest HQL, are tied to some emotion. I don’t think gold medalist cry on the podium because they are thinking about all the sponsorship opportunities that are waiting for them. Well unless those sponsorships involve free bowling and cocktails. When a person pours him or herself into something emotionally, the return is worth far more, regardless of the capital value of that return. The gold medalist is crying because the hard work, time, and emotional investments have produced a great achievement.
My closing point is that we all don’t need to win gold medals or have a bucket of money to achieve greatness or capitalize on our investments. Very simply, if each of us invest effort into the things we love and care about there will be positive return. That return may be money, but could also be a personal best (PR) in a particular movement (yeah 235 push press 3/8/2011), pounds lost (talk to the biggest loser or most recent winner of your gym’s paleo challenge), or a smile on someones face (nothing swells me with more pride that watching Eliza enjoy the fruits of my labor).