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 life.
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.
There’s a 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 relationships.
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.