WE NEED HOLY DAYS AS WELL AS HOLIDAYS
Believe it or not, the holiday season is upon us! For many of us, that means a break from work, time spent with family, and hopefully, some rest and relaxation. Taking the time to unwind during the holidays is much-needed and should be a priority, but is there more to it than just putting your feet up?
A Shift In Mindset
We often spend our holidays the same way we spend our weekends. We separate ourselves from work (at least for part of the time), and relax and enjoy a hearty meal at home or at the home of a relative or close friend. We might get together with others at a restaurant or hit the links at a golf course if the weather allows. If it’s too cold for golf, maybe we’ll head off to a resort. Other times a simple movie is all we need to unwind.
But for many, turning the holiday season into an extended weekend is not enough. Some of us want to dive into the deeper meaning of the season, attending special religious services or participating in community activities like volunteering at a soup kitchen or buying gifts for families in need. We want to observe the holidays in a spiritual way.
Holiness During The Holidays
I see all this searching for a deeper experience of life as an attempt to become part of something larger, to become dedicated to a higher purpose. Deep down, people truly need this. No matter how fulfilling or rewarding they find their job and their everyday activities, there is still a desire for something more. Holidays may be a break from the same old same old just like weekends, but just going through the holiday or weekend motions doesn’t make things special or memorable. It doesn’t create an atmosphere of holiness or cause us to focus on something higher than ourselves.
Unfortunately, many people are not comfortable taking traditional paths that lead to a holier life or they don’t know where to start. They can’t relate to formal religion and even the “spiritual” alternatives that have been developed don’t fit the bill. While we wish for one sole source to lead us to a life of holiness, we find countless available resources that only fill small pieces of the whole. It’s our job, then, to gather all these pieces into a cohesive, meaningful picture that will transform our lives.
Even if we are convinced we need to incorporate this philosophy of holiness into our lives, it’s often easier said than done. In his book, 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class, Steve Siebold alludes to the idea that leading a holy life is part of the journey to becoming world class and gives us some ideas of how to observe holidays in a holy way.
Formulate Your Life Dream And Vision
Siebold’s research has led him to the conclusion that in order to reach the world class level, you need to be intrinsically motivated. The world class lets their dreams, desires, and passions lead them and they stick to their beliefs when the going gets tough. Since the great ones move from logic-based motivators to emotion-based motivators, it’s essential to take some time to hash out your life goals, priorities and vision and learn how to motivate yourself to achieve them.
Remember Your Roots
The past has a lot to teach us. Going back and remembering where you came from and how far you’ve come will reinforce your belief in yourself and give you even more confidence to move ahead (1) (Siebold, 53-54). As we immerse ourselves in the holidays, reflect on your roots and remember that success is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Engage In True Rest
In our society, we have lost the meaning of rest. We burn the candle at both ends and only let ourselves relax out of desperation, when we’ve hit rock bottom and can’t go further. Balance in this area is difficult to achieve. Even when we’re “off,” we’re usually “on” mentally. Find ways to recharge and strive to attain equilibrium between achievement and relaxation. Your soul will thank you.
Seek Solitude And Meditation
Many of the world’s highest-paid individuals are able to tap into the vast resources of their creative minds to produce products and services that solve the problems of the masses. This level of creative thought requires significant intellectual energy, which must be followed by intellectual rest and recovery. The great ones know the power of a quiet mind, and many invest time in solitude on a regular basis. They recognize that their performance depends on rest in mind, body, and spirit (Siebold, 219-220).
Apply And Practice
If any of this resounds with you, I encourage you to carve out some time to reflect, remember, and respond. Don’t let busyness and distractions turn these holidays into an extended weekend. Let your heart, mind, and soul observe the season fully and you will enter the new year with resolve and excitement for all 2018 will bring! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this concept of holy days instead of holidays.
Steven Kobrin is a life insurance expert with over 25 years experience. He serves high net-worth individuals and business owners as well as high risk and uninsurable “impaired cases.” Steven offers concierge life insurance process to ensure the policy is approved as it’s quoted.
(1) Siebold, Steve. 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class. 3rd ed. London House Press, 2010.