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How to Find Inner Peace: 5 Timeless Thoughts


Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfgangstaudt/ / CC BY 2.0

“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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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Michelle @ Following Your Joy March 2, 2010, 5:50 pm

    Thanks, Henrik. My favorite is “Do what you enjoy.” It’s funny how it can be easy to put off the ‘fun’ or the ‘good stuff’ until the work gets done. But it doesn’t need to be that way! I’ve been working these last several years on spending my energy on what I love, what brings me joy. The richness of life certainly lies there and is waiting to be discovered by us!

  • Christopher Foster March 2, 2010, 6:10 pm

    Forgive yourself. What great advice Henrik. I am finding that for this to happen takes a lot of attention. For instance there seems to be a program running all the time in the background of my consciousness that is just waiting for a chance to say “you are bad, you are wasting your time this morning, or whatever.” When that voice pipes up I need to be alert — be still — take a moment to forgive the ‘voice’ and FORGIVE myself.

  • Amanya Jacobs March 3, 2010, 3:13 am

    I really like your article, a straightforward approach to a goal that eludes most people. Your 5th recommendation to be careful with your inner peace is such an important one. Once you’ve achieved it, you must value and protect it so that you maintain. Thank you for this article.

  • Josten March 3, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Doing what we love to do makes a big difference in our lives. I made the mistake of staying in a job that i hated. So therefore i hated getting out of bed every morning. But any how great post.

  • Nea | Self Improvement Saga March 7, 2010, 6:36 pm

    You made some really wonderful points here Henrick. Thanks for the great article.

  • Lucky Balaraman March 17, 2010, 6:44 pm

    The methods in your article will certainly make one’s mind peaceful.

    However, real, unshakable inner peace lies beyond the mind… it is Consciousness, which is aware of the mind… it is motionless and still, a silent witness… to get an idea of it, try and imagine what you’ll feel like when there are no thoughts in your mind… I hope you get the point :-)