Peace of Mind, Part IV

Posted on August 18, 2016 by Robert Ringer


In this, the final installment of my four-part article on peace of mind, I’m going to share with you two anti-stress techniques that are especially important. In fact, I don’t believe it’s possible to achieve a low stress level and peace of mind without them.


Resist the temptation to try to make the world bend to your will.

Trying to get everyone to do things your way goes beyond stress. It’s a frustrating, hopeless exercise that can drive a person mad. I know one wealthy individual, in particular, who long ago lost his ability to think rationally because of his frustration over not being able to force everyone around him to conform to his way of thinking.

One of the rules of a good delegator is to tell people precisely what you want them to do, then let them do it their way. President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said that the mark of a good executive is when someone hands him a letter that he knows he could have written better, he signs it anyway.

This is an area where you have to be careful, even when dealing with your own children. While it’s a parent’s responsibility to teach and guide his/her children, the wise parent learns early on that children cannot and will not do everything exactly as their parents want them to. The reality is that your children are different human beings than you, so it would be unnatural for them to mirror you 100 percent of the time.


Maintaining control of your anger and resentment.

It’s worth repeating Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous words: “For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” The late Jim Blanchard, founder of the New Orleans Investment Conference, was a great teacher for me in this respect. Jim was one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever known. A paraplegic from the age of eighteen, he not only built a fortune while working from a wheelchair, he traveled the world extensively and did almost everything “normal” people do — and more.

I remember Jim once telling me about a guy who had shafted him out of a lot of money. I asked how he could be so calm about it, and I’ll never forget his response: “I’ve found that it’s disarming just to smile, be polite, and act as though nothing is wrong. Not only do you avoid making enemies by handling things in this manner, you also save yourself a lot of aggravation. All you need to do is avoid doing business with that person in the future. And to the extent you are cordial, he’ll probably even sing your praises to everyone — which means you win all the way around.”

I admit that Jim was special when it came to handling people, but his words help me to this day. Whenever I become angry, I give myself time to cool off before saying or doing something that I might later regret.

For example, if I impulsively write an e-mail in a heated state of mind, I let it sit for a day or two before sending it. It’s amazing how much of the angry edge you can take off an e-mail or letter by editing it a couple of days after you write it.


One last thing worth thinking about when it comes to achieving peace of mind. In his book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra maintains that worrying about stress is more damaging than stress itself. Which brings me back to something I said in Part I of this article: It is not events that shape your world, it is your thought processes. Remember, no matter how long a list of stress inhibitors you compile, your mental state will always be the most important factor when it comes to achieving peace of mind.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

24 responses to “Peace of Mind, Part IV”

  1. NotPropagandizd says:

    A good, healthy spiritual alignment is an effective state-of-being to accomplish the above. That is of course if in the process of finding proper alignment, you manage to avoid distorting Truth into a path of negativity, death and destruction as has been recently observed among followers of false prophets.

  2. G. Nagel says:

    We can CHOSE to get BETTER or BITTER. As you so well stated, WE make the choice.

  3. Good stuff Robert! You are a master of the "real."

  4. Robert is great with his thinking. I just wrote a cutting email to the newspaper, but they deserved it and I don't get stressed about it because it was the truth. I do think it will make them think. But I do know what he said is true because I have had to apologize sometimes. Fortunately I don't stress but for a short time. The good thing about getting old, you forget in a hurry.

    • Helen says:

      Never heard of an old elephant never forgetting!! And some 'oldsters' never forget
      either. Sad

  5. MMg says:

    Wise and lovely thoughts about managing life. How does this noble philosophy jibe with the shockingly nasty and disrespectful language sometimes seen in this column about politicians the author does not agree with?

    • Robert is always real. The emotions you attach to his writings are all yours.

    • Jim Hallett says:

      I won't speak for Robert, but I do not destroy my peace of mind in any way when I call out dishonest, criminal people like Hildabeast. She deserves NO respect, so doesn't get it. It is generally criminals, or at least people who enjoy pushing others around and stealing from them (which meets MY definition of a criminal) – that are drawn into politics and its lust for power. Ron Paul demonstrated that it IS POSSIBLE to be honest, congruent and respectful while in the arena of politics, but he is a rare breed indeed. I can disagree with others, but when they devolve to the sociopathic level of criminality and congenital lying that is the hallmark of Hildabeast. I both call them out and want NOTHING to do with them and their ilk.

  6. Michael Ponzani says:

    Much taken from Dale Carnegie.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      "Taken?" As I recall, Dale Carnegie 'gave' or more precisely, 'sold' his advice. If Robert has incorporated some, or even 'much,' of his wisdom into his own philosophy, whatever is wrong with that?

      I bought and read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" about 50 years ago, which was already 30 years after he wrote it. At this point, I can't recall a single passage from it; but it undoubtedly had a positive 'influence' on my social skills, and reasonably successful life.

      When I now give youngsters advice, it undoubtedly contains elements that I originally absorbed from Dale Carnegie. Then, it also contains elements that I absorbed from Robert Ringer, Harry Browne, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, Robert Heinlein, and several dozen other authors, from which I have assimilated my personal outlook on life. I often mention such influences when writing, and recommend their books to others, yet I don't recall ever mentioning Carnegie. I guess his input was so basic, and so very long ago, that I have no recollection that it was particularly profound.

      My advice might even include an original insight or two; but probably not. More likely, anything I might say that seems unique, is just an juxtaposition of two or more earlier influences or uncommon experiences. I reckon that original thought is rare indeed. ◄Dave►

  7. Daniel says:

    I'm reminded that a (confident, knowing) smile is often the best last "word", meaning, "You have no power over me." Stress is often the result of feeling powerless; isn't it? Thank you, Mr. Ringer, for addressing one of the greatest impediments to living well. We are (happily) in your debt.

    • Jim Hallett says:

      Feeling powerless is indeed often the cause of much stress, and it is an "inside" job, since we all have complete control and power over our mind – regardless of what is going on around us. This is why meditation can be so helpful, as it allows one to disconnect from the outside whir of nonsense, and connect with the inner source of peace, love and wisdom.

  8. Reality Seeker says:

    I enjoyed reading the entire series. One other aspect of having and maintaining " peace of mind" is appreciation. Appreciation, for example, of the " best things in life"; like, for instance, calling your mother and telling her how much you love her. Really, how much would it be worth, how much joy would we have, how much "peace of mind" could we derive by simply picking up the phone and chatting with mom? —– sometimes we don't completely appreciate the value of such things until mom has gone to God…… yet, there are other people we can reach out to right now: a son, a daughter, a sister, a friend….. The nice thing about appreciation is that it's never too late to start and it's simple to do. And don't worry about if the recipient of your appreciation doesn't fully reciprocate your appreciation of him/her. That's not the point. The point is we can rise up to becoming a better man/woman, which means our acts of appreciation become a means to better ourselves.

    What else can we appreciate?

    There are many things, simple things, that can bring us peace, joy, comfort and relief from stress. A simple walk does it for me. I prefer natural surroundings, of course, but even a treadmill in a nice room full of plants will suffice. A good book and, of course, copious writing and daily thinking about all of the good times of decades past. My dad, who is almost 90, finds joy and piece of mind in working. Yes. At 90, he still gets up every day and works in his shop…… I think he enjoys holding conversations with lifelong friends more than anything else work related, but that's the point: good relationships with friends, family and business associates bring peace in our mind.

    Finally, I must admit, God, congregation and spiritual brothers and sisters seem to bring my dad untold happiness. Who knows, my dad may yet bring his sceptical, jaded son around to a belief system that brings superior peace for heart, mind and soul….

    • ◄Dave► says:

      " Who knows, my dad may yet bring his sceptical, jaded son around to a belief system…"

      Yikes! Don't go wobbly on us, RS. You would then have to change your screen name! I suppose if you just dropped the 'Reality' part, the 'Seeker' would fit right in, with classic 'guru speak' of other mystics. 😉

      Interestingly, in Stefan Molyneux's latest video interview, Scott Adams makes a persuasive point that happiness is greater among irrational people. I figured out years ago, that the primary purpose of mysticism, meditation, psychedelic drugs, etc. is the attempt to escape the natural inclination of one's mind, to learn and deal with sometimes harsh reality. All one need do is stop its incessant thinking!

      Even in Genesis, God supposedly offered Adam & Eve eternal mindless bliss in paradise, if they just didn't ask any rational questions. The Devil offered Eve the alternative, of the opportunity to acquire knowledge. I just couldn't help it, my ever-inquisitive mind would have made Eve's choice in a heartbeat. ◄Dave►

  9. Reality Seeker says:

    The older I get the more I realize that there are more questions than answers. In my research into a broad spectrum of issues none are more complex than the origin of life. What I've found is life is so complicated that there is no possibility whatsoever of a simple beginning. And without a simple beginning the theory(s) of evolution fall apart and go straight to hell. In fact, life is so amazingly complex that man the maker has only just begun to understand the surface of a very deep subject. We don't even yet know how small the components of life are because no microscope is powerful enough to investigate. Man cannot duplicate even the simplest life form, yet I am to accept life happened by chance?

    Which is irrational, to believe in the miracle of evolution ( a miracle of chance) or the miracle of creation? Both beliefs require faith, not blind faith, not credulity, but faith supported by a belief system which is in turn supported by facts. I believe that I live and breathe a miracle every day. I look around me and I view a miracle in real time…..

    • Reality Seeker says:

      My the way, Dave, Mr. Scott Adams has no new arguments to offer…. He doesn't believe in miracles, so what of it? I say he is living in a real-time time miracle and he doesn't even know it.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Interesting, RS. The older I get, the more I realize that such answers will not be forthcoming in what little is left of my life, and the less that reality bothers me. The origin of life is a curiosity for sure; but it has never been a particularly compelling one for me. At this point, as a septuagenarian, I find it of no interest whatever. Of even less interest, has been the question of whether our software and memories, might somehow survive beyond our death. I reckon that exceedingly unlikely, so I waste not a second of the only life I have any reason to expect to experience, pondering, pining, or preparing for some "life after death" oxymoron.

      I try not to let 'word salad' confuse me. Theists are inclined to twist words like 'faith,' 'belief,' and 'miracle' into contexts contrary to my understanding and usage of such terms. Their frequent claim that the act of disbelieving in the existence of gods, is itself an act of faith, is nonsensical word salad. So is suggesting that the acceptance of the hypothesis of evolution as a valid theory, is also the same as a religious belief system. If theists would acknowledge that the particular gods they worship are also only an unprovable theory, on a par with all other cultish belief system theories, then perhaps we can talk.

      Please define what you mean by 'miracle,' as you use it here. It seems to me that you are trying to use it as a synonym for 'phenomenon.' I have no beef with the existence of phenomena. When I say I don't believe in miracles, my intent comports with the dictionary definition: "An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God." We may not be able to answer the questions about life's origins; but it is certainly here and functioning just fine, within the constraints of the laws of nature as we understand them. If everything living is somehow a 'miracle,' then the term no longer denotes something unusual, and has become virtually meaningless.

      BTW, as a farm manager in Africa, and a cattle rancher in California, I have personally been involved in the selective breeding of animals and hybrid seed crops. I have observed the process of 'evolution' in real-time, for a good many species. It is not only not miraculous to me, it is not even a theory. It is proven technology. :-) ◄Dave►

      • Reality Seeker says:

        For life to arise from nonliving matter, which is the basis of evolution, would require a miracle if accomplished by the laws as we currently understand them. Moreover, we don't understand the laws as much as we think we do. In fact, we don't know for sure if the same laws which govern the current universe and life were responsible for the creation of space, time, energy and matter. Today's physics might not have been the physics of a billion years ago.

        Mr. Scott Adams implied he had it figured out by age 11 that there is no God….. Good for him.

        I say the essence of believe or disbelief is first believing or not believing in miracles. I'm not trying to play semantics. I'm merely offering an analogy that redefines the term, "miracle".

        You are old and happy with your beliefs. Good for you. Because as I've said above: the origin of laws, space, time, matter, movement and energy is the most complex subject I know. It goes way, way beyond the origin of religion or the Bible.

        I've spent a lifetime pondering origins, and the subject is mind boggling. I'm glad that some people have it figured out by age 11…..

        • Mike says:

          RS, evolution does not address the origin of life – that is a separate question altogether. Rather, evolution explains how species and populations have changed over successive generations over thousands and millions of years. In short, such changes occur through the inheritance of advantageous traits that are passed down to each new generation through the common thread of all species on earth: DNA.

          In no field is the existence of evolution beyond doubt and accepted as fact than in molecular biology. The analysis of DNA and RNA – and entire genomes – from just about every species on earth shows a clear and unmistakable pattern of relationship among species that corresponds to their taxonomic positions. That is, the closer together species are on the tree of life (or more accurately, the 'bush' of life), the fewer differences are seen in their DNA. Conversely the farther apart they are, more differences are seen.

          Darwin sought to explain how such changes could have occurred over time. With no knowledge of DNA in his time, his idea was that the environment influences how individuals and species survived and thrived. Specifically, some species did better in certain environments than others. Also, some individuals within species survived better than others. Darwin termed this 'natural selection'.

          As it turns out, natural selection occurs through slight differences (sometimes punctuated by larger mutations) in DNA which conveys a selective advantage to those individuals and species. These traits were then passed down to their offspring and their offspring's offspring through DNA, and eventually that species or those particular individuals outcompeted the others to survive and thrive.

          This is not intended to be a treatise on evolution so sorry if I got a little long-winded. My only point here is that the origin of life is NOT really a part of the study of evolution.

        • ◄Dave► says:

          I was content to abandon this discussion as futile; but since Mike has taken the time to elegantly disconnect cosmology from biology at length, I will address a couple more misconceptions.

          You are also erroneously conflating "origins" with the question of belief in a specific god of your choice. Scott Adams expressed his rejection of the so-called miracle, in the Sunday School tale of "Jonah & the Whale," at age 11. That is a very long way from asserting that he had the origin of Life, or the Universe itself, figured out – then or now.

          As it happens, I can recall my own extreme skepticism at about the same age. How could he breathe? It just did not compute. I had busted my mother putting a dime under my pillow, so I had already figured out that my parents had lied to me about the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus. Why then should I believe that there was also an invisible man in the sky, watching my every move, to decide whether I deserved to go to heaven or hell, when I die some day? That sounded suspiciously like the "naughty or nice" Santa Claus threat to me.

          It turns out, of course, that Scott and I were right, and this was no miracle. When they excavated the Dead Sea Scrolls, scholars were able to translate the ancient scripture directly into modern English, without all the translations and interpretations in between. That is when they discovered that the phrase "swallowed by a big fish," was an idiom of the times, for 'trouble' or 'tribulation.' If today one were to say, "Jonah was in hot water," no one cognizant of the idioms of our times, would believe that he was immersed in a cannibal's stew pot.

          Another example they found, was that "pillar of salt," was an idiom of their times, for 'paralysis.' If today one were to say, "Sarah turned as stiff as a board," no one would claim she miraculously became a hunk of wood. I reckon Bible literalists could use a healthy dose of skepticism, to deal with the question of why all these fantastical miracles stopped happening a couple thousand years ago.

          Did you see the movie, "Oh God" with Robert Burns? When it starts raining inside my car, I will perhaps pay more attention to the 'Word of God.' Until then, it is all just unsubstantiated hearsay. 😉 ◄Dave►

  10. texas wolfie says:

    A few years ago when Nancy Pelosi was speaker of the house, I wrote her an angry letter (under the influence of Crown Royal ) that she was the stupidest person to ever hold that position. I said that because of her stupid remark that was"you have to pass the bill to see whats in it". 3 weeks later I got a letter from the IRS from Sacramento California. It seems that they wanted to audit me for the last few years. Now why would I get a letter from CA. when we have a IRS office right here in Austin Texas? There no doubt in my mind the Democrats are evil people. I have learned my lesson, never react in anger.

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