Chapter 1
Why Inner Peace?

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What is...

a successful life?

a good life?

a life well lived?

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Original Exercises from the book
  • Imagine yourself lying on your deathbed. Review your life. What makes you cringe and what makes you smile?
  • Make a “Successful Life List”. Number it 1 to 15, and write how you would define a successful life for yourself.

Additional Exercises: Drawing Your Life at Four Ages
  • Take a blank piece of paper and draw two lines to divide it into four squares. Label the four squares: Age 20, Age 40, Age 60, and Age 80. Draw yourself at age 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100. Be sure to include what you are doing, where you are and the look on your face, e.g. happy, sad, worried, amazed.
  • After drawing, talk about your picture. Make sure you say if you are happy at each age, and why or why not.
  • After you complete your drawing, scroll down past the songs to see examples.

Songs
Listen to any of the following songs to help you further consider what is a successful life. Each song gives a different perspective of how to live life and what it feels to look back at life.

A Few Minutes in Ghana, West Africa
Watch this few-minute video and ask yourself if you think the people in the video are happy. Why or why not? I took this video on a trip to Ghana and filmed this impromptu singing.


Examples of drawing exercise
Here are some examples of student work: elementary, middle and high school. Drawings by adults look similar and are equally intriguing!

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For the following picture, when I asked, "How do you feel in each picture?", this student replied "Happy!" (even after missing the bus for a world tour, getting in a car crash, being in the hospital and dead!)
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I love how this one ends with "It's (a) nice life!"