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The Best Investment I Made After Graduating From College

I was sometimes asked, “What is the best investment you’ve made?”, and for me, my answer is always the same — the best investment which had the greatest return is in myself.

Investing in yourself does not necessarily require money. It requires something of more value — time.

When I was still in college, I was an average student with an average goal. I just want to graduate, pass the board exam, work for forty years, then retire.

That was common thinking for many Filipinos because we also observed from the previous generations, especially through our parents, relatives, and other adults.

However, there is a turning point in my life that changed my goals and aspirations for the future. I started to re-learn how to learn and how to improve myself.

Reading and the Importance of Continuous Development

In the six months that I was unemployed following my board exam, I read a very familiar book for everyone moving in their financial journey.

The book I was referring to was Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Though I can’t entirely agree with some of his ideas, that book was still instrumental in my journey to personal development.

Following that book, I read more about the opportunities in investing, which opened a gateway to looking up more resources on the Internet. Soon, I also learned about budgeting and how to manage my personal finance.

That’s why even before I received my first paycheck, I was already moving towards my journey towards financial freedom.

Sometimes Boredom Can Be Helpful

Reading has never been my strong point growing up, but I had nothing to do all day when I was on the bench during the first three months of my first job. 

Because of my abundance of time, I decided to start and soon finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I attribute that book to be the one that got me hooked on reading.

In 2015, I was buying and reading more books than I ever did in the first 23 years of my life. 

Also, during that period, I had enough time to read every blog post written by Sir Fitz Villafuerte, which laid the foundation for my personal finance journey.

Attending Free and Paid Seminars

When I was still in Metro Manila, my weekend calendar was usually full of seminars, conferences, runs, hikes, and various activities in and out of the city. There were even months when my weekends were fully booked that even my sister needed to find a schedule to meet me. 

One of the seminars that were transformational for me was with IMG, especially its hierarchy of a strong financial foundation, which I’ve already written here.

The Forward Pilipinas Conference was also instrumental in my thinking regarding going to places and events where you’ll feel insecure.

Also, I would have never started writing with confidence if it wasn’t for one of the presentations that I attended at the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival (PRWF) in Makati.

I attended events and seminars that are free and paid, face-to-face or online, alone or with friends, and many more. My goal since then is to leverage my learning through other people’s knowledge and experiences and see if they are applicable in my life.

Maximizing Social Media For Productivity and Learning

Though I wrote something about digital minimalism and limiting social media, it is essential to understand that we should always set our boundaries.

There’s plenty of trash on various social media platforms, but there are also gems. We just have to be careful where we look because social media can be a great avenue of learning, both beneficial and harmful.

On Facebook, I follow different pages and personalities, which I believe are helpful, while also avoiding entertainment pages (except NBA), celebrities, and even some of my FB friends.

My favorite social media platform today is LinkedIn and YouTube because they offer the greatest value for me. With the right content and the right people and creators, we can learn many things.

Always remember to use social media in moderation. The social media algorithm is mainly designed to show us what we like to see, so it is still good to look at the other side and maintain a level of reality.

Transfer of Learning, Binding Them All Together

While we learn about many things, it is crucial to evaluate what is valuable and not. Learning from many sources can be overwhelming, so we must align them to our values.

There are so many things on the Internet that are not beneficial to anyone, so we need to be careful. Take what you need, and discard the things which are not helpful.

The concept of transfer of learning is crucial for us to connect what we learned and apply them to new situations and contexts. Some of the things that we know can be used in other aspects of our lives. 

Though I formally learned this concept in my Educational Psychology Subject, I was unaware that I was already applying some of them in my life.

An example is how playing computer games led me to understand more about economics and how minor subjects became helpful in strengthening my communication skills.

Final Thought:

When we invest in ourselves, we gained a better position to improve our lives. Money should also not be a hindrance in our journey towards personal development. We just have to maximize our resources and our learning opportunities.

Also, finding a mentor is crucial if we want to minimize our learning curve. Always remember that what information we consume will eventually manifest in us, so we need to be careful.

Finally, the beauty of life is we can always restart. We can change our dreams, we can change careers, and we can constantly improve our lives. 

If ever we need to restart, remember that we are not starting from scratch; we are starting from experience. God Bless!


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