Mindset: Striving for Inner Peace and Contentment
Is the pursuit of success and the pursuit of inner peace compatible? We often associate inner peace and contentment with lack of motivation or even laziness, while we associate success with relentless drive and tenacity. Let’s explore the possibility that the two can complement each other, rather than contradicting each other, contrary to what many of us believe.
Contentment comes from a mindset of positivity- of being consistently rooted in happiness and satisfaction, regardless of outside circumstances. When we make a daily practice of mindfulness, positivity can lead us to new opportunities by giving us faith in the fact that we can and will thrive regardless of obstacles. As quoted in James Clear’s analysis, “When you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment, and love, you will see more possibilities in your life. These findings were among the first that proved that positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to more options.” When we think positively, we open our hearts and minds to new experiences, new relationships, and new ways of living. There are many practices that can encourage inner peace and positivity, but the following are a couple of our favorites!
While there are many ways to meditate, the practice that promotes the most contentment is mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation requires us to be in the present moment and focus on our experiences, blessings, emotions, and sensations. When we focus on all we are thankful for in our lives, our perspective is often transformed from lack to abundance. Typically, this practice requires us to be aware of our breathing and our physical body. While your meditation practice can be as long as you wish, there is research that supports consistency is more important than duration. Even a 5-minute practice each morning can increase your positivity and contentment!
Research tells us that most people lean toward either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset can be limiting, while a growth mindset can create expansion and opportunity simply by shifting how we think. Carol Dweck, leading researcher on growth and fixed mindsets and on what determines success, writes in her book Mindset about her findings. She describes a growth mindset on her website as being “based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.” This mindset empowers us to believe that we can change, learn, and grow and that we aren’t limited by our innate talents or knowledge. Whereas, a fixed mindset is “believing that your qualities are carved in stone—the fixed mindset—creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.” The fixed mindset ignores feedback from others, often gives up when challenged with setbacks and avoids change. In this sense, our thoughts can either limit us from, or lead us toward success.
Regular exercise and healthy eating also have the power to impact inner peace. Moving your body and fueling it properly impacts brain function and perspective. Remember, a content life is ours if we want it, but we have to make decisions that support happiness and positivity.
We hope that adding a few minutes of daily meditation, adopting a growth mindset perspective, and moving and fueling your body properly will establish a solid foundation of contentment and inner peace, upon which you will take positive steps toward success.