Dude, where’s my car?
Where’s your car dude?
Dude, where’s my car?
Where’s your car dude?
— legendary Hollywood (should have been Oscar-winning movie) Dude where’s my car?
Ashton Kucher and Sean Scott spend a full 90 minutes looking for their cars in the epic movie, Dude Where’s My Car after a full night of intoxicated partying. They wake up in the morning looking for their lost car and spend an entire movie trying to track it down.
This post is not about finding your car.
But I would say, on a side note, that I’ve had plenty of trouble finding my car.
You know that feeling when you park at a shopping center and walk out 8 hours later carrying 12 luxury shopping bags filled with necessities from Gucci, Saks 5th Avenue, & Nordstroms? And all 4 sides of the shopping center look EXACTLY the same?
You walk up and down the parking lot trying to unlock every car that looks like yours? And in the process are surrounded by armed security guards asking you to put your hands over your head and then cite you for disturbing peace when you try to run away?
Oh…never happened to you…Ummm.. moving on…
You may not have searched for your car in the shopping center parking lot or after a night of drunken stupor but what are you searching for in your life? (what a transition!?!)
Don’t we all spend our lives looking for something? Paris romances? Dubai riches? Hollywood glamor? Thrills of driving a Maserati?
Okay, how about your own search for what you think will make you happy and bring you inner peace?
I think it’s safe for me to say that I was searching for work success, advancement, glory, riches. And spent the 12 to 14 hours of my working life every day trying to get ahead.
Why eat with others when I can eat and read journals about the next big ideas and great inventions?
Why drive, listening to music I enjoy, when I could listen to movers and shakers talking about leadership and achievement on CD?
Why go home early to see the family when I never know who I’m going to meet at the next business networking event?
Of course, when we spend all this time in our life in pursuing the wrong things – climbing the corporate ladder, chasing the next promotion or raise at work, pursuing Hollywood fame, achieving social standing, things tend to come to a crashing halt.
When do you search for inner peace?
Each of us at different point in our lives come to the same realization – “hey, I don’t know if want I’m pursuing in my life is really want I want! There’s something missing in my life.”
“I’m pursuing external achievements, milestones, relationships, and material possessions that really don’t make me happy or bring me peace.”
“This job, this relationship, this car, this house, this business isn’t really what I wanted.”
Or maybe you did want those things but you’re still feeling a big void in your life – you’re not at peace with yourself. Your mind is a worried and scared, you’ve lost meaning in what you thought you wanted or life throws you a nasty curve ball that brings you what appears like insurmountable problems and challenge.
Sometimes, it takes one or all of those things, to start your search for inner peace, calmness, and stability.
It might take a life changing event or tragedy for you to realize that you cannot be controlled by outside circumstances anymore. You will not let the outside world determine your peace of mind. You will refuse to bullied by life’s circumstances and events.
Why are you looking in all the wrong places? And the secret to finding inner peace.
When you do start looking for inner peace, many of us go awry and get lost in the journey to inner peace. We seek healers, gurus, spiritual leaders, books, religions, cool cults and other practices that we think will help us achieve inner calmness and awareness.
Just like how you previously traveled along the road of life towards external destinations, achievements and goals, you now believe that the road to inner calmness and peace comes through external means.
Unfortunately, it takes us a long time to realize that inner peace is something that’s…how should I put this…INTERNAL!
As scary, uncertain, and daunting as that may seem, the journey to inner peace begins within ourselves.
We can be guided by spiritual practices or guides but ultimately the state of inner peace is journey that begins within. The journey to inner peace is a daily choice that confronts us with hundreds of daily circumstances. As my friend Wendy points out, it’s how we react to daily challenges.
We can use external tools and methods on the journey to inner peace but the trip requires us to go within ourselves and strive to find peace in each moment of our lives. If you’ve started on your inward journey towards peace, here’s 10 practical steps you can take today on your journey to inner peace.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself”.
Are you looking for inner peace within yourself or searching for it like you’re at a buffet line at your favorite restaurant? What path are you pursuing to find inner peace?
Photo courtesy of Danny McL