“Nowhere can man find a quiet or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul”
― Marcus Aurelius
Every moment of every day, for your whole life, the greatest challenges you will face will come from within.
Inner turmoil will be your closed, most constant companion in life, dominating your thoughts & determining the actions you take.
Most people’s minds tend to be in a state of constant flux & conflict, with the past competing with the future, the positive with the negative, the rational with the instinctive.
If depression stems from looking into the past, & anxiety from looking towards the future, then to be at inner peace we must look to the present. Yet in the midst of this inner war of thoughts, the present gets forgotten.
We are either unable to focus on it, or are too afraid to confront our present reality.
To escape, we run to beaches, spas, mountains – even other countries. We unquestioningly accept the belief that you can find respite in a few days away, free from the stressful demands of city life & a regular job.
In a sense, holidays are a way to desperately gulp in a breath of air before being plunged back into the waters of ‘real life’ – the stress, the lack of sleep, the depressed commuters, the grey office blocks.
It is normal to need to go & ‘re-charge your batteries’ for a few days.
But this norm is problematic.
All of our lives we build up to this certain view of what success looks like, generally wealth & social status. We get the ‘dream job’, yet find ourselves needing to escape from it every few months in order to keep ourselves motivated & energised enough to continue with it.
We spend thousands of Euros a year, earned from our ‘dream job’, in order to escape. The further away & more exotic, the better.
Should your ‘dream job’ not be one where you feel energised by it? Where you don’t feel the intermittent need to just get away from it? Where the lifestyle you desire is very much achievable?
Quell the inner turmoil
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
It’s the hardest thing to do though, to align your actions with your inner mind, but it’s the most important thing you could do.
If you know your current job or lifestyle are incompatible with your beliefs, then you must take action. (You’ll know from that little niggling voice in your head & how much inner conflict you are experiencing.)
If you free yourself from the past & the future, then you will find your mind quietly at peace in the present.
If every day you do what you genuinely want to be doing in life, then you will find you don’t need a beach, fancy resort or weekend spa trip to make you happy & feel energised.
“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations