Awesome You Be


   

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A Dozen Simple Tips for Achieving Inner Peace

By Jeffrey Baumgartner

Are you envious because your friends have achieved inner peace and you haven't? Are you afraid that achieving inner peace would require you shave your head and spend a couple of years in a Buddhist temple, contemplating your breathing? Are you just too stressed out now to even think about finding inner peace? If you answered "yes" to any or all of these questions, do not worry! Here are some ridiculously easy things you can do that will put you on the fast lane to inner peace.

What is inner peace?

Of course it might be useful to define inner peace before going further. As far as AwesomeYou.Be is concerned, inner peace is a feeling of inner contentment with yourself, your life and the world around you. Inner peace is not, however, inactivity or apathy. It is leading a full and satisfactory life. It is a life of passions and concerns, but those passions and concerns are balanced. It is an understanding that if you truly believe in a cause, you can better use your energy towards that cause rather than ranting on Facebook or picking fights in the comments of a naïve blog post.

Now that we understand inner peace, let's see how you can attain it.

1. Make a list of your achievements

Make a list of your proudest achievements and keep it to hand. Feeling good about yourself and what you have accomplished in life is a big step towards inner peace. When you feel down about yourself, take a look at the list and reflect on all you have accomplished.

Feel free to edit the list from time to time. It's your list.

2. Don't sweat what you haven't got

We live in a materialistic society in which we are constantly being hit with marketing messages trying to seduce us into buying this or that. When your neighbour or a friend comes home with a shiny new luxury car, it's hard not to feel a bit envious. When your colleagues seem to wear nicer clothes, go on more exotic holidays and eat in pricier restaurants than you do, it is only natural to wish that you could visit such places too.

However, desiring things you have not got is a sure-fire path to inner frustration rather than inner peace. Wanting a new car that you cannot afford will either push you do something silly (such as getting into a lot of debt or tapping into a savings fund intended for more important things) or leave you desiring the car.

Instead, do not worry about what you have not got. Don't. Your car may be old, but it's a good car with, far more importantly, an awesome owner. Your clothes may not be front cover of Elle magazine material, but the person wearing those clothes is awesome and looks really, really good in them!

Learn to feel pleased with all the things you have − and do not focus on material things. Think about your strengths, your family, your kids, your standing in the community, the people you have helped.

And bear in mind that after death, no one is remembered for having owned a Mercedes Benz S series with all the options. Rather, people are remembered for their relationships; their contributions to their families, communities and societies; and who they are. The poor woman −who volunteers in an animal shelter, providing useful advice to people seeking pets − will be remembered more fondly than the wealthy woman who always wore the most expensive clothes but never gave a penny to charity.

The mark you make on society, the effect you have on friends, the strength you give your family is far more important than the things you own. So don't sweat what you haven't got. Take pride in what you are and what you give. It is the first step on the road to inner peace.

3. Do not always be right

If you find yourself in an argument or a debate, ask yourself, "does it really matter?" Most of the time, it probably does not. In times like these, don't worry about being right. Do not worry about winning. Let the other person believe she has won, even if you know for a fact that she is wrong. The world will not end. No one will die. You will not be diminished in any way. Instead, you might be respected for conceding defeat with grace.

Remember, when you are in an argument, the other person also believes she is right and, if she has not read this article, will not be willing to concede defeat. Proving her wrong is not going to make her happy. It is not going to make her like you more. Even if you prove her wrong beyond all reasonable doubt, so that she has no choice but to accept she is wrong, she will not admire you for being clever. She is more likely to remember you as the irritating berk who embarrassed he in a public argument.

Acknowledging to yourself that the point of the debate does not really matter and conceding defeat gracefully, on the other hand, is likely to make the other party in your debate feel better about you.

4. Do not get into comments arguments

On the subject of debates, absolutely do not waste your time on arguments in the comments section of blogs, Facebook pages or other social media.

Did you know that many blogs make a business out posting provocatively controversial posts in order to spark off arguments? It's true. If a blogger can make a lot of people angry, those people will post their feelings in the comments section of the blog. Others, who disagree will post counter-arguments which will inspire counter-counter arguments that soon turn into an insult match of poor grammar, rude language are logically disastrous nonsense.

Each comment, each new view of the blog post leads to more advertising revenue for the blog owner. That's why she likes idiotic arguments in her comments. Each one is we bit more cash for her. The subject of the blog post itself is irrelevant.

If you get involved in one of these arguments, you will not change anyone's mind.  You will however, sell products you may not want to sell and enrich a blogger. Neither of these things will bring you peace of mind.

If a post on Facebook or elsewhere really irks you, write a comment. Then delete it. You'll have got the comment out of your system without entering into a debate in which all sides, except the advertisers, lose.

Note

Of course, this does not mean every blog post is about earning the blogger an income. There are many passionate blogs out there where the authors simply want to share their views. Nevertheless, if you disagree with those views, posting rude comments telling the blogger she is wrong is not going to change her mind. So, don't bother. Sparking off an informed and respectful debate, on the other hand, would be a good thing; but it is not the kind of thing one sees in comments.

5. Learn from your mistakes, don't dwell on them

Do you find yourself dwelling upon your mistakes, wondering how you could have done something so stupi and wishing you could go back in time to change it? Well, you can't change it. But you can learn from it.

When you make a mistake, acknowledge it, learn what you can from it and move on.

Making a mistake is not foolish or stupid. It is human. Making the same mistake again and again, on the other hand suggests that you are not learning from your mistakes.

Accepting your fallibility, learning from mistakes and becoming a better person for what you have learned, on the other hand, brings you closer to inner peace.

6. Take the blame with pride

If you do something wrong, do not try and hide it. Do not deny responsibility. Rather, take the blame for it with pride, not at your mistake, but in acknowledgement that you are a fallible human willing to accept responsibility for your actions.

Trying to hide your mistake or deny responsibility is only going to cause you anxiety. And, if you are found to be at fault later, you are going to appear dishonest to others. That's not what you want, is it?

Trying to make someone else appear responsible for your mistake is also going to cause you anxiety and, I hope, guilt feelings that will not bring you inner peace, but rather cause you inner torment. Getting caught blaming someone else will only make it worse.

Taking responsibility and blame for a mistake, especially a mistake that you know was entirely your own fault, is frightening. But, you will find that once you have accepted the blame to those affected by your mistake, you will feel much better. You will discover that the world has not ended. Instead, you will most likely be respected for having the maturity, honour and integrity to accept blame for your actions.

Accepting blame brings inner peace. Anxiety from fleeing blame does quite the opposite.

Your family, your colleagues, your team

When one of your children makes a mistake, it is important to teach her the value of accepting responsibility for the mistake. It is important that she learns how to learn from her mistakes. But, as her parent, you should also acknowledge a part of the blame and help her make amends for her mistake. If her mistake affects your neighbours, for example, visit the neighbours with her, allow her to apologise and apologise yourself. This demonstrates that one can take pride in taking responsibility for mistakes. It also demonstrates that you are a loving parent who does not flee blame or responsibility herself.

Likewise, if you run a company or lead a work team and someone on the team makes a mistake that affects people outside the company, such as customers, suppliers or stakeholders, share responsibility for the mistake. Encourage your team member to acknowledge the mistake to the team and, if appropriate the affected party. But you must also acknowledge blame and responsibility to the affected party. Doing so ensures you are respected as a leader

As the CEO of a company, you are its public face. As a team leader, you are the team's face. That means that when things go wrong, people look to you. Flinging blame at the colleague who made the mistake is not acknowledging your responsibility to your team. So, share the blame. It will help bring you closer to inner peace.

7. Don't sweat the small stuff

As you make your way through life, things go wrong. I am sorry, but it cannot be helped. However, a lot of things that go wrong are little things. Don't worry about them.

A waiter is rude. Maybe he had a bad day. Don't take it personally. You lost a €2 coin in a vending machine? Don't kick the vending machine in frustration. Forget it. Move on. It's only money. In trying to fix a leaky pipe, you make the leak worse. Don't curse. Try again or acknowledge the need for expertise and call in a plumber.

These little things are trivial. Don't worry about them. Forget them (but learn from them) and push on. The less you have to worry about the greater your inner peace.

8. Appreciate friends

Friends are vitally important, not in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality. Having a couple of good friends is far more valuable than having dozens of distant friends. Having good friends with whom you can talk, share things or just hang out together is a great contributor to peace of mind.

So, cultivate your friendships. Stay in touch with your buddies, help out when a chum is in need, and don't be afraid to call on a friend when you are in need. That's what friends are for.

If you don't have friends, then you need to find some and build new friendships. Not having friends is nothing to be ashamed of. Perhaps you are shy. Perhaps you have moved to a new town. Perhaps you have been bad at keeping up with friends. Perhaps a divorce has also affected your social life (this happens often). The reason does not matter. The important thing is to meet people and work on building friendships. You can do it!

Look for clubs, adult education opportunities and other organised social activities where you can meet people who share common interests with you. If such clubs and activities do not exist where you live, then set up a club. Running a club is a really great way to meet people.

Having friends and interacting with them is great for peace of mind and especially for when something is affecting your peace of mind and you need to talk about it.

9. Do stuff for others

Doing things for others is a proven way to make you feel good and feeling good is a great way to achieve peace of mind. Volunteer your time at a non-profit. Give to the poor. Help out a neighbour. Look after a single parent's kids for the day. Treat a friend to a special day out. Look after an ill relative.

It does not matter what you do, but if you do things for others, you will find peace of mind comes your way.

10. Just do stuff

Most people want to do all kinds of things, but put off doing most of those things because they are afraid to get started. This can lead to anxiety and even depression, neither of which is conducive to peace of mind. Instead, choose one of those things you've been meaning to do for ages and spend five minutes on it to get started. That's all, just five minutes.

Now, you've made a start on it. The next five minutes will be easier still and before you know it, you won't be wishing you could do it. You'll be doing it.

11. Meditation

Many people find meditation to be a great way to relax and find peace of mind. Give it a try. It does not work for everyone, but it might work for you.

Read up on meditation and find someone who can coach you. If there is a Buddhist temple in your area, you can probably sign up or simply participate in meditation.

12. Work out what works for you and do it

Last, but not least, work out what brings you peace of mind and do it. Walks bring me peace of mind. Jogging does it for others. Dancing for yet others. Some people find peace of mind relaxing on a beach while others find peace of mind swimming in the ocean.

Work out that brings you peace of mind and incorporate it into your life on a regular basis.

But bear in mind that enjoying something is not the same thing as getting peace of mind from it. I enjoy bicycling in the city or driving a car briskly along a winding road (where conditions allow it). However, these activities require that I stay alert and are exhilarating rather than peace of mind inducing.

How about you?

How about you? What brings you peace of mind? Share your wisdom in the comments below or by getting in touch with me directly. I'd love to hear from you.

 

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