I remember English classes with my father perfectly. We used a black and white book called Success with English. It was organized in chapters of 3 or 4 pages and each chapter learned a new concept, like the comparative or the difference between few and little. The book used an old method based on repetition: my father read a sentence; I repeated it and he corrected my pronunciation. When an unknown word or expression came out, my father wrote it in my vocabulary notebook. No color drawings, plot between teenagers or modern exercises. Pure and hard repetition.
Classes lasted only 20 minutes, but they were every day. Sundays, holidays, Christmas … it was the same, the English class was sacred. According to my father, the most important thing to learn a language well is not to break the routine, and always said that until I did not reach a certain level I could not skip any day.
I hated English classes deeply. Sometimes I was playing soccer with my friends and my father came to pick me up to give the English class because I had to work that night and I would not be able to give it to me at another time. I cried and complained bitterly, but ended up giving the obligatory class. Every day. Without exception. For several years.
Today I can say without fear of being mistaken that learning English has been the investment that has had the most impact in my life, and I am very grateful to my father for having forced me to teach those classes.
English has opened a lot of doors that would otherwise have been closed. Thanks to English, for example, I was able to leave a year of exchange to an American university, to work in Microsoft for 4 years or to travel to different countries and to be able to communicate with everybody in the shelter.
Also, thanks to English, I have been able to enjoy the work of some international authors and bloggers who have changed the way I see the world and who have taught me things as useful as setting up my small affiliate marketing business. In short, you could say that something as simple as knowing English has changed my life.
We can define the term investing as spending a finite resource to make a profit in the future. For example, you can invest 100,000 euros in buying a house in the hope that it will rise in price and within 10 years you can sell it for more than it cost you. Or you can invest your savings in the stock market to buy a part of a company that you think will grow and increase its value in the near future.
But you can not only invest the money. You can also invest other resources and, although you may not have noticed, there is a very important resource that you have been investing your entire life: your time.
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Everyday life gives us 24 hours that we can invest in whatever we want and you are the only person who decides what to invest the time (even if you do not believe it). All our actions are, therefore, an investment. When we go to work we are really investing time to get money and when we go to the beach to take the sun we are investing time to get pleasure or beauty.
Some of these investments hardly generate benefits, like investing the time in seeing a chapter of Breaking Bad or browsing Facebook. They are investments that keep you entertained but do not generate anything of value. The next day, that hour is as if it had never existed. They are investments in lost fund.
However, there are other types of investments that generate wealth and report interest for several years. These profitable investments fall into three categories:
Invest in yourself: This category includes all actions that change you in a positive and permanent way. Learn English, take a trip to another country or read a book are ways to invest your time whose results you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
Invest in others. This category includes all actions aimed at helping other people. The doctors who operated on your appendicitis or your math teacher fall into this category. In this case, the healing and the class did not generate direct benefits for these people, except what they charged to develop their profession; but the one that you are alive and everything that you learned in that class may allow you to generate wealth in the future, and that will have indirectly contributed your doctor and your teacher.
Invest in something valuable. This category includes all actions that aim to create something capable of generating value by itself. The time that Beethoven invested in composing the fifth symphony resulted in a work of immortal classical music, which millions of people have enjoyed in the last 200 years and that will surely continue to delight much more people in the future. Russell Kirsch invested his time in creating the first programmable computer, which later allowed other people to create laptops with which we now access the Internet.
Each of these three categories is very important by itself and would give perfectly to write an article. However, today I want to focus on the first category: investing in you.
Why you should invest in yourself
You are the most important asset you have and working on yourself should be the priority of anyone. I want you to be clear, so I’ll repeat: you are the most important asset you have. Unlike a car, you can change it for another at any time; you are going to remain you until the end of your days. You cannot sell or change for another you, but what you can do is improve yourself day by day.
We live limited by the resources and experiences that we have available at any time. It is not enough to be in the right place at the right time, but you have to be the right person in the right place at the right time. Imagine, for example, that one night you meet the woman of your life in a bar and it turns out that only speaks Russian. To be able to choose to conquer that girl the minimum requirements are to speak Russian and to have a basic knowledge of seduction. It is as if there is an opportunity behind a door with a lock: if at that moment you do not have the key, you cannot access that opportunity. Moreover, if you do not have the key, you may not even realize that the door exists.
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Life works like this. It’s like a big castle full of doors with locks. If you want to explore the whole castle you need to get the right keys, but not all the keys are just as easy to find. Many people find it lazy to look for the keys and spend all their lives in the living room of the castle in the heat of the fireplace. They are not aware that they are missing the smell of the garden flowers and the wonderful views from the highest tower.
What you do now will determine the options you will have available in the future. So if you really want to live to the fullest, if you really want to get the most out of life, you should never stop investing in yourself.
Four key areas
At this point, I hope you are convinced of the importance of investing in yourself and improving a little bit each day. The goal is that within a year you are not only an older year but also a better year.
These are four fundamental areas in which I recommend you invest.
Health is the foundation of life. When health fails, everything else is irrelevant. The problem is that until we do not get bad we do not realize how valuable it is to be healthy, and we only think about our health when we are not well. That is why it is fundamental that we invest in our health every day, since when we are sick it may be too late.
Having good health is essential for anything you want to achieve. If you tell me “Angel, I would like to set up an affiliate website like you. Where do I start? “You may answer that by exercising 5 times a week and eating healthier. I know you’ve heard these tips millions of times, but I cannot explain you with words the impact you eat healthy, getting enough exercise and getting enough sleep in your life. I changed it completely.
You are your body. You do not have an arm or a leg; you are an arm and a leg. You use your body 24 hours a day, 365 a year, and that is why it is so important that you treat it as your most precious possession. Because it is.
If you spend more time each week cleaning your car than exercising, it’s time to check your priorities. Invest in health and multiply results in other areas of your life.
We live in an increasingly globalized world, where thanks to new technologies it is possible to read what a blogger has just written in Australia or to chat in real time with a friend who is in Japan. The official language of that world is English, and if you want to be a part of it, you need to be able to read, write and speak English.
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Knowing English is like living in the future, and this is something that has become even clearer after spending 5 years in the United States. New developments and trends are always born in English and arrive in Spain two or three years later. Being able to know firsthand what happens in other countries that go ahead of ours gives you a great advantage over other Spaniards who do not know English.
A good example of this is Tuenti, which was created by an American named Zaryn Dentzel. Zaryn knew that Facebook was triumphing in the United States, so taking advantage of the fact that it was not yet available in Spanish and that in Spain nobody speaks English, he created a Facebook in Spanish. And he did quite well.
In general, I think that a sure chance of success is to catch an idea that is triumphing in the United States and to apply it in Spain. It’s what I’ve done with the topic of affiliate marketing or what the Samwer brothers have done to become millionaires.
If you do not know English you are condemning to live in a bubble called Spain, without knowing anything about what is happening in the rest of the world. You will see everything through the eyes of those who tell you, instead of being able to know reality firsthand. You will give up an immense amount of high-quality information that is available through the Internet in English only and you will have problems communicating when you travel abroad since you will not be able to talk to people in most countries.
Spend your time learning English and you will have access to a whole new world. The benefits that will bring you both personally and professionally you will enjoy your whole life.
3. Social Skills
Throughout your life you will have to interact with other people: your family, the baker, the co-workers, the boss, the girlfriend, the university professors … the list is almost endless. I do not know if you had thought about it before, but some very important aspects of your life, like your partner or your work, will depend directly on how these interactions happen. With this in mind, do not you think it’s worth it if you invest some time in developing your social skills?
Maybe you get along with people and you’re one of those people who does not feel embarrassed to talk to anyone and then make friends; or you may be a more timid person, who has a hard time talking to strangers. In both cases, I think you can benefit tremendously from studying how people work and the relationships between them.
If you are shy, do not worry. Connecting with other people is one more skill, such as mathematics or carpentry, which can be learned and developed through study and practice. And I tell you from experience. When I was 18 I was going to go to Madrid to the university and I was in charge of calling the hostel to see if they had free places. You know what? I did not dare call because I was ashamed. I do not remember exactly what, but I was not able to make the call and I had to ask my friend Marco to call for me. Nowadays,
The people who have just met me consider me a super extroverted person and I have problems creating that story.
Improving social skills requires time and cannot be learned from home, sitting in front of the computer. If you really want to improve this aspect of your life, you’re going to have to take to the streets, try new things and adjust according to the reactions of people. The key is to practice, practice and practice.
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I recommend that you start by reading the best book on social skills that exists. Dale Carnegie wrote it in 1936 and is called How to Win Friends and Influence People. Warren Buffett, one of the best investors in the world, says that the most valuable thing he did in his entire life was enrolling in the course of Dale, which later gave rise to this book. The book contains no miracle recipe, but a set of principles for relating to others. Read it, take notes and try to apply what you have learned. Make it read as many times as necessary until those principles are part of your life. I assure you, you will notice the difference.
My second recommendation is mainly for single men, although women and men with partners can also be very useful. This is a very particular area within social skills: seduction. We spend a large part of our lives training in high school, high school and university to find a good job and earn a decent salary. However, for some strange reason, we do not spend a second learning how to find the woman or man of our life. The reality is that if
Everything you know about relating to women you’ve learned from your mother and the Disney movies, you probably do not care as much as you’d like or the kind of girls you’d like. Because,
For years there has been a community of men dedicated to studying how to connect. There is a novel based on real facts that explain how everything was born. It’s called The Method and I think it will surprise you. There is also a company in Spain that is dedicated to teaching men to relate to women: England Seduction. If you want to learn more, I recommend you take a look. I have met them personally and I can assure you that they are VERY GOOD in their work.
Imagine you could get into the brain of an expert. To know firsthand everything that a person has learned throughout his life on a specific subject. Receive personal advice from the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius or learn from Stephen Hawkins more about the universe. Imagine now that all this cost you less than 20 euros. Too nice to be true? Well, no. What I have just told you has existed for hundreds of years and is called a book.
The books are fantastic. There are books on any topic that you can imagine written by very intelligent people, and for less than what they cost two cubes, you can learn from those authors. If you are interested in marketing, you do not need to go to college and get the degree in marketing. Instead, you can read several marketing books that talk about the specific areas in which you are interested.
Obviously, not everything can be learned by reading. You will not learn to play tennis or become a programming expert for many books you read because to acquire a skill or knowledge is necessary to practice. What you can do is learn the theory directly from the best by reading your books and then try applying it on your own in the real world. It is cheaper than going to
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College, faster and the experience you will acquire will be much more useful since you will receive real feedback instead of your teacher’s comments. It will also save you having to study for all those classes that do not interest you but that are part of the curriculum.
Read: Read every day if possible. Read more books and fewer articles. Read the great thinkers of our history, like Seneca, Emerson, and Maslow. Read the biography of Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, people who changed the world. Read the experts on any topic that arouses your curiosity or that interests you minimally. Read and learn a little bit each day.
He had a physics teacher named Tirso who used to say that in the world there are very few lynxes and very few fools. There are people who read and people who do not read. I could not agree more.
The sooner you start the better.
Investing in yourself is the investment with the best cost-benefit you can find. It is much better than buying Apple shares. In particular, it has two major advantages over other forms of investment.
The first is that the benefits of investing in oneself are permanent, not temporary. Everything you live or learn today will serve you for life. Once you’ve learned how to ride a bike, you can ride a bike whenever you want until you die.
The second advantage is that the profits obtained accumulate and grow exponentially, like a snowball. It is not 3 + 3, but 3 x 3. Learning English, for example, opens a series of doors. But those doors, in turn, open more doors, which in turn open more doors.
That’s why; if you want to maximize profits, start investing in yourself right away.