When we examine our motivations for the financial goals we set, it often comes down to a desire for peace of mind. Peace of mind that we can take care of ourselves. Peace of mind that we can take care of our families. Peace of mind that we won’t be a burden. Peace of mind that we can take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Peace of mind that we can change our circumstances when desired.
In my yoga practice, an instructor quoted Brian Tracy, author of Eat That Frog. He says, “Set peace of mind as your highest goal and organize your life around it.” Much of his writing and speaking is about productivity, so it is natural to think about setting a goal for achievement, but how do you achieve peace?
In practicing with this thought during yoga, we have ongoing moments of resistance, distraction, perhaps annoyance, and so on. (Yes, annoyance is a thing during yoga practice, either at the instructor for how long she wants us to hold a balancing pose, or ourselves as we wobble out of the pose before we smile and try again!) As we bring our thoughts back to being peaceful, we practice experiencing peace by accepting things as they are in the moment. A disruption gives us the opportunity to practice becoming aware of the moments of peace.
That doesn’t mean we should accept everything in our life exactly as it is and never try to change anything. We can change circumstances in our life through setting and achieving goals. Unlike many goals we set, attaining peace of mind requires a different approach. We can’t determine what SMART goals will help us achieve peace of mind, but they can give us some control of our situation, reducing the obstacles to having peace of mind.
I think if you set “peace” as your focus, you could then create intentional thoughts and questions to nudge your actions and decisions so that you become more aware of those peaceful moments. For example, you might sit quietly for a minute as you transition between tasks, taking the chance to examine how you are. Take some deep belly breaths to see if that helps you focus on your state of being.
Sometimes, peaceful moments are brief, so we might miss them until we build our awareness. The Buddha said, “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” By cultivating opportunities to encounter and become conscious of peace, we can experience more peace.
What does peace of mind mean to you? How do you work towards finding peace in your whealthy life?
Virginia Asher, MSAFP, CFP®
My whealthiness journey has taught me that there is not one single way for us to live a prosperous life. I'll share what I've learned to help you find your way.