How to Find Inner Peace: 5 Timeless Thoughts

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”
Marcus Aurelius

“Possession of material riches, without inner peace, is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake.”
Paramahansa Yogananda

Finding peace within is a wonderful but also a difficult thing. It is easy to go looking for it in the wrong places.

So here are 5 timeless thoughts to help guide you to the places where you can actually find it.

1. Simplify.

“The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life.”
Peace Pilgrim

Making thing simpler has certainly brought a lot of inner peace to my life. So, a few of my favorite suggestions on how to simplify your life:

  • Use a limited to-do list. Only 2 or 3 of the most important things.
  • Set limits. Set limits for daily checking of inboxes. I do it only once a day. Set time limits for small decisions and make them within seconds after you have thought about them to avoid procrastination and overthinking. Set time limits for tasks such as 15 minutes each day for answering emails or for using Twitter. Set a limit for commitments and say no to be able to feel less stress and produce better results.
  • Remember to “keep things extremely simple”. I have written down that sentence on my white board and it is a daily and constant reminder that helps me when I lose my way.

2. Accept.

“Acceptance of others, their looks, their behaviors, their beliefs, bring you an inner peace and tranquility – instead of anger and resentment.”
Unknown

When you accept what is you stop feeding energy into resisting what is. You don’t make a problem more powerful and sticky in your mind. Instead, somewhat counter intuitively, when you accept what is it loses much of its power. It just is.

And you feel stillness inside. Now, accepting what is doesn’t mean to give up. It just means that you put yourself in a better position take action if necessary. Because now you can see more clearly, you can focus your energy towards what you want and take the appropriate action to change your situation.

3. Forgive.

“Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.”
Gerald Jampolsky

By accepting what is it is much easier to let go of things and to forgive what has happened.

Forgiveness is important because as long as you don’t forgive someone you are linked to that person. Your thoughts will return to the person who wronged you and what s/he did over and over again. The emotional link between the two of you is so strong and inflicts much suffering in you and – as a result of your inner turmoil – most often in other people around you too.

When you forgive you do not only release the other person. You set yourself free too from all of that agony.

One thing to keep in mind is to not just forgive others but also yourself. By forgiving yourself – instead of resenting yourself for something you did a week or 10 years ago – you make the habit of forgiveness more and more of a natural part of you. And so forgiving others becomes easier too.

Also, what you think is a question of forgiving others you may sometimes – after some time and inner struggle – discover is just as much, if not more, about forgiving yourself rather than the other person.

4. Do what you enjoy.

“Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you’ll have more success than you could possibly have imagined.”
Roger Caras

When you do what you enjoy there is a natural peace that arises within. You are in alignment with your outer world. This also leads to a lot more success than if you have a lot of inner turmoil and really don’t care that much for your work.

One of my favorite tips for finding things you enjoy or love doing is simply to explore life. To be curious and try things out and see what you think of them. This can bring many insights both about yourself and about how things really are when you do them rather than when they are just theories floating around in your head.

If you have read my ebook The 7 Timeless Habits of Happiness then you know that there is a whole chapter in it about finding and doing what you love with exercises and tips for further reading. So if you haven’t checked out the book yet, go to this page for instructions on how to get you own free copy.

5. Be careful with your inner peace.

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
St. Francis de Sales

By using the tips above and by living in the present moment you can find a lot more inner peace. Not only during days when things go as planned. But also on days when your world is upset and things aren’t so easy. On such days your inner peace will be very useful to help you make good decisions and to get things done. So be smart, stay calm and be careful with your inner peace.

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How to Examine Your Life to Find Meaning

The unexamined life is not worth living Socrates

It is important for us to examine our motivation in our day to day life. – Dalai Lama

What does that mean?
Why do we do the things that we do? What are our motivations? What are the reasons behind our actions? How often do you ask yourself about these things? Can you tell yourself why you just did whatever it was that you did?

While it sounds like I’m talking in circles, can you really explain why you did anything you did yesterday? What were your motivations? When the phone rang, you answered it. Why? Because you’re trained to behave that way? Or because you’re waiting on a call? Were you being polite? Have you ever thought about it?

While a phone call may be a bit on the trivial side, there are plenty of other things we do each day. Why do we do them? What are our reasons? What are our motivations? Do we really want to do these things, and are we doing them for reasons that are proper, given our values and beliefs?

Why is self-examination important?  
You can imagine I believe this to be a very important and worthwhile activity, given the sub-title of this blog. Examination of our life, I would hope, includes an examination of our motivations. We know, again, I hope, what we have done. But do we know why we did it?

Saying that you did it because it is a habit is a useful excuse or reason, however it is not a motivation. Why is it a habit? Why did you start doing it, and why do you still do it? Does it still serve you, or do you have better ways to achieve those ends now?

By examining our lives, by looking into why we do things, we can begin to uncover our motivations. One can do the right thing for the wrong reasons, and be lauded. But is that the way you want to live your life?

By examining yourself and determining your motivations, you can start to change what you don’t like, and put additional emphasis on those things you do like. I believe it’s a worthwhile endeavor, do you?

Where can I apply this in my life?
Let us begin with the chain of events that leads to action. We believe something to be right or wrong. When we see something that matches or violates our beliefs, we are motivated to do something. This leads to action. Or, going backwards, our actions depend on our motivations, which rely on our beliefs or values.

Note that I didn’t list reasons or excuses in there. They usually are walls we erect between motivation and action, designed to prevent anyone from probing any deeper. If someone sees you do something and asks why you did that, do you usually respond with your actual motivation, or do you give a reason or an excuse?

I think that most of us will give a reason or an excuse, rather than get into a discussion of motivations. Why? Because it’s opening a can of worms. One answer leads to two more questions. Pretty soon, they’re asking why you believe something, or have a certain value. Not a conversation most of us are comfortable having, is it?

However, for the purposes of this post, that’s exactly what we have to do. That, in my opinion, is exactly what this quote is all about. Why did you cross the road? Was it to get to the other side? Why was that? Did you have someplace to go, or were you trying to avoid someone who looked scary?

This is something that could take hours, so I would recommend you pick one thing each day to examine. How does one pick an action? If you do something that feels a little weird, something of which you are a little ashamed, or something you feel you might not be doing for the right reasons, that might be something to examine. Anything you think is probably wrong would also be a candidate, right?

How does one do an examination? I would start like I did with the ‘cross the street’ example above. Start asking “Why?” over and over again. Throw in the rest of the questions (The 5 W’s), [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Ws ] and pretty soon you are going to get some answers.

The trick is to keep digging. Don’t stop, especially when you give an excuse or a reason. Those should be red flags to you, telling you to keep digging. Try to find the underlying belief or value that led you to act in the manner you did.

Then you have to figure out if that belief or value is still valid, if it is still true. If it isn’t, it’s time to replace it with something that is true, and better serves you. Something that helps to move you towards the best possible you.

If, at one point in time, you believed the only way you could make friends was to smoke with them, I would ask if that is still true. Can you make friends through any other shared activity? Could you modify that belief to say that you can make friends through any shared activity, and no longer have smoking tied to friendship? Would that make quitting a little easier?

If you don’t examine your life, you will live a random life, like a feather in the wind. Going any way the wind blows. There may be times for that, but I prefer to examine my life, and modify it to suit my purpose. What you do is up to you, but I hope you have a new idea and some new tools to play with.

Today’s article was shared from the following website: https://philosiblog.com/2012/09/16/it-is-important-for-us-to-examine-our-motivation-in-our-day-to-day-life/

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Why Settle?

 Refuse to live a settle for it life Karen Salmansohn
Do you know of people who you would say have settled? Have you settled?
Settled in a relationship. Settled in a job. Settled with your weight. Settled in your education. Settled with debts.
Settling is not a good thing.
Doing so is denying yourself the opportunity to experience life as it was meant to be–one of fulfillment, freedom, happiness, etc. You know you’re settling when you are not experiencing these.
What if you were meant for more? What if you were the one holding yourself back? What if you didn’t have to remain this way?
Imagine a life where you were living the way you are longing for. What would that look like? What would you be doing differently? What if you could have that life? Do you believe you still can have it?
What if I told you, you could still have it, would you believe me? Okay. Enough with questions.
I believe you can have it if you want it bad enough. You have to begin by believing you were created for more. If this was not true, you would not have that desire you now have.
What has happened is that you have been burned in the past and you are fearful to try again. You are tired of trying and not seeing much result. You have listened to the wrong voices. People around you have themselves settled so you find it easier to tell yourself it’s okay. Others have told you that you can’t and you have believed them.
But who are you believing? How is “IT” working for those people?
Based on society’s message, I should have settled for my education and be happy that I had a 4-year degree. The message was, “Kingsley, you are the first one among your siblings to have done so. Be happy with that. And don’t forget: You. Are. Too. Old!”
If I had listened to those voices out there, I would not have my Masters Degree graduating Cum Laude a few years ago. “They,” said, whoever “they” are, I was too old. I was in my mid-40s at the time. And you cannot afford it. The latter was more me than them.
What if I had listened to “THEM?” Thank God I didn’t. I would have settled.
If I had settled I would not have my Masters Degree, taught at a University, started my own practice, written books, spoken on nations and international stages, and the list goes on.
What are you settling for and holding yourself from?
Stop believing the lies of the haters. Stop listening to those who are going nowhere and want you to go there with them. Stop listening to yourself.
I know this is easier said than done. But I am proof it can be done. I know what it was like to be where you are. I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t know what I didn’t know until I knew what I didn’t know.
What changed for me? My beliefs.
Surrounding myself with people who were doing what I wanted to do, reading books that inspired me, attending conferences, hiring coaches, and being a part of mastermind groups, all made a difference.
I felt I too could do it and didn’t have to settle anymore.
I also had people who believed in me and became my biggest cheerleaders and still are today. Some of these people came from new relationships I formed.
You too can experience what I’m experiencing. You don’t have to settle anymore.
Today’s article was written by Kingsley Grant and is shared from the following website: https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/12426-you-are-meant-for-more-so-don-t-settle-for-less

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Trusting in the Lord

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God Corrie Ten BoomPeople going through tough times often wonder, Why is God letting me go through this? Is there a point?That was me in seventh grade. At the time, I thought it was the worst year of my life. Anybody who knows me has heard me say that. But now I know better.

Without that year, I would not be who I am today.

I am a missionary kid (or MK). I have lived in the Czech Republic, the second most atheistic nation in the world, since I was 4-years-old. I’m naturally shy so it’s tough for me to make friends. But to make matters worse, I was growing up in a foreign country, where I didn’t fully know the language and where every kid I met thought Christianity was the dumbest thing on the planet. Let’s just say I felt like there was no hope for a close friend.

And then it all got worse. We moved to California for a year before returning to the Czech Republic. I had no idea what living in America was like, and now I had to attend seventh grade there. Sure, I’d been to America once during our missionary service. But it was for four months. Now, I was going to go to school there. I had no idea what Abercrombie was, who Rihanna was, or even how to relate to American kids.

I knew from the very first day at school that things were very different from the Czech schools. People talked differently, dressed differently, acted differently, and even thought differently. I did not fit in, and I didn’t know how to fix that. I was doomed to be the class outcast, the weirdo of seventh grade. And I was. The many insults that I received hurt deeply.

I had been taught all my life about God and Christianity. But before my seventh grade year, God was kinda just there—not really doing anything. He was like wallpaper. But now, I was broken. I was spiritually hungry and thirsty. I thought that if God couldn’t help me, no one could. One day, I opened my Bible and Psalm 31 stared back at me: “For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side; they conspire against me and plot to take my life. But I trust in you, O Lord. … In the shelter of your presence you hide [those who fear you]; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues. … You heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help” (NIV).

I knew it was no coincidence my Bible fell open to this psalm. I devoured the passage and literally felt a hunger for more. Through his Word, God showed me that I was not alone, and that I just had to trust in him to make the best of it. When I gave him my whole heart, my life opened up. He gave me joy for each new day. He helped me find a few friends around the school and taught me how to let him be my Best Friend. He gave me many opportunities to live out the instruction to turn the other cheek. Life was still very hard. I still cried myself to sleep a lot. Some of what the kids at school said still wounded me badly. But, still, things were different.

I knew that God had a plan, that he had a reason for all the pain and strife I was going through. I didn’t know what he was planning, but who am I to argue with the God of the Universe? I couldn’t see it then, but as I look back now, God has revealed how he used me that year. For instance, there were several students in my class who came from a different country or whom nobody liked. I realize that, with my experience with living in a different culture and being the social outcast, I was the ideal person to reach out and relate to them.

I noticed lessons of that year when we moved back to Czech. I began eighth grade in yet another new school and I had to make new friends all over again. In America, I’d learned how to stand up for myself, how to make a good yet truthful impression, how to laugh at my mistakes, and how to overcome most of my shyness.

Needless to say, I had a very enjoyable eighth grade year. Since then, too, my life has been much more rewarding. With less shyness, I have been able to act in my school’s plays and participate in more group activities. God has blessed me with close friends who encourage and strengthen me. He has shown me how to be a better friend.

Most importantly, he used that year to draw me closer to him. I could have never imagined this relationship with him two years ago. God surely used the bad for good. James says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:2-3, NIV).

Today’s post was written by Jessica Dagen. Jessica is currently attending high school in the Czech Republic. Today’s article was shared from the following website: https://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/truelifestories/ithappenedtome/bestandworstyear.html?start=2

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Every Morning We Are Born to a New Beginning

Each morning we are born again What we do today is what matters most Buddha

To many, especially those advanced in age, starting over is a scary proposition. To some, this forecasted mountain of challenges proves to be too crippling to attempt. And they wither under the weight of change. In this piece, I offer a story of my mom’s tumultuous journey and the many start-overs she endured to show that it’s not too late to begin anew.

My Family’s Story Is Proof: You’re Never Too Old to Start Over Again

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

– John F. Kennedy

I waved goodbye to the sleepy neighborhood. It was 4am and not a soul was stirring except for the five of us and the bus driver. It would be our last day in Vietnam.

I don’t know if I could describe what I was feeling at that point. Fear, excitement, and a slew of other emotions — but mostly, I was numb. As we rounded the corner, I shed a tear watching the house I grew up in fade out of view.

But whatever emotional rollercoaster I was on during those first few transitional days from Vietnam to America could never compare to what my parents must have been experiencing. I was young enough that the effects of this new beginning didn’t debilitate me. I could make new friends quicker, learn the language easier, and assimilate to life in America faster. Starting over wasn’t as significant a barrier to me as it was to them.

My parents were in their late forties; their road to societal integration wasn’t as smooth. They struggled. Yet, somehow they managed to rise above the rubble and became contributing members of society within months. Perhaps, they were forced to do so. Fight or flight, you know? And they fought. But, I think a major factor for this quick turnaround had to do with their positive mindset toward change. “It’s never too late to start over,” they would tell me.

And started over they did, for the umpteenth time.

To fully illustrate this point, I will give a brief summary of my mom’s many start-overs in her life and how she never shied away from them.

From the change you never choose

When she was very young, her family moved from the countryside of North Vietnam to the cosmopolitan South. Back in the sixties, North and South Vietnam were as different as night and day. She quickly assimilated to life in South Vietnam and soon became a top student in school.

Then, just as becoming a judge came within reach, the ravages of the Vietnam War caught up with her. South Vietnam fell. Leaving everything behind, she and her new husband fled the city to go into hiding — my father was a ranking officer for the Southern Army at the time, and his life was in imminent danger.

He was captured soon after and sent to “re-education” camps for six years. And just like that, my mom was reduced from a position of honor to one of a countryside daughter-in-law, farming the fields as a quasi-peasant. Even then, she thrived in that environment. Being one of a few educated people in the area, she became a teacher and a respected member of the community.

Through twists and turns

Some years later, on my second birthday, my grandfather from my mom’s side visited us, and appalled by what he saw, plucked us from the farms and brought us back to the city. By then my mom had fully embraced the rural life.

She started over again.

The former Soviet Union and Vietnam were relatively close allies back then. There were a lot of Russian military personnel in the South — and their wives. My mother soon became a somewhat famous seamstress for these Russian women. But just as soon as life stabilized, we got the call from the U.S. embassy: “You’re going to America.”

To a(nother) new beginning in America

In the US, she went back to school at the ripe young age of fifty, received an associate’s degree and soon became an admired team member for a Fortune 500 company. Yet just as soon as life stabilized and the joy of homeownership was upon her, the housing bubble popped. She lost the house she so proudly and deservedly earned.

She was shipped off to Oregon to start over with a different division in the company. By then I, the youngest of three kids, had graduated college and started to earn a good living. To her, her “job” was done, and she retired. And I suppose retirement could be considered “starting over” as well.

Triumphing through change

All said and done, my mom’s life is comprised of many abrupt changes, but through them all, she triumphed. She triumphed because she didn’t let the emotional weight and strain of starting over erect an impenetrable wall before her. She embraced each change, and in doing so, found ways to overcome these hurdles.

Now, when faced with the possibility of starting over, I channel my mom’s fighting spirit to move steadfast toward the future.

So what I’m trying to say is… it’s not too late. You’re not too old to embark on a new journey. The obstacles you see are indeed tangible, but they’re not insurmountable. You might not have that pep in your step anymore, but as long as one foot can go in front of the other, strive forward! My mom’s journey is a testament of that.

Today’s inspiring story was written by Hung Thai and was shared from the following website: https://www.goalcast.com/2017/08/07/my-familys-story-is-proof-youre-never-too-old-to-start-over-again/

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