Time to Clean Up Your Portfolio
With this Excerpt from Invest in Yourself: Six Secrets to a Rich Life
By Marc Eisenson, Gerri Detweiler, and Nancy Castleman*
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just leave all your money worries and job stress behind? Well, you can! And you don’t have to move into a cave to live a freer, happier, healthier life. Nor do you have to choose between your work, your pleasures, your friends, and your family.
All it really takes is the right investment portfolio. A portfolio not just of stocks and bonds, but one that includes investments in yourself and in your family. Like any good portfolio, the best investments you can make in yourself are diversified, flexible enough to change as you and your goals do, carefully managed, and geared to the long term.
To create the portfolio that’s right for you, you’ve got to invest time and energy in figuring out what you really want -- and what will get you there. While the good life is different for each of us, and "one-size-fits-all" formulas don’t work, everyone, no matter how deep in debt, no matter how unhappy at home or at work, can change direction and make dreams come true, without being irresponsible or reckless. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of fine tuning. At other times, major modifications may be in order.
Once we become adults, we often lose track of life’s simple pleasures and of our own personal goals. We take a wrong turn or two, then spend a good part of our lives doing things we’d rather not -- while not doing many of those things we’d enjoy. While we may obsess about how unhappy we are, we don’t focus clearly on what we can do to change the situation: on how we can invest our time, energy, and yes, our money to consciously create the life we want.
Change is scary. It takes courage, and often arouses conflicts with the ones we love. That’s probably why so many folks stay in the ruts they’ve dug, unhappily spending a good portion of their days wishing they could get out, but not being able to do anything constructive to make it happen.
Getting from where you are today to where you’d like to be is rarely a goal that can be achieved instantly, any more than you could expect to lose weight or improve muscle tone overnight, or succeed at a new business, sport, or hobby the first time out.
Deciding what you want, and then figuring out how to get there requires some planning, commitment, time, and knowledge. But the journey can be as satisfying as the destination -- if you don’t put yourself on a starvation diet to achieve your goals. (They never work, anyway.)
Perhaps you really can’t stand your job, but you’re working too many hours to look for a new one, and you need the money too much to quit. ... Like money, we have a limited amount of time to spend. But unlike money, we can't spend time we don't have. No bank has yet come up with a MasterCard for charging more time than we were originally allotted.
Money can be earned or borrowed. Time can just be used up. Good health and fortune might effect how we consume our time, but if we burn ourselves out, there's no bankruptcy court that will let us clear the decks and re-start the clock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. ...
How to Make Your Dreams Come True
To get what you want in life, you first have to make room. And that means letting go of the things you don’t want, even though you may have invested a lot of time and money into them along the way. While this is often difficult, the benefits will make it well worth the effort.
You can change your life. We know, because we’ve changed our lives, and have spent a combined 38 years helping others make smart choices about their finances and their futures.
Often, your best investment in your self will be to do more research, so you can really figure out where you stand, and what you want. We’ll frequently refer you to our favorite books, web sites, and other resources. But there are great resources right there in River City, where you live. Your friends, relatives, and clergy may be a lot more help than you realize. But you have to ask! Learning more about a subject is a great way to tune into the pros and cons -- for you -- of a career or lifestyle change, for instance.
But if at the same time, you listen carefully to what’s going on inside your mind, that great snowball effect will start to happen. As you learn more, you’ll try more. Some of what you try will make you happier, and hopefully wealthier. So you’ll be that much more motivated to push yourself even farther to create the life you truly want.
We’re happy to help! Between our newsletter, Web site, and books, we can make it a lot easier for you to get out of debt, save money, create (and keep) your dream job, live better on less, and spend your time doing more of what you want. Even if all you can do is take a "baby step," you can do something.
For starters, you can read a summary of Invest in Yourself's six secrets, view the table of contents, read press reviews, or order the book.
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Invest in Yourself Is on Sale:The hardback edition retails for $22.95, but you can get it here for a mere $12.95! Save $10!
*This excerpt from Invest in Yourself: Six Secrets to a Rich Life, by Marc Eisenson, Gerri Detweiler, and Nancy Castleman (Wiley, 1998) is reprinted with permission.