12/30/2014 02:22 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2015

Personal Peace and Tranquility

Whether we seek it consciously or not, peace is often the motivation for our actions. We are called to engage in activities that bring us pleasure and lighten our loads. Even with some of the most destructive behaviors, our goal is usually to "feel better."

Think of your inner peace as being a spiritual savings account. Every time you encounter "that thing" you were supposed to have already done, take care of it; if left on a "to do" list, if not these insignificant matters subconsciously drain your mental energy, and when they are accomplished, watch your peace of mind increase.

Seek beauty around in your immediate environment. The most talented among us can find beauty in just about everything. It might be a face, perhaps a budding flower, sunrise or sunset. Just start to take notice of the intricate details of the things that surround you. When you take that extra time to drink in something you find exquisite, there's a natural rush.

There can't be enough said about the practice of gratitude. It shifts perspective and the resultant mindset becomes one of optimism. Once the habit is established, no experience is wasted. There is endless peace in knowing that every experience holds value. Start a gratitude journal and list 3-5 things you are grateful for daily. After a while, you won't need to be prompted by the journaling. You will begin to express it throughout the day between your regular entries. Gratitude is a building block of internal tranquility.

Furthermore, forgiving those who have wronged or hurt you, brings peace of mind and frees you from needless anger. It is very important to forgive and let go. Deep contemplation and meditation allows one to be mindful and keep your thoughts clear. We cannot force or demand peace of mind, but we can prepare our minds to become still. Meditation prepares the mind to calm down and rejuvenate. Negative thoughts only exasperate fear and anger.

Practice kindness at home and everywhere else. Make kindness a way of life. In acts of personal kindness, the only real reward is the sense of deep contentment and peace.

Remember those energy drains? People can also fall into that category. Take notice of the people that leave you energized and the people that leave you feeling drained. It may be time to ingest smaller doses of certain individuals. The other option may be to change the way you interact with them. Perhaps you commiserate more than is healthy. A shift in the way you participate could shift them.

A comfort zone is a cage of mediocrity. No peace can be found living within self-imposed restrictions. You know when you're playing smaller than you could. It's like trying to wear the same clothes you wore when you were eight years old. Allow room for growth and try something new. It's the only way to learn more about the totality of who you are. Something unexpected may click for you and prompt you to revise the way you see yourself and subsequently express yourself.

The most important thought about peace is to have accountability. Understand that what you experience may or may not be under your immediate control but how you experience it is always your choice. It is crucial to own this part of your being. Otherwise, peace will always be something you are waiting on to be given to you. Acquiring inner peace doesn't have to be esoteric. Hopefully, one or more of these practices speak to you. Tranquility can be found wherever you are. You just have to want it.