We all feel how stressful our world has become. It sometimes feels that the balancing act is doomed from the start. So many responsibilities, so many demands, and so many needs to be met, the can overwhelm us and cause us to feel that we are drowning or even choking. They come from every face of life, our employers, our partners, our children, our spouses, our customers, our own desires and so on and so on and so on. So with all this in mind, what is real peace of mind and how can we achieve it?
Peace of mind is fairly self-explanatory in its meaning. It is peace in our minds. It is a calm sensation that floods our senses when all is well with the world, or at least we feel like it is. Finishing a task well can give us this sensation. Laying our head on the pillow at night, knowing we have finished every task that needed finishing during the day can give us peace of mind. Faith can do the same and believing in ourselves can as well. But there are many things that can steal our peace of mind, burning it out of our brain completely.
Fear, worry, excessive concern for others, all have this effect, and when we allow them to take over in our thoughts we can lose perspective, which leads to the opposite of peace. Inner turmoil would be a better way of describing it. There is a famous prayer, its non-denominational and pretty much universal in its worth. It goes like this. “Lord, give me the ability to accept the things I can’t change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” When you think about the words of this prayer you can see that it is a perfect formula for inner peace.
I will share something personal here. I have a diagnosed mental illness, called Obsessive compulsive disorder. Basically, the illness stems from my brains inability to let go. I worry about everything, and I mean everything, to an extreme. I check door and windows, time and again. I clean my hands fifty times, yet they are never clean enough. I see danger in every small detail of life, overblowing the significance of such. Peace of mind was a pipe dream for me for the longest time. Fortunately, through medication and years of Cognitive behavioural therapy, I can lead a relatively normal and productive life, but there was a time when this was not so. The serenity prayer I mentioned above is my motto now. I live by it.
There are things we can change, and I make a point of changing them for the better as quickly as I can. Procrastination is not an option for me. If something needs done, I must do it, and fast. Otherwise, it eats away at my serenity with worry and stress. There are also things I can’t change. I’ve learned to accept them to a point. It’s a daily exercise in self-control, but I get better at it all the time.
Now I will give a specific example of something I could change and did. I am an author. My books are my babies. I write what I know and what I care about, and I care deeply. This is the perfect recipe for stress. Every word I put on paper needs to be perfect. I will write and rewrite chapters, looking for perfection. Of course, this is impossible. At some point, I have to let go and send the book out into the world for my reading audience. In one sense, I let go, but in another sense, the real work has just begun.
A book won’t get read unless it ends up in the hands of a reader. This takes constant promotion. The internet is the best avenue for this but it is a labyrinth of gigantic proportions. I tried to do the promotion myself, but I quickly became overwhelmed. My peace of mind was directly affected. That’s when I decided to change a thing I could. I hired a virtual assistant and made it his sole job to promote my books. It took courage to delegate this important responsibility, but the payoff has been exponential.
For three hundred bucks a month, I have someone on the job ten hours a day, navigating every corner of the internet on my behalf. My books sales have steadily increased and I now earn my living as a full time writer. This is a wonderful thing. Someone once said that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. They were right on the money. But even more important than this ability to do what I love and survive, is the peace of mind that has come from delegating to another and trusting in the outcome. I will never regret doing this and would recommend it to anyone in a similar situation to mine.