About 8 years ago, I read the biography of Abraham Lincoln. He was a lovely, great American president, but one thing would surprise you. If you had slept in the same hotel room with Lincoln in his early years, it means you won’t sleep that night because Lincoln read out aloud.
Do you know the story of Ben Carson? He is a crazy curious reader who discovered how to separate conjoined twins by reading everything he could find about the subject.
Warren Buffett is the greatest investor in the world and he became so, not because he was born to rich parents but because Buffett read books as if his life depends on them. Years ago when I was reading Bill Clinton’s autobiography, I got to know that he read 300 books in certain two years.
For all these great men and others who have achieved greatness in life, one thing stands very obvious; they invest time to acquire knowledge. It’s this knowledge that gives some people the needed insights to do and achieve what others cannot.
Today you can see some rich guys buying the most expensive real estate properties, stocks, and businesses, and then you’ll be tempted to think that these people became richer because they have money to invest in lucrative businesses and assets. You’ll be wrong!
You see, the asset of the truly rich people aren’t real estate and businesses. The number one asset the truly rich individuals have is their minds. Almost all the time, what separates the rich from the poor is that those who end up becoming rich take time to invest in themselves, while the poor never do that.
When Henry Ford had become one of the richest men in the world, someone asked him, “Mr. Ford, what will happen if I take away all your wealth?”, to which Ford answered, “I’ll get them all back in 5 years”. Since Ford claimed that he could get all his billions back in 5 years, that means that anyone can make a billion dollars in 5 years. No. the reason Ford could get back all his wealth in 5 years is that he has over time invested heavily in himself, so much that he could recreate his life multiple times if you send him back to step one.
Now let me speak with you;
If you’re poor as you read this blog post, what do you think made you poor? So many people have different excuses. Some would tell you that their poverty is the fault of the government. Some would say that it’s the fault of their parents, the economy, or bad luck.
Now let me ask you another question;
How many hours have you invested in yourself in the last one month? How much money have you invested in yourself in the last one year?
Dan Lok, a millionaire entrepreneur, confessed in an interview that he invested over $500,000 in his education in 2018. Yes, half a million dollars. This is not to say that you need to invest half a million dollars in yourself. I told you the story to show you how the rich make themselves the most important asset.
Except you’re deceiving yourself. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is you. Warren Buffett said, “Investment in self yields the highest return”.
If truly you want to become wealthy, you have to first invest in your mind. Again, this doesn’t mean that you need to invest $10,000 in yourself every year. In fact, we’re so fortunate in this generation, so much so that investment in oneself could be absolutely free.
This is what I mean. As of today, I have over 120 audiobooks in my YouTube playlist. I downloaded these audiobooks absolutely free yet; they are powerful enough to change my life. Almost every day, I turned in to the internet to learn something and improve myself without having to pay for that precious knowledge. In fact, 99% of the knowledge that has improved my life and businesses in the last 5 years was all gotten from the internet and I rarely pay for them.
To know how precious this is, let me tell you about Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin was one of the forefathers of America and he became so because he was a curious guy. Though Franklin was born in an age when the printing press was yet to be able to produce books as massive as we have today, though he lived in an age of no internet, Franklin took investing in himself so serious. So serious that he and his friends would sell their clothes to buy books.
Imagine that today. You don’t have to sell your clothes before you can read good books. Just be disciplined and willing. These days, most books are extremely cheap and even if you don’t want to buy them, you can easily download most books on the internet, either as PDFs or as Audio Books.
Never ever forget this; your progress and success in life depend on what you know that other people don’t know. It’s that simple. If everything you know is what everyone else knows, you have no advantage over them, so you cannot do anything exceptional. If however, you know what 97% of people don’t know; it means that you can do what they can’t and if you can do what most people can’t, you can achieve what they can’t.
Think about business, for instance. As an entrepreneur, I’ve read hundreds of books about business. I wouldn’t know how accurate I may be but I’ll like to think that I know much more about business than 99% of people in my country. If that’s true (which I don’t know), it means that if I and an average guy in my country should compete in an industry, I can easily get him out of business and take the largest market share.
Similar things happen every day in politics, science, or anything. The game is always won by the guys who know what others don’t know and the guys who know what others don’t know are usually the guys who invest in themselves every day of their lives.
Now that I’ve shown you the importance of investing in yourself, what do I expect you to do?
First, understand that the number one asset you can ever have is your mind. But since your mind cannot achieve greatness by itself, you have to feed it with the right meals. Those right meals are the knowledge.
Second, don’t just enjoy wasting time on little stuff. Invest in some minutes every day of your life to improve your mind. Read books, listen to audio and watch videos that will make you a better person in any field you are in.
Third, don’t just use the internet for entertainment. Follow people that will inspire and teach you new things. Download audio books and watch videos that will teach you new things and make you a better individual.