Body, mind and spirit

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- "The whole person concept;" we've all heard it before. It's the person whom the Department of Defense, or any other competent employer, endeavors to hire and wants on their team - an individual who makes us all better by the example they set in both their professional and personal lives as well.

They seem to "have it all together" and can manage life's toils and struggles better than most.

The question then becomes not one of "who are they" but "why is this so?" These individuals have discovered a way to properly balance and prioritize the needs in their life.

Now, everyone struggles with challenges and seemingly insurmountable mountains to climb. Those who find that perfect mix of strength, perseverance and renewal in their body, mind and spirit are the ones for us all to emulate.

I don't have all the answers, but the following is a practical approach to help develop yourself using the "whole person" construct.

Let's begin with the body. Some people are more blessed than others when it comes to their physical stature, but, like everything else, it's how you deal with your adversity that makes you who you are.

Set goals for yourself, strive for excellence and make fitness a priority. In addition, develop healthy eating habits. Learn about portion control; eat the right types of foods. A life lesson here: everything in moderation. You have one body, take care of it.

Next, we move on to the mind. Similarly to the body, you should continue to challenge yourself mentally and stay engaged. If you feel your job isn't stimulating enough (or even if it is) then supplement it by reading, taking college classes or taking up an enjoyable hobby.

It is hard to grow and develop if you stay isolated in a mental vacuum with no desire or inclination to learn. You must learn something new every day. If you do not then your peers will advance leaving you behind.

Finally, the spirit - controversial, perhaps, but it shouldn't be. According to the Air Force Chaplain Service your spiritual health is a vital component of your overall well being transcending any religious affiliation. It is that within us which motivates us in life and gives us strength.

Your spiritual health may be dependant entirely on your religious beliefs, but for others it might be patriotism, the common good or the beauty of nature. It is that which soothes our soul, quiets our heart and brings us to ponder our purpose, values and gives us hope for the future. To understand, listen and develop that part of you is what is meant by your spiritual nature.

The formula before you is a common man's take on a highly prized combination of attributes that builds character, strengthens and renews daily. If you find yourself lacking in the "whole person concept" then work on these three areas and watch your life dramatically improve!