This past year has without a doubt been one of the most transformative and enlightening phases of my life, and I can truly say that I have matured both spiritually and mentally; more than I ever thought I would be capable of.
I have reached a point in my life where I feel that no matter what challenges I face, I will always somehow be able to come to a better understanding of myself, in addition to being able to gain wisdom and insight from every person and experience I encounter – no matter how difficult or undesirable they may seem at the time. Below is a list of “characteristics” if you will, that I have found to enable me as a person to reach inner peace and contentment, the kind of internal peace that is imperative for us as humans to attain in order to live happy and fulfilled lives. I really hope this helps you all as much as it has me.
- Care about things that do not solely concern yourself.
- Know that you are neither superior nor inferior to any individual.
- Educate yourself on the philosophical teachings and ideas of people such as Buddha, Ghandi, Sidhartha, the Dalai Lama, Confucius, and Krishna.
- Stop beating yourself up over past mistakes, and things of which you cannot change or have no control over.
- Rather than comparing yourself to other people, try appreciate what you can learn from them.
- Gratitude — focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t.
- Transform pessimism into optimism — look for the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Know that you are a product of your own thoughts — we inevitably will in some way physically manifest the thoughts or ideas we harbor in our minds…stop letting doubt and fear of judgement from others prevent you from taking action to fulfill your dreams and goals.
Think about all of the people you aspire to be like, do you think they would be where they are now if they lived in fear that they might not end up accomplishing their goals or if they had dwelled on the opinions of others? Exactly! Make a list of your goals, no matter how far out of reach they seem, and note how you plan on achieving them.
- Rid yourself of the negative energy you harbor for others.
- Detach from your ego, and identify with your soul.
- Lose interest in judging yourself and others.
- Lose the desire to force things, and try to live in way where you let things come naturally (stop trying and just be).
- Meditation — if you aren’t sure how to meditate on your own, look up “guided meditation” on youtube and you will come across multiple videos and audio guides that assist you with learning and teaching yourself how to do so.
- Love yourself.
- Act with love in everything that you do. Treat others how you would want to be treated. (You never know what other people are going through, usually the ones who act with the most hostility are the ones who need love the most.)
- Know that not everyone is going to have the same outlook on the world as you do, respect the opinions of others even if you do not agree with them.
- Make a genuine connection with the people you encounter.
- Handle conflict gently/with care. This was probably one of the most difficult yet vital aspects for me to overcome.
I’m a Taurus, I am stubborn by nature and have often let my ego and pride allow me to hold grudges and resentful bitterness towards those who I have felt wronged by in the past. While conflict is inevitable at times in life, just know the importance of picking your battles.
When you fight fire with fire 100% of the time nothing is going to be resolved. If someone is making it difficult to resolve an issue, simply be the bigger person and forgive them. I’m not saying to forgive and forget, always remember if someone is worthy of your trust, but always forgive them so you can have self-closure.
- Volunteer and help others who cannot help themselves.
- Find laughter as much as possible.
- Last but not least…know that peace can ONLY come from within.
The only way you will ever have inner peace is when you completely rid yourself of the idea that self-validation can be manifested externally or superficially.
Whether it be through others, societal standards, or the desire for attention; peace and contentment are quite literally impossible to attain without the acknowledgement that peace only comes from within.
I genuinely hope that those of you reading this will attempt to apply these to your everyday life. I don’t just write to write, my goal is to help other people through my experiences, and I will be satisfied if I make a difference in even one person’s life.