1. Resistance is futile
You have experienced some bad times during your life. You might have even experienced catastrophes. How does the future look? You’re going to be sick from time to time, get older, lose friends and face changes whether you accept it or not. Accepting will just make you a happier person. Resisting is what makes you suffer.
Imagine wanting to buy something new. You know you can’t afford it. Imagine the difference in your feeling if you tell yourself: “Damn, I wish I could afford it,” or if you tell yourself: “As soon as my money situation gets better, I’ll get it.” Can you see the difference between accepting and resisting? In both cases you didn’t give up wanting it, but in which case do you feel better?
Start by accepting that you are not at peace, at least not all the time. Accept that it’s okay to be this way. In doing so, you’re already one step closer to be at peace.
Accept yourself the way you are, even if you don’t like it. It’s easier to improve your life when you accept what comes your way.
2. Believe and set an intention
You can’t be at peace if you don’t believe it’s possible. “You know us New-Yorkers, we’re always running somewhere,” “How can you be at peace when you are in debt?” If you tell yourself something like this, then you can’t be at peace. Believe that it’s possible, and then set your intention to be at peace. Tell yourself: “All the reasons not to be at peace are out there in the world. But inside, I’ll d deliberately experience peace.” If need be, remind yourself your intention every day. Put stickers on your fridge and laptop. Your capability to be at peace will grow.
3. Please forgive me!
Forgiveness is not a prize for someone else; it’s a gift to your soul. “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” (Alexander Pope).
Ask for forgiveness from anyone you hurt. Even if you don’t think that you hurt them, it’s enough that they feel hurt. Ask forgiveness from everyone you didn’t love enough. Ask forgiveness from whoever you disappointed. Ask forgiveness from all who suffered and you didn’t care, even if you don’t know them.
Forgive yourself. One of the people who you hurt the most is yourself. You’ve made mistakes. But if you want to be at peace, it’s time to forgive yourself.
Forgive anyone who hurt you. Forgiveness is not a prize. You might not end up their best friend, but don’t continue to punish yourself for what they did by not forgiving them.
4. Do something you dislike everyday
There are so many things I don’t like to do.
Every day, do one thing you don’t like, preferably in the morning. You will feel so much fixed attention released, that you will be at peace for at least a few hours.
5. Take good care of yourself.
Practice yoga, go to the gym, jump, breathe deeply, walk and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Eat well, sleep well, and laugh as much as you can. Happy body makes happy spirit.
6. Expect only disappointments
When you expect things from others, you set yourself up for disappointment. Do you expect a tree to bark like a dog? Do expect a monkey to fly? So why do expect people to be different than the way they are? If someone doesn’t appreciate you, it’s because this is the way he is. Don’t expect him to change. He might change, but he probably won’t change. Don’t set up yourself for disappointment. Choose to be around those who support you, those who surprise you with their generosity. You don’t need to expect anything from them.
7. Meet more teachers and fewer enemies
Enemies are teachers whose class you’ve failed. They came into your life to teach you a lesson and instead of thanking them, you have decided to resist them. Any time you meet an enemy, ask yourself: what lesson he’s bringing me? It can be at work, on the bus or at home. There are many lessons to learn.
Failure is a teacher too. It’s not a failure if you use it as a lesson. It’s easier to be at peace when you’re learning and growing.
8. Feel more than you think
Many of your thoughts are either created by hidden feelings or are there to hide unwanted feelings.
When you think that you’re not good enough it’s because you’re afraid to fail.
When you are not sure what to do it’s because you’re afraid to make a mistake.
When you think someone did you wrong, it’s because you are angry.
Listen to your feelings, don’t try to avoid them. Let them be, so you can let them go.
Create new feelings. Deliberately feel safe, feel love, feel joy, feel serenity, feel one with the universe. Feel divine.
9. Are you lying?
Don’t lie. You then need to spend too much energy on covering your lies. If you are lucky, you might even feel guilty for lying. Lying will never support you in finding peace.
Many times the person we lie to the most, is oneself. Be honest with yourself. Don’t do anything that makes you feel bad. Even if it feels good now, you know what will make you feel bad later. Keeping your integrity will get you closer to peace.
10. Feel compassion
What is compassion? Compassion is the ability to see the world from someone else’s eyes. Compassion is remembering that we all want the same things in life: we want feel safe, to feel loved, to feel joy, have peace and a sense of purpose. What differentiates us is that we each have varying ideas on what’s the most effective way to achieve these things. Therefore, each one of us chooses the viewpoint that seems most appropriate to him, or the one he has been told is best suited to this purpose. That’s why we handle matters in such different ways. In addition, we’ve also experienced suffering, disappointment, grief, sorrow and failure on our life’s journeys. We’re all taking this journey; and sometimes while we’re trying to avoid being the prey, we unintentionally become the predator.
When you remember this, you understand that sometimes good people made bad choices just because they were afraid or weren’t thinking about their choices deep enough.
Compassion is to see that we are all connected. That we were all created by the same God.
11. Feel gratitude
If you don’t feel grateful for the little things then you keep running after the big things. It’s both exhausting and creates a sense of emptiness: I want this, but I don’t have it. It’s frustrating. Be grateful for what you have. Be grateful for what you are going to have. Don’t think about what you don’t have or could have.
Help others with no expectations of anything in return. It will make you feel good and will help you to have your attention not only on yourself. Caring and selfish-less service to others are great ways to find your peace. How can you help others? It can be as small as giving some guides, smiling, supporting, giving a compliment, listening, encouraging, loving, advising, or just making them laugh. You can always do more like giving donations or volunteer.
A peaceful heart gives birth to love.
When love meets suffering it turns to compassion.
When love meets happiness it turns to joy. (The Wise Heart)
Do you want to learn more about how to achieve inner peace? Come visit my website: http://www. oneleggedseagull.com
The 7 tools that will help you to turn the impossible to possible
What do you want to achieve in your life that looks impossible?
What weakness do you have that you would like to overcome?
How can you adjust your perspective so that you make the impossible possible?
In order to demonstrate the use of the 7 tools at the end of this article, I’ll tell you a short story:
Back in my elementary school days in Israel, my grades could average straight A if it wasn’t for my Achilles Heel – spelling. As a dyslectic kid, I wasn’t much of a spelling bee. Then in high school two new Achilles Heels were born: Hebrew Literature and English. I averaged C- on both on a good day. If you gave me a question about a train which leaves Chicago at noon at a speed of 57 mph, and another train leaving NY at one PM, at speed of 62.5 mph, I’d be happy to calculate for you when they are going meet. But writing an essay or reading a book? That was a totally different story.
Could you imagine a dyslectic, non-native English speaker writing a book in English?
A few years ago, I wrote an inspirational fiction in Hebrew. It wasn’t easy, but the message in the book was too important. My book was published, the readers loved it and I received touching reviews from people who were inspired by the book. Soon after, my American friends started to ask me: “Why don’t you write in English?” In response I smiled and didn’t say anything. Couldn’t they understand that there are some things that are just too difficult? Could they write a book in Spanish?
Then one cold afternoon, my neighbor Beth asked me again, “So, why aren’t you writing in English?”
“Because I can’t,” I answered without even thinking.
She kind of believed me, but I didn’t believe myself. I know a Lens Belief when I see one. A Lens Belief is an idea you hold about something in your life. You aren’t aware of this idea, but everything you do is under the assumption that this idea is absolutely true. I call it lens, since it works exactly like the lens of eyeglasses. When I put my eyeglasses on, the world looks different than when I take them off. However when I look with them, I don’t see the lenses. I just see the world through the lenses. The very same thing happens with Lens Beliefs, you see the world through them, they change your view, but you aren’t aware of them. Many of these Lens Ideas are sabotaging your efforts to achieve your goals. Think about it, I believed that I can’t write well enough in English, so I never even tried.
The minute I realized that I hold this Lens Belief, I decided to stop believing in it. I took off the Lens. I went home and translated one chapter of my Hebrew book to English. I met Beth again a few days later and proudly handed her the translation. She spent five minutes reading it and then announced: “You were right. You can’t write in English.”
I got a proof that my old Lens Belief, “I can’t write in English” was actually real, right?
Wrong! If I’d still hold this belief, this would be a proof. But since I no longer hold this belief, it was just… another opinion.
A few days later, Jackie gave me a call. “Whatsup Joey? We didn’t talk for a while,” she said. Jackie is an American friend that lived at the time in China. She happened to be in NYC for a short vacation that week.
“Do you remember the book I wrote in Hebrew?” I asked. “I’m translating it to English.”
“That’s awesome. Can you please email it to me? I’d love to read it.”
“Sure,” I said. “By the way, do you want to meet?”
We set to meet the next day in a coffee shop. When I arrived, I saw her writing on a paper with a red pen. “Are you working on your vacation?” I asked smiling.
“Nope. I printed your story, there are some grammar issues, so I’m correcting them for you,” she replied. “I left in your ‘writing accent’ though, it’s kind of refreshing.”
How come I didn’t think about it? In order to write in English, I don’t need to have perfect English. All I need is a good enough English to be understood, and a good editor. So many times in the past I gave up on my dreams just because I wasn’t perfect, instead of doing my best, and then reaching for help in order to improve.
In the mean time, Beth still kept my old Lens Belief. She sent me a link to a Meetup group of Hebrew writers in my area. I registered to that group. It was kind of funny, since this group had no activity for many months to come. However, since Meetup recognized me as a writer, I got an email inviting me to join a new group of English writers, who was just starting. I joined the group and sent them the chapter that I translated. It was of course the version with the grammar corrections based on Jackie’s comments. The group gave me more comments and I had another round of rewriting.
Jackie went back to China, and I found out that it was pretty easy to find more good friends that would help me with the grammar editing. Two months after the day I told Beth “I can’t write in English,” I had five chapters translated to English, and they were better than the original in Hebrew, thanks to all the great comments I got from the writing group. Eighteen months later and the English version of the book is on amazon (click to see the reviews) . If you told me that this is possible 18 months ago, I would laugh at you.
So how did I do that?
Here are 7 tools to make the impossible possible:
1. Watch out for those lenses! Behind any “I can’t” there’s at least one Lens Belief that you hold and stops you from achieving your goals. It may look as real as mine – “I can’t write in English,” but it’s never real. I have so many examples like: “I can’t touch my toes with straight legs,” “I can’t dance,” and “I’m too short to play basketball.” All proved to be wrong. The secret is to realize that it’s a Lens Belief and it’s not real.
2. Take off the Lens. Once you realized that you have a Lens Belief, just take it off. You don’t need to continue holding your limiting beliefs. You can replace them with “I can” ones. How do you do that? Sounds impossible? Don’t worry; I still have 5 more tools for you. At this point just tell yourself: “Yes, I can do it!” By the way, I hold the belief about not being able to touch my toes for over 30 years and my body was the proof for that. Today I’m one of the most flexible guys in my Yoga class. More than the body stretching, it was taking of the Lens who helped me achieving that.
3. Sorry, can’t hear you. When people tell you that you can’t do something, label it as: a different opinion. What they say is right from their perspective, but not from yours. If you ask Beth today, she might still insist that I can’t write in English, but if you ask my editor, she would say: “That’s a different perspective. A funny one I must say.”
4. Don’t try it. As my friends at Nike like to say: “Just do it!” I didn’t try to translate my book, as I told Jackie on the phone: “I’m translating it.” The difference between trying and doing is: When I try, I don’t believe that I can really make it, this is another sabotaging Lens. But when I know I can do it, I just do. I tried to do Forearm Stand in my Yoga classes for a few months. My Yoga trainer still calls me: “The guy who crashed 1000 times.” One day I changed my set of mind. I didn’t try anymore, I just did it. That was the first time I succeeded. It lasted 5 seconds, but it was amazing feeling. It was another impossible that was transformed into possible. These days, I can do it for as long as I want to. The combination of believing and practicing is priceless.
5. Don’t be perfect! Be willing to create not-perfect results. If I’d wait until my English was perfect, I’d still be waiting. I did the best I could which was far away from perfect. It was good enough to get me going. These days, my English writing is better, but still not perfect. I’m still, as always, just doing my best.
6. Thanks for Sharing! Share with people what you do. Don’t be shy. You might get help and new ideas from unexpected sources. So many times I just shared the story about my writing with friends and strangers, and they offered me their help. I didn’t have to know how they can help me. They just told me. Who could have guessed that Jackie was an English major in college?
7. You aren’t the best. No matter how good you’re in what you do, there’re always people around you that are better in some areas. Again, don’t be shy, let them help you. In the process of publishing my book I used the help of more than 100 different people. They had different skills. Some were willing to help more than others. Some got paid. They all left their mark on my work.
There is no greater feeling than doing the impossible. If you use these 7 tools I’m sure you can do it.
What impossible do you want to make possible?
Write it down as a comment to this article and you just did step #5. I’d love to hear your goals and your success stories.
Do you have friends that could use these tools? Be a good friend and share it with them. And don’t forget to come visit again soon for more tips on how to make your life better.
To get more tips and read about my book One-Legged Seagull, A Warrior’s Journey to Inner peace visit my web site.