Spiritual performance is a driving force and energy for health, capacity, and overall function. It is the fuel for life and interacts in a significant way with the mental, physical, and social dimensions of human existence. In addition to being a vital force within the body, the spirit is the essence of who you are as an individual and, in a collective sense, as a team, organization, family, or community. This has a great impact on how you live, act, and treat others.
Being in good spirits will lift your energy, thoughts, mood, outlook, and ability to overcome hardships and achieve worthwhile goals. On the other hand, if your spirit is crushed, it can suck the life out you and leave you feeling tired, downcast, empty, and hopeless.
Often in sports a certain player on a team is recognized with a spirit award. It usually isn't the player with the greatest skill, the team captain, or even the person with the most points at the end of the season. His or her contribution to the team might at first glance seem intangible, but it is of great importance. The spirit award acknowledges a person who shows up every day for practice, takes nothing for granted, has a positive attitude, works hard, encourages others, overcomes adversity, perseveres no matter what, is gracious in both victory and defeat, or perhaps made a heroic comeback from an injury.
The presence of a player rich in spirit inspires and energizes a team to achieve higher levels of performance. In a highly competitive environment it's difficult for a team to win just on talent and skill alone. The spirit maximizes knowledge, skill, and ability by drawing from a well of passion, purpose, and belief to rise above exhaustion, pain, and setbacks. The spirit of an athlete is a game changer, and a player with heart can achieve greater success than more capable athletes.
The spirit domain is critical to success in sports, but it is even more important in dealing with the consequences of the battlefield and life. The warrior ethos incorporates a relentless commitment to care for and defend freedom, indomitable spirit, confidence, physical toughness, flexibility, can-do attitude, self control, sound judgment, the ability to endure hardship, and putting others before self. The warrior spirit is more than just a mindset. It involves all of one's being. These factors provide the energy and drive to overcome the fog and friction of battle, meet operational demands, and rise above challenges in life. They are also key to living with a sense of purpose and meaning and to achieving life goals, financial stability, supportive friendships, and healthy families.
Taking stock in how you are and want to be matters. Spiritual performance influences how you think, act, and treat others, but it also is the substance of what you believe and provides strength and direction for life.