Everything you do has an ROI—what you think, what you eat, what you do and don’t do. Your return on investment isn’t always monetary, either.

Getting enough sleep can result in more money because you are more alert and able to do your job, but it can also return an overall happier life.

Investing emotional capital into a relationship can return in the form of marriage (positive ROI) or a breakup (negative ROI, unless you are into being single for life).

Classes you take will also result in an ROI, some higher than others. An economics class will likely offer a higher return than a bowling or underwater basket weaving class.

Going to college could potentially have a very high ROI, or it could return a useless piece of paper and no job. That largely depends on the time, energy, creativity, and mindfullness you are willing to invest in your learning.

Exercising on a regular basis requires the investment of time, energy, and willpower and I believe it can offer one of the highest returns possible because you can’t do anything if you are dead or dying.

Investing in yourself through how you spend your time and the thoughts you entertain will always return a result—whether that result is good or bad depends on how much you invest.

I have seen a high ROI from my purchase and regular use of my personal website. Not only have I become a better writer, I have been more mindful of what I do when I’m not at school, making sure that I invest in the right things. I’ve also met new people and made new friends because I have published my peculiarity.

Today, I decided to invest in myself and in others. Outside of my regular scripture study and exercise, I decided to do some good and mow the lawn of someone in my neighborhood who needed it. I did this first to be nice and give back, but also because I realized that the best way to overcome negativity and self-centeredness is to reach out.

I listened to this episode of the Tim Ferriss Show where he highlighted 17 questions that he has asked himself throughout his life.

  1. What if I did the opposite for 48 hours?
  2. What do I spend a silly amount of money on? How might I scratch my own itch?
  3. What would I do/have/be if I had $10 million? What’s my real TMI? (Target monthly income)
  4. What are the worst things that could happen? Could I get back here?
  5. If I could only work 2 hours per week on my business, what would I do?
  6. What if I let them (employees in my company) make decisions up to $100? $500? $1,000?
  7. What’s the least crowded channel?
  8. What if I couldn’t pitch my product directly?
  9. What if I created my own real-world MBA?
  10. Do I need to make it back the way I lost it?
  11. What if I could only subtract to solve problems?
  12. What might I put in place to allow me to go off the grid for 4 to 8 weeks, with no phone or email?
  13. Am I hunting antelope or field mice?
  14. Could it be that everything if fine and complete as is?
  15. What would this look like if it were easy?
  16. How can I throw money at this problem? How can I “waste” money to improve the quality of my life?
  17. No hurry, no pause.

My senior year officially ends in 23 days, but it’s basically over. High school, a time that I mentally romanticized as an elementary school kid, blew by. No more tests, no more dances (prom was last weekend), no more concerts, no more homework, and only a few more Ultimate Frisbee games. This chapter in my life is closing, and I look forward to the next one.

I am reminded of this story from Edward Dube’s childhood:

While I was a boy working in the fields with my mother, she taught me one of the most important lessons in life. It was late in the morning, the sun was up, and we had been hoeing for what I thought to be a very long time. I stopped to look back at what we had accomplished and said to my mother, “Look at all we have done!” Mother did not respond. Thinking that she had not heard me, I repeated what I had said a little louder. She still did not reply. Raising my voice a little higher, I repeated again. Finally, she turned to me and said, “Edward, never look back. Look ahead at what we still have to do.” (“Look Ahead and Believe,” October 2013 General Conference)

The important thing is to look to the future with faith without relying solely on the fortune of the past. Looking back to reflect and learn is good, looking back and staying back is bad. As a general rule, no one cares how good you used to be, the only thing that matters are the results you can show now.

Prepare now for today, because it will connect to all of your tomorrows.


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