Make no mistake. Everything we do is an investment. Even if the decision is to do nothing, there is still an investment.
There are times when we put so much into something only to get so much out. There are people we talk to and people we invest our time in, only to find that our investments were poor. And there we are, wishing we paid attention to the red flags we saw along the way.
As social creatures, there is something about us that feels the need to be included and involved.
We want to be wanted and invited.
We all have the need to be right and to fit in. If we think about this, no one asks to be the outcast or the rejected because more accurately, everyone has the need to be right and be validated.
There is a business idea that I talk about often. This is the idea of the sunk cost fallacy. The sunk investment cannot be returned; however, in many cases, we try and we try to regain the value of our initial investment.
But it’s gone . . .
Oftentimes, we invest so greatly that we somehow lose ourselves. We give into the idea that the only way to create a return is to invest more. Meanwhile, the sunk cost is irretrievable. Not to mention, a poor investment is still a poor investment, in which case, investing more will only create more loss. The sunk cost is gone, which means there comes a time that trying to retrieve it will only create more waste
In business, some people hold their investments because of an emotional attachment —and they could have broken even. They could have walked away but now and in too deep, people try with all their might to try and recoup at least something.
I am not a financier nor am I one that writes about the economy. However, I do write from the heart and about the heart. I write about mental health (not mental illness).
I write about the way we tend to be sometimes —always trying to find our place, always trying to redeem ourselves to keep from a loss; always looking to gain and not lose; to feel good and feed the ideas in our reward system.
Think about the relationships we have seen in our life. Think about this as an investment. Think about the times we put so much into someone we care about, only to come out wanting, as if we feel shorted or worse, unappreciated.
Think about the red flags and warning signs we have seen from people, and yet, we find ourselves trying to redeem or refresh the relationship. In essence, this is us, selling ourselves for less than our worth or giving us away at a discounted rate.
Consider the return on investments like this. Consider the factors of friendships and intimate relationships that move in this direction. What does this do for personal value? Does this help us appreciate or does this do us a disservice and undermines our worth?
We invest so much; meanwhile, we could have cut our losses long ago.
We could have listened to suggestions. We could have packed up, long ago, before the investment and the emotions were this intense.
We could have backed out gracefully instead of falling in the hole even deeper.
This sounds like an easier argument to walk away. But once invested, we’re invested, and the natural fear of loss comes to mind. This includes the concerns about failure and shame that appear almost insurmountable, which is why some invest even more. They do this in spite of their gut feelings and best suggestions. And why do they do this, you ask?
They do this because they don’t want to lose. That’s why.
And be aware that loss is a real fear. This fear is as real as you or me. However, there is another notion called opportunity cost.
This means as long as we are invested in one end, we cannot be invested in another. Opportunity cost is profit loss when we invest one way and not another. Understand?
Again, forget about money or finances. This is not about financial investments whatsoever insofar as this is about personal and emotional investment.
Consider us and the people we share our time with. This is an investment. Time is finite, which means that although time is limitless in the sense that time is ongoing; a minute is only a minute and an hour is only an hour.
An hour spent at home can never be recouped and be an hour spent outdoors or elsewhere. That hour is gone. Once time is spent; the time is over and can never be redeemed.
Take this example and combine the sunk cost into the relationships we wish we could get away from. Now apply the opportunity cost, which explains so long as we are invested in one way, we will not be available to invest ourselves anywhere else. Time is finite; therefore, so are we and so is our ability to be in only one place at a time. So long as you are in one place and if this place should be unsatisfying, it would be impossible to receive the profit of being somewhere else.
Years back, I slid my chair away from a table filled with people in an ex-life and friends that I didn’t belong with. I realized that so long as I was invested here, I would never be able to invest myself anywhere else.
In order for me to find the life I wanted, I had to learn to have the friendships that deserved my attention.
I had to learn to invest myself properly instead of investing more in unfit occasions, only to come out at the shorter end of the deal.
First and foremost, I had to discover my own interest. I had to learn more about my own worth; otherwise, how could I seek the treatment I deserve if I never understood my personal value?
There are times when we discount ourselves or negotiate our terms to be more attractive. More to the point, there are times when we offer ourselves like a commodity. But why?
Often, the reason is to gain a return and seem more attractive. But wait a second. How could this be right?
The truth is we are all beautiful and valuable. Yet somehow, there are times when insecurity and emotional thinking takes the better side. There are times when emotional thinking leads us to invest more in fear that we will return less.
Remember: emotional investments do not always get back the appropriate emotional returns. This is fact, so be sure to invest your time wisely.
There are things in life that we wish we could do over. There are relationships we wished we could have avoided or taken different choices. There are times we missed when the opportunity presented itself. But such is life. There is a choice in life, which is either or, and sometimes we wished we made different choices. This is part of life.
This is normal. There is nothing wrong with this idea. The idea is honest and the feelings pertained to our choices are valid.
However, now that we have come into the moment of awareness, the opportunity to move in a new direction is present. This means always know your value. This way you will never settle for less than your worth again.
Now is the time to honor the opportunity. Now is the moment to begin the life we have always wanted. And mind you, this decision has less to do with others and more to do with the understanding of self. The decision to cease and desist, and seize the day is important. This calls out for the rights that we have and demands that we never settle for less again.
In an earlier paragraph, I mentioned the time I slid myself away from the table. Figuratively speaking, the table was filled with people from my ex-life. In all honesty, I was frightened at first. I was scared to be alone. I was frightened to find myself friendless and unwanted. Or worse, I was terrified to learn that I was the sum of my fears. I was afraid to find out that I was actually as worthless as my insecurity would lead me to believe.
I admit, this was a tough trick to pull off. But in the end, there was nothing as freeing as the day I decided to walk away. There was nothing as personally empowering as the time I chose to seek my worth and understand my value. This is when I decided to make the best investment of all times. I decided to invest in myself.
Since then, my returns have been plentiful.