Neglecting the Spirit

Spirit plays a large part in our ultimate success. It is responsible for the meaning we attribute to our lives. If it is so important, why don’t we rely on it more to move us in the direction we want to go?

Spirit is difficult to define.

The reasons are three, I believe. First, like the wind, Spirit is difficult to see. You can’t actually put your finger on it, like a muscle, your weight, or your best 40-yard dash time. You have to infer its existence by watching its effects. The manifestations of Spirit are love, faith, peace, joy, creativity, ingenuity and imagination—in a word, it is the source of our satisfaction with life. It is what makes life interesting and unique.

Spirit is not taught.

Secondly, Spirit remains mysterious and illusive because we are taught very little about it. It is difficult to become aware of something about which you are ignorant. At home, only if parents are interested in Spirit and in passing along its importance to their children, will the subject be raised. In many cases, the “urgent,” tangible things of life take precedence. Knowledge of the Spirit becomes a back-burner issue.

In most schools in our country, Spirit is shunned. Obedience and compliance are rewarded, and those who dare exhibit resistance to authority or “thinking outside the lines” are scorned and corrected. No wonder most kids dislike school!

The freedom to think is a choice. Spirit is part of the “right brain” which, heretofore, has been relegated to the trash pile of “useless” gifts by the intellectual gurus who believe that success in life mainly comes about through logic, objectivity, and rationality. The child with imagination is branded as a “daydreamer,” and his/her perceived laziness must be eradicated, not nurtured. But just because something is believed to be true, does not make it right. History is punctuated with stories of very successful people (Henry Ford, Abraham Lincoln, John D Rockefeller, Isaac Newton, and Rush Limbaugh) who did not get their education through formal channels. School is not the route to success for everyone, thankfully.

I attended public school; I was compliant. I bought into the theory of left-brain dominance leading to success because my parents did. As a middle-aged adult, when the realities of the world failed to jive with my conceptions of it, I realized I was out of balance. I was missing one or more pieces to the “puzzle” of life. I chose to re-explore imagination, ingenuity, peace, joy, and love and add them to my inventory. My life has been more complete and fulfilling ever since, as can yours.

Spirit is confused with religion.

Thirdly, many confuse Spirit with religion, and in the current climate of social correctness, it is not considered wise to mix the two. God, the Universe, the Great Spirit- whoever you perceive Him to be—is a part of Spirit, to be sure. But the Spirit of man is also found in his/her creativity and ingenuity. Neglect God if you will; allowing Him to become a permanent part of your life will always be your choice.

But it is unwise to automatically exclude everything else that constitutes Spirit just because you think that knowing God will limit your freedoms in life. By making that choice, you necessarily discard much that can help you toward becoming a better person and a more successful individual while you are here on earth. Duty, discovery, honor, character become minimized by neglecting Spirit; that is a lot to “leave on the table.”

So, now that we have made the case for why Spirit is neglected, let’s think about how it helps. If you want to read ahead, go to All-In Or Nothing * Master Your Destiny, pages 246-250. Differential advantage may be found somewhere in the discussion.

Let’s talk again soon. Send me your comments.

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