The 2 Paths to Inner Peace

In every Kung Fu Panda movie, there’s one scene where the master is trying to find inner peace. Meditating beneath a tree or inside a cave, he will repeat his mantra, yet, inevitably, distractions will arise. A bird will flap its wings. Po will come to interrupt him. Or a leaf may land on his nose.

With every disturbance, the master must ask himself a question: Do I ignore it or address it?

In one particular scene, just after Master Oogway has moved past a tiny agitation, a jade sword suddenly flies straight at him. With a sighed, “Now what?” the master catches the blade and opens his eyes. He deflects the second sword speeding his way, and when he spots his longtime adversary, he knows what he must do. “I’m ready for a rematch,” his nemesis claims. As if he had only been waiting for it, Master Oogway simply responds: “Took you long enough!”

After spending all of 2023 working solely on Four Minute Books, I felt I had done my share. That the site was in a good place, and I ready to write another book. But the universe had other plans. It threw a dagger at me, and my traffic dropped 30% overnight. Unlike Master Oogway, I wasn’t ready for it. Not flexible enough to say, “Bring it on!” My mind rebelled at the thought of adjusting. It wanted to push old ideas through a new reality.

A whopping 4 months later, I think I’m finally ready. Ready to make a hard choice. To again put the book I’m dying to write on hold. To sit with Four Minute Books and give it the full attention and effort it needs right now. Just like Oogway as he begins his fight, I don’t know if I will succeed. I don’t know if another year will bring the results the last one couldn’t. All I know is that this is what life is asking me to do, and it is the right choice to say, “Yes. Okay. Let’s walk this path.” If this is the road to inner peace, then so be it!

Sometimes, inner peace is as simple as letting noise be noise and continuing to meditate. But every now and then, only giving yourself fully to the challenge at hand will do the trick. Know which kind of interruption you’re facing, and remember that giving up is also giving. Your last fight may not yet be behind you, but you’re a master — so no matter what it takes, you’ll always find your way back to inner peace.