10 Proven Ways to Increase Your Peace

If you are anything like me, you want peace in your life.  You probably want as much of it as you can get a hold of.  Let’s face it.  Life has a way of throwing a lot of potentially stressful stuff at us.  Like you need me to tell you that, right?!  How about finding some solutions to the stress epidemic?  Today marks the first installment in a 10-part series on specific recommendations that will each bring greater peace to your life.  They are not quick-fixes, mind you.  But each one will make a clear difference in your life, decreasing your stress and increasing your peace.

1. Spend weekly time reading for personal growth.  This reading could come from any number of sources.  Good blogs that offer some real substance.  Books by inspiring business or life coaches.  Spiritual classics such as the Bible or other time-tested sources of real wisdom for life.  Positive magazines that provide real life guidance.  Books from the best-seller list (typically non-fiction, but some good fiction here and there can inspire us to grow, as well).

What makes reading such a great avenue of personal growth is that it allows you to learn from the wisdom of others.  It is like channeling fresh streams of water into the lake of your life, so that you don’t become stagnant and dead.  Good reading can truly be life-giving.  Whatever your source of growth-oriented reading, there are three essential keys to utilizing reading to increase your peace.

First, look for something that is personally relevant.  A book may be a huge bestseller, but if it isn’t personally relevant to you, it won’t make any significant difference in your life.

Second, commit to a regular reading time.  This may require you to work toward greater self-discipline.  If your level of self-discipline grows as a result of taking this first step toward greater peace, you will have received a rich blessing indeed.  Whether your best time is early morning, lunchtime, evening, or bedtime, find a time that works for you and stick with it.  It doesn’t have to be daily, but it does need to be at least weekly if you are to gain significant momentum from your reading.  Remember, this is about increasing your peace.  Not about stressing yourself out with rigid scheduling pressures.

Third, practice what you read.  Read with an open mind and a willing spirit.  And then respond to what you have read.  Unless you take this third step, all the reading in the world becomes just reading for the sake of reading, without any real learning or growth.

So, what have been some of the most meaningful, inspiring reads in your life?  What have you read that really did increase your peace?  We would love to hear about it here, if you will simply click on the title of this post and leave your comment for the rest of us.  I look forward to hearing from you.

By the way, among my most transforming reads from recent months are “Walking with God” by John Eldredge, “The Shack” by William P. Young, “The Dip” by Seth Godin, “A Failure of Nerve” by Edwin Friedman, and “Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World” by Chap and Dee Clark.

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