We live in an increasingly non-peaceful world, and the need to gain inner peace is all the more pervading in our lives. Sometimes it seems impossible to achieve. But the trick is to remember that inner peace is not a state but a journey, and you may use the four habits listed below to help you out.
Before we begin, we must clarify something that appears in the title of this piece: the word ‘achieve’. A state of inner peace is not something to be achieved, but it’s more a journey. You can be more peaceful today and you were yesterday, and no matter how peaceful you are, you’re not completely at peace, so there’s always something to look forward to for the next day. Inner peace, then, is a journey that none of us ever complete.
With that disclaimer, let’s look at a few habits you can incorporate into your daily life to achieve inner peace.
1. Understand the difference between wisdom and intelligence
Intelligence often begins with a position of strength and arrogance, whereas the cornerstone of wisdom is humility – of knowledge, of self, of intelligence, of looks, everything. In our daily lives, we spend a lot of time (sometimes years) accumulating intelligence and knowledge, and of course a sense of vanity. But a journey towards inner peace begins with the accumulation of wisdom, which requires us all to become more humble and to take ourselves a little less seriously.
2. Accumulate a bit of wisdom every day
Spend thirty minutes each day collecting some wisdom in whatever form you can. Read some of the great philosophers, listen to wisdom that comes to us from religion, the Vedas and other spiritual texts. Read about topics that are social and human in nature, topics that are not always talked about: read about the seven sins and how to live healthily with them, read about your sexuality. Read about the inner lives of human beings more. Don’t be in a hurry to learn it all in one sitting or in one month. Read a little bit each day, because for once, you’re not competing with anybody.
3. Get out of the ‘race’ mentality
We go through life thinking of it as a race. We try to keep up with the neighbours, our friends, peers, and everyone in the world. We yearn to achieve status that will place us on the zenith of the pyramid with everyone looking up at us. In achieving inner peace, the opposite is required. Not everything is a race, and many of the inner journeys you take toward spiritual advancement are personal, and the only competitor is you. So learn to relax and take your time. It’s not a race. We’re all in this ‘life’ thing together, and there is only one exit door no matter what you achieve.
4. Make a habit of charitable acts
Charitable acts don’t have to mean that you go to an orphanage and give a big donation. Charity begins at home, they say. Make a habit of performing two charitable acts every day. Any act that has someone else’s good (or the lessening of someone else’s pain) at heart is charitable, no matter how small. Whether it is giving your spouse a massage to relieve them of pain, or whether it is offering to cook a meal, the opportunities for performing charity abounds all around you. Take it on a daily basis.