How investing in your a**hole leads to bigger and better life improvements
I was skeptical at first.
Doesn’t it create a bigger mess? Will it actually clean the thing? Aren’t Europeans a bit backward anyway?
I replayed the ad one more time, just to be sure. I hesitated for a moment and thought about clicking away. I didn’t need a bidet. I didn’t want a bidet. They seemed posh and probably too expensive.
Well, it wouldn’t hurt to see how much they are?
I opened up Amazon, just to take a peek and validate my preconceived notions…Oh, only $35.
It was at this moment I realized I was at a crossroads. Either I splurge on a $35 bidet and become known as the guy with the pristine bum or I do what I always do and convince myself not to spend money on my well-being.
So I made a firm decision. I would buy the bidet. I would invest in a part of myself typically accustomed to single-ply. And I would learn a few life lessons along the way.
Because here’s the thing no one tells you about bidets: if you’re willing to invest in the comfort and care of your asshole, there’s no stopping you from taking care of the rest of yourself.
How to start making small investments in yourself
When you invest money in the stock market, you hope to eventually make more money over time.
When you invest in yourself, you aren’t necessarily looking for monetary returns but rather gains in time, physical health, mental health, or new skills. When you are considering making a purchase for yourself, ask these questions to determine if it’s truly an investment:
- Will this thing save me time in the long run?
- Will this thing help make me physically stronger and healthier?
- Will this thing bring me peace of mind or take away anxieties?
- Will this thing teach me something new I can apply in the real world?
Let’s look at a real example from this past year. Last January my wife and I had a pile of bills totaling $26,000. After moving to a new city and living off of a residency salary for two years, we found ourselves in a bit of a hole and needed to do something about it.
I had heard about this budgeting software called You Need a Budget that could apparently change your spending habits and get you out of debt. However, it cost $84 a year. And with a $26,000 deficit staring us in the face, it didn’t feel right to spend money to save money.
But we bought the software and got to work. Over the course of this year, we completely flipped our debt to cash ratio which you can see in the graph below (red=debt, blue=cash).
If you’re wondering why the dip in September, we bought a house, something unimaginable in January. We took a shitty situation and cleaned it up (again, pun fully intended). It began with one small investment in ourselves.
After small investments like the bidet and budgeting software, I’ve continued to make other investments in myself. I purchased a pull-up bar for quick yet efficient upper body workouts. I paid for a team to design and format my book instead of doing it myself. I even started going to a real barber instead of crossing my fingers and hoping my wife doesn’t shave too much off.
At the time, investments like these felt like selfish indulgences. However, I’ve come to see how vital they were in shaping me into a better overall human. Because they uncovered two big problems we all deal with.
The problem? We struggle to spend on ourselves
My mom says I need to spend more on myself. I tend to wait for my shoes to have holes in them before buying a new pair. I’ll wait an entire year before buying another tee shirt. I once sacrificed my big toe toenails so that I wouldn’t have to buy a slightly larger soccer cleat.
Some of us struggle to spend money on ourselves. I have two kids and a wife and I’d much rather spend money on them and see their smiling faces than spend money on myself and think: Am I being too selfish?
It’s even harder to spend money on yourself when there isn’t an immediate “return”. For example, you can buy a new car and everyone will congratulate you and say how awesome you are. But spend that same amount on a new business or sign up for business coaching and people will think you’re crazy.
Part of why we don’t want to invest in ourselves is because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of not receiving validation from others. We’re afraid of not feeling instant gratification. We’re afraid we’re not worth it.
And that’s the key. We don’t invest in ourselves because deep down we don’t see ourselves as worthy of those investments.
And that’s why I bought a bidet. I needed to prove to myself that my ass was worth more than crappy toilet paper (pun intended). Once I made the cognitive jump from unworthy to worthy, I started to see every aspect of my life differently.
The other problem? We spend money to impress others
Buying a pair of $250 Nikes or copping the latest influencer merch isn’t really for you, is it? We buy things we don’t need to signal to others, Hey look, I’m cool and relevant too.
We buy nice cars to impress our friends. We buy nice clothes to catch a date. We struggle to spend money on ourselves but we’re more than happy to spend it for others.
You can spend a butt load of money on a new house and everyone will congratulate you and say how awesome you are. But spend that same amount on a new business or drop $1,000 on books and people will think you’re crazy.
This is another key identifier of true self-investment: it’s quiet, unnoticeable, and almost always private. Subscribing to that gym membership or buying that book isn’t something you’ll post about on Instagram (if you are that person then you have some other issues to work on).
The small, quiet investments on yourself don’t send signals. They are for you and you alone. But you have to be careful. How do you know if something is an investment and not self-indulgence?
“Treat Yo Self” vs Investing in Yourself
The intentional self-indulgent “Treat Yo Self” was born out of the once prominent fictional character (now a meme), Tom Haverford. If you’ve never been a Parks and Rec fan, let me get you caught up.
Once a year, co-workers Tom and Donna spend a day pampering themselves without reservation. Spa treatments, sushi, leather goods, you name it. The idea is that everyone deserves at least one day a year to “treat yo self.” And I agree, kind of.
Back to my somewhat impromptu purchase of a bidet, it may seem like we could add this to the “treat yo self” column, however, there is a vast difference between pampering and investing in one’s self.
Pampering is temporary. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, and at the end of the day, all you’re left with is some happy chemicals in your brain. Investing is quite the opposite. It might be pleasurable, to some extent, but the effects last much longer.
Buying a bidet is an investment, or at least, it’s a step toward investing in yourself. When you take a very ordinary occurrence of your day, sitting on the toilet, and treat it with the utmost care, you’re saying to yourself, “What other areas of my life need improving?”
Self-indulgent spending never leads to those life-changing questions.
The big takeaway
There’s a difference between buying things you’ve been coerced into buying (from brands, advertising, etc.) and strategically buying things that improve yourself.
Most of the time we buy things to impress others when we should be investing the small, quiet things that’ll actually improve our lives and well-being.
When I bought a bidet, my life changed for the better. Not because I’m guaranteed a perpetually clean bum but because I finally broke my own stigma of spending money on myself in the right way.
In other words, you’re willing to invest in your asshole, the sky’s the limit.