“Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes lessons can only be understood in retrospect, but I am thank for those who have passed along their insights so not every lesson in life must be acquired from first-hand experience.
Reflecting on the times of my life when I have felt peace of mind, a grounding of my thoughts, pacifying of any worries, and have accepted that yes, tomorrow and the next day and the next will bring unknowns, I can now identify certain details in my life that were present each time when peace of mind was present.
Whether it was during my childhood, young adult years or well into my adulting years, even if I was not aware of these particular details at the time, as I move forward in life with each year, my understanding of the power of their presence clarifies and my intention to make sure to incorporate them into my current life becomes ever more a priority.
1.Recognize what you can control and do so, while simultaneously recognizing what you cannot control and letting go with grace.
Each of us will define a life of contentment uniquely, but it is the arrival at this clarification that will make clear in our minds what we want to achieve that will lead us to create the life in which our priorities are tended to. Whether you are someone who wishes to be free from the limitations of a boss, a mortgage or a family, or someone who desires greatly to have the foundation of the aforementioned three responsibilities, or a mixture of some but not all of either, when you are honest with yourself, you can then put into place a plan, communicate more clearly and respectfully with others about what you are seeking and set forth to attain your life of contentment.
Once I realized that owning a home was indeed the foundation from which I could spring freely toward my dreams, it was the pursuit of this goal that was clear in my mind over the past four years and even prior to achieving it, even when I doubted it would happen, I knew with clarity for myself, that it was the right destination. There will be times of uncertainly while we pursuit the life we have come to know will be the best for each of us, but when you finally arrive at your goal, if it is indeed the right goal for you, the peace of mind will wash over you like a wave of warmth and comfort you have never known before, and you will be reassured with a peace of mind that will sustain you through future uncertainty. Why? Because even if the goal is challenged – perhaps the economy wanes, a job becomes difficult to hold on to, a relationship goes through hard times – you know you can trust your inner compass to lead you to what will indeed bring you a solid peace of mind.
2. Nothing outside of ourselves can lead us to peace of mind if we do not find it within ourselves first
There is no relationship on earth, with your family, your friends, your colleagues, a romantic partner, even God, if you are religiously inclined, or the Universe, that will bring you true peace of mind, if you cannot find a calm within yourself first. You may find comfort, love and support, even guidance from those in your life, but if you do not accept that you are worthy of a life of tranquility, a life that offers a pace that sits well with your rhythm, then peace of mind will elude you every time.
Finding peace within ourselves is a conscious effort and an ongoing practice of self-love, self-growth and self-acceptance. Read this blog post — A Simple Way to Find Lasting Respect & Inner Peace —
3. Accepting others as they are and choosing to invest in regular self-growth
“Peace of mind comes from not wanting to change others.” —Gerald G. Jampolsky
In episode #17 of the podcast, I shared 4 Healthy Habits for Continual Self-Growth. The gift of accepting others as they are today is that it gives us more energy (which is finite) to invest in building a life we love living. It doesn’t mean we walk away from others that challenge our way of life all together, but we instead begin to meet with, work with and build relationships with others that have similar life pursuits, and through our actions potentially inspire others to step into their best lives. In other words, our courage to invest in self-growth may inspire others to find their own courage and step forward onto their unique path as well.
4. Be solution oriented
“Peace of mind is attained not by ignoring problems, but by solving them.” —Raymond Hull
There will never be a time in our lives and in our world when everything is perfect. We alone will not be able to solve every problem that exists in the world, but we can start by not contributing to the problem, and that begins by understanding fully what the problem consists of, how it came to be and how we can ensure our actions do not further perpetuate the problem.
While ignorance and in-action may be two different behaviors, neither invests in progress toward a solution. Staying aware of our world, understanding how we exist within it, no matter how small we may think our role is, is to accept responsibility for our daily choices beyond a myopic perspective of living life. In other words, to contribute positively to the society we are fortunate to be alive in and experience, is not only a gift to ourselves, but the world at large and the future. Each of us will contribute uniquely if we choose to, but we indeed all have something positive to contribute.
5. Practice the habit of objectivity
“I can only have peace of mind when I forgive rather than judge.” ——Gerald Jampolsky
Remaining objective comes far easier when we know what we can and cannot control in our lives (see #1). Once we are clear about this dichotomy in our lives, we can invest our energy, in other words take action, in the former. And once we know that we can take action and that our actions will produce an outcome, it becomes easier to let go of judgment (words that assume there is value in our opinion about something we have no power over) and instead invest our energy (our action) into what we care deeply about. In other words, our actions take the place of solely the words that we may have spoken out of judgment and enable the change we seek to occur to materialize.
6. Strive, strive, strive until you find what ignites you
“Peace of mind always comes with knowing who you truly are, where you currently stand, where you positively need to be, and strongly believing in its possibility.” —Edmond Mbiaka
While we can indeed find peace of mind along the way toward discovering what ignites us, when we finally discover the treasure of knowledge about ourselves we have been seeking, the peace of mind deepens and provides a grounding in our lives that we have never before experienced.
What ignites us may change over the years, but whenever during the course of our lives we have had the opportunity to know what it feels like to ignite our mind and heart simutaneously, we have more confidence that when we have to strive forward again to discover the new ignition moment, we will know it when we find it. And it is worth the search each and every time.
Peace of mind is not something we can buy and welcome into our lives in the blink of an eye, but in the blink of an eye it will seem to appear if we apply the above six habits sincerely and regularly.
How will you know if you are living a life that is grounded with a peace of mind?
- Cynicism will cease to exist
- Kindness will be a habit by default.
- Appreciation for all that is going well will increase
- Chronic stress will diminish.
- Decision-making will become more clear and align with the life you wish to live and cultivate.
- Relationships will strengthen.
- Boundaries will become clear without hesitations thus thwarting problems down that road that may have arose due to lack of communication and unconscious or conscious disrespect.
- Sleep will become sounder.
- Mastering of your mind and thoughts becomes a regular helpful practice that helps you navigate ever-changing world and new information.
So many parts of our lives are analogous to building and regular exercising a muscle to keep it toned, and cultivating the peace of mind that will ground our lives enabling us each to achieve true contentment is no different. It is a daily practice, and the positive practices of the above six habits are sure to help you find the peace you are seeking.