Nowadays, living in a world where success is measured in terms of wealth and power, ones spiritual growth is a seemingly impossible task. Goods and possessions such as mobile phones, computers, and also the media through television have almost forced us into being preoccupied with material ‘things'. How can we keep our sense of self esteem and self meaning when being bombarded from all sides with all this? Is it possible to strike a happy medium?

Spiritual growth = fulfilling your potential

Defining the human spirit has split the religious and scientific communities since records began. Science views the spirit as a product of the brain's function, just one aspect of being human, whilst the religious community believes the humans themselves to be spiritual entities in themselves residing on earth for a short while. The necessities of the spirit are considered to be of more importance than those of the body, constituting Mastery of Oneself in the beliefs of both Islamic and Christian religions. These religions are also similar in the requirements to fulfill and achieve spiritual growth. Self discipline by being able to abide by set rules, gaining experience, generosity and good works, morals and values and of course the beliefs held by the individual. According to psychologists, the route to fulfilling ones potential is to self actualize. Abraham Maslow was an eminent professor of psychology who classified the basic human needs: stability and a sense of belonging, self esteem, physiological, self actualization, psychological, aesthetic, and self transcendence. Earlier, in 1890, William James had put these needs into classifications, of the soul (spiritual), of the mind (emotional) and the physical (material). Your basic physiological and emotional requirements need to be satisfied first, after which you can then concentrate on your spiritual and associated needs. The self development of the individual can be complete when all are satisfied. An interesting point is that Christian and Islam religions see self development not as a goal to benefit the individual themselves, but to allow them to better serve God. In terms of psychology, self development is for the benefit of the individual themselves, and is a goal in itself.

Spiritual Growth=pursuit of meaning

Our lives without purpose are pointless. Variation amongst religions and psychologist as to what that purpose is vary wildly. For example, in the opinion of religions like Christianity, Islam and Judaism that believe in a higher deity such as God, we exist merely to serve that deity. Psychological theory, however, suggest that we exist for ourselves and bring our own purpose to life. Whichever way you yourself look at the situation, achieving spiritual growth is to open our eyes to the fact that we don't just exist, and we do have a higher purpose. At birth we are a sentient being but do not truly understand the world into which we've been born. This knowledge comes from the world around us and the people we interact and come into contact with. As we develop further we ourselves decide which theories to embrace or reject, and the jury is still out as to whether ‘nature' or ‘nurture' plays the greater part in influencing us. Whatever we choose, we need a purpose and a goal to survive and to achieve our potential, whether physiological, psychological, or emotional. It gives us a reason to live. An individual without a purpose is like a tumble weed in the wind.

Growing in spirit does not happen overnight, but it does grow a little every day. Don't forget, everyone makes mistakes. The important thing to learn from our mistakes is and thus continued spiritual growth is possible.

Author's Bio: 

MindMaster is a personal development program that can help you grow spiritually through computer based messages reflecting positive thinking , and is used by professionals around the world. You can download and try the program Free by visiting our website: