If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.
Why is it that something so apparently simple would be so intensely difficult to master?
At face value, this aphorism appears self evident. If you want to get calm, you have to do so in your own mind. Basic.
But, in reality, that is as far from the truth as anything might be.
For example. If everything in your world is going your way, and you are walking through a serene meadow, then it would appear that this is a no brainer. Now, add any variable that can destroy that serenity… add a huge problem that you are facing in your business. Or a health issue for you or a loved one. Or a heartbreak issue between you and your spouse. Suddenly, all the serenity in your external world will not hold a candle to the intense disruption and turmoil that is swarming through your mind, threatening to destroy any hope of tranquility you might otherwise possess.
So now what?
This is where this aphorism is the core lesson in life. Your mind is a separate vehicle from you, regardless of whether that sounds counterintuitive. You are actually awareness. Your awareness can watch your mind. For in that moment of internal insanity that is taking place in that moment of external tranquility, your awareness is the core differentiator. If, during that moment of fear, frustration, disappointment or depression, you are aware of how these emotions are detaching you from the reality that you are occupying, then you have personal resources to compartmentalize them and place them in perspective.
To state this from a slightly different angle…each and every day on this planet is a blessing. You will never recapture any one of them. They are here, they exist in the moment. And then they are gone. Forever. All that will remain are memory traces and media captures, but the actual experience is only in the here and now. So with that as a given, why would any one of these precious moments of our life be wasted on mental turmoil?
You might counter that it is impossible to appreciate the serenity of that life experience if you are wrestling with a life threatening illness. And the perspective may appear as such to you, but perhaps the answer lies in the opposite. Perhaps the answer would/should/might be… all the more reason to make certain that not a single day is wasted on the mental turmoil. We are all given a life sentence. At some point, it will be over. If our ability to find peace and tranquility is thwarted by our own doing, would it not be wise to understand this most basic of premises and to adjust our perspectives accordingly?
Whatever has got a hold of your mind, no matter how distracting and out of control your world might be, you need to think and behave like a Navy Seal who is under the most duress you could possibly imagine. If they are not 100% on top of their thought process, they will most certainly die. So if you can learn a portion of their mental acumen, you are well on your way to a more productive, and therefore, happier life.