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Published on May 22, 2020

Why You Need Spirituality Goals To Enhance Your Life

Why You Need Spirituality Goals To Enhance Your Life

As humans, we are not only made up of the physical that can be seen and touched, but there are also other immaterial aspects that exist beyond the physical lifespan of the human body. These may include soul, spirit, intellect, will, energy, emotions, conscience, and more.

It is possible to go all out chasing after your life’s dreams and yet neglect a very important part of you: spirituality. This should not be so. Here is a guide to help you discover what spirituality means and how to set spirituality goals to enhance your life.

What Is Spirituality?

Spirituality can be described as “the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than [oneself], something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature”[1].

The issue of spirituality is something that cannot be ignored. Although it is natural to question the existence of something intangible like a soul or spirit, one way or another, people still “try to attend to their inner life — to their mental and emotional states — in the hopes of gaining a certain kind of self-knowledge”[2]. This is still spirituality, even if the belief in a soul, spirit, or higher power is absent.

Benefits of Spirituality

Having a “spiritual life” is important to your quest towards attaining fulfillment and living a balanced life. Here are some ways spirituality can benefit your life:

Gain a Deeper Knowledge of Yourself

We take so much time to learn about our world and how to survive but less time to learn about ourselves: who we are and what we want. Spirituality can help you reflect and connect to your source in order to gain deeper knowledge about the purpose of your existence.

Create a Broader Knowledge of the World

Humans have become sophisticated in knowledge, and this is evident in how the world is continually shaped by innovation. However, there is some knowledge about the universe that only deep spirituality can reveal. Being a spiritual person will give you a “third eye,” a sense of insight, with which you can see things differently.

Keep Your Body and Soul Healthy

Worry, anxiety, and depression can set in when the weight of life’s challenges becomes too heavy to bear. Spirituality can help you liberate greater energy from within yourself to overcome physical stress. Furthermore, research shows that spirituality can help improve later life health[3], so it’s a good idea to get started now.

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Increase Compassion

Spirituality can help you become more compassionate as you see the need to be sensitive to the needy and afflicted around you. When you look into yourself, you see a reflection of everyone around you. This will help you connect on a deeper level.

Find Alternative Ways of Solving Life’s Problems

Some situations in life might require divine intervention. When you are spiritually conscious, you will find alternative ways of approaching and solving life’s problems.

How to Set Spiritual Goals

Whether it’s based on a belief in a higher power or a simple desire to engage in introspection, spirituality is useful to everyone. Here’s how to begin setting spiritual goals.

1. Define What Spirituality Means to You

Spirituality means different things to different people. For some, it’s all about the practice of a particular religion, while to others it’s about the practice of charity, humanitarian services, and caring for the poor and sick in society. Some others regard spirituality as reaching higher levels of consciousness such as is found in the practice of yoga, meditation, and others like them[4].

Defining and clarifying what spirituality means to you is the first step towards setting spiritual goals.

2. Identify Your Areas of Deficiency

After you have clarified your spiritual beliefs and commitments, the next thing is to identify where you have been deficient. For example, if you believe in having daily devotion and prayer and find that you have not been observing that for some time, it shows that is an area of deficiency that needs to be worked on.

3. Itemize the Essential Practices

Write out all the spiritual practices that are important to you, which you know you should be practicing. This can include meditation, yoga, prayer, volunteering, and any other practice that helps you connect to your deepest self.

4. Turn Your Essential Practices Into Goals

Turning those essential practices you have identified to goals means that you are ready to take them on by creating a strategy to achieve them. What makes goals different from ordinary desires is that you are intentionally committed to setting and achieving them.

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5. Prioritize Your Goals and Start With One First

In order to be able to achieve your spiritual goals, you have to take them on, one by one. This means that you will start with the goal that is most important to you first.

20 Examples of Spirituality Goals

If you’re having trouble finding a good place to start, try using one of the following spirituality goals.

1. Become More Discerning

Discernment is the ability to spot the difference between right and wrong, truth and falsehood. Discernment is required when dealing with people who are cunning or people who are interested in misleading others. Being able to discern will require gaining some spiritual sense and understanding motives. This might be achieved by spending quality time in devotion and meditation.

2. Become More Intuitive

Intuition is the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning. Intuition is a good guide when you need to make fast decisions or solve a difficult problem. Maintaining a relationship with the divine through devotion can help you become more intuitive.

3. Learn How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety

Everyone confronts fear and anxiety, and one of the ways spirituality helps is to find hope and comfort in the midst of uncertainties. Your goal can be to find how to maintain balance in the midst of chaos.

4. Observe Daily Devotion or Meditation

Spirituality demands commitment, and one of such commitments is participating in a daily devotion or meditation. Start with 5 or 10 minutes and work your way up from there.

5. Organize Family Devotion

Leading your family to be committed spiritually is a worthy goal. This can be daily or weekly time of family devotion whereby family members jointly observe religious practices or meditate together.

6. Create a Prayer Routine

Prayer is communication between humans and God. Having a special time of prayer, daily or weekly, to unload your burdens in prayer or pray for other people is a worthy goal. If you don’t believe in God, prayers can simply be offered to the universe or the energy around you.

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7. Listen to Your Inner Voice

Unlock your inner guidance by creating time to listen to your inner voice. Plan alone time, whereby you’ll shut out every noise and distraction and go into a space where you can be alone and listen to your thoughts and intuition.

8. Feed the Hungry

One of the marks of true spirituality is caring for the poor. While you may not own so much yourself, you can still share what you have with the poor. You can set a goal to provide food items for the needy on a monthly basis or send your support through a charitable organization.

9. Show More Kindness

Being kind in this regard has to do with showing kindness to all people that come your way. It is about showing that you care, being approachable, and helping others whenever the opportunity arises.

10. Join a Place of Worship

If you are interested in improving your spirituality, then connecting with others who have similar beliefs as yours will be a step in the right direction.

11. Let Go of Control

You will get exhausted quickly if you always want to fix everything. There are some things that are beyond you that you just simply need to let go of. Set a goal to not always want to be in control. It will help you to unburden yourself. Not being in control means learning to surrender to something or someone greater than you and trusting that things will happen as they need to.

12. Apply Spirituality to Solving Problems

One of the identified benefits of spirituality is having an alternative way of attempting to solve life’s problems. However, spiritual capital will only remain a potential when it is untapped. Therefore, a goal to check for spiritual solutions in some circumstances is a good one.

13. Observe Fasting

Fasting has been known to help maintain focus when observing spiritual commitments, as well as improve health in some cases[5]. Besides the spiritual benefits, fasting is also a good way to detoxify your body. You can plan to fast once or twice every week or join a general religious fast. Keep in mind that you should consult a doctor before engaging in this practice just to make sure your body is ready for it.

14. Sponsor the Education of Needy Children

Giving is one of the expressions of spirituality. If you have the means, you can set a goal of sponsoring the education of one or more needy children or send regular contributions to a charity already involved with this.

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15. Adopt a Child

You can express spirituality by taking responsibility for raising a child under your roof. This is a great expression of love, and you will be proud to give someone a chance in life.

16. Learn More About God

Knowing more about God is one of the hallmarks of spirituality. You can set a goal to read and study books and publications that have expositions about God and how you can get to know God better.

17. Study the Universe

Getting to know more about how the universe works can open you up to some new understanding about life. Devote some time weekly to read a book or watch a documentary about the universe.

18. Learn About Other World Religions

Learning about other religions wouldn’t be a bad idea. It can broaden your perspectives about religious beliefs and also help you to be more tolerant of people with different religious views. You can plan to study about two or more of the world’s religions with the objective of knowing the similarities and differences between them.

19. Plan a Visit to Religious Sites

Most of the world’s religions have holy places or places of historical significance attached to them. Planning a pilgrimage or tour to such sites can help you connect deeper with the stories that form the bulk of the practices of such religions.

20. Seek Spiritual Answers to Life’s Questions

There are several questions that often come up in the human mind. These include: Where do people go when they die? Will the world come to an end? Is there judgment after death? Is Heaven real? Is Hell real? You can set a goal to unravel the truths to such questions or at least form your own opinion about them.

Final Thoughts

Being spiritually conscious can improve your sense of peace and personal acceptance. Being spiritual is about being able to leverage on the privileges of the divine to live an upright life, be sensitive and respond to the needs around you, solve some of life’s problems, and prepare to face life’s most difficult challenges.

More Tips on Developing Spirituality

Featured photo credit: John Mark Arnold via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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