You Should Be Investing In Yourself

Once You StartI was getting tired of it all. Working rotating shifts, not seeing my girlfriend and now being away from my son for long periods of time. It was 2011 and I realized that I need to make a massive shift in my life.

I began working as a 911 dispatcher at the ripe old age of 18, so by this time I had been in this job for 7 years. Everything started out fine, I loved the job and the work hours. I used to say ‘I never want a 9-5 job, I like having time off when the rest of the world is working.’ Boy did I start to regret that statement just before my first son was born.

It wasn’t the job itself that began to suck, but the hours, the days off, the hold overs and order-ins. If you’ve worked in public safety long enough, you know what I’m referring to. But this article isn’t about all of that. Those things were merely the drivers to get me started on something far, far greater than I had ever imagined I was capable of.

But again, this article isn’t about me. It’s about you. And not just about you, but also how you can begin to have a greater impact on the world almost instantly.

When I figured out that my life just wasn’t working the way things were going, somehow deep down, I knew I was responsible for getting off my ass and fixing things. What I couldn’t count on was the amazing side effects that would begin to happen. I’ll try to keep from getting too ‘woo-woo’ on you because that goes against the grain of what firefighters are about, but I’m serious when I tell people that this is the one key thing to seeing serious changes in their life and those around them.

Investing In Yourself.

I don’t mean buying a 12 pack, a bag of chips and sitting down to your favorite movie. I mean making a serious investment in your growth.

If you’ve ever found yourself wanting more in life, but didn’t know how to get it, then you weren’t investing in yourself.

If you’ve ever been stuck and couldn’t figure out what to do next, then you weren’t investing in yourself.

And if you’ve ever felt like you were capable of far greater things but didn’t take action to make that happen, then you weren’t investing in yourself.

What Exactly Am I Investing In?

You see, that’s the beauty of investing in yourself. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you’re doing something that will make your life better. If you want to get in shape (You should if you’re a firefighter), then start working out. If you want to make more money so your family is comfortable, learn a new skill. If you want to gain more wisdom, grab my book (shameless plug, haha).

For example, when I realized I needed to change my life, there were a few key areas I chose to focus on.

1.    Family Time – I stopped taking over time unless I was ordered in and I started trying to do more with my friends and family.

2.    New Job – Long term, I knew I would have to get out of public safety to achieve my goals, so I started to learn everything I could about marketing and sales so when I’m ready, I can make that jump.

3.    Nature – I wanted more time outdoors and to see more incredible places, so I started doing that.

Those were my big three when I started making the shift from letting life happen to me to taking action and making what I wanted out of my life. This isn’t me on a high horse. I have an incredibly long way to go to get to my goals. And when I get there, they’ll probably change yet again. But I can tell you it’s been a powerful journey so far, which leads me to…

Once You Start, You Won’t Be Able To Stop

It’s something I have to warn you about ahead of time, because once you start really working on changing your life, you won’t be able to stop.

I was never a big reader growing up. Now though, I can’t stop. I have hundreds of personal development, marketing and skills books now. Jim Rohn once said “Poor people have big TV’s. Rich people have big libraries.” While you could take that literally (and perhaps should), metaphorically, it also makes sense. People that are stuck in a life that’s less than ideal for them are there because they aren’t continuing to push themselves, learn more, be more and do more than their current state. Instead, they sit around being entertained and take the easy road.

Investing in yourself is hard work. It takes dedicated time, energy and consistent effort, but boy do the rewards pay for themselves.

About Those Rewards

Of course if you’re investing in yourself, you want to know how that’s all going to pay off. The truth is that your growth directly influences those around you. So your family, your friends, your co-workers and yes, your fire department all stand to gain when you do. It will start out small at first, maybe they notice you’re happier or more committed than before. Over time, it will build and compound on itself to the point where they notice you’re a completely different person.

Think about it for a bit. If you’re truly committed to continuing to change your life, you may want to consider signing up below so you’re the first to get our latest content.

See, The Bravest Volunteers isn’t just about recruitment, retention and fire department culture, we help you create a better life for yourself too.

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Chris Lockwood

Chris is the own of The Bravest Volunteers. He's worked as a 911 dispatcher since 2004 and been a volunteer fire fighter since 2002. During that time he served as Captain before moving to a new town.

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Chris Lockwood

Chris is the own of The Bravest Volunteers. He's worked as a 911 dispatcher since 2004 and been a volunteer fire fighter since 2002. During that time he served as Captain before moving to a new town.