Your level of investment determines your level of success.
After college, I struggled for years in just about every department of my life. I had no money, so I got used to buying the cheapest option whenever possible.
But buying the cheapest option eventually brings the most expensive consequences. There are investments you should be making in yourself. If you continue avoiding self-investment, every area of your life will suffer.
Here are 5 of the best self-investments you need to make before you turn 30.
1. Your Pillow
You will need to learn many new skills to achieve the life you want.
A Super Bowl-winning quarterback needs to know more than just how to throw a ball; they must master contract negotiations, brand management, nutrition, public speaking, team leadership, and a ton of other skills.
You’ll need energy to learn these skills. As Anders Ericsson wrote in his book Peak, “Becoming accomplished in any field where there is a well-established history of people working to become experts requires a tremendous amount of effort exerted over many years.”
You can’t exert a tremendous amount of effort over a long time if you don’t sleep well.
Buying a nice pillow was one of the best investments I made in my 20s. Better sleep has so many benefits you probably won’t even believe them all.
Invest in a better pillow. Your performance, energy, and ability to quickly learn new skills is priceless.
I know what you’re thinking. But Anthony, I already wear designer underwear that makes me feel like my crotch is perpetually floating down a lazy river in the serene mountains.
I bought cheap underwear for most of my life. In fact, I flat out refused to buy new underwear, even if my wife begged me just to try it.
Then I saw a sale at Calvin Klein. Men’s underwear, 60% off.
My life would never be the same.
The benefits of great underwear might not be substantial, but there is one benefit that makes the whole thing worth it:
I feel more mature and capable when I wear them.
(Is that weird?)
A lot of people struggle with impostor syndrome, constantly thinking they’re not good enough, that everyone else is better, that there’s no way they can succeed.
Good underwear helps shut down those thoughts.
Buy good underwear.
I spent $20 the other day for 12 oz of coffee beans.
I think it’s the most I’ve ever spent on coffee.
But people. You haven’t heard the rest.
The coffee comes in whole beans, single-origin Ethiopian. Stumptown’s Suke Quto is a seasonal bean, meaning it’s gone in a month or two. They were roasted the day before I bought them.
They are incredible.
Look , when you take care of yourself, your body and mind rewards you with renewed energy, focus, and discipline. I drank the worst coffee — the worst, it was a red, crinkly bag of ground beans with a label that simply said Coffee — for years.
It kept me awake. The caffeine did its job.
But now, I go to bed excited for my coffee in the morning. The freshness, the buzz, the exclusivity of a great bag of beans — man. Game-changer.
Great coffee means happy people. And happy people usually end up getting what they’re striving for.
Therapy is the single best investment I’ve made for myself in my entire life.
I’ve been seeing my therapist for seven years now. It costs $115 an hour, which I pay out of pocket.
If the price was doubled, I’d still pay it.
Look , we all have emotional baggage we’re carrying around, most of it from when we were young. “Unresolved baggage from our childhood can have severe impacts on our adulthood,” wrote David Richo in his book How To Be An Adult.
Therapy helps you cut ties with all the weight you’re carrying. It’s scary — my therapist once told me to write down every single instance I could remember feeling ashamed of myself (I filled up 18 pages). You might cry. You might feel angry, scared, ashamed, and afraid.
But then you feel great.
My parents got divorced. Addiction runs in my family. Dysfunction, abuse, cheating, lying, and toxicity were all strong themes in my family.
Maybe that’s true for you, too. If so, I have only one thing to say:
No one’s going to clean all that up but you.
All the negative traits you’ve developed from unresolved baggage — passive-aggression, resentment, anger, shame, addiction — they’re all hurting your income, relationships, and success.
My friend just started going to therapy. Costs him $200 an hour, out-of-pocket.
He told me it’s the best investment he’s ever made.
5. Water Purifier
Good water helps increase your earning potential and will get you promotions.
I know. But bear with me.
Bad water is tap water. If you’re in LA like me, tap water is bad. It’s gross. You don’t want to drink it.
So what happens if you only have bad water? You usually don’t drink it unless you have to.
And what happens when you don’t drink water? You get tired and constantly have headaches. You might start over-consuming soft drinks, coffee, or alcohol instead.
Over-consuming these liquids leaves you tired, irritable, and significantly less able to do deep work and sustain focus for a long time.
A water purifier changes all that.
Good water is delicious to drink. I drink about 90oz (almost a gallon) of water a day because I have good water. Sure, I use the restroom a lot, but the health benefits of drinking a lot of water are endless. More focus, discipline, rest, and energy means better quality (and quantity) of work.
Better work means more money and more trust between colleagues. This brings better relationships, and in the words of Tony Robbins, “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.”
All from a water purifier!
For most people, “spending more money” has never been the right option.
But as you grow older, you’ll have more demands on your time and energy. You’ll be presented with newer, larger opportunities. You’ll be able to make big changes.
Your level of investment determines your level of success. The cheapest option eventually becomes the most expensive one, because cheapness goes hand-in-hand with mediocrity.
Extraordinary people have made extraordinary investments in themselves. You should, too.