Practical Human Spirituality is a Long-term Journey
In these days of New Aged Spirituality and quick fixes we are often led to believe we are making great spiritual progress by the way we talk about what it is we think we know. There is this kind of group chatter that is often mistaken for real spiritual growth. In combination with the chatter of all things spiritual there is also the attachment to quick fixes and the sense that we are entitled to a fast food fix for our newly begun spiritual practice.
The results are most often short-lived, fleeting, shallow and God forbid temporary.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote eloquently about this in his book Outliers in which he asserted that it is hours of practice on the floor that made Michael Jordan the basketball icon he was not that he was a natural gifted athlete. Gladwell suggested that 10,000 hours was the amount of time it took to master a skill such as basketball or in Bill Gates’ world being a computer wizard. Gladwell’s approach demands practice, persistence and patience.
So let us assume that Gladwell’s research is accurate, lets grant him that – 10,000 hours! Now let us apply that concept to what I call practical spiritual growth.
I was chatting with a gal the other week and she was lamenting the fact that her new meditation practice was not bearing any fruit, after all she had been at it for three months now. I had this inner chuckle as I recognized the illusion of quick fixes has slipped into even the most sacred of practices.
So here is how I coached her.
I did the math first.
I asked her how long she meditated each day and her response was, “Oh I put in an hour everyday! An hour!” She seemed both proud and disappointed.
One hour each day is three hundred and sixty-five hours a year. Divide 365 into 10,000 and what do you get? Twenty-six and one third years of practice to master your meditation! Well, doesn’t that say it all.
Well I started my personal growth work in the fall of 1989, well that puts me right about 2016 around the time I began to feel right at home in my life, my purpose, and my spirituality. Around the time I began feeling a bit like an ‘elder’. Twenty six years along my path and I am now beginning to reap the rewards of sticking with it and putting in the time. I am so glad I started and that I learned about The 3 Ps of personal growth.