Welcome to this guide on how to find inner peace!
How much would you pay for it? What would you give for it? What would you do to achieve it?
Inner peace. The end of all mental suffering and the beginning of a life of abundance and happiness.
No matter if you never gain another lb of muscle (you will), never make another dollar (you will), and if everyone you know and care about dies and fades away (they will, eventually) – you will still have inner peace.
What’s that worth to you? I know it’s worth a hell of a lot to me.
I can tell you the truth about something: I hesitated before publishing this article. I was worried that it might come across wrong, like some sort of preachy nonsense that would put readers off and make them not want to come back and read my blog again.
But then I thought – If I’m not going to tackle these real issues people face then why the hell am I writing in the first place? What’s the point of just talking about making money, being a better version of yourself and living in the tropics? Why not talk about the reason we actually want all these things to begin with?
We all want to find inner peace. We want the end of the struggle inside of ourselves to find happiness and contentment. We want the cessation of our inner struggles.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about giving up on life and going and sitting on some mountaintop wrapped in cloth and meditating all day. I’ve been there, I know people who actually live that way, and it is an empty path which ends in nothing.
I’m talking about a vibrant interaction with life. I’m talking about exploring, building, enjoying, living life to the absolute maximum, but accepting one crucial and absolute unavoidable truth: everything you ever build, create and form will come to an end some day.
How does that make you feel?
Is it too deep? Does it make you want to click X on the browser and go watch some video of cats? Does it make you want to go for a run, look at your bank balance, get engaged in some sort of distracting activity to take your mind off it?
But here’s the thing….
You can run. You can click X. You can hide. But you can never avoid this fact.
You have to sit with it. You have to look at it and acknowledge it. Then you have to accept it.
How to Find Inner Peace & How I Did
I won’t bore you with the details, but I have been through some struggles in my life just like anybody else, yet today I am ridiculously happy and have found inner peace. Why?
You could say it’s because I have a beautiful wife and a great marriage.
You could say it’s because I have a great job with a fat salary.
You could say it’s because I am healthy, in the best shape of my life and fit and strong.
Yet I would argue that those things are not the cause of my inner happiness and peace, but are rather the result of it. They came to me after I already accepted the fundamental truth of impermanence, and made my peace with it.
You see, not so long ago I went through what I would call a life explosion. I’d been building something and had sacrificed a great deal for it, and then due to circumstances absolutely beyond my control, despite the greatest fight I have ever put up, I lost the battle and everything I had been building completely disintegrated before my very eyes.
At the time I cursed God. Why? What the hell was the point of doing anything if it all was just going to fall apart anyway? Why should I even bother when despite my greatest efforts, life could in a single instant just smash my creations to smithereens.
Life can do that. If life wanted it could turn Arnold in his prime to a bag of dead meat and bones in a split second. It could take Bill Gates and bankrupt him (despite you not thinking it is possible, it could happen), and it could reduce the greatest, most prideful man who thinks he has it all figured out and is on top to a hobo begging for scraps.
That’s life’s power. That is what you have to accept and come to terms with if you want inner peace that cannot be shaken. I accepted it, and that’s why I am at peace today.
How I Found Inner Peace – The Pivotal Moment
After a period of refusing to accept my loss (denial) followed by a period of intense grief and anger, I eventually got around to accepting the fact that it was all said and done. Life had won, and I had no choice but to submit and move the hell on.
Then something happened. Something wonderful. I entered a field of infinite potential where I was free from the past to create anew anything I wanted. I had literally been handed a blank canvas, and while the last scene was ruined in life’s fire, I now had an opportunity to paint a new picture!
I started moving again. I started connecting. Started making new friends. Started making new romantic connections. Started going to the gym all the time and transmuting my anger and pain into slabs on lean muscle. I started to live at a new level.
I now believe in my heart that the devastation and loss I felt was necessary. It was the fire in which a new, better version of myself was to be forged. It was the Bowman pulling me back so that when I was released I would surge forward like an arrow and hit my target.
I’m telling you, I can look back now and say that if that had not happened, I would be in an absolutely horrid situation. I’d be somewhere I don’t like with someone I didn’t love doing something I hate for a living. I thought at the time it was what was best for me, but looking back now I can only laugh at my own folly.
And that, after you have experienced it once, is when you find peace. That’s when you know that when life utterly destroys everything around you, you’re still alive and you have the power to create whatever you want anew.
When you begin to trust the process of life, you will find an inner calm and a content centre that can be disturbed by virtually nothing. You will know, not fear, that all things do come to an end but that every end is the start of a new adventure. You will make your peace with the way things are, and embrace the adventure of this life.
You will not fear the end. You will look at it squarely and say “That was fun. Now what’s next?” The fear of future is one of the biggest obstacles to be overcome in finding inner peace, and learning to meet it with equanimity is a huge step.
“Whatever the Future Brings – Accept It Now” – Eckhart Tolle
Most of us recognize that there is a force much greater than ourselves.
Some call it God, some Allah, some just call it life, others just call it the greater power while some don’t even have a name for it, they just think of it as the universe, some impersonal force operating via the law of cause and effect.
The truth is I don’t know what this force is any more than you do. I don’t call it anything or get on my knees and ask it for favours. I don’t even know if it can hear me or is aware of my existence. Maybe it’s just a big torrential river of particles moving at warp speed and I’m caught in the middle of it. I don’t have the faintest idea about what it is, but I know that it is there.
I also know that I have absolutely no choice but to ride it out when this force decides to hit the destruct button on whatever it is I have been doing. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a prideful fool and will know the truth I am speaking of in due course. Life is long, and we will all meet this truth at some point in time.
But when you accept this rather than resist it, when you decide that you know it is true and that while you have immense power to change your life for the better by choice, that there are limits to how much you can take on and control, you will find inner peace. You’ll learn to do what you can, but roll with the punches when they come (and they will).
You will create and struggle and try because that’s what a man should do. You will keep making every effort towards the outcomes you desire, because why the hell not? You will accept personal responsibility for the things you as a man can control in your life (going to the gym, educating yourself and forming healthy habits, living in a way that will bring about what you desire), but you will also accept that when it’s over, it’s over, and that all things that have a beginning have an end.
In the movie The Last Samurai Tom Cruise sides with his former enemies on the battle field. When it comes time to know they are pretty much screwed and about to meet their maker, but they should fight on anyway, this exchange takes place. It sums up what I am trying to say perfectly:
“Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny?
Algren: I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.”
That about sums it up – you can read a whole book on how to find inner peace and it will all boil down to the essence of this quote.
A business. A relationship. A time in a certain place. A person. A circumstance. All exist for a little while, then they change into something new. Not only is that the way life is, but it is the only way in which life is even possible.
And that’s OK. That’s what makes the world go round, and we’re just along for the phenomenal ride called life.
I’m going to start writing on some deeper topics from now on. I’ll still be producing self-improvement articles, money advice and all the stuff that makes the Art of Selfhood what it is and has been, but I’m going to start spitting wisdom where I can, too.
Because someone out there might need to hear it. If I can’t change lives and perspectives through my writing, then I’m wasting my damn time.
Until next time,
Desire. Decide. Persist.
Do you have some insight on how to find inner peace? If so, share it in the comments below!