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What is the primary goal of spiritual practice and a spiritual mind-set and heart-set towards life? We all may have different answers to this question. From personal experience, I can say that the answers to this question often change with time, with our station in life, and as our definition of life-purpose changes.

One thread that runs common through all our answers to the question of “why spirituality” is perhaps to find an answer to the question – “Who am I”? It is with this self-inquiry that our search for self-knowledge often begins. It is when we begin the journey to look within that we can begin to see the aspects of ourselves that may need “improvement”. This often leads us down the path of seeking “self-improvement”, which often brings us to the path of “self-care”, and then “spiritual care”. 

Hold that thought for a minute while I introduce you to my friend Jon Mertz. I met Jon in my early days of twitter, and we quickly became friends because he had a clarity of purpose and a transparency that was refreshing. He was very supportive of #SpiritChat during the early years, and remains so to this day. The opportunity came to meet him in Dallas, TX in January 2013, and we got together for lunch when I was visiting there for an Aerospace conference. 

Let’s bring back the thought of “self-improvement” and “spiritual care”. Over the past few weeks on twitter, Jon introduced me to his  concept of “betterment”. I was drawn to the concept because “betterment” seems to be the logical outcome of “self-knowledge” and “self-care”. It is when our spiritual practices “better” our state of awareness, “better” our state of Joy, “better” our state of Truth, that  we know that spiritual growth is happening. 

Jon Mertz has written a wonderful post to introduce the concept of Betterment as a “New Leadership Calling”. From a spiritual perspective, the “calling” is what first awakens us to the notion that we need to change something within. Regardless of our initial goal or motivation to change, it is when our efforts and practices produce tangible betterment in our lives that we are inspired to keep walking our path. 

Betterment is simple. How do our actions and interactions make others better? How do our actions and interactions make ourselves better? – Jon Mertz

The simpler an idea is, the easier it is to implement, integrate into and sustain in our daily practice of living. Betterment meets that criteria. 

Betterment is evolutionary and, sometimes, transformational. – Jon Mertz

The outcome of our spiritual practice is often transformational. Transformation of the heart, mind and spirit is the knowing that answers the question —  Who am I? How am I making myself and the world better?

Simple and Transformational. Betterment is the calling.

Will we step up and answer the calling?


Jon Mertz’ Bio : Jon Mertz founded Santa Fe Innovates, a social entrepreneur accelerator program and community. He also is an interdisciplinary leadership doctoral candidate at Creighton University. @JonMertz on twitter and founder of the Thin Difference community

Kumud’s note : I am grateful that Jon has introduced me to the concept of #betterment. I am excited that I will be hosting him in our weekly #SpiritChat  on Sunday, October 25 at 9amET / 630pm India. Come meet Jon and stay for some tea and cookies with us as we talk about #Betterment for all. Namaste – @AjmaniK

Meet Jon Mertz – author of “Betterment – A New Leadership Calling

Jon Mertz TD