How do you achieve lasting peace of mind? Well, the answer is in both the question and the title of this article. You find it within, in your mind, where else would you expect to find it! It doesn’t matter what is going on around you, what is happening in your life or who is doing what to you. It has nothing to do with whether or not you think you’ve sufficient income or a secure job. It is entirely down to what is going on in your mind – and therein lies the problem because the normal mind is full of crap. And it is this crap that prevents us achieving peace of mind.

The crap in your head is coming at you from all directions. The television and newspapers only publish bad news – news that keeps you in this constant state of uncertainty. The world of business and, in particular the world of banking on which business is so dependent, has become more and more uncertain – even people in good jobs are worrying about how long it will last. We are surrounded by normal crazy people – yes, seven decades of psychological work has concluded that normal people are not in control of their own minds, as sure a definition of lunacy as I have ever heard. These normal people plague you with gossip, talk of recession, sob stories and even more uncertainty and insecurity. But most of all, we all carry a load of crap around with us – and we’ve been dragging this baggage around with us since our childhood years.

When you were young and impressionable, you learned what you saw. You saw normal people – parents, teachers, religious leaders, friends and relatives – behaving normally. Yeah – like crazy. You saw that the world is made up of swings and roundabouts, that pleasure if followed by pain and that all laughing comes to crying. You learned that you needed to better yourself – the subtle accompanying message being that you were in need of some form of remedial attention. If you were deeply influenced by organized religious values, you may have learned that you were born damaged, that this life is nothing more than a pilgrimage and that a little suffering is character building. By the time you were eleven or twelve years old your potential had been bottled up, hidden away and, you could be forgiven for thinking that you didn’t really have any extraordinary potential at all. And you must bear in mind that almost everybody around you, everyone you know and even your closest friends are all carrying the same crap around with them. No wonder peace of mind is so elusive.

But it isn’t! It’s right here before your very eyes – it’s staring you in the face but, because you’re listening to the noise in your head, because you’re looking at life through a fog of normal useless thought, you can’t see it. Peace of mind is here and now and only to be found in the here and now. And that’s both the reason that you can’t see it and the key to how to find it. First of all, the normal mind lives in the past (the crap we’ve already talked about) and the future (the worry that we’ve already mentioned). Only 1% of you is experiencing the here and now – and, at 1%, you’re not really here at all. The late Cardinal Cathal Daly, in his beautiful book “The Minding of Planet Earth” stated with some conviction that the only place that you will find heaven is in the here and now.

And you don’t even need to go looking for it – you need to give yourself the space and time for it to find you. By space I mean mental breathing space – you need to slow your mind down, turn down the noise in your head. By time I mean five or ten minutes each day – to do that slowing down and turning off. I’m talking about retraining your mind to be as clear and carefree as it was when you were a young child – to really find heaven you need to become like a little child again.

Your adult mind is not used to mental silence, it thrives on noise – so you have to discipline yourself to stop the noise each day, preferably before the day gets going. This can be done in a variety of ways. You could give yourself more time to perform your routine morning tasks – like washing, dressing, having breakfast and, in doing so, do them differently. For example, putting the “other” leg into your pants first each morning demands attention – attention to the here and now. Even sitting in a different spot for breakfast (a client recently realized that he’d sat in the same place eating the same breakfast cereal each morning for the last fifteen years) is a step in the right direction. If you do small things differently, you turn your mind onto the here and now – otherwise your mind, numbed by routine, will willingly focus on your crap.

But you could go further – you could close your eyes and meditate. Meditation comes in all shapes and sizes – from the formal to the informal practice of simply closing your eyes and noticing that someone has turned up the volume! From noticing the air pass through your nostrils to focusing on different parts of your body to figure out what you’re really feeling. Meditation, often misunderstood by people at first, provides a mental discipline that is foreign to the normal adult but which was second nature to you as a child. And in the peace of a still mind, guess what you find – peace of mind!

Author's Bio: 

Willie Horton has been enabling his clients live their dream since he launched is now acclaimed two-day Personal Development Seminars all the way back in 1996. His clients include top leaders in major corporations such as Pfizer, Deloitte, Nestle, Merrill Lynch, Wyeth, KPMG, G4S and Allergan together with everyone from the stay-at-home parent to sports-people. An Irish ex-banker and ex-accountant, he lives in the French Alps from where he travels the world as a much sought after motivational speaker and mentor. In 2008 he launched Gurdy.Net where is self-help seminars are now online. For more information visit Willie Horton’s Personal Development Website Gurdy.Net