We expend a lot of our effort on optics. We are slaves to the external world and our roles within in. This external world is governed by material comforts and earning power – known to us conceptually as capitalism.
And for what?
What about our inner peace?
Before we concern ourselves with how we are perceived and engage externally, we should focus our energies on ourselves internally.
But for some reason, we tend to operate in the reverse.
Remember, the external is fleeting. Basing fulfillment and purpose on external variables is a moving target. Once I achieve material bliss, be it in the form of a revenue goal or salary threshold, my purpose changes to something else so I can continue the pursuit of what I believe equates to happiness and fulfillment.
The internal, however, is enduring. Our minds are governed by our thoughts, which only the individual can dictate. First, we need to cultivate a sound mind and live deeply by the meaning of our truth, before we grapple with our outward realities.
So shouldn’t we first look within before we look outside?
Throughout history, spiritual leaders have dedicated their lives to exploring this means of introspection.
Jesus Christ, the prophet Mohammad, and Siddhartha Gautama each embarked on a personal journey devoted to finding and understanding the meaning of inner peace. These journeys became foundational to religions, cultures, ways of life – narratives of what internal peace is and how it can be achieved.
These stories are legacies that speak to lessons, values and morals. But the truth is, every individual has their own story to tell.
It’s like getting in shape. Certain exercise and dietary regiments work for some people, while other regiments work for others. We use variations of such programs as they work and show results for us. The same can be said of the search for inner peace.
Inner peace is the destination, and the destination ultimately represents different things for different people. Truth represents different things for different people.
We seek peace, we seek truth. The challenge is we often don’t know what that peace and truth is for ourselves.
How do we figure out what it is? Where do we find it? That is a personal journey.