Self Development
Invest Wisely In Your Future

by Ashok Grover
While you get your car or air conditioner serviced regularly so that these work at their full efficiency, what do you do to ensure the same for yourself? The money spent on honing your skills and enhancement of capabilities is an investment, not expenditure.
Years ago, when I was the Works Manager in a small manufacturing company, I had a colleague who always took life easy.  Incidentally, our employer was not very demanding and this guy was leading a comfortable, stress free life.  I often used to tell him, "Johnny, you have no problems here; because there are no pressures, no expectations.  But don't you have any expectations from yourself? Imagine, if you have to change the job tomorrow for whatever reason, you may not find similar management at new place.  And having been habituated to lead an easy life, you will not be able to exert, when circumstances demand. Now since your current style would not be acceptable over there, you will be risking your own survival.  So, better continue sharpening your axe.  It will go with you..." Johnny did not bother to pay heed to my advice.  The company with weak management did not survive for long... and nor did Johnny.  In the following twenty years, he changed eleven jobs and kept on struggling.

Johnny did not use his axe and it just got corroded.  But, is it enough if you just continue using it?  Does sharpening it make any sense?  You might say yes... and I have another question ready for you. 

Do you get your car or air conditioner serviced? Why? You may laugh at my ignorance.  It is such a common sense to get these and most other gadgets serviced regularly, so that they work at their full efficiency. Great! So once again, you spent a few thousand bucks wisely, it was not waste of money. 

OK. Do you remember when did you spend a thousand bucks to make yourself more productive?  An investment, which may help you earn a thousand bucks every month! 
Oh, may be it was your employer (if you are working in a good organization) who sent you for some training.  Did you really take full advantage of the opportunity?  Perhaps not.  If my probing makes you feel uneasy, just pause and think.  If you become more productive and successful, whom does it help? Yes, may be your employer for some time; but YOU forever.  You may change the job, profession...; but your skill, you efficiency, your success goes with you.

Make wise investments.  There is no one "fit for all" formula.  Your requirement may be behavioral (or technical), to learn (or delearn), to start some new habit (or stop some old one)... Give yourself some opportunity to have some objective assessment and then spend wisely in training programs, books, coaching, tools, gadgets... anything which goes as an investment.

Think about it.  You spend money to make your car, your air conditioner run better.  Invest some in making your life run better. Invest in your future!

Ashok Grover, Founder CEO of Ashok Grover Consulting is an expert in people assessment and focused executive / leadership coaching. He is also Director at Skillscape, a company with a vision of Value Creation by enhancing people and organizational competencies.

His last assignment was with the JBM Group as Corporate Chief Human Resource Officer. He has four decades of experience in operations, materials, information technology and people development with Parle Group, Mohan Meakins Group, Hawkins Cookers Limited and JBM Group.