The story is told of a man who lived in a small village and each day he would go out in his little boat to fish. He would fish until he caught two fish, one for his family to eat and the other to sell so he could buy the other things his family needed. Then he would return to his home where he played with his children, and helped his wife in their modest but comfortable home. Each evening they would get together with family and friends for a wonderful time visiting together and playing with the children and grandchildren. His life was filled with joy, peace and contentment.

One day as he set out to fish he was met by a young man that was vacationing in the area. He had graduated in economics from a prestigious university and upon seeing the man asked him what he was doing. The man explained that each day he went out and caught two fish, one for his family to eat and another to sell for their other needs. Upon hearing this the young man quickly explained that the man was missing a great opportunity and he needed a business plan. That by going out and catching three or four fish instead of just two he could sell the others as well and save the money until he could afford a bigger boat. Then he could stay out fishing longer and catch even more fish until he could buy another boat and hire a crew. Eventually he could have a whole fleet of boats and he would be in his office all day managing hundreds of employees that prepared the fish to be sold, packaged and shipped all over the world!
The man thought and asked why he would want to do all that. The young economics major was astounded by the mans simplistic attitude and question. “Why to become rich of course” replied the young man. “And why do I want to become rich?” ask the man. At this the young economics major was flabbergasted and replied in exasperation “because then you could retire to a small peaceful village and spend your days with your wife and children and each night you could get together with family and friends for a wonderful time visiting together and playing with the children and grandchildren and your life would be filled with joy, peace and contentment.” At this the man smiled to himself and walked off to his little fishing boat.
This man had found the secret to his own inner peace. It was in being true to what he believed was most important in life, which for him was his wife and children. In order to find true peace of mind we have to be true to ourselves. If we are at odds with our core values and beliefs, then we cannot be congruent with ourselves. That feeling of incongruence is an unsettling sense that prevents us from attaining the inner peace we seek.
Most people look to things on the outside for a problem that exists on the inside. The old saying “you can’t buy happiness” is correct because happiness is not found in things, it is found in your heart and mind. So how can we be “at peace” in our heart and mind? The simple answer is, do the right thing!
It is my belief that all of us have an inner sense of right and wrong. It is an innate gift we are all born with. As we go through life and face different choices and decisions that inner sense of right and wrong or conscious as it is often called tries to act as a guide for those choices we face. When we make the choice that which agrees with our beliefs and values we will be at peace because we feel we did the “right” thing. Otherwise we are left with feelings of doubt, fear, concern, even remorse, none of which are conducive to peace of heart and mind.
One way in which we sabotage our best intentions to do what is right is when we rationalize our behavior to ourselves and others. By its very definition when we rationalize we are trying to convince ourselves and others that our actions are okay even when we often know they are not. Are we ever justified in behaving contrary to what we believe to be “right”? Can you be at peace with yourself knowing that you have acted in that manner?
The answer to those questions may be different for you than for someone else. The key to your peace of mind comes in how you feel about your actions, not how you feel about someone else’s actions. When we rationalize by saying to ourselves things like “they deserve it” or “everybody else does it” then we are trying to convince ourselves that some unacceptable behavior, is acceptable. But inside we are at turmoil because we know that for us, it is not okay.
Inner peace also requires that we do what we know we are capable of, that we live up to our potential. We all have gifts, and though some may be more obvious than others they are there and meant to be used. If we are aware that we are gifted (singing, sports, writing, teaching, etc.) and choose to do nothing about it then we will feel regret which is the antithesis of what we are striving for. Regret can be found both in things we do that we shouldn’t as well as in not doing what we know we should.
There are certain steps that will help aide us in our pursuit to find inner peace and happiness. Ways to focus our life on making choices and decisions that are conducive to feelings of peace and contentment.


At no time do we feel more like we are “doing the right thing” then when we are serving others. If you want to learn to love someone then serve them. Selfless acts of service bring feelings that warm the heart and sooth the mind. They change our focus outward to others rather than inward on self. Whether it is stopping to help someone with car trouble or rebuilding someone house that need repair the feelings of joy bring a sense of right and feelings of gratitude.


We often hear the phrase, “stop and smell the roses”. Oftentimes when we gaze at the garden of life our focus is on the few weeds causing us frustration and we forget the beauty that is all around us. Start taking notice of how blessed you really are. It does not matter where or how you live, there are things to be grateful for, your health, the beauty of the world around us, family and friends who love, listen and support. A great way to focus each day on things you are grateful for is through meditation. Take a few minutes each day to quietly think about the things you are grateful for. It will help open the mind to see the wonders of life and the many opportunities around you.

Be Positive

There are some people that just seem happier and more content than most. I have found that these people have a unique focus on life. They see each obstacle as an opportunity to learn grow and be better. Our feelings, beliefs and knowledge are based on our conscious and subconscious thoughts. Attitude is a result of our thought process. It is the outward symbol of our inner perspective. In several studies done on human DNA it was discovered that the DNA changed its shape according to the feelings of the researchers. This means that we literally are what we feel. Therefore choosing to be positive, happy and enthusiastic will result in you becoming that kind of person. It was Abraham Lincoln that said “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”.


Faith is the initial step needed to achieve anything. We don’t accidentally become successful, achieve greatness or find happiness. We have to believe it is possible and that we can achieve it. The mind in many ways works like a computer. It is programmed by our beliefs and will work to achieve what it believes to be true and important to us. It is your beliefs about yourself that create your reality. Just as Peter walked across the water towards Christ, our beliefs can enable us to do anything! It was only after his doubt that the reality changed and Peter began to sink. If you want to be at peace with yourself, then you have to believe you can and live in a manner that will achieve that peace.

Let Go

Harboring resentment, anger or guilt is destructive in our efforts to find inner peace. Refusing to let go of these feelings keeps us anchored to the past and makes us relieve the hurt. Certain aspects can be helpful, for example remorse can get us to make amends or seek forgiveness of someone we wronged. However, guilt would have us believe we cannot make amends or be forgiven. It is destructive belief that damages your true perspective and self-esteem. Just as guilt would have you not forgive yourself, resentment and anger would have you believe that others are not deserving of your forgiveness. These emotions act as a poison to canker your spirit and darken your perspective. Letting go of these emotions frees you to focus outward, believe in others and find joy and gratitude in serving.

Know God

Whether you are religious or not we all have a need to know that there is a purpose to our lives. An answer to the question, what’s next? For most of us that purpose is God, our Heavenly Father. He who set an example for all of us to follow as to how we should live. First we are told to love God above all else. How do we show our love for God? By living our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him, by following His teachings. Then secondly, we were told to love our neighbor as ourselves. Our neighbor in this case is all of mankind. It is not a select few that we like or just those we know and associate with, it is everyone. In essence we are being told to treat everyone as Christ would treat them, to do what we know in our hearts is right. To do the right thing! And in so doing find the peace that comes from our lives in harmony with what we have been taught.

Make a Difference

If all of us lived our lives by trying to always do the right thing this world would be a much better place. I am often told that is not realistic to believe people will do that. However, I am not a realist. I am an idealist because I believe that we should not accept the way things are but strive to make them better, to make them ideal! If we all focused our lives on doing service for other, being grateful for the many things in our lives, being positive, believing in ourselves and letting go of negative and destructive feelings and behaviors how much better would our lives and the lives of others be? If we choose to live this way it would truly make a difference to us, our loved ones and even society as a whole.
eace of mind, heart and self is a journey that can provide great discovery and reward in becoming the best we can be. Finding true inner peace and happiness is not an event but a process that has us live fulfilling lives that serve as great examples to others. The peace and contentment you achieve is something that will inspire others to emulate those actions, thoughts and values that will truly make you, your family, your society and your world a better place to be.