How Acceptance Can Help You Find Inner Peace in Life

Jonathan Doyle During in one of his speeches as a Catholic Mentor and Coach

Today we will delve into the philosophy of personal development. Join Jonathan Doyle as we explore the profound concepts of acceptance, inner peace, and the essence of life itself. In today’s episode, Jonathan reflects on the wisdom of letting go of our carefully planned lives to embrace the unknown journey that awaits us, discovering the power of acceptance amidst life’s unpredictability. So, let’s embark on this journey of self-discovery together.

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    Welcome Aboard: A Saturday Reflection

    Jonathan Doyle on a Rainy Saturday Afternoon at the Beach
    Jonathan Doyle Global Speaker on a recent speaking tour in Iceland

    Hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle is with you once again. Welcome aboard to the daily podcast. We almost got it done daily last week. But I don’t know what happened. Another busy week has a lot going on, but it is good to be back with you. I tried to go surfing this morning. It’s Saturday afternoon. I’m in the studio again. Saturdays are for surfing, my friends. And I went down the coast, and it was truly terrible.

    If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that this morning. It was cold, it was raining, it was gray. The surface is terrible. But I did go full Goggins mode and managed to jump into the ocean for a while with just a pair of board shorts on. I didn’t even put a wetsuit on. I just love putting all that brain of mine under pressure. And I put my brain under pressure yesterday because it was 36 degrees Celsius. For my American friends, I don’t know what that is. It’s got to be over a hundred fahrenheit.

    I had to do a conversion, but I went out and did 75 kilometers on the bike. Then I had dinner with Karen. We had a date night last night, and I’ve got to tell you, I’m a little dehydrated. Karen’s like looking across the table. Hey, what are you doing? I’m doing good. If I just fall off the chair, it’s nothing to do with you. It’s just these crazy things I do.

    Connecting to a Transformative Podcast

    It was good to be ready for my friends. Please make sure you’ve subscribed. Hit the subscribe button. If you like what you hear today, I would love it. If you could share it with family and friends, all the other links are under Instagram. And of course, my website: Where you can find out everything you need to know about booking me to speak on consulting projects. Everything else is there today.

    Embracing Solitude: A Journey to Inner Peace and Acceptance in the Midst of Life's Distractions

    Finding time for solitude in the road for acceptance
    Finding time for solitude in the road for acceptance

    We are going to take a little departure together, friends. If you’ve met me personally, if you know me well, I’m a, I like to think. And I’ve had the pleasure of many years of reading a great deal. And also, of course, studying at a pretty high level. So the things of the mind are ideas that move us forward. Something is pretty special to me.

    I was driving back from the coast, and my daughter’s next to me in the car. And she wanted to have a nap, and she’s an introvert just like me. She said to me, Dad, what are you going to do? And I said, You know what I’m going to do. And she goes, You’re going to think your thoughts aren’t you. Because when they fall asleep in the car, I literally just think, and I’ve been doing that more and more. I don’t know if you have been doing this, but. I’m really disconnecting a lot more from a lot of the media that I was accessing.

    I do use Instagram because it’s easy for me to try and put some encouragement out there for people each day. But that is the extent of my social media use. And I’m really getting very disciplined about access to technology. I read a great piece last week. I guess, the movement in our culture from distraction to addiction: that the actual game that is being played by the great tech companies is to move us from distraction from constantly interrupting us to moving us towards genuine addiction. So in my own little corner of the world, I’m trying to fight back a bit. I just really give my mind a chance to think.

    Yesterday on the bike, I finished listening to something in the first sort of 30 minutes and then did the rest of that 75K. I was literally just thinking and being alone with my mind. And today, driving back from the surf, same thing. I was just thinking, I don’t want to share something with you today, and maybe this will mark a bit of a departure from the podcast that I want to do.  I got a little bit deep into things because I think personal development, which is such a passion of mine, is rooted in the idea that we are, as Aristotle would say, perfectible beings.

    Aristotle's Wisdom for Life: The Unique Teleology of Human Beings

    Dog Paw and Bones vs Human Personal Growth
    Everything possesses an inherent purpose and the potential for growth

    One of the attributes that we have is perfectibility, but that doesn’t mean we become perfect. It means we have the capacity to pursue perfection. Aristotle and the Greeks basically believed in this idea of teleology, which was that everything had an inbuilt purpose or aim. And then each different thing in the teleology of a tree was to become fully a tree. To become as tree-ish as it could possibly be and manifest its unique tree-ness. It wasn’t meant to be a rock; it wasn’t meant to be a river; it was meant to be a tree.

    Humans have this unique teleology, this direction that we’re heading, this capacity for growth and contribution. You often say to audiences that one of the interesting things about the human person is that we’re the only thing in existence that we know of that can become more of what it already is. That we can become more of what we already are.

    You see, a dog cannot become more dog-like right? So I used to show this to audiences. I’d put a picture of a dog. I said, Look, this dog, is it? Yeah, that’s a good-looking dog. But I said to the audience, “What can that dog do to become more dog-like?” And somebody would say something like it could bark more. And I said, interestingly, that would simply make it a more annoying dog. It wouldn’t, actually if it barked more, it would just be like a dog that barks more. It wouldn’t be more dog-like because it’s fully a dog. And some of you are listening to me go, dude, this is so random. But it’s important that the nature of that dog is fixed in itself. It can’t become more of what it is.

    But the human person, you and me, can we become more human? We can become more compassionate, more courageous, more intelligent, more service-oriented, more gentle, or more patient. I’m actually giving some lectures on this in Tasmania in a few weeks, which will be really interesting to do. I’m doing a week’s worth of seminars and lectures down there.

    Finding Acceptance Through Letting Go

    A Person Holding A Blank Canvas
    Begin with a blank canvas, take the first step towards acceptance by letting go.

    I wanted to share something with you today about what it means to be human. I’d be really fascinated to see what you think. It comes from Joseph Campbell, who some of you would know was the progenitor. He was a mythologist—someone very deeply learned—who gave us this whole idea of the hero’s journey, which, if you’ve ever seen the first ever Star Wars, is basically Joseph Campbell’s mythology.

    The unknown individual doesn’t really know who they are, gets taken out of their environment, goes on an epic quest, and discovers a new identity. And they return to where they came from, but they’re changed. It’s the hero’s journey, it’s got deeper, it’s caused by Greek literature. If you think of Homer’s Iliad, of course. You’ve got Odysseus going to the battle of Troy. And he goes through all these adventures and experiences and comes back to Ithaca quite changed.

    All right. You with me still, this has been a lot, but let me share this quote with you from Joseph Campbell, because I think it’s pointing to something quite interesting, and he says, 

    "We must let go of the life we have planned. So as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

    Now I look at a lot of really interesting quotes. There’s depth to this, there’s actually some layering here. Certain embedded assumptions that he’s pointing us to this concept that there is a life waiting for us. There is a way of being; there is a life that I guess he’s even putting to an idea that’s been created for us.

    This isn’t a specifically religious podcast. I do a different one for Christian education. This one of course, I know many of you are people of faith and different faith traditions, perhaps, but it’s the idea that God and I always throw in the universe here, because I know I’ve got plenty of non-Christian listeners. But this idea that there is something that may have our best interests at heart and may have constructed something for us, opportunities for us, particular relationships, and experiences for us. But I like our canvases here. We must let go of the life we have planned.

    Technocracy's Impact on Personal Freedom: Navigating Inner Peace

    The erosion of freedom by technology results in stress and a deficiency of inner peace. The erosion of freedom by technology results in stress and a deficiency of inner peace.
    The erosion of freedom by technology results in stress and a lack of inner peace.

    Now let me riff on this for a second. I have been saying for a long time that we live in an extremely technocratic culture. And, our culture is quite Promethean in the sense that the Greek myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods and then paid the price. We live in a culture where through technocracy, we think we can control reality itself. It’s a reason why people like Elon Musk are so popular at the moment, and people look to them as some kind of apocalyptic savior, if you will.

    This idea that there’s just brilliant people who can control our experience of life and make our life incrementally. and sit, and then eventually significantly better through the use of technology. I think COVID did it too. I think that the massive government overreach and the destruction of freedoms that took place through that were based on this idea of technocratic control.

    Let me put this together. What I’m trying to get at is that we have to see the waters that we’re swimming in as a society. and the waters we are swimming in, have something to do with technological control of reality. It’s interesting because, in the personal development space, we have this idea that through goals and discipline, we can structure and build our life the way we want.

    Unlocking Inner Peace: Embracing Life Beyond the Social Media Illusion

    Life Expectation Vs Reality Peace Order Vs Chaos
    The challenge underlying the illusion created by social media

    All of us were pretty much exposed to social media. We see these idealized, perfected lives. You’re on Instagram today; you see me driving to the coast. I’m hanging out with my family. What you don’t see is the fatigue; what you don’t see is the kids arguing. What you don’t see are all the challenges that go on. We construct these lives. We believe that we can build this absolutely idealized life.

    But what if this constant push towards you makes you stressed? Do you notice that the more that we often drive towards this idea of life should be different. Life’s hard or difficult, there’s this idea that it should be radically different. That may be because if things are hard, it’s because we’re not living the correct life.

    Navigating Life's Currents: Understanding God's Will for Inner Peace

    Aerial Drone Landscape of River in Green Field

    I want to bring in here a book I’ve been reading on and off for a few months called Abandonment to Divine Providence by a priest in the 17th century called Jean Pierre de Caussade. Again it doesn’t matter if you’re not a person of faith. But de Caussade makes this kind of point that the will of God is whatever is happening in your life. The will of God is literally whatever is happening in your life.

    So life’s happening to us all the time, but I don’t know how many of us constantly think that it’s the wrong one. We should be happier, richer, and more calm. Less anxious. But, of course, we’re not. It’s a lot of the time. So let’s hear from Joseph Campbell again. He says we must let go of the life we have planned. So as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

    This is helping me because of the journey that I’ve been on recently, and Karen and I were talking about this at dinner last night. Like I am by nature, a very calm, really introverted person. So I like calmness, predictability, order, and everything to be predictable. And we have three teenagers who are not particularly accommodating to my needs. Because I have a background with sort of PTSD and stuff that I can find really hard. I’ve noticed in myself that it should be different.

    Navigating Life's Mysteries: Finding Inner Peace Amidst the Unknown

    Calm Tranquil Lake Water

    Reading this today and reflecting with you guys. I’m thinking the invitation to all our stresses and challenges is perhaps a little more acceptance. I think what I’m trying to push towards is whether this is the life that we have, moment to moment. Then what have we just embraced about where we really are right now?

    There’s a lot of mystery here because it’s a technocratic culture, we don’t do mysteries very well. We really don’t do mystery particularly well. We want to know absolutes, and the mystery part is that we need to keep one eye on the future, have a sense of what we might desire, and, in some sense, work towards it. Otherwise, you couldn’t function, right? If you can’t make some kind of plan for the future,  We couldn’t function. But at the same time, being at peace with exactly what’s happening.

    Again, for me, it’s very practical because a couple of my daughters were having what I like to call a robust discussion earlier today. You can figure out what a robust discussion might mean. And everything in me says I want this to go away. I want it to be peaceful. I don’t want it to be like this, but again, we come back to Joseph Campbell. We must let go of the life we have plans for so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. 

    Embrace Grace: The Power of Acceptance in Life's Rollercoaster

    Accepting and embracing the rollercoaster of life
    Accepting and embracing the rollercoaster of life

    This brings me to another thing that I often talk about in the podcast, which is the theme of acceptance. Learning to just accept exactly what’s happening is important because once you accept what’s happening, you become reliant on grace. In that moment, you rely on grace. So I tend to go through my days now when things are difficult, learning to be more meditative and prayerful.  Lord God, help me to just navigate this moment.

    This is a mysterious episode. And learning to be present. There’s so much focus on mindfulness and presence, but this is what he’s getting at. Stop. We had to stop trying to run away from the life that we have. And accept the one that we do have. And figure out what God’s asking of us. In the midst of that exact life. Right now, wherever you are, Whatever is hard for you at the moment is difficult for you at the moment. What’s being asked of you? You know what? Accepting stuff doesn’t mean that you’re not trying to change it. But I think a lot of our stress would dial down if we accepted a little bit more. And live the life that’s right in front of us.

    So that’s what I think about that. I’m interested in what you think we must let go of in the life we have planned. So as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ’cause I think so much of our stress is coming from thinking that once we get to X, then we will be happy. And I’ve lived long enough now to know that fundamentally doesn’t work.

    I’ve had times when I’ve almost gone bankrupt. We’ve been in business for many years, and we’ve had some incredible highs and some lows, and then we’ve had both, so I’ve seen both ends. Like I said to someone recently over lunch, There’s a certain piece that I have now because I’ve seen as bad as it can get. And I’ve learned to be comfortable when things are going incredibly well. So I don’t really have this rigid plan anymore. That life must look a certain way for me to be at peace. I’m learning to let go of my rigid plans and just live the life that’s right here now. And then it’ll change, right?

    Embracing the Present: Overcoming Future Anxiety and Finding Joy in the Now

    Family Jumping on the Beach
    Accept what is right infront of us and find the joy in now

    This particular season with my kids this age, and then I’m sure before I blink, there’ll be a different season and life will be asking me to accept different things. But we live in that moment. When we get to that moment, could you not agree with me that so much of the stress and anxiety is coming from just everybody, who has anxiety about the future in some form? Sometimes we fear the past; pretty much predominantly, I think, we fear the future. We have a media cycle, which, of course, plays right into that too. If it bleeds, it leads.

    Whatever fear can be leveraged in legacy media. To keep us worried about the future. So, my friends, one of the keys to personal development for us today is to simply be gentle with our rigid rules about how the future has to look. And turn our attention to accepting what’s right in front of us and being in that particular moment.

    I was reading today the obituary of a priest who died in Louisiana, Father Mark Beard, who was just a phenomenal speaker and really influential guy. 61, right? He was still really at the peak of his powers and just had a tragic car accident. And died unexpectedly. None of us can rule that out. We don’t know what we will get tomorrow. So wouldn’t it be better? Just be really present in the life you have today. To the people around you today, to their needs today, and to contributing to them today. Because you did not get the guarantee of tomorrow, you don’t get it.

    So all of these plans that we can sometimes make and all these rules we can create about what constitutes. I think the rules that we create are like this: when life looks like this, I will finally accept that I’m allowed to be happy and at peace. And if you’ve made that day, sometime 10 years from now, or when the kids have left, or when you’ve paid off your mortgage, If you’ve made that kind of rule,  That’s a long time to wait, and you also have no guarantee that you’ll live that long. So it would make a lot more sense for all of us to start pressing into this present moment.

    Closing and Next Steps

    Alright. I don’t know what you got out of that. I enjoy talking about it. So whether it’s just me and mom on the podcast, Yeah, mum. Thanks for listening.

    God bless you, my friends. Please make sure you’re subscribed. If it’s helpful, If it raises questions, you can email me at, or you can contact me through the website, Or send me a DM on Instagram. @jdoylespeaks, but go check out the website. You can find out how to book me to speak on a whole bunch of topics.

    God bless you. My friends, my name’s Jonathan Doyle. Let’s go and accept the life that is waiting for us. And you and I are going to talk again tomorrow. 

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    Jonathan Doyle


    I’m on a mission to liberate the potential of the incredible people that make up your organisation, school, or business.

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