Self-mastery is the key to peace

mental health productivity Mar 02, 2024
Self-mastery is the key to peace

One of the pursuits that mankind has always been on is the pursuit of happiness and peace. For years, the answer has eluded mankind even though there were many who had not only found it but were actively teaching it. It's not hard to understand why; so many people don't want to put in the work and just want the quick fix. Not many people understand that self-mastery is the key to peace.

The points we'll be covering on this topic are:

  • The stoic perspective
  • Why avoiding this perspective is self-destructive
  • How to find peace using the perspective

Peace for all

Even if you already live a relatively peaceful life, self-mastery is still a valuable pursuit. There is always something to learn and investing into yourself always pays off.

As for those who live chaotic lives and want relief from it, this is the answer. It may be hard to see it now, but once you get there it becomes undeniable that this is what you've been looking for.

The stoic world perspective

Growing up, I had always been overly-attached to the opinions of others. There was never really a single situation where I wasn't worrying about it in some way. From my first approaches in high school, to going to college for the first time, I had needlessly worried and wasted mental energy.

Many people find it rather tricky to find peace in our day. It's hard to blame them, considering the kinds of things you see on the news nowadays.

However, this difficulty is one that is self inflicted. It's not that it's hard to find peace, it's just that many people are looking in the wrong places.

This topic reminds me of that one spongebob episode where Spongebob is cheering up the flying Dutchman. There's no easier way to describe how you find peace than that episode.

Self-mastery is the key to peace because peace can only be found within. And in order to find it within yourself, you need to not only know who you are but pay enough attention to what's inside.

Stoicism states that we cannot control others and we can only control ourselves. Compared to how the majority of people operate these days, many people are failing at this.

Someone may not try to force you into doing something, but they'll still care way too much about their opinions to the point of analysis paralysis. This kind of behavior shows an unconscious desire to want to change their opinions to avoid scrutiny.

In order to find peace, you need to first understand this stoic perspective and integrate it into your life accordingly. Only then will you actually find peace that lasts.

Avoiding the stoic perspective is self destructive

I remember the last time I tried deflecting blame. It only made things worse. As in, a lot worse. Only after swallowing my pride was I able to resolve the conflict. When we stop putting our attention outwards and instead turn it inward, we get so much more out of life.

Why should one aim to look within? Aren't all the problems on the outside? Well, as it turns out, this isn't exactly the case.

It's yet another instance of the old saying from Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right." If you see a problem as coming from the outside, then the problem will be found outside.

When we refuse to turn our attention inwards, then there's only one way it can go: outward. We focus our energy on finding why we aren't the problem even if we are.

Self-mastery as a way to find peace begins with you having the balls to admit to yourself when you are the problem at the very least. At best, you would always see how you could improve, but that's another topic.

As long as people refuse to truly acknowledge when they are in the wrong, they will make enemies of everyone they have wronged. Those who are uncooperative in the worst ways are avoided; it's simple human nature.

The people who are the most uncooperative are those who have the biggest egos. Their self-image is so fragile that even a perceived attack, no matter how distant, is enough to trigger their defensiveness.

If you've ever wondered why some people need a break in the middle of a fight, this is why. They get so triggered that they can't see straight anymore.

Almost every problem is born from a lack of clear self-identity. Fortunately, the process is only long and not hard. Finding your own identity is well worth the effort required.

How to obtain self-mastery and peace

Life usually happens so fast that we never really slow down. We miss so many moments and lessons, and we get nothing from them until we slow down and go back. This describes me perfectly before I dropped out of college. I was going so fast that I couldn't clearly see where I was going or what my destination really was.

The road to self-mastery is not a difficult one in terms of challenge. Indeed, the things you need to do are rather simple.

Instead, the challenge comes from the amount of consistency you will need instead. Only through consistent repetition will you be able to reach the end.

As mentioned earlier, seeing how you can improve in any situation is what you want to aim for. If you were part of the ordeal, then there's something you could have done better.

An example of where this would apply would be if you got into a fight with your girlfriend. Don't just dump the blame on her, you did something to set off the fire too. You signed up for that relationship, you are partially responsible for upkeeping it.

An example of where this wouldn't apply is if you were abused. You didn't sign-up for abuse, so you don't have anything to mull over in that.

By applying the mentality of how you can improve to appropriate situations, you will obtain lessons from moments where others would have only gotten the bare minimum.

Another way to obtain self-mastery is to reflect way more. Specifically, reflect on yourself.

In order to master yourself, you must know who you are. The more fleshed out you can make your own identity, the better, and most people don't have one that resembles something that's even a little unique.

What are your values? What is your style of humor? What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of relationship do you want to have? These kinds of questions are ones that will reveal a lot about yourself.

We often have problems with peace because we don't know where to go to get it. By figuring yourself out, you get a better idea of where to go.

Finally, another thing to do in order to obtain self-mastery is to obtain brutal self-honesty. 

Most people are unwilling to admit certain things to themselves. Perhaps he was the reason why she wanted to leave him, or her beliefs are the reason why they stay away.

People are unwilling to admit to themselves those things that would damage their ego as an attempt to protect themselves from losing what little identity they do have. Unfortunately, even this little bit of identity is weak and unable to produce anything sustainable.

By obtaining the ability to be brutally honest with ourselves, we obtain the ability to see our own weaknesses more clearly. This allows us to grow without needing someone else to point it out to us.

If you stumble upon a method not listed here, feel free to try it out. The key component that will determine it's effectiveness is how much about yourself it can uncover to you, even if the information is repeat information.

Self-mastery and peace are bound to each other

Without self-mastery, you will not find lasting peace. By understanding who you are, you will have a better time understanding what to do to find peace for yourself.

Those who don't have peace don't have self-mastery. Those who understand themselves enough will know how to bring themselves peace.

As long as you look to the outside world for peace, you won't find it. You cannot control what happens out there, you can only control what happens within.

There truly is power within, but only if you bother to look inside. Set yourself apart from the majority: grab your balls and face what lies on the inside, it's well worth the effort.

- Karl