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Randall Bell, PhD
Know Thyself
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Rich Habit #12: Know Thyself - Meditation or prayer correlates with a variety of benefits. Those who meditate or pray daily are 51.8 percent more likely to be happy.

From an early age, I idolized John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach. Wooden was not only an outstanding basketball player, but, as a coach, he led his UCLA team to an unprecedented ten national championships. I had the opportunity to chat with him once. He showed me that he carried a card in his wallet his father had given him, which outlined life’s basics. One of the principles was to give thanks to God daily, and ask for guidance.

If it is good enough for John Wooden, it is good enough for me. Every day, I simply thank God for everything I have and ask for guidance.

The habits of the Me cornerstone are a direct assault on what I call spiritual poverty. Spiritual poverty is a state where people have little or no belief in anything bigger than themselves. At some level, we all suffer from spiritual poverty. We all fall far short. We all mess up. Some of the wisest words ever spoken were shared by my youngest son, who was ten years old at the time. I had done something wrong and he said, Dad, sometimes to be successful, you just have to say you’re sorry and that you will do better. It’s just that easy.

In the Me cornerstone, we stop and contemplate upon those things that give life genuine meaning. We open the mental curtains and let the light and deeper feeling filter in. We listen to our conscience. We nourish thoughts that elevate us. We get a clearer view of what sets us apart from every other person on the planet—and what doesn’t. We look toward something greater than ourselves.

Spirituality is something that starts inside of us and spreads outward. Outward signs such as attendance in a church, synagogue, or mosque do not make anyone spiritual any more than sleeping in the garage will turn someone into a Chrysler. But for many people, organized religion helps them in their spiritual journey.

Whatever we choose as our source of inspiration, it must become a daily habit. Practicing meditation, praying, reading scriptures or other inspiring works, listening to music, and taking nature walks are all strong Me habits that can build and fortify our spiritual core. Being of service to others and getting a helper’s high will work when all else fails.

Spirituality is not just about going to church—it is everything we think and feel. It’s that indescribable spirit of a person’s day-to-day life. It is about embracing that inner moral compass that we all have. There is great wisdom inside all of us, ready to speak to us when we are ready to listen.

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