Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash Earlier this week, a name from the past made headlines.
Eastman Kodak saw
their stock price surge by 1,200% after it was announced that they would
receive a $765 million loan under the Defense Production Act. The loan to Kodak
is the first from the new U.S.
International Development Finance Corporation, a government agency that’s
been assigned the task of rebuilding America’s medical supply stockpile.
As a result of this first step, the company once known for
producing the chemicals necessary for developing film will now be known for producing
the chemicals necessary for developing needed medical drugs that are in
short supply (including drugs for treating Covid-19).
I share this story with you because Kodak has been a go-to
story within the business community for years. If you needed an example of a company
that missed its window for innovation and growth, Kodak was one of the first to
come to mind.
And now, thanks to this new investment, Kodak has a second
Kodak isn’t the only investment opportunity worth talking
about during this Covid season. It’s going to sound familiar to anyone who’s
listened to me over the past few months, but this is a perfect time for you to
reassess and reinvest in yourself to ensure your future growth.
Just as Kodak will get new life from their cash infusion,
you can get new life by investing in yourself during this time.
If you’re not sure where to start, let me give you three
places you should invest:
It should come as no surprise that a lot of people have
spent their time settled
in front of a screen during this Covid season. TV watching is up, streaming
hours are up, and there’s a good chance the screen time monitoring apps on most
phones are exhausted from calculating the number of hours people are staring at
their pocket screens.
While I’m not opposed to taking a mental break to watch
something entertaining every now and then, staring at a screen all day isn’t ideal
for your mind.
Last week, I wrote about the tools in
your leadership toolbox, and most of the tools I wrote about were tools
that build your mind; tools that help you improve and innovate your
thinking. Spending time with a good book, a smart podcast, or even an online
video course will help you sharpen your mind more than binge-watching “Friends”
again ever will.
If you’re going to consume content, focus on content that
makes you smarter.
piece of wisdom from the Bible that says, “Keep vigilant watch over your
heart; that’s where life starts.” It’s easy for a heart to be discouraged during
times like these; most of the news we see, hear, and read does little to offer
us hope for the future. Social media is full of personal attacks and
disagreement. And even the closest of families are experiencing struggles after
months of being together at home with little outside social contact.
That’s why you need to invest in your heart. Take breaks to
spend time alone with your thoughts so you can examine them. If they’re overly
negative, you need to change them because negative thinking will turn your
heart in a negative direction. I spend time in prayer and reading my Bible as a
way of investing in my heart, but you need to find a practice that works for
you. Maybe you can start a gratitude journal, or spend time daily repeating
your personal values to yourself as a reminder of what you stand for.
Regardless of the practice, make time for feeding your
heart because that’s the essence of who you really are.
I’ve already mentioned the strain that Covid has put on some
family dynamics, so it shouldn’t surprise you that the last place you should
invest is in your relationships. True, you may not see as many people as you’re
accustomed to seeing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in those
Set aside time to handwrite notes to people you’ve not seen
in a while and let them know that you’re thinking about them. Use your phone to
send a co-worker a text of encouragement—or better yet, actually call someone
and talk to them! Set up a Zoom call with your grandkids or your softball team
just to see what they’re up to.
Here’s what I know: while it may take until 2021 for things
like work, the economy, and community life to return to a state of normal,
relationships can’t wait that long. The people you know and love need your
investment today, and it’s well worth your time and energy.
You’ll have to invest in those relationships once things
get back to normal anyway; might as well get a jump start on the process so you
can move further faster when the opportunity is right.
The past few months have been difficult, and the months ahead may prove to be just as challenging, if not more so. Investing wisely in your mind, heart and relationships will ensure a smoother journey for you and the people you care about.
Your brilliant future begins today—lead the way for others by investing well in the areas that matter most.