In cultivating a spiritual win-win attitude, our focus turns to fulfilling others needs and not wants. Our girlfriend wants us to be more romantic, but what she needs is more intimacy in our relationship. Our boss wants all of our reports in on time, but what she needs is for us to solve more of our problems which will eliminate many of these reports. Our close friend wants a promotion with more money and a better title, but what he needs is for his wife and friends to recognize and affirm his positive traits as a husband and friend.
Step three: Reorient our attitude and behaviors to help fulfill the needs of others and our self.
A good way to begin this is by defining what our needs are and what are just wants. With this new orientation, stop chasing after our wants while at the same time hold strong to getting our needs fulfilled. Learn to stop sacrificing our needs for others’ wants and focus more of our energy on needs fulfillment. Regarding our close relationships and friendships, take time to become aware of their needs which we can help fulfill. Then, as we begin behaving differently, which is automatically more supportive, we can also reduce and eliminate the time and energy we consume in trying to fill their wants.
Step four: When solving problems of everyday life, consistently seek solutions that are win-win.
Because humans are human, we begin this spiritual step with little trust from others. But as we walk the walk overtime, others will more and more seek our help in solving problems, even when they are not willing to sacrifice their wants. The more aware that we are of their needs, the more we can demonstrate how our spiritual win-wins solutions are to their benefit.
Step five: Cultivate a spiritual win-win attitude toward life.
This step is about taking our new orientation to others and our self and expanding it to all forms of life and life activities. The power of this attitude is that we become a positive life-affirming instrument for Spirit. The more we do this for others and all of life, the more opportunity Spirit and God have in doing it for us.
5th Spiritualizing Habit:
Always Seek Win-Win
by Jef Bartow
Our fifth spiritualizing habit for life goes against everything that we are conditioned to believe and live in today's society. From sports to our philosophy of government, from education to our capitalist business environment or even in finding our true love, we are taught that winning is good and being number one is best. Unfortunately, the Spiritual Path is not about winning or being number one. It's more about giving up our successes and learning from our failures as a Personality while we create a self-conscious Soul and Self that transcends our growingly inadequate personal self. This transformation process is only successful as we truly become other oriented, whether this other is other humans, other kingdoms in nature, our own spiritual source and finally God. Becoming other oriented is one of the most difficult achievements for humans to attain. Our next spiritualizing habit is a powerful way to begin living other oriented with the faith that Spirit will bring us exactly what we need for our growth. Simply, this spiritualizing habit is to always seek win-win solutions and outcomes in all facets of life.
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In eastern mysticism, a spiritual practice that compliments win-win is to cultivate non-competition. Our competitive nature keeps us attached to the various ways we suffer as humans. Our attachment to our outer material life impedes and limits us in developing a spiritual orientation. Even in the spiritual community, many behave to fulfill material needs first with the idea that once I'm comfortable, secure and happy I'll pursue the more difficult parts of spiritual growth.
So, our first step to cultivate this spiritualizing habit is:
Step one: Identify and eliminate the various ways we are competitive.
If you need some help in identifying your competitiveness, just ask your family and friends. Beyond the obvious, take time during the next week to observe the competitiveness around you throughout the day. Use your daily meditative time to review and document your insights into our competitive nature and its non-spiritual influence on our lives. Next, take a second week to become aware of the ways in which you are subtly competitive or support the competitiveness around you. Define and implement specific ways you can act noncompetitively. In addition, cultivate supportive ways you can help others be more successful, even if this does not make you more successful.
Step two: Learn to identify the difference between needs and wants.
A fundamental part of creating positive spiritualizing relationships is to become need oriented while sacrificing our wants for the needs of others. Our wants are mostly based on conditioning, desire and our instinctual nature including our envies, jealousies, lusts, greeds, etc. When we truly define our needs, they're always based on our spiritual nature and how we can live to cultivate ourselves spiritually. This is why all our needs need to be met, while our wants would be nice, but not important to our spiritual life. If we take a traditional definition of win-win, it is that everyone gets what they want. This is a material or matter-oriented definition of win-win. Since spirituality is about fulfilling needs, a spiritual win-win attitude helps transcend our material orientation. By helping others and our self fulfill needs, we automatically live a more spiritual life. Here's where learning to be noncompetitive and needs oriented become critical. We must walk the walk before we can begin to get others to entertain and accept spiritual win-wins. As we demonstrate that we care about the needs of others and are willing to sacrifice our own wants, we can then lead others in seeking win-win solutions in life.
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