Any good financial advisor will tell you the best long-term investment strategy is to diversify for a smoother ride. As with finance, the best long-term strategy for a meaningful life involves diversifying investments in your time and money. To find your life’s purpose, your “time and money portfolio” should include the following funds:
- Growth Fund – invest in things that will grow your character to become more loving, joyous, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful and self-controlled
- Mutual Fund – use your time and money to influence synergistic relationships with others, i.e. relationships where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts
- Assistance Fund – use your time and money to serve others in need
Now, let’s focus on the Growth Fund. Growing your character will require personal change. In order to create lasting change for yourself, you’ll need to be both the scientist and the subject. Decide what you really want, even when your will is weakest. Then experiment on yourself. Prepare for setbacks and use trial and error to get there.
- Is there something painful in your past causing you to act in regretful ways?
- Do you have bad habits threatening your well-being and holding you back personally or professionally?
- Are you hung up on something preventing you from forming healthy relationships?
To complete the experiment, you’ll need both motivation and ability. Along the way, there will be personal, social and structural influences working against you. You need to turn those “foes” in to “friends” to sustain the proper motivation. You’ll also need to address skill deficiency by acquiring new skills in bite-sized chunks. Don’t be shy about using a coach for help. They’ll give you immediate feedback, which will be necessary for learning and adapting.
You have to own the tactics. Other people’s ideas or suggestions won’t be sustainable in the long run. A good coach will help you discover for yourself the proper motivational and skill acquiring tactics that are unique and best for you.
They have to be your discovery. Otherwise, the change you seek won’t stick.
Accept the challenge. Experiment on yourself. Be the scientist and the subject. Invest in your Growth Fund and diversify your “time and money” portfolio.