Although most people in the United States report having spiritual beliefs, many don’t consider how their belief in a higher power can assist them in their work lives. In this guest blog on Mind Body Green, I explore the how a spiritual life can complement you in your business.
A few months ago, in the lunchroom of my office, there was a spirited — OK maybe even heated — discussion about religion. While I won’t go into the specifics of what each side was arguing, let’s just say that the various parties who were involved had deeply held beliefs that were in direct opposition to one another. And, after the conversation, both sides left feeling upset and misunderstood.
Due to the potential for run-ins such as this, I think that if you were to ask around, most people in the U.S. would contend that religion and business shouldn’t mix. Based on what I saw, I would probably wholeheartedly agree as well, and caution against getting into discussions such as the unfortunate one I just recounted.
Still, I believe that each of us can benefit from personal reflection about how our spirituality impacts our work lives. Note that I said spirituality, not religion. While religion is associated with a prescribed set of practices and beliefs, I see spirituality as relating to how we answer existential questions regarding why we are here, and the relationships we have with life and a higher power. If we don’t think about our spirituality as we are going about our work, we miss important opportunities for greater self-knowledge and work effectiveness. Here’s why:
1. Spirituality provides you with a sense of purpose.
For those of us who are deeply spiritual, our sense of what we are on earth to do pervades our very being. It simply cannot (and should not) be checked at the door. Research actually shows that people who see their work as a calling are more engaged in their work tasks and exert more effort toward accomplishing their goals. Even if you aren’t deeply religious, reflecting on your purpose and how you can fulfill it through your work will give you a boost.