Question: Do I need religion to help me as an entrepreneur?
Answer: This question requires that a distinction be made. A religion is a set of beliefs to which one subscribes. These beliefs are typically held by a group of people – large or small. We may agree with some of these beliefs and not with others. Many religions require us to subscribe to their beliefs in order to belong. So, the easy answer to this question is that you do not need religion to be a very successful and happy entrepreneur. But hold on. It’s not quite this simple. While many young entrepreneurs may be happy to know that the road to success is not paved through an organized religion, there is something a whole lot more complex to understand. That is the concept of spirit and spirituality.
I believe that there are three parts to us as human beings – a body, a mind and a spirit. Spirit is our essence and provides us with our consciousness. It establishes our character, our personality and infuses us with creativity. It is energy and a natural force that shapes our will and the foundation for the decisions we make. Some people hear the terms spirit and spirituality and are immediately turned off because they equate them with religion. This is not the case. There are a number of religions that help us develop our spirituality. I’ve found that the religion I have chosen does this for me. But being religious is not requisite for being spiritual.
As entrepreneurs, we have much work to do to grow and nurture our spirit. We tend to be racing around at 100 miles an hour, brimming over with new ideas, meeting with countless people and living a warp-speed existence. Certainly one of my weaknesses is not being contemplative, reflective and introspective enough and something I’m working on daily. Developing our spiritual dimension – whether we do so with or without religion – helps our lives become happier and healthier. When times are tough, a well-developed sense of spirit helps us endure, overcome and maybe even thrive.
What are some action steps we can take to become more spiritually aware? First and foremost we must remember that our spirituality is very personal to each of us. It does not require that we conform to the beliefs of anyone else. Continually expressing gratitude to those around us will serve to underpin our spiritual being. So will performing acts that bring great joy to others. A daily meditation practice helps in this regard. Being still heightens our awareness and focuses our creative nature. Maintaining a positive attitude no matter what, invites spiritual growth. And work to be present in every moment.
For some, being part of an organized religion that supports spiritual growth may be beneficial. For others, a do-it-yourself approach will work just as well. In either case, we have an opportunity to experience the richness and fullness of life when we purposefully pursue that which feeds our soul.
This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.