The most elusive treasure for black men is peace of mind. An important concept I’ve learned in life is saying “No” and being firm on my stance. From little things like getting invited to an event I don’t want to attend to declining a job promotion that doesn’t suit my needs and interests, the word “no” is always an option. This is because peace of mind is always priority.
Most of my mistakes in life came when I was mentally disoriented for one reason or another. I lost money, damaged relationships, and generally made sub-optimal decisions. I was too willing to compromise. I’d go along with ideas that were not inline with my purpose at the time. Looking back I saw that my mental state was always disrupted. The results? No peace of mind.
A man cannot have a stress free life if his mind is in chaos. With a few exceptions, our life is the physical expression of our thoughts. For many of us African-American men, we have inherited the thinking and belief systems of those before us. Most of our parents and grandparents lived in a fear based survival mode. This inheritance causes some of us to doubt our ambitions, maybe associate with the wrong people out of need for group acceptance, or engage in behavior that is used to escape our reality. The irony is on the surface this way of life is appears safe or even fun but usually turns stressful, unhealthy, and unproductive.
Peace of mind is an elusive treasure because it requires us to remove so much baggage from our lives. We have to address old pain and heartbreak. We have to change our habits. We may have to leave our city, friends, and family. We have to discard the thinking and beliefs that are actually holding us back. We have to commit for the long term. It’s all very uncomfortable. And it’s all very necessary to create a stress free life. When we deal with our issues we begin to truly see ourselves, our insecurities, our strengths, our triggers.
From there comes understanding. With understanding, comes peace.