How to Improve Your Spiritual Health
Welcome to Day 7 of the Titanium 16-Day Challenge. Can you believe it? We’ve made it this far. We’re seven days into it. It’s been almost a week since you’ve started this thing, and I have been amazed by the number of people who’ve been joining into this thing.
At the time that I’m recording this, over a thousand people are taking part in this thing. It’s incredible, and it’s something that I know for many years to come, people are going to do after this 16-day package is out there for people to do, and I’ve done it myself.
I can tell you, a lot of times when I had these challenges, I’ve done them once but then I’ve gone back a couple of months later and I’ve done them again because they’re such good practices for making sure that we advance in multiple areas of our lives.
And again as you recall, the whole point of this 16-day challenge is to address all the different areas of life that are most important to us, and so far, we’ve only actually covered three of them, believe it or not. On Day One, we sort of did an overview. And then Day 2 we got into consistent growth. Then we tackled intimate relationships. And then there was the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, which is sort of like your days off but they’re not your days off because you’re still growing, you’re still spending time with the person you love, or focusing on yourself becoming the best version of you.
And then yesterday, which was Monday for most of you, we covered finances and we got into how to turn your finances around. Because at the end of the day, if you don’t have the money to do the things you want to do, I don’t care where your heart is.
I don’t care where your spirit is; all that stuff is going to come crashing down on you when God forbid something happens and you can’t take care of it financially, so we talked about that.
We set to set ourselves up for our future and if you’re a giving person, you make as much money as you can so you can give it away and do things for other people.
The Importance of Spiritual Health
But today what we want to talk about is one of the most important parts of the wheel, and that is spiritual health. Let’s think about it.
If you don’t have spiritual health, if you don’t have that part of your body in a place where it’s happy and it’s growing and it’s calm and it’s peaceful, then you really don’t have much of anything, do you?
Because at the end of the day when you get into that bed and you shut your eyes, it’s just you and yourself. Your bank account doesn’t matter. Your intimate relationship, believe it or not, may not even matter.
Yes, you may be in a bed with someone else, but you’re still living inside of your own body and it’s your spirit.
How to Control Your Subconscious Thoughts
And what a lot of people don’t know is that over 80% of the thoughts in our head are subconscious, meaning most of what you are thinking about, most of what is influencing your body internally and externally, is actually stuff that is happing subconsciously.
And so today is all about how to control those subconscious thoughts and the way that we talk about doing this is through what I call spiritual health.
As we talk about this today, you’ll see that it touches on a lot of different things. For religious people, spiritual health has to do with religion. For certain people, it has to do with meditation. For other people, it has to do with the relationship they have with God.
I could tell you what it means for me. For me, it’s connection between me and God and connection between me and myself, and it’s this beautiful thing that I would never take for granted.
I want you today to focus on that subconscious part of you, that spirit that’s inside of every single one of us.
I want to start here with something for you that I think is one of the most powerful messages I’ve ever learned when it came to the spirit, and that is that thoughts are things.
What that means is if you allow certain thoughts into your head, you’re actually living those thoughts.
An Example of the Power of the Subconscious
Now, I used to have a lot of road rage many years ago, and for those of you who’ve been to my events and have been exposed to my things, read my book, and things like that, you know that I talk about this journey that took me over a decade to get out of that life where I was always bound by those things.
But, you know, I used to have a lot of road rage and I came to realize many, many years later after I got rid of that part of my life where I didn’t get angry at cars cutting me off and things like that.
I started to realize that it’s amazing how much it’s true that thoughts are things. What would happen is a car would be going and they would be thinking about sort of cutting me off, and I could see them because they were starting to look like they were going to change their lanes.
I would already start thinking all of these negative thoughts. And the thing is that nine out of ten times, the person wouldn’t actually cut me off.
But guess what? Those thoughts still went through my head. And guess what? That anger was still created inside of me. So when the tenth guy finally did cut me off, he was actually having to answer for the other nine people who never actually cut me off. But it gets worse.
See, when someone cuts you off, what is it that causes people to have road rage? Well, if you think about it from a logical perspective, maybe it’s that you think that person is going to cause you to get into a car accident.
But what happens with people who have road rage is they allow those thoughts to enter their mind, right? So the guy cuts you off and maybe he didn’t even cut you off, but he just sort of changed lanes a little too fast.
In your mind, you start creating these stories of what a horrible person he is and how he could’ve run you off the road, and God forbid, this would have happened, that would have happened.
But what’s happening is as you’re thinking those things, you’re literally painting a picture. You’re creating an image inside of your mind that, believe it or not, is becoming real to your brain.
And having studied neuroscience, I talk about this a lot and this fact that when you think about things, the only way your brain can allow you to think about something, the only way you can imagine something, is your brain literally has to use the same fibers and the same wires it does to experience the real thing.
That’s why for example they teach basketball players to pretend like they’re shooting a basketball in their head and imagine the basketball going through the hoop.
The more you loop that, the more your brain gets programmed to make that happen and it actually works, and it increases people’s shooting percentage. It’s an incredible thing. There’s been plenty of studies and it works consistently.
So in this case, it’s the exact opposite of this because now instead of doing something positive, you’re doing something negative. But these are the things that are eating up at the inside of you.
These are the things that are eating up at your spirit. So in order to have spiritual health, there are a lot of tools out there you can use. But the number one thing you have to do is decide.
Tools to Nourish Your Spirit
You have to decide that internally you want your spirit to be at ease. You want to give your spirit a chance to thrive. You want to give that spirit a chance to truly be happy and connected and calm. And in order to create that, now there are a lot of tools.
One of those tools is meditation. Now, when you study meditation, you realize that there are many, many different forms of meditation. I personally don’t typically do the type of meditation where you go in a room and you sit there and, you know, like you might see where people cross their legs and things like that.
I’ve done that, I’ve been exposed to that stuff; it’s not what I do every day. But that’s a great form of getting connected with your spirit and that’s one form of meditation.
Mind-Body Physical Activity
Another form is physical meditation, which is things like yoga. For a lot of people, yoga is a great way of meditation. Now, I love yoga – again, I don’t do it every day.
I wish I had the time to do it more often (or maybe I should say I wish I made the time to do it more often, but I don’t). But when I do it, I think it’s a beautiful thing, and yoga is a way to really get connected with that spirit.
For some of you out there, it’s your religion – whatever religion you may be. It doesn’t matter to me because to me, I feel like regardless of how you connect yourself to God, how you connect yourself to your spirit and to whatever powers are out there, I think it’s beautiful and it’s a great thing for the spirit.
And so for you it could be your religion. Maybe you go to church on Sundays. Maybe somebody else goes to the mosque. You go to the temple. Whatever it is that you do, that is one beautiful way of connecting with your spirit.
Another way is just having gratitude, because some people don’t like to give names to their gods, and I talk to people like this. They’re like, “Well, I don’t believe in God,” and I start to dig in and I ask them about, “Well, what do you think about this and that?”
You almost always get to the point where they really do believe in a god, but they just think of God as seeing pictures of somebody with a halo over them and that’s what they don’t believe.
But when you think about it, when you really talk to them, you realize that they do believe in some power inside of maybe even themselves that they could see as being a godlike power.
So at the end, we all pretty much believe in this higher power, even if that higher power is within us. I talked to one person who eventually at the end, we came to an agreement that in their world, your 46 chromosomes were God.
I don’t care how you look at it; at some point you get to a point where there’s this higher power, this thing we don’t understand that’s bigger than us, right? It could be your genetics, it could be Jesus, it could be something else; it doesn’t make a difference.
But either way, people connect to that. And when I say it doesn’t make a difference, it makes a big difference for you. It’s just from one person to the other.
Gratitude + Action is Extremely Powerful
For me, what I want to do is I want to get people connected to that spirit, and so gratitude is an incredible way of doing that.
Prayer, which goes along with gratitude often when done correctly – not the kind of prayer where people are sitting there and asking God for all this stuff. “God, please give me the woman of my dreams. P
lease give me the man of my dreams. God, please make me rich. God, please make me handsome. God, please this. God, please that,” and then they’re sitting around not doing anything on any of those things.
I always have this saying. I say, “God can’t steer a parked car.”
One of the things I want to make sure everyone here thinks about during the day when we’re talking about spiritual health is you have to understand as long as you think God is just going to give you things or you think the Universe is just going to give you things, you’re never going to have much of anything.
So then prayer, in my opinion, goes hand-in-hand with gratitude. It’s a time to speak to this higher power. Again, you could believe that that higher power is just you, within you, or maybe just your subconscious mind, and saying things like, “Thank you,” and being thankful for the amazing things that you have in your life.
I’ve made a habit of this for a few decades now and it’s one of the most powerful routines that I have, and that is that every single night before I go to sleep, I thank God for the amazing things that I have in my life.
I’ll thank God for things that are big things – things like my wife and my kids and my health and those sorts of big things. But I also thank God for little things – for silly things. I thank God for, you know, the light that turned green right before I went through that one street.
Thank Your Higher Power for Both the Big and Little Things
Or I thank God for the fact that I was able to take the carpool lane today. Something as silly as that, I’ll thank God for that. Because you know what? Those are the things that matter in life, too. It’s not just the big things.
You know, you always hear this when you’re going through some trouble in life. People are like, “Well, you have your health,” and you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know.” Now, if you don’t have your health, you’re going to be willing to give everything up to have your health back.
But you know sometimes it’s nice to connect to those little things as well, to be thankful for your favorite T-shirt maybe. Or to be thankful to God that your favorite team won the baseball game or whatever you’re into.
It doesn’t matter but that gratitude, that prayer, that time – that’s just between you and God. You and you. You and your spirit. You and your subconscious.
And the beautiful thing is this: while you speak, whether it’s out loud or you do it in your own head. When I pray, I do it typically out loud if there’s no one in the room.
But if my wife is in bed with me, I don’t want to pray out loud. To me, it sounds a little crazy even though she knows I do it. Then when I’m in bed, I just do it in my own head.
But either way when your conscious mind is speaking, whether it’s out loud or not, your subconscious mind is listening. That is a very powerful concept. Think about it and get it ingrained into your head.
Your Conscious and Subconscious Mind Communicate
When your conscious mind is speaking, your subconscious mind is listening. Now, if you’re speaking aloud, that is something that your subconscious mind hears even more. If you’re saying it out loud and you have emotions with it – you have physical energy with it, and you have movement with it – then your subconscious hears it even louder.
The Power of Incantations
That’s why I believe in this thing called incantations. Whenever there’s some major challenge in my life that I’m trying to overcome or something big I’m trying to do, I start doing incantations. During some of the times in my life where I’ve been at my very, very best, I’ve gotten up and done incantations in the morning.
Often, by the way, the challenges that I do include some incantations in the morning. These days, I happen to have a broken ankle, so conveniently I didn’t include incantations in this challenge, but I often do.
You can do your incantations and as you’re here today, that’s part of your challenge for today is to add another piece and you can choose to add incantations.
But what I used to do is wake up at 4:00 a.m. and within 10 minutes I’d be out the door and I’d go for a five to 10-minute jog.
Now, some of you are like, “Wait a minute, Arman. I thought you said you don’t do cardio.” I don’t do cardio. But incantations are not for the purpose of cardio.
Incantations for me are when I’m running in order to work out my mind, my spirit. So what I do if you’re wondering what incantations are, essentially, it’s just repeating something over and over and over again.
The Difference Between Incantations and Affirmations
We’re not talking about affirmations, so we’re not talking about saying something to yourself that you know is a damn lie, thinking that somehow, you’re going to convince yourself.
Well, you know, affirmations – if you choose to do them or not – they may have an effect or not. I’ve not really studied them, but I don’t do affirmations. I’m like 5’9.5” – you guys like how I put that half in there?
All short people do that, by the way. But if I can go out there and do affirmations every day and say, “I am six feet tall, and when I play basketball, I will dunk over the six-footers! I am six feet tall.”
Guess what? I can say that over and over and over again. At the end of it, I’m still going to be 5’9.5” on a good day, okay? So affirmations for me don’t do it.
Incantations, on the other hand, are things that you know to be true, but you want to make sure your subconscious mind frickin’ knows it as well, and you want to make sure you remind yourself.
So what you might have is an incantation – for example, let’s say in your relationship you want to make sure you become a more giving person – and I’m just making this up as I go. This is not pre-rehearsed, so here we go.
You can do an incantation for your relationship such as, “I am a loving person and my wife is the most important thing in the world to me. I will do everything I can to make sure she lives like a princess.”
Now, say that over and over and over again gentlemen, 50 times in the morning while you do a five or 10-minute jog. Let me tell you, that day you’re going to be a damn good husband.
It’s going to be hard not to be a good husband.
Now when I do incantations, I’ll do a five to 10-minute jog, and during that jog I’ll typically repeat somewhere between three or four different phrases. So I’ll do one 10 or 15 times and then I’ll do another one. I go back to them and I just have fun with it; whatever I want.
Sometimes I make them up as I go. But some that I have are ones that I’ve just done over and over and over again. There’s one that I used to do that goes something like this. “I now command my subconscious mind to give me the strength and the courage to be the best that I can possibly be and live every day of this challenge to the best of my ability.”
That relates to a challenge. So when I’m doing a challenge, I’ll say that and sometimes I’ll count down the days as part of the challenge.
As all of you know here, you’ve got nine days left, so you could do something that says, “I now command my subconscious mind to give me incredible power to do the last nine days of this challenge to the best of my ability so that I can take my life to another level.” Hey, that’s a good one, right?
So you can do incantations any way you want, you can do prayer any way you want. By the way, some people do incantations in their car. Some people like to walk and do incantations. Some people do incantations in other ways. It doesn’t matter where you do them.
Now, if you are jogging and as you’re doing incantations, your arms are sort of moving and you’re getting energy, then that makes them more powerful. That’s really important for you to know. However, you don’t have to be doing that, so you could do it from inside of a car.
Now, whatever you choose, the key for today is I want you to get committed to feeding this spirit of yours. We have this beautiful spirit inside of us. Give your spirit what it needs. Give it that calm that it needs.
Unlock the Power of Smiling
And part of what all these things do, meditation, yoga, gratitude, prayer, saying thank you not just to God but to people around you, smiling – the power of smiling has been shown in so many incredible studies. Try it right now. Put a big, silly grin on your face. Come on, do it.
Are you smiling yet? Yes, you too! Come on, smile! Yeah, put that smile on – no, no, no. Don’t take it off. Some of you started and then you got rid of the smile. No, just smile! I’m trying to smile and record this at the same time.
It’s not so easy, right? Smile! It’s amazing. All this research has shown that when you smile, the muscles in your face – yes, keep smiling! Keep smiling. I want you to go for 60 seconds of smiling nonstop; the biggest, silliest grin you could possibly put on your face. And if people can see you, if you’re driving or something and you’re hearing this, they’re going to think you’re crazy but who cares? Just keep going. Smile, okay?
So as you’re smiling like this, the physical things that are happening in your face are incredible. Those muscles, the sensors in your face, are sending signals back to your brain, telling it to be happy.
It’s the craziest thing. Now, we’re going to talk about emotional health as well, and that’s when we really get into this thing. But I want you to understand that your brain has signals going both ways, so it’s not just your braining telling your body what to do. Your body also tells your brain what to do.
And when you smile like you’re smiling right now – don’t stop – your brain is getting all these signals from your body that say, “Hey, let’s be happy,” and it’s literally releasing happy pills inside of your head.
Now that’s for another day when we’ll talk about it more, but all of these things are things that are going to put your spirit in a healthy, incredible place where you can be at peace, you can have calm, and you can go out into the world and have all the energy that you need.
So today we’re going to add one more thing to this challenge that’s going to make your day even better, and this is probably the most powerful thing we’re adding to this challenge.
The Challenge to Improve Your Spiritual Health
So first, let’s review what we’re already doing. You have a specific time that you’re waking up every day. You’re working out every day for a maximum of 25 minutes. You are entering the career zone at a specific time every day.
You’re spending 30 minutes a day focusing on your intimate relationship, whether it’s the person your with or focusing on yourself so that you can get into that intimate relationship.
As of a few days ago, your car has become a mobile university – no radio, no music, no phone calls – only books and learning. (By the way, that goes for my wife as well, honey. You were calling me the other day while you were driving, and that means you were not in your mobile university!)
Then the next thing we introduced yesterday was to give up one thing that costs you money for the next 10 days as of yesterday, and that was you could give up Starbucks, valet, downgrade your cable, give up some food that you have that’s expensive, alcohol – something like that.
Now today, this is the most powerful thing and we are adding this to the list. This now makes seven different things that are part of this challenge. So as of tomorrow (or you could get started today), here’s what I want you to do.
Every morning within the first five minutes of being awake, I want you to do a three-second smile – simple, simple little thing. Now there’s more for today, but that’s the first part of it. You’re going to do what I call a “morning smile.” It’s a three-second smile.
Now, if you want to smile for five seconds, we are not going to get you in trouble. It’s not like the 25-minute workout; it’s not a maximum of three seconds. It’s a minimum of three seconds. And ideally, look at yourself in the mirror – and I know you don’t like looking at yourself in the mornings.
Trust me, I looked at myself this morning and freaked myself out, okay? But look at yourself in the mirror in the morning if you can and smile for just three seconds.
Then the other thing I want you to do is this: every night before you go to sleep, spend just a few minutes or even a few seconds having gratitude. Now if you believe in a god, a deity or something, then pray to God like I do. If you don’t, then that’s fine. Just have gratitude.
Thank yourself, thank the Universe, thank the earth, thank whoever or whatever you want. But every night, end your night with a list of the things that you’re thankful for in life, and it’s as simple as that.
Now after you’re done doing that and if there’s anything you want – you want to ask for strength or guidance or whatever else from God, you can add that to it as well.
And then for some of you, the optional part is you can go beyond it. So the morning smile and the gratitude at night, those are the requirements.
But then for some of you, you can add to it. Maybe you like to meditate; then I challenge you to add a daily meditation ritual. If you like doing yoga, commit to doing yoga every day for the next nine days. Whatever it is that you want to add to this thing, you can add to it.
If you’re someone who believes in a religion, but you haven’t been going to church or wherever you like to go, well hey, maybe now you could make a commitment to go. Maybe you could have a commitment to have a Bible study. I don’t know what you like to do; do that thing that you love to do that feeds your spirit.
For me, what feeds my spirit is that morning smile and then that gratitude at night. And all the other things come and go; the incantations by they way are a great way of doing it, too. So maybe add incantations to your routine, right? But as of today you’re going to do those things and I promise you that you’re going to see your spirit soar to levels you haven’t seen in a long, long time.
So at this point my friends, we’ve covered four out of the 10 areas on this Wheel of Life and we are on a roll. There’s not that much time left.
Believe it or not, today as you’re hearing this is Tuesday (if you started on a Wednesday like we talked about), and there’s just not that much time left, so I’m excited that you guys are joining me for this.
I think it’s a beautiful journey that we’re going on together and I’m excited to see how many people are taking part in this incredible challenge.
So get out there every day, focus on growing every aspect of your life, grow every day, take care of your intimate relationship or take care of you so you could be in the best intimate relationship possible. Make sure you get your finances in line and today I challenge you to focus on that beautiful spirit inside of you. So with that, go out there today and every day. Lead with your heart.