5 Steps to Achieve Inner Peace (Without Moving to an Ashram)

This week was not one of my best. One of my companies is going through some major growing pains. Cash flow is not flowing. New leadership is being tested. I just want to see results. And I don’t want to hear any stories or excuses. My frustration surfaced a few times earlier this week and I had to check myself before I wrecked myself. Cos I’m bad for your health, I come real stealth… (Who doesn’t like a little old-school gangsta rap when they’re pissed?) But the reality was, I couldn’t allow my mood to affect my staff or my ability to lead. I had to draw on my emotional fitness and my meditation practice in order to be the leader my company needs, now more than ever.

kilimajaroI’ve talked about mediation in previous blog posts, and it is a twice daily practice that is very important to my personal and professional development and spiritual growth. I look forward to taking a moment out of my day to get into meditation. And some days (like this week) I wish I could just stay there, free from the every day demands, challenges, and reality of the world around me. But as much as I enjoy those moments of quiet and peace and flow, I’m not about to pack up my family and abdicate my position as CEO and move to an ashram. I am passionate about building businesses, and I enjoy the fruits of those labors, like buying mountain bikes and hunting gear, getting massages, date nights at the movies, and a whole lot of other comforts, way too much.

But I do believe that we can all find that inner peace without separating ourselves completely from the fast-pace, high-octane, competitive world around us. They are not mutually exclusive. We do, however, need to work on finding that inner peace. It’s definitely not going to just show up and slap us in the face (I mean, gently tap us on the shoulder).

Here are 5 steps for finding inner peace that have worked for me:

  1. comparisonStop Comparing Yourself to Others
    Did you know that you typically compare yourself to people that you’ve know for 10 years or more and who are in the same demographic as you? Now, let me ask you this: I bet you don’t even aspire to do, be, or have what those people have. So why the hell are you comparing yourself to them? Usually it’s because you need to feel significant. And the easiest way to be the tallest building in the city is by tearing all the other ones down. Nothing good comes from judging and comparing yourself to others. You may feel significant momentarily, but you know subconsciously it’s just a false emotion. And I guarantee their life is not as beautiful as you see on social media or you have built up in your mind.

    I am by no means perfect at this and often find myself comparing – but I am able to recognize when I’m doing it and redirect quickly. Start becoming aware of when you are comparing yourself. Is it when you are questioning a choice you made? Or when you are feeling inadequate and seeking validation? Whatever it is, just stop and notice it. And then redirect that comparison into gratitude for what you do have. Then remember who it is you want to become. And then go take action!

  2. Practice Gratitude 
    One of the key components to inner peace is gratitude. It’s very difficult to compare yourself to others or stay frustrated when you feel gratitude. I write in my gratitude journal every day as a way to start my day grounding myself in all that I have to be thankful for. Gratitude is the antidote to worry, fear, and many other negative emotions. Practicing gratitude daily and drawing upon it when you are experiencing inner disturbance will quickly change your state and bring you peace.
  3. Become In Tune with Your Emotions
    How many times have you been in a funk, but not really been able to figure out why or what to do about it? That state of uncertainty is not a great place to be and definitely doesn’t bring inner peace. The more you can stop and look inward to become aware of what you are feeling, the faster you can do something about it – meditate, do handstands, get into gratitude, etc.  And the fastest way to change your emotions is to change your physiology. Remember, action = emotions.

  4. Practice Affirmations
    Here are some of my favorite affirmations.
    – I demand of my subconscious to give me the strength, courage, endurance, faith, and immediate healing power to create massive and pure energy within me NOW! (This became my mantra as I was climbing Kilimanjaro a couple years ago and was struggling to just breathe and put one foot in front of the other).
    – I am successful. I am building a legacy. I will not fail. I never rest. I will not be outworked. I never settle. I am proud. I will accomplish my mission. I will be humble. I am fueled by this and this alone.
    – And of course, I NEVER GIVE UP!

    I encourage you to work on developing your own series of affirmations. Want inner peace? Know who you are and who you want to become and actively work on becoming that person. Affirmations are a great way to align present actions with your future self.

  5. Stop Resisting Life’s Flow
    Life is happening FOR you, not TO you. We’ve all heard people in our life complain about their circumstances and curse the world for things that show up in their life (a bill they didn’t know about, a family member’s unexpected visit, traffic, etc.). But life’s events are just that, events. Think about it, people all over the world die every day. Death itself, doesn’t cause you any disturbance. Otherwise, we would all be perpetually paralyzed by grief. The disturbance within you is caused by the meaning you have attached to life’s events. Good or bad. The key is learning to surrender to life’s flow and understand that everything happens for a reason in the most effortless and perfect way, just as it is supposed to happen. The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer explains this concept amazingly well and his journey is incredible to read about. Surrendering to life’s flow is the ultimate way to inner peace.

As you know, I’m a huge advocate of meditation and I know meditation will help you fast track your journey to inner peace. Meditation allows you to quiet your thoughts and helps you to stop comparing, to be grateful, to tune into your emotions, and to surrender to the flow of life. Achieving inner peace is not something that happens overnight, it requires commitment and practice. But I can tell you from personal experience, it’s a hell of a lot easier being a bad ass when you also have inner peace.
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