Peace of mind transpires and thrives when you let go
of the things that limit your growth and happiness.
You work for this peace every time you give up…
1. Old regrets and excuses.
You can’t always choose what happens to you, but
you can always choose how you feel about it and
what you do about it. You don’t have to be defined
by the things you did or didn’t do in the past. Don’t
let yourself be controlled by regret. Maybe there’s
something you could have done differently, or maybe
not. Either way, it’s merely something that has
Be done with these old regrets; they’re just an
excuse for people who have failed, and failing only
happens if you learn nothing and give up. Ninety-
nine percent of all failures come from people who
have a habit of making these empty excuses.
Think about it, you rarely fail for the things you do.
You fail for the things you don’t do, the business you
leave unfinished, the things you make excuses about
for the rest of your life. Read Awaken the Giant
2. The burning desire to have all the answers.
Accept the feeling of not knowing exactly where you
are going, and train yourself to love and appreciate
this sensation of freedom. Because it is only when
you are suspended in the air, with no destination in
sight, that you force your wings to open fully so you
can fly. And as you soar around you still may not
know where you’re traveling to. But that’s not what’s
What’s important is the opening of your wings. You
may not know where you’re going, but you know that
so long as your wings are spread, the winds will carry
3. The false hope of a pain-free life.
Pain is a part of life, and life’s pains have many
shapes and sizes.
There’s the cold feet pain of moving on ‒ graduating,
taking the next step, walking away from the familiar
and into the unknown. There’s the sharp growing
pains of trial and error, of failing as you learn the best
way forward. There’s the immense, dizzying pain of
life slapping you in the face when everything you
thought you knew wasn’t true, or everything you had
planned for falls through.
There are the more ambiguous aches and pains of
successes, when you actually get what you had
hoped for, but then realize that it’s not quite what
you had envisioned. And then, from time to time,
there are the warm, tingling pains you feel when you
realize that you are standing in a moment of sweet
perfection, a priceless instant of achievement or
happiness which you know cannot possibly last ‒ and
yet will remain with you forever.
Even though so many folks forget, pain is actually a
good thing. It means you’re breathing, and trying,
and interacting with the endless possibilities in this
world. Pain is for the living only; it’s worth fully
accepting and dealing with while you still have a
chance. Read Radical Acceptance .
4. Ties to insensitive people.
People are extremely difficult to change.
Throughout your lifetime people will make you mad,
disrespect you and treat you bad. Don’t consume
yourself with trying to change them or win their
approval. And don’t make any space in your heart to
hate them. Simply walk away and let karma deal
with the things they do, because any bit of time you
spend on them will be wasted, and any bit of hate in
your heart will only hurt you.
5. Obsessing yourself with negative news.
For every prominent newscaster who howls about
how bleak and unjust life is, there are thousands of
other people behind the scenes working tirelessly to
make a positive difference in the world. For every
disheartening crisis that is breathlessly reported,
there are thousands of real, meaningful success
stories that don’t get the attention they deserve, but
that have an enormous positive ripple effect on
Try not to obsess over the negative news; learn from
it and use your knowledge to work your way eagerly
toward a brighter tomorrow. Life does get better and
better when you choose to make it so.
6. The belief that fulfillment resides in the end
Fulfillment is not a matter of achieving a specific
goal. It is a matter of mindfully enjoying the process
required to achieve that goal. Fulfillment flows from
focusing your life around specific and authentically
held intentions – ideas and activities that genuinely
speak to your purpose. When these intentions are
clear, consistent and meaningful, you have sufficient
means to bring fulfillment and joy to your life,
whether you ever fully achieve your intended goal or
In other words, the right journey is the destination.
7. Measuring your success by material wealth.
We’re bombarded with images of stuff, with the
implication that this stuff somehow elevates personal
value and success. So I encourage you to think about
how much of your self-worth is connected to owning,
giving, and getting STUFF. Because truthfully,
success, happiness, and peace of mind have little to
do with STUFF.
So what does help create these things?
To laugh often and love genuinely. To respect others
and judge less. To win the affection and sincere
smiles of children. To earn the regard of honest
peers and endure the betrayal of fake friends.
To appreciate the beauty surrounding you wherever,
whenever you are. To find the good in people and
situations. To give what you can and leave the world
a little better than you found it. To have explored
ideas and passions and sung at the top of your lungs
with jubilation. To know that at least one life has
breathed easier because you have lived.
This is what makes a life successful. This is how
happiness and peace of mind are attained. Read The
Untethered Soul .
8. The need to keep everything the same.
Things change. People and circumstances come and
go. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.
Life moves very fast. It rushes from calm to chaos in
a matter of seconds. It happens like this to people
every day. It’s happening to someone right now.
Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes
the direction of our lives; a seemingly innocuous
decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite
striking Earth. Entire lives have been swiveled and
flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the
strength of an unpredictable event.
Most of the time these changes come when you’re
not asking for them and not expecting them, but
they happen. So are we helpless? Are we puppets?
No. These changes are going to come; you can’t help
that. But it’s what you do afterwards that counts.
That’s when you grow; that’s when you find out who
you truly are.
So when you find yourself standing on a threshold,
the crossing of which will seemingly change
everything, don’t fight it. Begin the next chapter in
1. Learn to trust yourself.
“It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. As you
heal and grow, it will all work out. Relax and trust
Repeat that in your mind every morning. Because
the truth is, it all works out in the end. Put your full
trust in yourself by following your intuition and doing
your best, and then move forward one step at a time
with faith and confidence in the future. Life will not
forsake you. Love, persistence and hard work
combined rarely lead a person astray in the long run.
If you have faith in your abilities, if you stay true to
the path that feels right, if you channel your passion
into action, you will ultimately achieve a
breakthrough. In other words, as soon as you trust
yourself you will know how to heal and grow.
2. Focus on what you’re learning.
Mistakes and setbacks are simply a form of practice.
If the road is easy and free of bumps, you’re likely
going the wrong way. The bumps in the road teach
you what you need to know to progress down a path
that is all your own. Sometimes things have to go
wrong in order to go right. Sometimes you need to
change a flat tire or two before you can move on.
Bottom line: Your journey isn’t supposed to be easy,
it’s supposed to be worth it. To never struggle is to
never grow. There is no perfectly smooth road to
anyplace worth going.
3. Ease your expectations.
Life is under no obligation to give you exactly what
you expect. Whatever it is you’re seeking will rarely
ever come in the form you’re expecting. Don’t miss
the silver lining because you were expecting gold.
You must see and accept things as they are instead
of as you hoped, wished, or expected them to be.
Just because it didn’t turn out like you had
envisioned, doesn’t mean it isn’t exactly what you
need to get to where you ultimately want to go.
4. Open up to someone you trust.
You aren’t alone; let someone special in when you’re
in a dark place. You know who this person is. Don’t
expect them to solve your problems; just allow them
to face your problems with you. Give them
permission to stand beside you. They won’t
necessarily be able to pull you out of the dark place
you’re in, but the light that spills in when they enter
will at least show you which way the door is.
Above all, the important thing to remember is that
you are not alone. No matter how bizarre or
embarrassed or pathetic you feel about our own
situation, there is someone in your life who has dealt
with similar emotions and who wants to help you.
When you hear yourself say, “I am alone,” it’s just
your insecurities trying to sell you a lie. (Read Daring
5. Use hope to drive positive action.
Only in the dark can you see the stars. The stars are
hope. Look for them.
The very least you can do in your life is figure out
what you hope for. And the most you can do is live
inside that hope as you work for what you want. Do
not admire what you hope for from a distance, but
live right in it. Get deeply involved with the thoughts
and activities that keep your hope alive and your
No, hope alone will not save you from despair. Hope
empowers you to strive and grow even when your
circumstances are in shambles. The road that is built
with hope is more pleasant than the road built in
despair, even though they both may seem to lead
you to the same place in the short-term. But it is the
positive growth you attain on your way to this
temporary place that will benefit your final
It’s all about balance – accepting reality without
giving up on what needs to be done to reach your
desired destination in the long run.
6. Move TOWARDS something instead of AWAY.
“Don’t think about eating that chocolate cookie!”
What are you thinking about now? Eating that
chocolate cookie, right? When you concentrate on
not thinking about something, you end up thinking
The same philosophy holds true when it comes to
freeing your mind from a negative past. By
persistently trying to move away from what you
don’t want, you are forced to think about it so much
that you end up carrying it’s weight along with you.
But if you instead choose to focus your energy on
moving toward something you do want, you naturally
leave the negative weight behind as you progress
Bottom line: Instead of concentrating on eliminating
the negative, concentrate on creating something
positive (that just happens to replace the negative).
(Read Learned Optimism .)
7. Take a few steps back.
Everything seems simpler from a distance.
Sometimes you simply need to distance yourself to
see things more clearly.
You are more than whatever is troubling you. A very
real part of you exists beyond your worries, beyond
your doubts, independent from the troubles and
frustrations of the present moment. Step back and
observe yourself as you experience each moment.
Be present. Watch yourself as you think, as you take
action, as you experience emotions. Your body may
experience pain, and yet that pain is not you. Your
mind may encounter troubles, and yet you are not
Think of the most difficult challenge you face right
now. Imagine that it’s not you, but a close friend who
is facing this challenge. What advice would you give
her? If you could step back and, instead of being the
subject, look at your situation as an objective
observer, would you look at it any differently? Think
of the advice you would give your friend if your friend
were in your shoes. Are you following your own best
advice right now?
Don’t allow your current troubles to cloud your
thinking. Take a few steps back and give yourself the
benefit of this distance, and then give yourself some
8. Give yourself time.
Take all the time you need. Emotional healing is a
process; don’t rush yourself through it. Don’t let
others force you through it either. Moving on doesn’t
take a day; it takes lots of little steps to be able to
break free of your broken past and your wounded
Take today breath by breath, one step at a time.
Never let trouble from the past make you feel like
you have a bad life now. Just because yesterday was
painful doesn’t mean today will be too. Our wounds
are often the openings into the best and most
beautiful part of us. Today you have a choice to
explore these parts of yourself. Give yourself the
needed time and permission to explore and heal.
(Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the
Adversity and Growth chapters of 1,000 Little Things
Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
9. Look for the beginning in every ending.
A wise man once said, “Every new beginning comes
from some other beginning’s end.” Today is a new
beginning; treat it that way. Stop thinking about
what might have been and starting looking at what
Say to yourself: “Dear Past, thank you for all the life
lessons you have taught me. Dear Future, I am ready
now!” Because a great beginning always occurs at
the exact moment you thought would be the end of