Which is most important to you: personal entertainment or personal development?
How do you know?
Two sure-fire ways to measure importance is to look at how you allocate time and money – your calendar and finances. Let’s do some quick math regarding finances. First, tally up on paper how much you spent on personal entertainment in the past year. Look for this information in your personal accounting software, if you have it, or just look through your checkbook and credit card statements.
To estimate your investments in entertainment, look for the obvious like new home entertainment purchases including technology like televisions, MP3 players and DVR machines… music, book and video purchases, rentals, Netflix or pay-per-view subscriptions, downloads and the like… and the not-so-obvious such as alcohol and dining out… wine and book clubs, magazines, etc… vacations, even day trips (travel, lodging, food, other expenses)… sporting events and concerts… Get the idea?
As you did this, you probably ran across some travel expenses that were related to business or professional development – those don’t count as entertainment, at least not entirely. Count them toward personal development, that is if YOU made some investment (not just your employer). Be honorable and separate out what might legitimately be considered an investment in personal or professional development. (Note: a night out at Hooters during your professional conference should most likely be counted as entertainment, regardless of who you were with!)
Now tally up any other development expenses, including the obvious like school tuition and training fees, personal development books and recordings, journal subscriptions (that you actually read), executive coaching fees, Weight Watcher membership, personal trainers, athletic club or professional memberships (only the ones you actually use; remember, be honorable)… Include anything and everything you have done to develop yourself further as a person and as a professional in the past 12 months.
- So where are you investing more? Which is most important to you: personal entertainment or personal development?
- How does that make you feel?
- Is there anything you would change?
Tomorrow, Part 2: Personal Development and the Three Currencies of Cost.