Before you decide which investment path to go down, before you buy that rental property or pinch pennies, invest in yourself! You are by far the most important thing that you could put your time and energy into. The returns will be huge and compound over time, allowing you to reach FIRE far sooner than previously thought.
There are many ways you can start investing in yourself, probably the most obvious one would be books! From Tony Robbins to Stephen R. Covey, there are numerous self-help authors and coaches that have wonderful books to help solve our problems whatever they may be, health, wealth, etc. I have this addiction to books and it is definitely my guilty pleasure to buy them. Here's a list of some books that would be a good place to start:
1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
2. Awaken the Giant Within
3. The Miracle Morning
4. Atomic Habit
5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
6. Extreme Ownership
8. The Obstacle is the Way
9. 10% Happier
10. The One Thing
Invest in yourself with Great Food! What is money worth if you don't have your health. One of the best ways to keep and maintain your health is through a healthy diet. I'm not going to tell you which diet is best or what you should do. I'm here to tell you that whatever it is your eating, you could be eating healthier and living better because of it. Again, educate yourself on the needs of the human body from macronutrients to micronutrients. Diet is personalized, you need to figure out what works best for you. Take notes on what you eat and how you feel. I personally keep a food journal and have found that to be one of the best tools towards my health. This helps us clear our thoughts on what we ate and how we felt, we'll be able to establish a better connection to what works best for us.
Sleep! One of the most crucial things we can do to improve our well-being, also, one of the easiest and cheapest. Check out this TED Talk on sleep that will convince you to get those extra z's. I know personally, If I don't get my sleep, I am essentially another person altogether. I'm grumpy and groggy with no real energy or ability to remember anything. So please, pretty please, grab those extra hours of sleep, shut off those alarms, and sleep your way to a better life.
I've researched many of the best ways to get that good night sleep, we all want so badly. You want to get rid of every single light source in your room. That little blue or green LED light on your device can have disastrous effects on your sleep. Your body has light sensing cells all over your body, even on your feet! These cells trick your body into thinking it's daytime and throw off your hormones. Get rid of those lights, black out curtains are highly recommended. Another great thing to do is go to bed at the same time each night, even on the weekends. The body becomes accustomed to these times and releases the right chemicals to set you up for a good night's sleep. Getting a good night's sleep starts with waking up correctly as well. By exposing ourselves to morning light we convert this light into serotonin, a powerful neurochemical associated with feeling awake. This serotonin then converts to melatonin through the day, building up until we feel tired. So, the moral of the story is get up early if possible, the earlier the better.
What would this post be without Podcasts mentioned. I am an auditory person, I love languages and music, so naturally I love podcasts. Any topic you want to learn about there is a podcast for that. Each week or month you'll have episodes delivered directly to your phone or computer ready to listen to. Podcasts can be the best way to improve and invest in yourself. You can listen to them any time day or night, anywhere, when you're at work or going for a run!
Here are a few of my favorite to listen to:
2. Tara Brach
3. BiggerPockets Money Podcast
4. Joe Rogan Experience
Meditation could be one of the most important things a person could do to improve themselves and their well-being. Meditation can give us the insight we need to understand ourselves, our thoughts, and our actions. This is my favorite technique for the FIRE journey as I explain more in my past post on Mindfulness. It has helped me evolve as a person and gave me patience for this long term FIRE plan. There are many methods to try and find what works best for you. Tara Brach would be a great place to start. Her guided meditations have helped many people and her book, "Radical Acceptance" comes highly recommended, even by the likes of Tim Ferriss! Meditation just might help you find your WHY, the most important things for FI.
There is the old saying, "healthy body, healthy mind". It is so true! You can't be very productive when your body is in pain, or if you're feeling sleepy. Exercise can help us feel better and maintain ourselves so we don't end up unable to live by ourselves when we are 60 years old. I don't know about you, but I plan to be fully operational, meaning living an active lifestyle, well into my 90's! Whatever you got to do to keep out there and moving do it. If you need to join a run club or gym with a personal trainer then that's what you need to do. This website is certainly about how to get to FIRE, but we need to also be able to live our best lives.
Just a little bit of exercise can go along way. It doesn't have to be every waking moment of everyday, but it can be just a few times a week. My personal goal is to exercise 3 days a week of rigorous cardio and weightlifting. I also, supplement in a few days of yoga to keep me loose and limber. The yoga ties in nicely with meditation in the other paragraph, I highly recommend it.
One of my favorite ways of getting exercise is biking to work! This is the ultimate FIRE activity, not only is it exercise, but it's also helping save me from having to fill up that gas tank, and helping the environment. My bike is nothing special, I can't even remember the brand. It has more than paid for itself over the past 3 years I've had it and will continue to put money back in my wallet and health back in my life.
Personal investment and growth are the most important thing a person can do on their journey to FIRE. I wish you the best of luck and hope you can take a few things from this article and apply to your life. I'm sure they won't disappoint. Thanks and remember to be FIRE Minded as you're out in the world! Cheers