Human spirituality transcends the barriers of religion and affiliations. It’s built on beliefs that are somehow innate in all of us – regardless of age, sex or cultural background. This is most evident when we examine the lives and teachings of spiritual leaders throughout history. Take a look at the overriding traits and how to hone in on your spiritual self.
Four Characteristics that Spiritual Mentors Share
Spiritual mentors are not necessarily religious leaders, nor are they managers that orchestrate the building of an organization. But, they definitely do lead. It’s a different type of leadership that requires a separate set of characteristics. And, understanding these qualities can help you identify the mentors around you that can move your spiritual health to a higher level.
1. Guide Don’t Direct
Spiritual mentors often take the road less traveled and don’t always conform to societal norms. Forcing their beliefs on others and directing people to follow their lead is not how they operate. Instead they share their experiences and knowledge as a way of guiding others to the spiritual clarity they have obtained – inspire, don’t instruct.
Get Closer to this Characteristic: Shy away from giving directives. Replace them with explanations of ideas and suggestions on how to reach objectives and get things done.
2. Promote Positivity – Even in the Face of Adversity
We all have a choice of path, negative or positive. It’s easy to give in to the negative, but spiritual mentors understand the power of peace, love, kindness, joy and patience. They are able to instill this thinking in others and create a positive atmosphere around themselves, even in the face of adversity.
Get Closer to this Characteristic: Before reacting to a negative situation, give yourself a few moments to consider the outcome of your own actions. It may be more difficult to turn the other cheek or reverse the negative atmosphere, but simply visualizing the potential outcome of remaining positive will help harness that energy.
3. Focus on the Growth of Others
Spiritual leaders devote their lives to improving the position of others rather than their own. They are genuinely interested in helping others to discover their unique purpose and identity in life, independent of the mentor and their teachings.
Get Closer to this Characteristic: Don’t do something because it’s what others expect you to do. Do what you are naturally inclined to do. Doing things your own way that utilizes your strengths and beliefs will almost always be more productive than handling an issue or obstacle based off of what works for someone else.
4. Commit to a Life of Selflessness
Those that become spiritual mentors often reflect on who they are as a person, but they measure their worth based on how they’re helping others. They commit their lives to improving the conditions of other people rather than their own. Spiritual leaders empower others and aren’t afraid to share their own power with those that need it.
Can Get Closer to this Characteristic: Focus on growing the talents of others around you. Your co-workers, employees, kids – making their success and well-being your first priority will get you closer to the rewards of selflessness.
What other characteristics have you noticed in spiritual mentors? The courage to say what needs to be said despite the repercussions? Standing up for the weak even if it means putting themselves in a compromised position? Let us know which characteristics you think a spiritual mentor should have and suggest ways to work on it #theONEthing.