Investing with Money vs. Investing with Human Capital by Sanjay Patel

  • Posted by: Sanjay Patel
  • 02th May 2016

Investing is an important part of life, but are you investing in the right things? Investing money is fairly easy; however, investing in human capital is quite a bit more difficult. When I say investing in human capital, I’m talking about personally making an investment in the world. This means helping others yourself rather than simply writing a check. Yes, money does help others, and I enjoy giving in a charitable manner, but investing yourself and your time and energy is so much more rewarding.

Getting Involved

When you get involved in actually giving back to your community, you gain a sense of pride, and you also gain a different perspective on things. When interacting with those whom you are helping, you have the chance to really see what they are going through. When you simply write a check, you don’t have the opportunity to experience the lives of others or to connect to them.

A Long-Term Investment

Likewise, making a personal investment has long-term effects. When the people you’re helping get a chance to meet you in person, they often experience a far greater impact on their lives. In fact, you may even create new friends through personally investing in giving. Think about it this way: if you needed a kidney transplant and you received one from a donor you never met, you would still be grateful; however, if you received a kidney from someone and you had a chance to meet that person, wouldn’t that have a bigger impact on your life? In addition, wouldn’t you want to thank that person, in person, for giving such a gift? When you give of yourself, investing your human capital, you have the chance to make a long-term investment in the lives of others.

Finding Time to Invest

One of the largest excuses I hear from others is that they don’t have the time to invest their efforts. While everyone is busy these days, you can always find time if you plan accordingly. Giving of yourself can be a spur of the moment type of thing, but you can also work it into your schedule by planning ahead. If you know of a charitable project coming up next month, mark your calendar and clear your schedule for that day. If you already have something scheduled for that day, see if you can rearrange things in order to attend the event. More than likely, you can make things work if you really want to.

Encourage Others to Get Involved

Something else that I’veĀ found important in investing with human capital is the act of getting others involved. You can do this by encouraging the people around you to give back as well, and I’ve noticed that the more I talk about charitable work, the more those around me want to get involved. They, in turn, begin to encourage me, and this leads to everyone wanting to give back. This cascading effect can then spread to everyone, leading to more giving and happier, healthier communities.

When you really stop and think about it, there are also ways to invest each day. Something as small as letting someone in when you’re in a line of traffic is an example of how your actions can make a positive impact on others. Don’t neglect the power of positivity in life. You can always find something to do that will benefit others, and when you make helping others a mantra, there’s no telling just how far you can go.

Sanjay Patel