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Maintenance on Your Soul

Someone said when we stop getting better we stop being good, and goodness begets a much better life in every way imaginable that counts. I know if I hadn’t become committed to my own personal growth 25 years ago I shudder to think what my life would be like.

 Nothing has paid higher dividends for me personally than the things I’ve done to improve myself. Retreats, conferences, seminars, books and personal training have better equipped me for the really important improvements that bring me deeper inner peace, more love, greater joy, and skills that lead to more success in all my personal and professional relationships. 

 Often I’ve been tempted to put off the inconvenience and expense of self improvement. It is, after all, a gift we give ourselves – perhaps the greatest gift – and as such, other things usually seem more pressing. There will always be bills to pay, business demands and family needs that seem more urgent. Unfortunately, I’ve sometimes had to get rather desperate before I’ve been willing to invest the time and money in making myself better. It was marital and ministry problems that forced me to my first growth retreat in 1979. My midlife crisis drove me to a two week intensive at a monastery when I was 41. The desire to heal my own pain was responsible for my spending a week in personal training with Cecil Osborne some years later. But all these things changed me, and when I find what I need to change myself, voila! Everything around me suddenly improves.

 I’ve seen this not only in my life but also in the lives of friends, clients and associates. So many times I could have helped people I cared about avoid minor disasters if only they had listened – if only they had heeded the invitation to heal their pain and get to the root cause of their issues.

 I remember a close friend many years ago who simply refused to spend a week at a retreat to face the things that were rapidly overtaking him. His business needed him too badly, he reasoned. He’d pass on this retreat and go the next time, he assured me. He wasn’t able to go the next time. His health collapsed and he was in the hospital, then home on strict bed rest for six weeks. He eventually lost both his businesses.

I have clients who won’t invest in dealing with their pain. They see me once or twice, things get a little better, then they disappear for months until the pain gets too bad and they call me in a shambles yet again. They keep taking prescription pills that mask their symptoms, postponing the seemingly raw task of finally facing them self and resolving their primal pain. I understand, I’ve done that. I’ve seen others do it too.

 All I can tell you is our soul is like an automobile engine. You can maintain it and change the oil or wish you had. Routine maintenance is a small but persistent expense, but far better than buying a new engine. ‘Pay me now or pay me later’ applies to our soul as well and our vehicles.

 I’ve learned it’s far better to read books, attend seminars and take counsel with the right people whenever I need to rather than run from myself and my issues until I can run no further. A little preventative maintenance for the soul is far less costly and much less painful than waiting until it all comes unraveled. Then things really hurt, and the cost of fixing them is far greater than the small price of taking care of them in the first place.

 Business, family and pleasure will all wait. But inner pain, like a sliver in the soul, somehow never goes away on its own. It keeps coming after us in subtle and flagrant ways, until we finally do something about it. Then we wonder why we waited so long.


Ken Unger is President of and founder of, where you can learn more about him and his transformative ministry. click here ,
 "Ken's new book, The Ultimate Breakthrough, goes beyond self help to self healing. You can preview it at  The Ultimate Breakthrough "



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