More Than Education, Training or Experience - Inner Peace Is the Basis of Long Term Success.
So, exactly what is “inner peace” and can we ever truly master it? Well I don’t think there’s an exact universal definition, however I’ll offer my personal definition so that for the sake of clarity we’re on the same page as you consider my argument. Inner peace is a 3 part state of being: self-acceptance, humility and the ability to love freely. As to the question of mastering inner peace, it will never be completely mastered – but it’s ok because that’s not necessary. The object, as I see it, is to point the consciousness towards the goal of inner peace and then as life comes at you, adjust and re-calibrate as needed so that you’re able to stay the course. I think boxers call this ‘sticking and moving’.
Paradoxically, inner peace is something that will be continuously practiced right up until the end of the journey – yet it can never truly be mastered. However this doesn’t mean we don’t get better at it. For some of us, the art of living in a state of inner peace gets easier as our life experience increases. Life events that require faith, humility, courage and strength can stress or even vitiate inner peace – and with time we develop our own unique coping tools to handle this stress. Assuming that one’s coping skills are healthy and not destructive or dangerous (this is where you pause to reflect on the quality of your coping skills, and make a note to improve where needed) exercising those skills repeatedly over time is foundational to the practice of inner peace.
So, what has any of this got to do with being successful professionally? I’m glad you asked. If you’re a start-up entrepreneur, a professional with a passion for community service, a mentor, or aspiring leader – you’re the crucial element needed for a positive outcome in the lives of your consumers, adherents and projects. It’s all about YOU - not any product, technology or mantra. Let’s look at those 3 attributes of inner peace again. There’s self-acceptance, which means you actively appreciate all of who you all – flaws included, and don’t allow the ghost of mistakes past to influence how you feel about yourself. Humility, which means you’re aware of and grateful for your blessings. All of the many ways your circumstances could have been worse, are acknowledged in your disposition. Your outlook therefor, includes empathy and sympathy for the needs and circumstances of others. The third pillar which is the biggest, is the ability to love freely.
You’re doing the Tina Turner thing in your head right now, asking ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It’ – am I right? If I’m wrong that’s cool too…The ability to love freely means you’re a forgiver and not a grudge holder. Grudges, suspicion and doubt are like cancers – they nibble away at you from the inside. Letting go of grudges is freedom; I’m speaking from personal experience y’all! To do this, requires addressing secret fears and emotional wounds then binding them up and demoting them. If you allow yourself to love freely you’ll be able to rock hope, pull down joy and lift up justice. Loving freely is brave. Loving freely is empowering. Loving freely is rejecting hate in all its forms, boldly taking risks and actively seeking opportunities to serve. Even when you’re alone and doing nothing at all, if loving freely is a part of your spirit it contributes to your inner peace. Disappointments will come, but dark clouds will have to work a heck of a lot harder to move on in when they’re up against an outlook shaped by confidence gained from the rewards of loving freely.
Love is...If you’re like me and you enjoy Biblical wisdom you’re probably familiar with 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, however if you don't read the Bible just look this verse up online. You’ll get goose bumps, I promise. This verse is a 2,000 year old formula for how to have a high quality life experience by striving for inner peace, and it begins with the words "love is..."
By now you may have figured out how my argument ends, but allow me to emphasize the most important points. Your goal is to be successful, and to be successful you’ll have to give of yourself – in fact if you’re in the entrepreneur space, as they say in basketball, you have to be willing to “leave it all on the court”. So the highest and best ‘you’ is what you want to strive for. That’s the you that you’ll be offering to your community, to the young people who'll look up to you, to your customers and your family whose support you’ll need. When your secret (or not so secret) sauce is inner peace, you win – and even when you don’t win, you’re never a loser only a learner. Learners know that all lessons are useful for bolstering wisdom, wisdom is required to continuously develop inner peace. Inner peace is key to developing a successful you; YOU are the crucial element that determines the quality of your success.