Saturday, February 09, 2008

Worthwhile Spiritual Work

My work with T-Mobile USA is definitely starting to take on a spiritual component. Immediately I must defuse an assumption or stereotype, that I am trying to “convert people” at work into Christianity. That is not the case at all. By facilitating an atmosphere in which people are getting in touch with their passions, larger purposes and desires in a vocational sense, they are naturally striving to examine the essence of who they are. The essence of a human being is his or her spirit. To truly grow professionally, then, is to grow spiritually because we cannot subdivide ourselves like Lord Voldemort (see Potter, Harry).

One of the executives at my former employer, Health First Inc. of Melbourne, Fla., used to say that the greatest need of his direct reports was to grow spiritually. I wasn’t quite sure whether he should say that to them let alone utter it in public, but I see his point. People who are at unrest with their perceived connection to things beyond what they can see or touch, who do not feel a purpose or peace in a giant metaphysical sense, can hardly tap into such intentional living in the far more limited and mundane sphere of daily work. My job is to meet them at work and help them dig more deeply into how and why they do what they do, in a manner that helps them see how and why they are who they are.

And it’s fun. It’s exhilarating to see people light up and observe the first baby steps on a journey toward deeper essential truths. The most successful people I’ve observed in any arena have been grounded in a certain spiritual core. That core has represented different labels and socio-economic implications, but at the heart these are people in touch with their spirits and not just caught up in the grind—in the junk culture debris that clutters the mind with worn-out clichés and inauthentic positioning.

The person who benefits the most from this, of course, is me. I am hungry to grow more spiritually, to be at peace with who I am and what I do. I find myself most at peace when I serve well, and so there is something to worthwhile work (see the book Gung Ho) that is quite spiritual without needing to be religious.

I’ll keep religion out of the workplace, but my best efforts would do little to suppress the persistent, permeating presence of God. He tends to follow me everywhere, even when I’m trying to give ‘em the slip.


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