We have all heard the expression “in it to win it” and a number of other catch phrases that get used so often to boost morale when sports teams are competing and especially during world wide events, such as the winter or summer Olympics. But in the game of life, whether mundane or spiritual, things are not so well defined and we often find ourselves at a loss for words, much less an inspiring slogan to get us through the challenges we sometimes face.
In our day to day lives we tend to focus on the tasks that hold the highest priority, and we tend to do this automatically, without thinking about it. Our focus changes constantly, depending on what is most important to us at any given time. We are used to multi-tasking, and our minds happily comply. But when something occurs that is outside our ability to label it or deal with it as usual, we are forced to focus only on that to exclusion of all else for a time. When it comes to our inner, spiritual life, many of us tend to only focus on that once we have dealt with everything else life has required of us during the rest of the day. But, if we gave half as much attention to our spiritual lives that we now give to the rest of our activities, we might find that a number of those things we consider priorities tend to disappear.
Documented interviews with people who practice meditation on a regular basis relate that they have felt able to prioritize their daily lives much better by filtering out many of the things that may have been priorities in the past, but are now seen to be unnecessary distractions. The more we focus on our spiritual health, the more we realize that many of those things we thought were important are really not important at all. We may find that our perspective and attitudes towards our lives and the people we interact with on a daily basis begin to shift into a new and more meaningful way. Spiritual growth depends not only on our ability to focus more, but on what we do with our new found perspective. As an Olympic athlete will focus, to the exclusion of all else, on their performance of their chosen sport to the best of their ability and in hopes of winning a medal, if we focus even a quarter as much on our spiritual growth, we won’t win a bronze or silver medal, but we will receive something much, much better – the Gold of enlightenment.