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Peace Comes From Within

One of the most difficult things to do is to find peace.  It sounds very easy in theory, but we have a ton of distractions. Some of these distractions are positive, like falling in love or an exciting challenge at work, and some are very toxic, like resentment or anger. One of the keys to a fulfilling life is to remove as many toxic distractions as possible in order to focus on relationships and activities that bring us joy. Of course there are situations and actions of other people over which we have no power or control, but we always have control over our responses.

Resentment and anger waste more energy than any other emotional reactions. The time you spend focusing on the shortcomings and faults of others does nothing for anybody. One of the best tools I have found to stay out of anger and resentment comes from the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

The second agreement encourages you to “not take things personally.” This is wonderful advice. Any opinion someone has about you is based on their own projection and experience. Choosing to take someone else’s opinion on, whether it is positive or negative, is making the choice to give away your power. It feels good to receive compliments and it hurts to be criticized, but allowing outside influences to control your perception of yourself hinders your ability to be responsible for your own happiness.

Make the decision to stop taking things personally. When you find yourself affected by the opinions of others ask yourself a couple of simple questions:

  • Do I already believe this to be true about me?
  • Is this an aspect of my personality I would like to change?
  • If it is a compliment, am I using this compliment to make myself superior to others?

Ultimately, how you live and interact with others will be dictated by the way you see yourself. Focus on living simple, acknowledging when you make a positive change, and commit to using mistakes as opportunities to learn. When you follow these simple steps you will be less affected by the opinions of others and will feel more at peace.

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