Peace starts within. Peace doesn’t start between nations or political parties or even in the family.  Peace is more than the absence of conflict.  Peace creates unshakable contentment.

The number one instigator of personal turmoil is our inner critic.  Bruce Schneider calls it our gremlin.  That small voice tells us to compromise or not to try — to stay small.  Messages may sound different but the bottom line is always the same, “I’m just not good enough.”  The first step is to recognize our gremlin.  Give it a name. It’s really just a voice within trying to protect us but we no longer need shelter.  We need room to grow.  Listen to your true voice.

Assumptions borne out of our personal history often rob us of our peace of mind.  We expect the past to repeat itself, so we avoid certain challenges.  If we reluctantly try, then the results confirm our expectations.  A business owner with managers who repeatedly found themselves at odds with each other was convinced nothing could change.  So he either had to put up with their behavior or replace them.  History doesn’t have to predict the future, so don’t let it limit your choices.

Before 1954, the entire world believed no mile could be run in less than 4 minutes.  Health professionals advised that running a faster mile could be debilitating.  So we didn’t.  Even Olympians couldn’t dream that big. Until May 6,1954 when Roger Bannister crossed the finish line at three minutes, fifty-nine seconds.  Two months later two other runners broke the four minute barrier.  It took one person to break through the restricting idea in order for others to follow.  What’s your four minute mile?

Growing up, Dad always changed the light bulbs. I decided that it was a man’s job.  No one said that. No one even believed that but me.  My husband, however, had a different father!  Our perspectives aren’t the only way to look at things.  There are options.

Give voice to your encourager, not your gremlin.  Look to your future, break the mold of your past. Dream big, don’t hold back. Don’t sit in the darkness, when you can change the lightbulb!  May there be Peace on Earth!