A few years ago I sat down with an investment counselor who walked me through my options as I prepare for retirement. He stated that there are two ways to invest. One is short-term with low risk but minimal rewards. There is also high risk with the possibility of great returns, but there might be some big drops along the way. With me being a long way from retirement I chose to take the high risk, high return option. Through the years I have watched my portfolio grow and drop and grow and drop. Anytime I have talked to my investment counselor about the situation, he has reminded me to take “the long-term view.”
I have been thinking about these conversations as I process my investment in people. Do I invest myself in people for the short-term or the long-term? The short-term has some immediate gratification. You can see someone learn something new, maybe they can recite some facts and they might even make some changes. The long-term investment in people is hard. You see people grow and then stop. You see people learn something new and life changing and then they forget it. It is tough to watch people only make incremental growth year after year.
Here is the interesting part to me, I take the long-term approach naturally with my kids (or grand kids). I know I have 18 plus years to mold and shape their lives. Then I go to Church and I expect people to change immediately and become discouraged when it doesn’t seem to happen.
How would your life be different if you saw your investment in other people as a long-term investment in their lives? As my counselor said, “You need to take the long-term view.”