How to Be The Most Peaceful Person You Know.
You can very slowly but steady and methodically improve your happiness baseline, just like you can improve your fitness — Naval Ravikant
Peace of mind, happiness, contentment. Whatever word you call it, most of us are spending all our time and energy chasing this. Or if not chasing it, actively avoiding the opposite: stress, sadness, frustration.
Peace of mind does not have to be exceptionally difficult to attain either, and it can come quicker than expected once you let go of certain desires and the idea of there being one magical switch.
Once you know who you want to be, what your values and priorities are, and then gradually shift how you spend your time to be in line with these, your “peace of mind” account begins to grow.
If that sounds too simplistic chances are you haven’t defined your values, compared how you invested your energy/time to them, and begun (or stuck to) the process of bringing the two into harmony.
Yes, I’m making this all sound very simple, deliberately so. You might feel a lot of resistance to this idea. And I’m not denying there’s going to be external factors, roadblocks, and occasions where you slip back on your journey. Ask yourself this though — is the resistance bringing you closer to or further away from peace of mind?
If you update and expand your identity gradually, you fill find yourself reborn into someone totally new and yet still familiar — James Clear
How do you get to a life where it’s 98% perfectly in line with what brings you peace, happiness and fulfilment? This can seem far off when it’s barely .98% like that as it is. By making each day marginally more in line with your values and priorities. The key here is to do so marginally, consistently and patiently. Much like we go from the depths of winter to the highs of summer, small changes in your daily actions can compound to really improve your inner and outer world.
To start changing your habits, you need to know what your values and priorities are. And these are more like guiding principles that will evolve over time rather than something that’s completely set in stone.
Stepping back further you need two keys skills — clarity and compassion. Clarity is being able to see your thoughts and not getting caught up in them.
Don’t Believe Everything you Think — Tim Ferriss
Compassion is understanding your emotions. Instead of suppressing them, denying them, or trying to run away from them, which is what most of us learned to do. Feeling our feelings, empathising with why they’re creeping us, getting to know the need behind them, and then taking the action necessary to fulfil that need — that’s compassion in a nutshell.
This is the simplest formula I can give you:
- Practice sitting with your thoughts daily (start with 60 seconds)
- Practice being compassionate with your feelings daily (again start with 60 seconds)
- Take all the time you need to define your identity, values and priorities, using the skills of clarity and compassion you’ve developed. Make being content/happy/peaceful part of your aspirational identity.
- Daily work towards habits and communication that’s in line with your identity, being clear on your actions and compassionate when you’re not in line.
- Monitor how in line you were, what worked and what needs adjustment. Savour every time you act in line with who you want to be, and forgive yourself ever time you slip up.
- Repeat the process, knowing that the more you practice it the more innate it will become.
How long will this take? The “dunno” emoji would be the best answer here. The key thing is as long as you’re trending in the direct you want to go, you will build increasing levels of life satisfaction (peace of mind).
No one does their best work driven by anxiety — Ryan Holiday
Sometimes we fear being peaceful because we believe being hard driving and constantly demanding more of ourselves is the only way we’ll succeed. Firstly, that’s not a very enjoyable way to live. Secondly, there’s nothing that suggests that approach works. Thirdly, what good is being miserable to achieve some external marker of success?
Stress comes from playing the status game, looking outward and comparing your success unfavourably with everyone else’s. This is the game most of us learned. Peace of mind comes from playing the inner game, and matching how what you do with who you want to be. The more time you spend on your peace of mind, the less you’ll chase squirrels and counterintuitively the more outward success you’ll create and attract.