You Are Two Decisions Away From A More Peaceful Life
How to cultivate peace of mind.
In his book, Peace of Mind, Joshua Liebman described how he collected a list of everything he wanted out of life when he became an adult. On this list were things like love, health, and family. He then took this list and showed it to the people that mattered to him.
When he encountered an old family friend, the man commended him for his list but said that there was something missing.
The old man then crossed out his entire list and wrote the words, "Peace of Mind."
The years in his age have proven to him that having peace of mind is the highest attainment of man. And also, peace of mind is the secret to every experience, happiness, love, and knowledge anyone can desire.
In the garden called your life, the soil is your mind and the condition of that soil determines what grows and what doesn't.
For instance, you can be surrounded by a lot of people and still feel lonely. Loneliness is more about acceptance than abundance. If you don't connect with those people, their presence won't make any meaning to you.
Here is another example. You can have the largest library and still suffer from cognitive dwarfism. The reason is, the availability or abundance of books, within which are nutrients for the mind, is not a guarantee for intelligence. Even if you read them. If you don't know how to study, pick out the helpful pieces, and apply them, you won't remember most neither will your intelligence grow.
Such is life. Any rule you break breaks you too. A transgression, no matter how little, take something from us.
But the point I want you to catch is this: how our life unfolds follows the predominant condition of our minds. Far more than any single factor. And the best conditions is peace of mind. If you have it, you have a foundation to create every other positive condition and reality in your life.
Peace of mind will alter all there is around you, making what you have more appealing and satisfying what you don’t have less desirable. — Joshua Liebman, Peace of Mind.
Here are two decisions to have a more peaceful mind.
1. The Decision That Insures You Against The Agony of Losing.
A pregnant lady took a shot from an insecticide bottle!
The husband rushed her a few minutes after the incident to the Accident and Emergency Department.
“Doctor, doctor, please save my wife!”
Long story short, she survived.
During a round, my consultant asked her why she resorted to such a suicidal plan. And to my amazement, it was because she has been married for about 3 years with no child, and was having a miscarriage for the third consecutive time. That was the explanation she gave. ( Sobbing).
Well, such is life when you expect sooo much. Losing makes it seem as though you are a failure. That there is nothing worth any value in your life. And that feeling pushes you to just end it all.
Ending it all takes many forms: It might be an attempt taking your life — like the lady I told you about did. It might be to give up trying — like I did when a lecturer angrily called me a D-student.
The feeling to end it all comes from a sense of worthlessness (which itself is a state of mind). It emanates from agonizing over failure beyond proportion. Especially after you’ve invested a lot.
How to avoid it: Don’t work too hard at anything so you don’t expect too much.
Because as your expectations heighten, the impact of failure also heightens. In life, failure is commonplace - even with the most successful people you see on the screen.
To avoid the experience of wanting to worthlessness after a failure, learn not to do above your best. Do your best and chill.
Going beyond your best only heightens the impact of the agony of failure, which is the greatest enemy of consistency.
Remember, without consistency, success is IMPOSSIBLE. To guarantee you will be consistent, stir your life of the enemies of consistency. And the chiefest of all being, agonizing over failure.
2. The Decision That Keeps You Cool Under Pressure.
A friend of mine informed me of his father being admitted following Lassa fever.
I visited the Lassa Fever ward about twice to see him. In those visits, I met his daughter, a young nursing student who stayed with him. We attended the same church a few years back.
When he died, the daughter, my nursing friend, sent me an invitation to attend the ceremony. It was during the lockdown. School was out of session. I assured her I was going to attend.
One night, took to my WhatsApp to view the status of my contacts. Her status was the second on my list.
To my surprise, it was the pictures of those that came for the ceremony! She was posting them individually and in groups thanking them one after the other.
I felt so bad. I was worried. "She is going to be mad that I didn't show up; I need to do something now."
I replied to one of her status pictures. I apologized for not coming and asked her to send me her account details.
A few minutes later I checked. The message has delivered but she hasn't read it.
I was more than anxious!
I picked my second phone and called her to express my apologies. To my greatest surprise, she sounded so friendly and even told me she thought I was probably busy with some projects when she didn’t see me around.
She rounded up by saying that I should make sure to attend her wedding since I couldn’t come for the ceremony of her Dad.
The conversation was all smiles and laughter and smoothness. The complete reverse of what I expected.
It is one of the tricks the mind plays on us. It unusually amplifies things. Especially those things it doesn’t completely know or understand.
To have peace of mind, you need to learn how to be cool under pressure.
How to be cool under pressure:
Instead of worry over stuff when they go wrong, learn to take a few steps backward and see it as it is.
Here is why, things are rarely as bad as they seem.
That knowledge will help you immensely.
Peace of mind is priceless. Without it, living a good life is quite impossible. There is nothing you have that will make sense to you. But with it, even the little you have is more than abundant.
Money without peace of mind is poverty; Being purpose driven without peace of mind is meaningless; having a thousand friends without peace of mind is of no significance. Anything you have without peace of mind is as good as not having it.
Peace of mind- that’s the best gift you can give to yourself.
If you have it, you have the surest foundation for building a great life.
I am Joshua Idegbere and this is my column. Stories with actionable tips to help you make the most of your life, career and relationships. Welcome!