GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS
5. To obtain peace of mind you have to free yourself from demanding that things be exactly as you wish them to be. If you demand that your appliances always work, that you have a large amount of money, that you keep a certain job, or that people always respect you, you will lack peace of mind. Your demands will breed feelings of anxiety. You can still prefer that things be a certain way, but as long as you do not disturb yourself if they are not as you wish, you will always be able to have peace of mind.
6. In a letter to a person who lacked peace of mind, Rabbi Yechezkail Levenstein wrote: “The best advice is to develop the attitude expressed by the Rosh in his classic work (Orchos Chayim, no. 69) ‘Want what your Creator wants for you. Take pleasure in what you have, whether comparatively little or a lot.’ This is the proper path to take. Whatever situation you find yourself in, you will be able to find success. Your life challenges lie in your particular circumstances. My advice to you is to try with all your might to be satisfied with your situation. Once you adopt this attitude, you will be able to find peace of mind and this will be therapeutic for both your body and soul.” (Ohr Yechezkail: michtavim, no.106)
7. No person can know what is really good for him in the long run. (Ohr Yechezkail: michtavim, pp.170 and 267-8)
We lack peace of mind because we feel anxious and worried about what has happened to us in the past or what might happen to us in the future, and assume those events are bad for us. But the reality is we can never know in advance what the consequences of events will be. Since we cannot really know what is for our best, we should at least look at each event as neutral if we are not able to view it as positive.
4.4 Your perspective of events is an important factor in attaining peace of mind. Be aware of your main goals in life. When a situation arises that might disturb your peace of mind, ask yourself, “What effect, if any, does this event or incident have on those goals?”
When you realize this present situation does not have a major effect on what is really important, the problem will shrink in significance and once again you will be able to have peace of mind.
PEACE OF MIND