So you want to know how to “find” inner peace and happiness?
If you’ve been around How to Be Happy long enough, you probably already know what I’m about to say… that’s right, find inner peace and you’ll discover happiness.
Happiness is a by-product of inner peace; so you don’t really find it, it finds you. If you’ve read my report, How To Be Happy Now, then you know what I’m talking about.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Looking at the Gandhi quote, happiness is a result of having our thoughts and actions in sync. But what about people who think angry and act angry; are they happy? Hmm, that’s a great question. I’m sure that is not what Gandhi was talking about, but I would add that if your actions cause harm or pain to others, that would not equate to happiness for yourself. That is if you have any type of conscience or moral compass; this obviously excludes sociopaths. Speaking of sociopaths, that reminds me of the first time I met my wife’s father and stepmother… You all like stories right? (I’ll digress for a moment)
My wife’s father is a retired pathologist and her stepmother is a retired psychologist; they’re both amazing people and a joy to be around and talk to. The first time we met my wife was going on and on to her father about how I always knew just what to say and how happy we were together. Her father, while I was sitting there, starting talking about how sociopaths have a gift for always knowing the right thing to say and making people feel good. It wasn’t directed at me, we were just discussing personalities and character traits, but it really got me to thinking… gosh, I do seem to always know what to say and make people happy… maybe I am a sociopath, I mean surely those who are don’t know it right? Later that evening I approached her father and stepmother and suggested maybe I was in need of a “session” to talk and discover if I’m a sociopath or not. They laughed, apologized if I felt they had insinuated anything and assured me I was fine and from their assessment appeared to be mentally stable. It’s quite the story and we laugh about it now.
Part of being happy with myself is the ability to say the right things to people based in my truth and from the heart, as opposed to saying what I think people want to hear. Also having the intuition to know when to say something and when to keep my mouth shut. One of my favorite passages is something read at my wedding:
Your homework is to practice an ancient Sufi tradition: In your life together, speak words to your beloved only if they can pass through 3 gates: First, is it truthful? Second, is it necessary? Third, is it kind? If your words are truthful & necessary & kind, then the love you have maintained up until today will be nourished and continue to grow & your name will continue to remain safe in your beloved’s mouth.
Back to the topic of how to find inner peace and happiness… Oh, and sociopaths; so do we even know when we’re unhappy? Take my life now for instance, I have an inner peace and happiness which is incomparable to anything I have felt in my life previously. Sure I thought I was happy for many years, or at least accepted the fact that I would be somewhat happy. When thinking about how to find happiness, I would immediately associate it with love and relationships; but knew that was far off for me until I reached a level of professional success. Today, the happiness I experience is so much deeper and is truly a happiness within that comes from someplace other than material things or relationships. That happiness is a direct product of inner peace. As I have dealt with regrets, resentments, discovered self-forgiveness, and moved into a life lived on spiritual principles, I have found inner peace.
Once you find inner peace, happiness will inevitably find you! And many times in places and ways you would never have imagined!
Hmmm, happiness from inner peace you say? “…that sounds good, I’ll have some of that.” Or maybe you’re thinking, “we’re all glad you found inner peace Jared, but how can we get some of that?” I’ll tell you.
So far we’ve determined that if you find inner peace, happiness will find you right? According to that, we only need to concentrate on the first part of our original question, “how to find inner peace and happiness.” Inner peace can only come one way in my opinion; self love. Self love has nothing to do with ego, self-esteem, or making oneself feel good. Self-love has to do with learning empathy, compassion, and forgiveness for yourself and that you were created out of love.
In my journey of self-discovery, there was one issue that I struggled to accept; the fact that I did not love myself. I had always felt special (which was part of my problem) and knew I was capable of great things; I believed in myself for the most part. I was nice to others and always seemed full of joy. To me, that just didn’t sound like a guy who didn’t love himself. Looking back I realize, had I truly loved myself, I would not have treated myself the way I did. I had confused what I was showing people on the outside with what I was feeling on the inside. Thus I was lacking inner peace and self-love; consequently long-term happiness constantly eluded me.
As I entered into a process of recovery and learned how to rid myself of guilt, regret, and insecurities, I began to realize how badly I had been treating myself. The realization that I was not living up to my ideal self, and to really identify what that ideal self looked like, was a process. It started with the awareness that I had a problem then went through acceptance and surrender and continued to grow from there. The process involved re-learning how to think and building a different perspective of the world and my place in it. Moreover, what it meant to be successful and how valuable a peace of mind could be.
I have found a way to cultivate inner peace, however it is a long process (initially) and way to in-depth to get into here. This process, which I’ve broken into 9 steps (awareness, acceptance, surrender, identification, self-searching, honesty, action and atonement, spiritual development, and maintenance) will be included in my upcoming eBook to be released sometime within the next six months (I hope). It WILL happen, I’m just not putting any hard deadlines on myself 😉 In the meantime, try to concentrate on loving yourself and listening to what the committee is telling you! If you’re not familiar with the committee, I suggest you sign up for my free report, How To Be Happy Now below or to the right.
I’d like to end with this quick minute and a half audio clip from Dr. Wayne Dyer on happiness:
Thanks for stopping by to share part of your time with me today. It truly is appreciated.