Throughout my life, I have seen my parents struggle for money due to some business decisions gone wrong or for health reasons. Due to this, we never had money to spend on anything which was ‘not necessary‘. Most of what my parents earned were spent in our (the two brothers) education and other long term investments, and rarely on movies, entertainment or traveling. Maybe due to this lack of financial resources, all of us made up for that by focussing on little things like spending quality time together, always helping anyone who is in need and getting connected with people on a personal level. I have seen and observed my father chatting and getting along very well with one and all. I very vividly remember my father taking me to his office sometimes and everybody, from the security guard to the peon to the street vendors outside to the receptionist inside, greeting him warmly. It felt like my father was friends with everyone in the building. This article is about people, and how they are the best investment opportunity for us.
Acknowledging and Greeting
Normally, as we go through our life we tend to focus only on what is important and ignore everything else. Think about how many people we passed through today from the time we left our home till we reached office. And to how many of these people did we stopped and said “Good Morning”. It is such a simple thing to do, and a good morning wish leaves both parties smiling, still we ignore it most of the times. Very often we forget that how good it feels when somebody appreciates us and believes in our abilities. So isn’t it natural that we should thrive to do the same to others?
It Always Come Back
We invest our time and money in our jobs, stocks, mutual funds and real estate. We buy cars, phones and other gadgets and take pride in owning them. But I have always believed that the best investment we can make in are people. You might or might not get your returns from the stock market or the real estate market, but investing in people always come back. If somebody needs our time and attention, nothing can be a bigger investment for us to help that person with honesty and compassion. There is no better sight in this world than seeing somebody smile and knowing that we are the reason behind it, that we could be of some help. And even if we talk in terms of returns, investment on people always tend to come back in life, and in proportions we can’t imagine. I am a witness to how many different unknown people have come forward to help my parents in times of need, without even their asking for it.
Myself and friends at Noida in 2008
It is a Challenge, but a Very Rewarding One
Now it is easy to say that we must invest in people, but it can get really challenging and daunting in real life. Many times we will come across people who are very easy to ignore, or who trigger our temper and we might want to shout and yell at them. But on the other hand, empowering someone and taking time to listen to them can sometimes surprise even them. Many a time people will realize this and thank you for the extra effort you are putting, and that is always a very rewarding experience.
Have Fun, make Them Laugh
If we try to remember the times when we have been angry, upset, frustrated or just unhappy, we will realize that we have been taking things too seriously. All the life’s so called problems occur mostly when we are lost in a moment and lose the bigger perspective. If we look at things in perspective, an annoying boss in office might not be as important in the picture of your ‘whole life‘ as important as we might have made him/her. So it’s always good to loosen up, and treat people as human beings first, rather than good or bad resources. Have some fun, crack some jokes and laugh. For many, this period of fun might be the best part of their day, and you can be glad you were a part of it.
Be Genuine, Truthful and Trustworthy
All what I have written above is not some trick and people are smart enough to find out whether you genuinely mean your affection or if you are bluffing. So what I am advocating is to really become the person who cares about others, whom others can trust and who doesn’t break promises. It takes effort to ingrain these features in our character, but if we can do that, we will reap the rewards. As I said before, compared to our bank balance, stock portfolio or real estate, if our investment in people start giving results, it can dwarf all other investments we might have.