This week we're going to to talk about the topic of spirituality. What is it? And really, I think the most important part of this is not only what is it, but is it for everyone, right? Some of us, and I like to design this course, I try really hard to design this course to be open to everyone, all right? And I don't ever want to deliver content that might be in conflict with your beliefs, all right? So if you're religious, you have a place here, if you're not religious, you also have a place here, all right? I want to be welcoming to everybody. So today's topic is, maybe, I don't know, I don't know if I'd say it's controversial, but some people are going to get turned off by the word spirituality. If you're not religious, you may say you know what, this is not a lecture for me, there's nothing here of value. And I would say, hang on, because I know how you feel, but hang on, I think you're going to find that there might be some things, at least pick your interest, all right? I'm going to make a strong case that all of us need to have some sort of spirituality in our life, again, doesn't have to be rooted in religion. It's great if it is, but it doesn't have to be, all right? There's a room for everybody. So let's start with what is spirituality. It's a broad concept of a belief in something beyond the self, all right? So again, that's a pretty broad statement. Something beyond the self, again, that could be a god, or it could be some other things that I'll show later, that could be an alternative. So again, it may revolve around religious traditions, but it doesn't have to. Or even a belief in a higher power, but again, you can have a form of spirituality without believing either one of those. And so hang with me as we get into this, but that spirituality. Again, let's just reemphasize, it's just the concept of believing something beyond the self, all right? You know what it is? We just gave a definition. You have a general idea, and of course, if this is the first time you've seen this material, let's talk about why, all right? I'm always big on this idea of why, why should you care? So let's get into, if you don't have a spiritual practice now, why you might want to think about developing one. Let's talk about better health. And again, all of this is going to be coming from research, this isn't my own thoughts, this is an anecdotal, it actually is empirical. So, this comes from research, you're going to have better health, if you have a spiritual practice. You're going to have greater psychological well being, less depression, all right? And again, you can see a lot of, let me just pause right here, you're going to see a lot of, when we talk about spirituality, we're talking about really a tie into purpose and meaning. A lot of times when people have a spiritual practice, they really are rooted in purpose and meaning. So I think that's why we see less depression, less hypertension, less stress. Even during difficult times, people get through the bumpy parts of life a lot better when they have a spiritual practice, more positive feelings, right? We tend to be a little bit less negative when we believe that we're part of something bigger than ourselves. And then lastly, a superior ability to handle stress. Again, we see this theme of handling, what I would call the storms of life, better when we have a spiritual practice. So these, I don't know, I feel like this should get your attention, it gets my attention and I will tell you, I'm going to be very honest with you. This is an area of my life that I've been working on lately. I am not religious, I don't practice religion, and so this is my path. And it's not to say that you need to follow my path, but I just want to be clear about this. I'm working hard to develop more of ,what I would call a solidified spiritual practice, because it's really all over the place for me. And so I'm working on this because when I see a screen like this, all these benefits, I think it's in my best interest to develop that and I hope that you consider the same. So what are some signs of spirituality? I think you're going to be able to relate to a lot of this, even if you say, you know what Ron, I don't have a spiritual practice. Take a look at what I'm about to show you and tell me how many of these resonate with you. Because I think you're going to go, wow, almost all those resonate with me, maybe I am more spiritual than I thought, all right? So this is again, making the case is for everyone. So asking deep questions about topics such as suffering, what does that mean? There's a lot of ancient philosophy and religions that talk about the idea of suffering, in Buddhism, they talk about the idea that suffering is, is something that everybody's going to go through. But also, the Buddha would say that we should try to escape suffering, although he also says it's impossible. So it's kind of a little bit of a conundrum there. But the idea of suffering is again, rooted in a lot of ancient philosophies and a lot of religion, what does that mean to you? And then also, what happens after death? I think if you're asking those kind of questions, you might have some kind of spiritual practice. Deepening connections with other people, all right? What does those connections mean? You know by now, if you follow me along, I'm going to say it a lot, we are social creatures, what do those social connections mean to us? They're very important. And so, what does that look like? Spiritual practice can help us deepen those connections, all right? So experiencing compassion and empathy for others. If we feel like we're part of something bigger than ourselves and all of the people around us, I know it sounds maybe touchy feeling, but I look at everybody with me around me, this is my brothers and sisters. We are all connected as part of humanity. And again, that comes from this idea of something bigger than me. Experiencing feelings of interconnectedness. I think it's related to the last one, right? Just kind of piggybacking on that idea. Feelings of awe and wonder. How many times, and awe and wonder are very powerful by the way, especially if we can go out and do something in the world, and we have a sense of awe, this is a very big driver of positive well being. That's why going out in nature, a lot of times we find awe in nature. So going on a hike or something where you see a grand view and you just have this sense of awe, that's an incredibly important thing that we have in our lives. So go out there and maybe look for those sort of things. Seeking happiness beyond material possessions or other external rewards. This, in my humble opinion, is epidemic, especially in the United States. We have become, I think a little too wrapped around, the importance of material things, right? The big house, the nice car, all the material possessions, right? We hoard things, we buy way more things than we need, we are consuming because again, that's the messaging we get from society, is to consume, consume, consume. But many of those things we don't truly need, all right? And so again, I'll let you wrestle with, can I simplify? Can I have fewer things? And more importantly, can I place more importance on the things like connecting with other people, doing things that are intrinsic motivators instead of extrinsic motivators, those things that are internal to me. We've talked previously about a mastering mindset or we will later, and what does that mean? And should that be important, honing your craft, that should be more important than the nice car you drive. But a lot of times we get that backwards. So think about that. Again, rooted in spirituality. Seeking meaning and purpose, that's what this course is all about. So, you can see spirituality should be included in this discussion. Wanting to make the world a better place. Oftentimes people say, I want to leave the world a better place than I found it. That is definitely something that could be a sign of spirituality. Moving forward, I hope that some of those resonated with you, maybe all of them. Quite honestly, as I looked through that list, I would say, most or all of them, resonate with me. And so, maybe I'm more spiritual than I believe. But again, I'm still working to put some concreteness around that. All right, so here's some possibilities. This is a list I put together. This is not all inclusive, all right? There's a lot of models, a lot of these models are going to be religion, but there's a lot of models out there, that can be the basis for your spirituality, all right? Here's some, again, if you don't have a spiritual practice, maybe one of these or some of these pick your interest, go out and do some research, check it out. Okay, does this fit me? I would also say, don't be too afraid to mix and match. I know traditional, especially traditional religions, really frown upon that, but I'm not that person that says, I don't. I quite honestly, I take a lot of stoic philosophy and Buddhist philosophy and I combine the two. I take what I like from each one and I create my own philosophy of life, a little bit similar to spirituality, but my philosophy of life is a hodgepodge, all right? So I would say, don't be afraid to do that. Hopefully that doesn't I don't know, violate your beliefs, but that's what I would say. But again, here's just an example of some things that you can think about Buddhism. Again, I've already talked about something, there's a lot of Buddhist concepts I like. Christianity. I grew up catholic and so Christianity is certainly something that has influence on me. Humanism, I've got this one highlighted for a reason. I want to bring this to your attention because I think a lot of people, including myself not too long ago, didn't know what this was, and I think it's an option for people that say, you know what, religion is not for me. That's a snapshot of some ideas that could be the foundation of your spiritual practice, and again, don't be afraid to mix and match. All right, so humanism, a lot of people don't even know what humanism is. Again, including me not too long ago, but this is a philosophy that stresses the importance of human factors rather than looking at religious, divine or spiritual matters. Sounds good to me, all right? Again, if you're not religious and you have no desire to tap into a religious practice, this might be an answer for you, right? So it's kind of rooted in the idea that people have an ethical responsibility to lead lives that are personally fulfilling while at the same time contributing to the greater good for all people. Sounds pretty good to me. And even people that are religious would probably read this and go, yeah, that's just exactly what my religion does. So maybe this is an alternative that takes a lot of the wonderful things about religion and puts it into, maybe something that for the rest of us we can kind of use as our model. Again, if you were to put me in a box to label me, this is probably where I would be living. But again, I'm just sharing that as an example, not so much that you gotta follow my path, all right? That's just my viewpoint. So there you go, I hope I made a good case here. Really quickly about why spirituality should be something you explore if you haven't already. Again, a lot of people already have that rock solid and a lot of times that comes from religious upbringing and carrying that into your adult life. But again, if you don't have that consider it, all right? Because you're going to find more positive well being, probably more happiness and fulfillment if you can believe in something greater than yourself, all right? And that's really all it is to spirituality, it doesn't have to be grandiose, it doesn't have to be anything bigger than that. So, consider exploring your spirituality because I think you'll find great benefits if you do. I'll see you the next video.