Investment advice

I am realizing more and more that I am a reflective thinker.  I tend to take in information and experiences and then comment on those experiences at a later time.  I’m the guy that won’t say much in a meeting but will have 2 or 3 ideas a few hours or a day later.  That’s kind of how this post came about.

As I look back at my life experiences over the past few months, even the last year, I am finding a common theme occurring.  There are certain people that are investing their time, prayers and resources to be a source of inspiration to me.  This means more to me than they will probably ever realize.  I appreciate their willingness to take time and share their thoughts with me and allow me to do the same with them.

There are different ways of investing.  The three that come to mind the quickest are time, talent and treasure.  For many people, the first form of investment that you may think of by default is that of treasure.  How much money do I have to invest?  Money’s great.  Money is needed to live.  However, I am finding that time is many times, a much more valuable asset that money.

We live in a world where time is extremely valuable and most people seem to not have enough of it.  Many days, every second counts.  There’s no room for margin of error.  We have so many time saving devices and programs and we use them to be able to do more and fit more into our days.  That’s why it is always so important and refreshing to me when I am able to sit with someone and just connect with them whether it is in person, on the phone or via the web, like I am now.

So how can you invest time that you don’t have into other people?  Let me give you a couple ideas.

  1. Make that phone call-You can make a phone call from virtually anywhere: your office, home, car or airport.  It can mean so much to someone to hear your voice and make that connection.  When you call, you’ll want to make sure that you have a purpose for calling: appreciation, thanks or recognition are always widely accepted.
  2. Send the text-If you want to send a quick note and get it to a person quickly, this is a great way to do it.  The words “good luck”, “I’m happy for you”, or “great job” translate well in text format.  This would be best if you’re communicating with someone younger or your favorite techie.  If you know the person well enough, you’ll know their communication tendencies.
  3. Send a note/card-Email is now a way of life.  At one point in history, you had to actually sit down and handwrite a note or card to a person and mail it to express your appreciation for them.  While this will take a few extra minutes, the response from the recipient will be well worth it.  Think about it tonight when you check your mail.  How cool would it be to receive a handwritten note from someone telling you how much they appreciated you.
  4. Be a mentor-Find someone to pour your life experiences into.  Usually, this is going to be someone younger than you.  Invest your time.  Invest yourself.  Serving as a mentor allows you to expand another person’s possibilities and thought processes because now they have your experiences and knowledge to pull from.

To those over the last few months who have poured their life experiences into me-thank you.  I appreciate it more than you will ever know.  My hope is that I am able to share more and enrich others lives the same way that you have enriched mine.


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