How often do you consider your returns on investments of time, money, energy, and relationships? How does one complete an accurate assessment of each category--what matters?
I thought about this topic today as I stood by the copier waiting for 75 tests to copy--I thought about where I invest my personal and professional dollars and time, and about what matters.
As we think about this, we think about the returns--what returns in time, energy, dollars, and relationships coincide with each investment.
Looking back, I can easily see the strength of some investments I've made. The investment of attending the college I attended has paid back big time in terms of good friends, good connections, and a good education--that college experience keeps on giving. That was definitely a great investment.
I have had some relationships that have resulted in a a big return too which is illustrated in so many good times and so much positive support. I am certainly grateful for these investments.
Also I'd say that the investment I made in my home has overall resulted in a positive return of good times, a welcoming, comfortable place for those I love, and a fair financial investment too. Could we have done better with this choice--perhaps a bit, but that's not absolutely clear and the results are good enough that it's not worth looking back.
Yet there are other areas of life where the investment's returns are not as clear--areas where I may feel that I've given more than received, and areas that took, but didn't give back. These areas leave me wondering about what I could have done differently to make a better investment. In many cases, this is difficult to evaluate since some of the reasons why these investments didn't pay off in ways that I would have liked have a lot more to do with the way the world has evolved and my commitments to other meaningful areas of life.
Going forward with an even greater regard for the value of time and good investments, I'll likely think a bit deeper about where I invest my time, energy, money, and relationships--I don't think I'll be as patient with bad investments as I've been in the past. I realize, however, that we can't always see the future even when we invest our best efforts, and the best of efforts and thought investment may sour. That's the unpredictability of life. That unknown doesn't leave me shy about investing, however, since I know that the more we invest with good thought and effort, the better our chances are of reaping positive, beneficial results. Onward.