One of the more difficult concepts I’ve had to come to terms with is the idea of peace of mind.
Although it sounded nice, it also seemed too complacent, unmotivated, dull — as if I’d lose all striving for personal progress and living life to the fullest.
But the truth is of course that I will still have my common sense and interest in life pursuits. I won’t suddenly lose perception of what needs to be done. I would just be less stressed and thus healthier and stronger for what life brings.
What I finally understand is that a peaceful mindset means that while I know what I want to accomplish and improve in my life, I won’t be stressed over the fact that it’s not happening yet. Aspirations can still exist and be worked on while being completely fine with the goals not being accomplished yet. I can still desire changes and presently be happy with where I am.
Just because I am not wasting time worrying about all the scenarios of how my car could break down doesn’t mean that I’ll forget that doing basic car maintenance and being prepared for an emergency is important. My car will eventually have a problem whether or not my mind is stressing about it — so why not be proactive, and be at peace, and when it does happen I’ll be in a good mindset to deal with it.
Peaceful and proactive.
I had become so used to thinking that worry and stress is the feeling of being best prepared for what could go wrong. It’s not the situations that cause stress and suffering, it’s the thoughts I have while experiencing it.
I have become a close watcher of my thoughts and how often I think them. I look at the situation and realize that the way it affects me is entirely based on what thoughts I am thinking.
Mental peace equals mental clarity, which equals lower stress levels and creates more happiness and contentment, which equals higher quality actions and interactions, which makes for a better life.
It’s not about lying about being happy with a situation, it’s just choosing thought quality over quantity. A thousand thoughts about how much I wish I didn’t have to deal with something won’t affect anything except for my mood and stress levels, which will affect the rest of my life. A few thoughts about how I am working towards change and how it’s alright to be this situation for now, and I will have a much better day.
It’s so simple a concept yet it feels so foreign at first because it’s not how society has taught me.
It’s all controlled from the inside. I light my own lantern. It’s only when I rely on the outside world to light it for me that I create stress.
Create better quality thoughts and create a higher quality life.