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The Self-Discovery Digest

by Elizabeth and Katherine Hirsh
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April 2010 Archives

Invest in Your Most Valuable Asset: You!

Many people choose to invest in a retirement fund or other savings plan to have security for the future or lower their current tax burden. How many made the far less complicated investment in their well being and personal growth?

We invite you to audit your own personal investment practices and seek new ways to build your physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social assets. Just as you need to start now to maximize the gains on your financial investments, make it a priority to do something today, in the next week and over the course of the next year that brings you joy and helps you develop.

Use the chart below as a starting point, there's room to create and add your own ideas.

I Plan to Invest in My: Today This Week This Year

Physical Self
• Be outside
• Have a massage
• Eat a favorite food
• Go on a walk

Emotional Self
• Smile, cry, laugh, hug - let it out, whatever it is
• Forgive
• Release guilt
• Affirm yourself as worthy

Intellectual Self
• Allow your opinions to be challenged
• Take part in a lecture or class
• Discuss a movie or book
• Ask questions

Spiritual Self
• Pray or meditate
• Seek meaning through self-reflection, religious teachings, or philosophy
• Notice blessings
• Foster peace by taking the high road when it would be easier not to do so

Social Self
• Visit with family, friends, neighbors
• Offer a cheerful hello to passersby when you are out and about
• Host a gathering or attend one
• Volunteer, mentor a child, etc.

Explore all the investment opportunities that occur to you until you find something that brings you a meaningful return.

Self-Discovery Tool #25
Are the behaviors that you engage in regularly building your personal self-discovery capital? Are there some activities that are a drain on your resources, such that dropping them would give you more energy and time to invest in the things that benefit you? Be kind to yourself, be bold - try out some personal investment strategies and watch the dividends build!

Aren't some of the very best times those where laughter and being able to be ourselves are key ingredients? The fondness we feel for these times comes from the fact that we weren't worrying about impressing others, being right, or appearing perfect. Instead we were just freely enjoying ourselves and the people around us, casting aside pretense and living in the moment - in other words, allowing ourselves to play the "fool."

In the same way, comedies are funny because the characters, just like us, are not perfect. Children and animals are funny because perfection is a foreign concept to them and foolishness is their natural currency. And we love them for exactly that. In honor of April Fool's Day, let's pay tribute to the fool in all of us. Let's straighten out our priorities and get more of what really matters: FUN! Below are some suggestions to get you started - we encourage you to smile while reading them.

Engage Levity

Crack a joke - kids' joke books are a great source that won't offend.

Laugh at your slip-ups and blunders and invite others to laugh along with you.

Smile often, it's usually contagious.

Do something unexpected that is goofy and fun.

Surprise someone with a small gift or gesture that makes the day lighter.

Dance, skip, sing, or otherwise be playful - no stage or dance floor needed.

Wear a colorful outfit or introduce color into your surroundings.

Be yourself and make space for others to do the same. There's nothing more ridiculous and wonderful than the human condition in its unadulterated form.

Try the suggestions above or come up with your own ways to bring more levity into your life. Begin immediately. Don't wait for a sunny day or a good mood to get started. Create happy circumstances and soon you and others will have a rosier outlook.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 24
Play the fool. Give yourself and those around you permission to place joy at the center of life. This is a gift that keeps on giving. When you're happy, those around you are happier. The reverse is also true. When those around you are happy, you're happier. In other words, everybody wins! Now doesn't that just put a smile on your face?!