Category: Skill Building

Investing in Yourself

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

It’s never too late to plant a seed for success. However, many people delay the process indefinitely as they worry that nothing will come of the newfound action (e.g. creating a new business or embarking on a career transition). You have to set up your mind for success if you intend to plant those seeds now. Yes, now. Not a few days from now. Not a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years. It’s best to start where you are at right now to yield wealth later.

One way to plant those seeds is to invest in yourself. Learn a new skill. Pick up a fun hobby. Socialize. Explore. These are all great ways in which you can invest in yourself. And, it doesn’t matter what age you are. Investing in yourself first is a great way to expand upon your skills and talents that can later be used to build wealth.

Don’t worry if you missed out on past opportunities. There will always be more opportunities along the way. All you have to do is tune into them and go after what feels right for you. Some opportunities may require more from you than others. You should work on preparing yourself for the bigger opportunities, meanwhile cashing in on the small opportunities that come your way.

Some ways in which I invest in myself is through investing in technology. The technology I use allows me to express myself creatively, meanwhile also allowing me to tap into markets such as affiliate marketing or passive income through other means. If I didn’t invest in the technology that I use today, it would be difficult for me to for example post a YouTube video. But because I have sufficient technology, I am able to explore my creative talents such as singing or writing on this blog.

Wherever your interests lie, try to find a way to invest in yourself through the required skills and talents. The traditional approach is to attend college or university. But, you can explore different avenues of learning such as buying the textbook and learning at home with maybe hiring a tutor once in a while. Nowadays with the internet, you can learn anything through a simple Google search.

You can find a way to make those skills and talents applicable. For example, if you want to learn dance, you can record yourself dancing and post it up as a YouTube video for people to watch, maybe earning some passive income through YouTube partnership. Or, you could build up a portfolio of dance videos, catching the eye of different entertainment or dance companies.

Get creative and invest in yourself by creating an online presence. If you become well-known on the internet, people may ask to hire you for different gigs. If you’re a personal development guru, you might be invited to speak at various events for money. Or if you’re the go-to person for reaction videos, you may be sponsored to attend related events. Making yourself known online is a great way to increase your opportunities. Just plant one seed at a time, and take your time learning how to brand yourself and your skills or talents.

These days, I would say that the best way for people to invest in themselves is to start somewhere on the internet. Heck, there are people who make thousands off of simple hobbies such as computer gaming through streaming on websites like Twitch. If a 15-year-old can make money off creating a simple smartphone app, so can you. There’s less of an excuse to make money online. You’re either in, or you keep missing out on the experiences. But once you’re in, you can learn many things, allowing you to create new streams of income through something you enjoy.

Persistence

We hear it time after time that persistence pays off. But what exactly does persistence mean and look like? Persistence is when you continually work on something time after time, despite any setbacks that may occur.

One example of how I have been persistent lately is by hitting the gym every day on weekdays. That has been paying off well for me as I feel my body’s stamina increasing. My energy has also slowly but surely been stabilizing throughout the day.

Another way in which I have been persistent is to blog almost daily. There are some days that I miss when my schedule is busy, but for the most part I have been consistent in blogging daily. By being persistent, I’ve noticed that the quality of my writing has been improving too.

Some people may feel as if they haven’t been persistent daily. But if you look at the habits you already have, you may be persistent. For example, you may brush your teeth daily, or showering every other day. You may wake up at the same time every day. That counts as being persistent.

My recommendation is that if you want to live a life that is more structured, start off with one small habit that you can instill every day. Maybe if hitting the gym seems out of your reach, start with 3 full pushups. Then add another pushup the next day, making it four. Then go with five, six, seven, and so on until before you know it, you’ll be flying with those pushups every day with a strong physique to show for.

Other good habits to instill that might be easy to start off with is drinking more water. You can make it a goal to get 2 cups of water in before lunch. Or if you wake up late, make it a goal to down a bottle of water the first thing when you wake up.

If it is a matter of productivity, you can gradually build up persistence to working or studying more. For example, you may make it a simple goal to study and review notes for 5 minutes a day first thing in the morning or when you get back home in the evening. Five minutes does not sound like a lot of time, sure. But is it better than continuously not studying or working? Yes! Start with just five minutes, and then build yourself up to 7 minutes after a week of studying or working 5 minutes a day. Then, you might want to build up to 10 minutes a day. Keep going until you hit the ideal amount of time for studying or working.

The key the persistence is to start simple and relatively easy. Then, you will be able to be persistent, gradually building up long-lasting habits. Any time you slide down, restart with something simple again until you get the hang of sticking to that habit. Then you too can become a persistent person. (;

Sliding Scales of Progress

Have you ever progressed in a specific skill or talent, only to slide down in progress due to an unwanted break? I dabbled in and out of music several times. It’s not easy to get back into the swing of music production after you notice that you’re out of practice. Today, I posted a song cover of Impassive – Owol, but it wasn’t nearly the quality that I was hoping to get out of it.

The only good points I can say about this cover is 1) the vocals are pretty good compared to how they’ve been in the past, and 2) it took me just a few hours today to complete this cover. I’m sure if I put in more effort, it would have sounded even better. But rather than seeking perfection while I’m still using a dinky MacBook Air (which I only recommend to people who are used to single-tasking or using their computer for light tasks such as web browsing), I decided to just go ahead and post it as is.

If you compare this song cover to my earlier song covers, you will hear a noticeable difference. The instrumentals are somewhat off compared to the original. There are many instruments that I am still learning about in GarageBand.

I’m planning to upgrade to an iMac with Logic Pro X, so that will require me to learn more about the functionality while producing music. Does this throw me off? A bit. Do I wish I was able to continue music production when I was in a state of flow? Of course. But life got in the way, and I had to address certain concerns more than music production. The tradeoff is that now, I feel like I am in a good enough state to work on my creative pursuits and endeavors (this blog included, and YouTube again).

When you slide off progress due to unwanted circumstances, it’s easy to crumble and feel as if you can’t get back up again. But persistence does eventually pay off. This applies to any skill, whether it’s drawing, mathematics, astronomy, biology, cooking, plumbing, whatever the case may be. You just have to delve back into that skill, talent, or subject so that you can get good again. It’s easier said than done, but persistence and determination is key.

What skill have you held back on developing? Are you ready to dive into that skill again?