Quality of life – Part 4: Faith and Spirituality

John Peponias

Sports Quotes – Muhammad Ali:
”It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself”.

How often do we see athletes, when winning a contest, regardless of sport, “thank God” or say they “had faith in their coaching and mental preparation”, essentially, crediting something greater than themselves or their physical ability alone for their successes or triumphs? It’s interesting that we find it happens almost all the time!

A common question arises on this subject: What is the difference between faith or spirituality, and religion?

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings. Religion is a specific set of organized beliefs and practices, usually shared by a group. Spirituality is more individual, and has to do with a sense of peace, purpose, connection to others, and beliefs. People may consider themselves, spiritual and religious; spiritual, but not religious; religious, but not spiritual; or neither religious nor spiritual.

In any case it is important to understand that faith is not necessarily about religion, but about believing in something greater than one’s self, and the impact it can have in driving you to excel and win!

It is often said that faith provides a certain inner strength. It has also been shown how faith and spirituality can have positive effects for those facing the challenges of overcoming injuries and certain ailments. There are many who believe strongly in the concept of treating both body and soul in the healing process, and those who find inspiration by turning to a higher power.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, “spirituality is the way you find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace in your life. Many people find spirituality through religion. Some find it through music, art, or a connection with nature. Others find it in their dedication to values and principles.”

Whatever it is that you draw your inner strength from, know that believing in yourself, or something greater than yourself, and having conviction in your beliefs, is undoubtedly a driving force that motivates and propels you to move forward. It can inspire hope, keep one vigilant in the face of adversity, and can give you that “never give up” attitude, whether in competition or simply in dealing with life’s challenges.

Comments are closed.