Three Simple Ideas To Peace and Contentment

Peace and Contentment

The Process versus The Goal

Patience and Habits

  1. Simplify. When you work on changing a specific habit, simplify it by breaking it down into its component sections. What is the cue, the behaviour and the reward?
  2. Small. Be aware of your overall purpose behind wanting to change the habit. Remember to use it as a rudder or distant beacon that keeps you on course.
  3. Short. Now you can also bring short tasks to change the cue, the behaviour and the reward.
  4. Slow. Incorporating slowness into your process is a paradox. Work at a pace that allows you to pay attention to what you are doing. Anything you can do in a rushing state is surprisingly easy when you deliberately slow it down.

The Benefits

  • Procrastination: Let’s say you have been putting off a big task at work because you’re dreading doing it. Maybe it’s a big project, and you have this feeling of overwhelm. It’s a lot of work! You are expecting to have to do hard work you’re perhaps not good at, expecting failure or difficulty. But letting go of the expectations means you don’t know how this task will go … you go into it with an open mind. You try it and see how it goes. You learn from the experience no matter how it goes.
  • People: People may frustrate you. Perhaps they’re being inconsiderate somehow? Your frustration stems from an expectation of how this person should act. They don’t act according to this ideal, and so you suffer. Instead, you can put aside this expectation that people will live up to your ideals … and just be open to them. Indeed our concepts of ideal and perfect are always changing. So, at some point someone will always behave imperfectly, just as you will. Accepting the person as they are doesn’t mean you do nothing … you can let go of the frustration, and see how they’re having difficulty, and it as a teaching opportunity or an opportunity to help them … with no expectation that they’ll love your lesson or follow it, but just with the intention of helping someone.
  • Body: You aren’t happy with your body, because it’s not perfect. It doesn’t meet your ideal, your expectation, and so you dislike it. That’s not good, because this self-discontent means that you’re less likely to do healthy things. Often we think that dissatisfaction with ourselves motivates us to change, but in my experience this discontent means that you don’t really trust yourself to stick to changes and so you make excuses when things get hard, and quit. I’ve done that a lot. When I am content with myself, I trust myself more, and I stick to things more. So let go of expectations that your body will be perfect, and just see your body as it is, for the beautiful thing it is, independent of society’s ideals of perfection. You’re great!
  • Each moment: As we enter each new moment, we expect things from it. We want it to be fun, amazing, productive, according to plan. And of course each moment has its own plan, and will be its own thing. So we are not happy or at peace with it. Instead, we can drop the expectations and just see the moment as it is. Just experience it, noticing, appreciating, being grateful. This is mastery.

In Summary

  • Keep yourself process-oriented.
  • Stay in the present.
  • Make the process the goal.
  • Be deliberate, have an intention about what you want to accomplish.



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