This post comes from the minds of two of my favorite people. First, there is William James. If you read his life story, it is one of failure and depression. He was considered to be a disappointment to his family much of his early life. He then went on to become the father of psychology and was the first to offer it as a course of study. This quote about the power of our thoughts could not be more true. Our thoughts not only determine our emotional well-being and the quality of our lives, but what actions and activities we will pursue. Maintaining positive and self-empowering thoughts is one of the most powerful things we can do. There is one other thought and emotional state that we should focus on to improve the quality of our life. This comes from the second of my favorite people to be included in this post.
Here is another wise and thoughtful philosopher. Yes, it is my beautiful and sometimes crazy lady, Margie. Just this morning she surprised me by waking up with a deep thought that serves as the second part of our post today. It is the importance of living with inner peace. When you live in a state of peace within yourself, the chaos outside can affect you less. When you have peace in your heart, you are far less likely to inflict pain on others. There is a cliché that only hurt people, hurt people. There is a good deal of truth to that statement. The benefits of having inner peace cannot be overstated. It will help foster a feeling of compassion for others. It will help keep you from being negatively in your emotions. It will give you inner strength as well.
The million dollar question then becomes, “How do we develop inner peace?” There is no one quick answer to this question. The answers are as varied as the people trying to put them into action. One of the most important is to attach yourself to a purpose greater than yourself. When life is all about you, it is easy to let the outside world affect you. When you are living for a purpose greater than yourself, it takes a lot more to rattle you. That purpose can range from helping make the world a better place for our animal friends to increasing awareness and action when it comes to child and domestic abuse.
Inner peace can also be achieved a great deal through confronting our demons and putting them to use for us. When we suffer some physical or emotional trauma, especially early in life, it can haunt us and deprive us of our inner peace for the rest of our life. Through the use of a journal, or perhaps seeking professional help, we can confront and conquer these demons. When we do, we can reach back and help others who have faced, and are facing, the same trauma. In this case, we take a liability and turn it into an asset.
It takes work to do all of this. The payoff of developing and working to maintain inner peace benefits ourselves in terms of a healthier emotional state. This can lead to things such as a stronger immune system, increased joy and decreased stress. It can benefit others around us by making us more compassionate and understanding. This will make us a better spouse, friend, parent, coworker and any other role we choose to play. It will benefit the world at large by reducing the amount of stress and setting examples of how better to treat each other. It will also allow us to bring the best version of ourselves to everything we are involved in. This is what the world needs most. I would love to hear all of your suggestions for developing more inner peace.
File this post under “Simple to understand but hard to do”. It is still a great thought worth pondering. Something we all know, but could use a good reminder with. No matter what your demons are, be they small or large, this advice applies. Let us say your demon is sugary foods. It would serve you well to not frequent a bakery or places where such items are served. In your house, do not have bags of candy ready to snack on. Instead have carrots, or maybe celery with a little bit of peanut butter. Whatever your fancy may be. Maybe you are striving to be a little more active? Do not hang around people who live sedentary lives. Try parking your car a little further away from the grocery store.
Let us say that you find yourself in embarrassing or dangerous situations when you consume alcohol. You should seek your entertainment somewhere other than a bar or a club. Yes, that might mean giving up a few friendships, but that might be the cost of vanquishing your demon. If, for example, you have a person who enjoys going out and getting smashed, even if they are a good person, you may have to cut them off. Even the friends who can responsibly consume adult beverages, you will have to explain you cannot be around them when they do. Your demon can use your friends, family and peer pressure to continue to keep you enslaved. Do you want to be a slave to your demons, or do you want to take back control of your life? Rather a rhetorical question, but a poignant one never the less.
Your demons will be tricky. They will be crafty. They will use whatever they can to enslave you. If you want to have an amazing life, and defeat many of your demons, you must first declare you will no longer enjoy their company. It will come with some sacrifices. It will be a long and hard journey. It will be worth it. We only have one life. It is worth fighting for.
Inner demons,we all have them. From the happiest person we know to the most angry and sad. Some demons are obvious, some you would never know are there. One thing is certain, the demons we all have are as varied as the people who have them. I happened to be listening to the late Jim Rohn on the way to write this blog. If you haven’t had a chance I urge you to check out some of his material. He is the man who mentored one of my mentors, a man you might have heard of, Tony Robbins. In this current talk Mr. Rohn said “if something attacks you in life, attack it back”. That got me thinking of what was attacking me in my life. I came up with a few. Doubt, trouble trusting others, a temptation to react instead of act. So the very next question, how do we attack these? Different demons call for different actions I suppose. The first thing to do is admit they exist. Then, keep showing up. Do what the little girl in the picture is doing, smile. Nothing drives an inner demon more crazy.
Then what? Two things really. The first is do everything you can. If your demon is anger, maybe watch a YouTube video on anger management? Talk to a consoler? Whatever you do just don’t fight fire with fire. If you have anger issues, don’t get mad about that. If you are depressed, resist the temptation to become sad about it. Reach out to others whether it be in person or online. Read books on the subject, listen to a cd on the subject, look up websites.
That brings us to the second thing you should do. Don’t ever give up. Everyday you show up to do battle with your inner demons you are winning the war. Sure you may lose a few battles along the way. You may become upset and say things you don’t mean, but if you recognize that and are honestly trying to do better you are winning.
When going through this know something else. You are not alone. We all have our demons. Some are just better at hiding them. So the struggle is all of ours. If someone reaches out to you be understanding and compassionate. Feel free to share some of your demons and how you are attempting to beat them or maybe how you already have. You may just give others the strength to do the same.