Everyone seems to want it, but very few people have it.
I once met a man who found inner peace in a factory.
Nothing stood out about him. He had tattoos, a nicotine addiction, and a lifetime of failed relationships. However, unlike me, he was satisfied with life.
One day, while jesting, he said to me, “If you’re not happy now, you’ll never be happy.”
While the sentence was said as a joke, it stuck with me. He was right.
My whole life I had tried to be a good person. I exercised, worked, read books, spent time with my family, and more. However, I lacked satisfaction. I was always searching for the next hit.
For example, recently, I decided to increase the difficulty of my workout routine to 50 pull-ups. So, I exerted myself and reached 50. After a momentary sense of satisfaction, the dissatisfaction returned.
Why had I not reached 100?
Then, I felt a pit in my stomach. I knew that if I reached 100, my body would only ask, “what about 102?”
The only way to get lasting satisfaction / inner peace is to derive satisfaction from the process – not the accomplishments. Otherwise, life will be a constant race to get the next goal accomplished.
Ancient cultures have long talked about the idea of inner peace. While they can be overly artistic, here are some recommended readings:
- Tao Te Ching (The Way) by Lao Tzu
- The Bhagavad Ghita by Vyasa
Additionally, here are some slightly more modern readings:
- Dokkodo (The Way of Walking Alone) by Miyamoto Musashi
- How to Control Your Anger Before It Controls You by Albert Ellis