Good writing, good plots are birthed out of conflict. The inciting incident, pinch points, and a character arc which shows growth of some sort. In life, learning is born out of conflict as well, and the older we get, if we mature (stop laughing), we respond better to conflict and trouble. At the best of times, we can achieve inner peace despite our world crumbling around us.
Many people never reach this point. Or like most, they yo-yo up and down, their mood following the perceived positivity or negativity of their circumstances. Artists are certainly no exception, often the most manic of people you know. As a Dudeist priest, of the Church of the Latter Day Dude, a religion largely based on the philosophy of The Dude in the movie the Big Lebowski, I thought I’d offer a few ways to achieve that inner peace, at least from time to time.
#1 Don’t Let the Behavior of Others Destroy your Inner Peace. Some people are just downers, man. They just don’t get the whole “Take it Easy” thing. And you can’t make them, or let their negative behavior bring you down. The path to inner peace is lined with I.E.D.’s of negativity, and they are often placed there by well-meaning people, even those you love. You’re meant simply to be, and to enjoy the now, even if you are, like, between careers, man. Or just a writer, and may never make the kind of money Stephen King or J.K. Rowling does.
#2 Don’t let events or circumstances bring you down. You can’t worry about that shit man. Because it happens, often to us. Sometimes you even step in it, because you just aren’t paying attention. Other times, your circumstances are caused by others who planted those I.E.D.’s in your path. Don’t pay attention to that shit. Because life goes on.
#3 Sometimes the Aggression just Will Not Stand, man. Sometimes you need to stand up for yourself. Clear out those who are trying to destroy your inner peace. Get past the circumstances, even if you have to fight your way out. Because standing up for yourself is sometimes how you achieve the inner peace you are looking for. Know when to pick your battles, who to keep in your life and who to let, just, move on man.
There are many more steps to inner peace. Practicing kindness. Living in the now. Just abiding. Sometimes, you just need to say “Fuck it, let’s go bowling.” Whatever you do, just take it easy man. Life goes on.
Through it all, The Dude abides. Take comfort in that.
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs.
Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.