How to Sail Your Way Into a Peaceful Mind
When (in what we are seeking) the mind may always pursue a steady, unruffled course, may be pleased with itself, and look with pleasure upon its surroundings, and experience no interruption of this joy, but abide in a peaceful condition without being ever either elated or depressed: this will be “peace of mind”. The Greeks call this calm steadiness of mind euthymia. / Seneca, ‘Of Peace of Mind‘
In other words, euthymia is believing in yourself, choosing your path and following it no matter what. But most importantly – it is about not being disturbed by other tracks crossing it from other directions. We could compare it to sailing. We decide on our destination, we set our sails and we keep course till we get to our end location. Our journey may be calm, may be rough, but we ought to continue to reach our desired place. Same in life. We have to choose our goals, make a plan, and then set off to achieve them.
Achieving a peaceful mind is like sailing…
Some adjustments will need to be made depending on the wind, currents or weather conditions. With that in mind, we have to keep our boat on course as much as possible. We have to focus on our destination and do our best to get there. Our whole life on the boat is focused around this goal (destination). Surely, there will be events that will occur unexpectedly. Those we won’t be able to predict beforehand, but we should be prepared to make any small changes on the go. Sometimes also, we might arrive at our destination and realise, that’s not where we wanted to end up.
The journey will change us and make us grow.
The journey will change us and make us grow so our goals might change during the process too. So it is important to KEEP ADJUSTING and re-assessing your goals. By the end of the day, we leave the boat richer by experience.
Remember – you are the one who is in control of your boat. If you don’t control it and let it sail whichever direction the wind blows, your boat will never reach any destination, it will drift back and forth at sea. Or even worse – you might end up in a destination that you never wanted to reach. That is why you HAVE TO set goals, you have to plan your route. It doesn’t have to be super detailed at the beginning, you can perfect it on the go, but you have to set a frame around your goal. Next, once you leave and set off towards your destination, you have to keep moving forward. You don’t have an option of stopping the boat in the middle of the ocean, and you can’t just take a break. You gotta keep moving, always.
We are the sailors of our boat.
You won’t achieve anything and won’t get anywhere without a set destination, a plan, and lastly perseverance and grit in pursuing it. Of course you will ran into difficulties and struggle during your journey. You may seek advice from others, but a person who isn’t on that boat with you, will never fully understand the position you are in and the circumstances. Being on shore they can give you a piece of advice but the ones who are at sea and steer the boat is you. We are the ones making decisions. We are the sailors of our boat.
Sometimes the winds won’t blow in our favour, sometimes they won’t blow at all. You have backup. You always have backup. The engine. It is there to give you an extra push if you need it. And when it is necessary you should definitely use it, otherwise you will end up drifting and loose the necessary time. Don’t waste your time waiting for the conditions to be perfect again.
The itinerary should look like this:
– decide on destination /choose a goal
– plan route
– keep on planned course, adjust to current conditions
– enjoy the journey (a.k.a. work, work, work, work)
– arrive at destination
– c e l e b r a t e
In our journey there will be times when we will feel powerless and lonely, just like a lonely sailboat in the middle of the ocean. But we need to keep in mind that we are not the only ones who set off for the same journey (chose the same goal). Upon arriving to our destination we will meet others who also decided to sail here and finished their journeys. They came from different places, had different journeys, some made a stop along the way, some arrived fast due to good winds, and some struggled. We are all different. In the end we all got where we wanted and stories of each journey can now be shared, reflected on, and passed on to others. That way others can learn something from our experiences and avoid the mistakes we made.
Two journeys are never the same.
It is impossible to take the exact same route twice, and even so – the sea would never be the same, it’s in constant movement. That is why we shouldn’t compare our journey with the journey of others. Comparing it or trying to copy it won’t do us any favour as our conditions will always be different from the conditions of others.
Remember – you are not suffering from a storm, but from sea-sickness. In other words, it’s not the circumstances that disturb you, it’s your reaction to them. All is within you, all is dependant on your mindset. Even at rough seas, you can let the sail deck be your ‘ground’, let it give you steadiness. And don’t let any storms interfere with your peace of mind.