Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pool of Inspiration

We live in a deep, heavenly pool. We cannot see it -- still, we use it; enjoy it; draw life-giving, empowering, happy energy from it.

Which waters fill this pool? -- Wisdom; strength; wealth and health; success and joy; the Creator Himself.

Which buckets draw waters from this well? -- Our minds.

Which barrels do we fill with these waters? Ourselves -- the more we absorb these waters, the more we are wise and strong, happy and successful.

In general, help comes to us through other people. However, these people are not the real source of our help. They are only a pipeline. Therefore, we must look to the source, that we do not forfeit its gift -- that we do not lose its energy. We must know this pool, trust in its springs, and immerse ourselves deep, deep in these waters.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Adding Bricks

What goal may fill all our time -- occupy all our thoughts? It's the goal of becoming a great person -- a shining personality.

Every life happening requires a response -- in one way or another. A knock on the door asks us to answer the door. By answering the door, we choose to help the person knocking. By ignoring the knock, we push the intruder away. Even in quiet moments, we make choices -- do we read a magazine, do we go to sleep, do we pray.

Within the choice we make awaits the opportunity to be great. The choice we make is critical -- it decides the person we become.

In every situation, we have a choice -- one greater, one lesser. One choice adds a brick to the skyscraper we aim to become. The other bypasses the opportunity, leaving it to die.

A burning goal, a fiery desire -- one that fills all our time, that occupies all our thoughts -- helps us make a better choice.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010


If we could be fully obsessed with one great goal, then the thought

-- That our living conditions are not ideal, wouldn't bother us.

-- That others have more than we do, wouldn't upset us.

-- That our future was uncertain, wouldn't worry us.

If we could be fully obsessed with one great goal, our complaints and regrets would simply disappear. We would shrug off the petty inconveniences and discomforts that surround us.

We need to ask then, is there a goal to which we can give ourselves -- a goal that will fill our minds?

The Torah gives us a number of targets to aim for -- a variety of goals for a variety of people, each one at a different level. All are worthwhile -- something to which we can dedicate ourselves. All can fill our mind -- keep it busy, keep it buzzing. All can grow, expand, with unlimited horizons, endless prizes.

However, none of these goals will work until we make them our goals. None will help us before we give ourselves over to them. For our survival, for our happiness, for our success, we must take on great, glorious goals.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Heavenly Self

Hold you body still. Close your eyes. In your mind, float up -- beyond the ceiling, beyond the clouds, beyond the universe. Feel yourself leaving the heaviness of your body, of your world. Move from darkness into light. Feel your surroundings becoming brighter, clearer. Fly upwards into a greater joy, a wider love.

Now, as you advance, sense yourself approaching a space of power and energy. Experience the majesty, awe, wonder of this space. Feel the authority, beauty, glory of this center.

You penetrate partitions, and more partitions, and slowly come to a stop before a heavenly being. You look to the beauty of this face, the warmth of these eyes, and you recognize them. Whose appearance is this?

It's the one you see each time you look in a mirror. For, in the image of the Divine Creator each one of us is created (Breishis 1.27).

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Raise Yourself

Be a king or a queen. Be noble. Be gracious. Be kind and friendly. Have a generous word to say to someone -- especially someone who would like to hear a generous word. Have money to give someone -- especially someone who would like to receive money. Raise yourself beyond feelings of envy or resentment.

We often ask, "Why is the success I so want, not mine? Why am I not attracting the people I want to myself? Why do I not draw the money and promotion I want into my life?"

The reason we don't draw all we want to ourselves, is because we aren't yet the people we would like to be -- we aren't yet the people we know we can be. First, we need to be what we can be. Then, we'll enjoy the privileges and pleasures we want.

Therefore, be a king or a queen. Be noble. Be gracious. Be kind and friendly. Have a generous word to say to someone who would like to hear a generous word. Have money to give someone who would like to receive some money. Raise yourself beyond feelings of envy or resentment.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010


We want change in our life. We want improvements. We know it can be different, it can be better. What can we do about this?

Real change starts within us -- and our within is what we think. Moreover, our within is our real world. Therefore, we must invest in thought.

Many times, before doing a mitzva, we need to make a blessing. One reason for such a blessing is to attach our thoughts to our deeds -- to direct our action in a more real and important way. Likewise, in all spheres of life, we should attach our thoughts to our deeds. We should make our thoughts our kings, and our deeds our servants.

We want to change our lives. We can change our lives. How? With powerful, directed thought.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Steering Wheel, Accelerator

We need to remember -- as much as we can -- that heavenly help is available to us. This enhances our ability to use it. How should we look at this heavenly help? Where may we find it?

Heavenly help is the vehicle the Creator places at our disposal. It's the Creator's gift to us, His blessing. However, we need to drive it, to ride it. We need to control its main instruments -- the steering wheel and accelerator -- our desire and ambition.

Then, this marvelous vehicle has other instruments we need to use. One is gratitude -- thankfulness, appreciation for the Creator's gift of life. Another is joy -- as a team of horses senses the moods of its driver, so heavenly help senses our moods. The more alive we are with the joy of being alive, the more alive it is in carrying us quickly to our destinations.

Finally, we need to trust in this help. We must let go and let the help, help -- give ourselves over, surrender ourselves -- and let heavenly help carry us to our every dream.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010


As you sit at home, don't just sit within the four walls of your room -- sit instead amongst beautiful fields, surround yourself with sunlit forests, deep lakes, tall mountains, fruits and flowers.

As you move from place to place, don't allow yourself to be ordinary. Feel instead, that you are dressed in exquisite clothes, rich jewels -- red carpets roll out before you, orchestras play, and the crowds applaud your steps and cover you with flowers.

As you sit to read or study, don't sit alone. Feel yourself surrounded by hundreds of students, eager to hear your explanations, enjoy your insights, laugh at your jokes. Teach them and elevate them to new planes of existence.

In all that you do, feel the heavens invigorating you, helping you, blessing your activities -- until they are heaven's own.

Be a great person. Be a great person now. Smile. Be happy. Succeed.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010


Mostly, each of us has a body that we are free to use. We want to move our heads -- we do so. We want to wiggle our toes -- we do so. We want to stand, walk, run -- we do so. What makes this all possible? -- The blood that runs through our veins.

Likewise, an energy-agent provides us with all the accomplishments, the pleasures we reach, we achieve -- an energy-agent gives us all that we have. What is this agent? It is heavenly help -- in Aramaic, siyata d'shemaya.

We need to know though, that as some people train their bodies to higher levels of ability, so we may use this heavenly help with greater or lesser skill.

A dancer teaches his body to move into difficult positions with ease and grace. A musician coaches her ear to hear a false note. A scientist prepares his mind to explore, methodically, possibilities and combinations of possibilities. Similarly, we must learn to use the heavenly help we receive with precision and polish to arrive at every type of success.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Your "now" is you. Your "now" is your life. The big question is can you enjoy it?

In other words, in addition to cleaning, repairing and building, in addition to sitting in dentist chairs and grinning, you need to be happy, now. This need not take away from your being a lawyer, a house mom, a financial analyst, a storeowner. You can go on building shopping malls, writing books, earning degrees, eating pizza. But you must also love your "now". For, the Creator has given you a gift -- the most Powerful, Wealthy, Intelligent force of all has handpicked a prize for you. To look down on it, reject it, is a terrible mistake -- one of the worst you can make.

On the other hand, to embrace your "now", love it, praise and thank the Creator for it, is the best investment you will ever make. It pays a thousand percent return. It brings you close to the Emperor of All and sits you on a glistening throne. It allows you to be the most powerful, popular, wealthy, intelligent person who ever lived.

So say thank you, smile and be happy, now!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thank-you, thank-you

Try this mantra during your day, "Thank-you, thank-you, please, please".

As you say thank you, think of all the wonderful elements of your life for which you are grateful. As your say please, think of all you still would like. The Creator is as close to us as we are to Him (Tehillim 145.18).

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Monday, February 22, 2010


The best motorcar is one that produces the most power, while burning the least fuel. It's the same for us...

We eat and drink for energy. However, the food itself is not energy. Our digestive system needs to convert our food into power. Ideally, we should burn all the food we consume -- producing maximum energy and minimal waste. In this way, our bodies glow with health, fitness and beauty. However, when our system doesn't work as it could -- we eat a lot, put on weight, spend much time in the bathroom, and have little strength. This leaves us weak and flabby. We need therefore, to doctor our bodies that they may serve us properly.

This idea applies not only to eating, but to every aspect of living.

We take much from our world -- goods and services, homes and holidays. Also, we enjoy many life experiences -- at work, at study, even at play.

The question is then: How much of what we take do we convert into something useful, inspiring, and how much do we waste? How much of what we consume enriches our world, and how much simply dies?

Therefore, we need to adapt, to improvise. We need to think originally. We must want to help others. We must want to create what is more beautiful, more pleasurable. We must make ourselves a "digestive system" that will help us become people who are not only healthy, fit and beautiful -- but also, great.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010


Your favorite lamp broke? You drove your car into a lamppost? The heating system stopped working? Your boss chewed you out? Call it a kapara -- an atonement for one of your wrongs, a carelessness you showed towards the Creator -- and have a great day.

Have a great day. Have a great day. Have a great day. Have a great day.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Don't Compete

Don't compete - others are you, your team. In the larger sense, everything around you is you, the larger you. Those who are more than you are; those who are less; even those who, superficially, stand at your life-station -- all are a part of the greater you.

See their genius, anything they produce, any way they enhance the world, as something you started -- a wish you expressed, a hope you nurtured -- that this world should be a better place.

Likewise, see their act of spoiling, destroying, as being something you began. Some laziness, some sadness soured your face, robbed you of the gleam in your eye and the brightness of your smile, and this brought the pollution, the devastation around you.

The whole creation is in your hands. Take it. Make it into something beautiful, something you and others will enjoy. Be a happy and positive, singing and dancing world.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It Depends on Us

It depends on us -- us and only us. We are the ones who can change anything, who can improve the world around us. We may need the Creator's help to accomplish anything, but His help is here. We must simply ask for it.

It depends on us. We have to make it happen. The Creator will help us, but we must make the first move, we must take the first step. It cannot be another way. We have to look for it to happen. We have to ask for it to happen. Then it can happen.

We need to move first. We must make one move, then another, then another. This is sometimes the hardest part -- the resistance that faces us before we take that move. But if we'll ignore our reluctance, if we'll take the initiative, the resistance will fade from before us.

We can make it happen -- now. All we need is to do it -- now!

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Monday, February 15, 2010


We need to be careful not to attach our thoughts to material objects. Our fascination with them prevents us from soaring to higher planes of consciousness, in this world, and the next (heard from Rav Amatzya Yakovzon, shlita).

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Good Story

The body of every good story is the courage and determination that the hero displays in the face of difficulty and challenge. This then should be the focus of our lives, to meet our life situation with greatness.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010


Whatever has happened until now doesn't really matter. Whatever will yet happen in the future also doesn't matter. Only one thing counts: what we say, do and think now.

Our yesterday is a background against which we conduct ourselves today. This background consists of successes and failures, excitements and disappointments. All this the Creator creates as our springboard -- a springboard to launch us towards happiness and success. Specifically, the past we lived through and experienced, is what allows our accomplishment and achievement to be the greater. Thus, there's no reason to worry over it.

The future is also something that shouldn't trouble us. What we do now decides what we deserve to receive -- and what we deserve to receive, we will receive. Good, powerful acts lead to good, powerful results. Poor, weak acts lead to poor, weak results. We simply need to DO the best we can right now, BE the best we can right now -- and KNOW that this will lead to our ultimate satisfaction.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Here is advice worth repeating to ourselves:

One: be happy, excited, enthusiastic about all you do. Do it with a smile, a giggle, a laugh. Do it as a super-fun, new, interesting activity. Be captivated, fascinated. Let your eyes glitter. Rub your hands. Laugh again, just for fun. This is it -- a long-awaited treat, a slot machine pouring out glittering gold, a supersonic ride on a cloud, stars shining bright on white snow, a slide down a rainbow. This attitude has to affect others, and it has to affect you -- for your success, for your joy.

Two: be especially happy, excited, enthusiastic when you do a holy duty. When you stand up to pray, to praise, thank, plead with the Creator; when you help another, giving your time and money to enrich someone else; when you sit in a class, in front of a Torah text to learn, absorb, internalize the Creator's word, do it with a smile, a giggle, a laugh. Do it as though it was super-fun, new, interesting. Be captivated, fascinated. Let your eyes glitter. Rub your hands. Laugh again. This is it -- a long awaited treat, a slot machine pouring out heavenly gold, a supersonic ride through the solar system, sun shining bright on white wool, a shower of heaven's blessings. This attitude has to affect others, and it has to affect you -- for your future, and for your present.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Love Life

How ready are you to give away a year of your life, or even month? How about a week, a day? How about 10 minutes?

Unless we know of some magnificent, vital cause, we won't give away even five seconds of the life the Creator gives us. Isn't it a puzzle then, how we allow days, weeks, months and even years to slip by, while we continue simply to exist -- to survive as unfulfilled, empty beings?

Passive, tired, unenthusiastic living is a form of death. How much of our precious time do we lose to such an approach, to such an attitude? We need, instead, to gallop through our days like horses of fire. Our hearts need to burn with passion -- a passion for life. To think actively -- to speak with purpose -- to move positively towards shining goals -- this is life.

To love life is to love the Creator. To love life is to live as the Creator wishes us to live. To love life -- every second of it -- is to fulfill ourselves -- and to win.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

As a Director

We can live our lives as a director directs his movie -- looking to enhance each scene with more emotion, feeling, turning every moment into something special, such that the audience walks away with new inspiration.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010


With each slap of wet sand, the child's sandcastle grows greater, swells grander. Its walls become thicker. Its towers become taller. Now, if that child will keep at his work -- not losing concentration, not pausing in his labors -- how awesome that castle will be.

We too build a castle with our daily activities. Every action we do, every word we speak, every thought we think, is another slap of wet sand against its walls. Positive activities make our towers larger and taller. Negative activities make them smaller.

What is our castle? It is the person we become. It is our stature, our power, our wisdom. It is our confidence and serenity, our enthusiasm, our passion -- the joy of life that shines from us. The greater our castle, the more pleasure we have from ourselves, and from others.

We need to know our castle. We need to focus on it. For, the more we focus on it, the better it comes out. We look at our project, and we become excited about it. And in our excitement, in our eagerness, we build it faster and more beautiful than ever before.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010


When we make a party -- for a special occasion or no reason at all -- we want it to be fun; we want the food to be tasty; the setting to be attractive, our guests to enjoy themselves.

This only happens, though, with preparation and hard work. We need to buy food, peel, slice and roast it. We need to set out dishes and serve them. We need to sweep and scrub. We need to rearrange tables and chairs. We need to fill balloons. We need to think and plan that our guests should have a wonderful time.

Then there's something else -- something that seemingly needs little preparation. Just as we want our guests to enjoy the party, so we want them to enjoy us. For this, we need a sunny smile, lively eyes, sympathetic ears, and a real desire to make them happy. Isn't this part simple? Yes and no -- think about it. Here are some questions that can help:

One: Do we want to be such a person only when we're at that party, or all year round?

Two: If we're not such a person all year around, do we think we'll fool others for those few hours of our party?

Three: If it does pay to be such a person continually, doesn't this need some study, understanding and training? Doesn't it take some effort?

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Do What You Like

Here is an awesome key to success: Do what you are best at doing, and leave the rest to the Creator.

For example, imagine that you are a good cook. Even though you live in a world that doesn't want cooks -- in a world where food is mass-produced -- in a world that's full of good cooks -- ignore all this. Don't look for a different occupation -- especially when it's something you don't like doing -- especially when it's something you are not good at doing. Just cook. Find someone, somewhere, who will give you something for your labors. Then work to the best of your ability. And what of the future? Don't worry. Leave it to the Creator.

This doesn't mean that you don't have to work hard. In addition to doing what you are best at doing, you need to do your best. Also, doing what you enjoy doesn't mean that all will be easy and smooth. You will face tests -- you will confront difficulties. But you'll be the richer for one vital reason -- you'll be doing what you are most happy doing. As for the rest -- with a little thought and a little faith -- you will see that the Creator does it for you.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Small is Better

Sometimes to be small is better than to be large, to be weak rather than strong, to be poor rather than rich. For, when we are small, weak and poor, we understand more easily, what it is to turn to the Creator and request His help.*

*Based on Rav Moshe Shapiro's explanation of the thanks we add to our prayer over Chanuka

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

With Joy

See a bright future -- a sparkling tomorrow, a sunny next week, next year. Be happy about your future. Be happy about your present. Be happy.

Let life be a wedding -- be the bride and the groom. Feel giddy with gladness, with happiness. Today is the best day of your life.

Invest in brightness, contentment. Invest in the world's song. Give yourself to it. Give your thoughts and time to it. Enjoy being alive. Enjoy your now.

Be happily busy. Fix what you need to fix, go where you need to go, speak to whom you need to speak, with joy. It's awesome, wonderful, marvelous to be alive.

Say it again, with sincerity, with heart: it's awesome, wonderful, marvelous to be alive.

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Friday, January 29, 2010


A manufacturer takes pride in his product's ability to stand up to all types of adverse conditions without breaking down. We should likewise rejoice at the idea of being able to stand up to all types of problems and setbacks, keeping a smile on our face and in our hearts, and not breaking down.*

*The Talmud teaches that ideally we should "rejoice in sufferings" - Shabbos 88b

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

First Class

Look at two people at an international airport: one with a large set of matching luggage -- trunks, suitcases, satchels, hatboxes, etc., the other with no more than a small bag. Certainly, the first seems to be wealthier, luckier, happier. But appearances are deceiving. For, the second person, the person with no more than a bag, may be traveling from one luxury house to another -- a palace where he need not take even a toothbrush. Both his homes contain full sets of clothing and every other item, large or small, that he might possibly need.

How can we know if this is so? Let's see how he travels. If he sits in first-class, then our assumption must be true.

Similarly, there are people who need much luggage to travel through life. Otherwise, they feel they are lacking, unfortunate, unhappy. Then there are the people who live with little. Are these the richer or the poorer? It depends on how they travel. If they travel first-class -- if there lives are full, satisfying, happy -- if they keep smiling no matter what happens -- then we must say that they are wealthy. We must say that they are the richer of the two.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Something Special

Do you have something special to smell -- a rose, clean laundry, tasty food, fresh air? Breathe it in. Enjoy it. Say "What a great moment. What a wonderful life."

Look around you. Notice the colors of your surroundings. Notice the shapes. Notice the movement -- the branch that sways in the wind, the bird that hops on the windowsill, the rain that sprinkles the grass. Drink in the beauty. Enjoy it. Say "What a stunning world. What an awesome life."

Listen to the noises of the moment -- rumbling thunder, rumbling traffic, soft chatter, music. Feel the fabrics within your reach -- cool metal, soft wool, shiny plastic, rough rug. Soak in your surroundings. Enjoy being alive. Say "What special gifts the Creator gives me."

Make an effort to be happy each day, each hour. Make an effort to be happy, now.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010


We need to hide our passion.

Without passion, we do not accomplish much. We may go through the motions of building, doing -- but the results are shabby, sloppy. To act with passion, however, is to act with "all your heart, all your life, and all your resources" (Devarim 6.4). Only magnificent efforts lead to magnificent results.

On the other hand, when we act with open passion, we upset others. We arouse their jealousy, their resentment. We cause them to jeer us, condemn us, even throw us into jail. This, in turn, discourages us, and dampens our eagerness.

Therefore, we must hide the passion.

"But," you may ask, "If I hide my passion, how will I inspire others to great deeds?"

The wonderful thing about passion is that even when hidden, it still glows - it still shines through. Its glimmer is strong enough to attract just those people we need to influence and encourage.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Nothing Other

Even if we have nothing other than the Creator helping us through our lives, we have a fortune. For, as He has helped us from birth to this day, so we can well hope He will help us through to the end as well.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Favorite Friend

If a favorite friend gave you a gift -- a gift that cost him thought and time, effort and money -- you would be grateful. Even if you did not understand this gift, even if it did not suit your tastes, still you would thank him. You wouldn't want to injure his feelings.

We must do no less then with the gift of life -- the gift the Creator extends to us. We may not understand this gift -- it may not suit our tastes -- still, we say thank you. We don't want to injure the Creator's "feelings".

Moreover -- we must know -- that if the Creator himself -- the billionaire of all billionaires, the Creator of all creators, the Genius of all geniuses, the Kindness of all kindness, the Love of all love -- gives us this gift, it must contain great value. There must be a prize beyond what we realize -- a worth beyond what we know buried in this gift. We need to unlock its secret -- its excitement and greatness -- and find the treasure of life.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Enjoy Others

Look at the children playing in the garden. Doesn't this give you pleasure? Surely, you can delight in their beauty, their simplicity? Surely, you can enjoy their laughter, their fun?

Look at old people, resting in their places. See worn hands resting on shining walking sticks. See lived-in faces with deep, warm eyes staring into the distance, gazing into an uncertain future. Surely, you could hug such a person?

So far, the exercise has been easy. Now, let's take it one more step.

Start looking at all people in a new way, in a happy way. Some of them dress well, others are a little shabby; some are handsome, others are quite plain; some are easy to talk to, others are distant. Still, we can enjoy them all. We can take pleasure in their presence. We can see them as our friends, and wish them happiness and success.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Food and Clothing

Do you have a food to eat? Yes? So, be happy. Do you have clothes to wear? Yes? So, be happy. Can you breathe? Yes? So, be happy. Are you alive? Yes? So, be happy.

That's it. We really need no more. If we can focus on what we have -- no matter how little it is -- we can stop complaining, and just be happy.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

According to his Praises

"A person is who his praises" (Mishle 27.21). What we admire, speak about and praise defines our inner self. When we praise the rich and mighty, we understand that these are our true aspirations. When we praise those who do good and help others, this reveals our true self (Shaarei Teshuva 3.148). Accordingly, we remake ourselves when we change who we praise -- who we take an interest in, think about and admire.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shining Sun

My lover, my sweetheart, has a gift for me. He has hidden it just around the corner. He is waiting for something -- a smile maybe, or a laugh, for me to clap my hands in joy, in anticipation. Then he will produce his gift.

The Creator is our lover, our sweetheart. He wants us to enjoy the life He gives us -- as it is. Moreover, He has a special gift. He has hidden it just around the corner. He is waiting for something -- a smile maybe, or a laugh, for us to clap our hands in joy, in anticipation. Then He will produce His gift.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010


How easily can we switch from one world to another? How smoothly can we exchange our noisy, busy environment, for a world of tranquil thoughts, a setting of serenity and light, calm and peace?

Often, we are guilty of spoiling even our quietest moments. We turn our attentions to the news or sports events, to music, eating, running around, shopping, traveling. Even the moments we give to prayer, we interrupt with noisy images and ideas. Thus, we turn away from the world of the spirit.

We need to look however, to do the opposite. We need to interrupt our hectic schedules, our mad activity, and give a moment to the heavens. We need to pause in the middle of the noise, and reconnect to the Creator -- to the power of the world, to eternity. In this way, we draw success into our days.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Happiest Thought

What is the happiest thought in the world? It's "the Creator".

The first tendency -- for most of us -- is to say "ice-cream". For, as children, this truly was a very happy thought. And since, mostly, we don't mature as we should mature -- and we don't think as we should think -- we remain with our childish perceptions.

Even if we don't think "ice-cream", how far have we advanced? In other words, if our happiest thought is a wedding, a sports car, good looks and dollars, this is still small. These items, while they provide us some pleasure, some exhilaration, do not really make us happy -- not in a meaningful way, not in a lasting way.

So the real answer is the Creator. For, only the Creator is forever, and only the Creator is safe. He gives us life; daily opportunities to grow and be great. He watches us, and ultimately gathers us to Himself. He is our beginning, middle and end. He is everything we have and anything we ever will have.

Moreover, the more we look to the Creator -- with trust, with hope -- the easier we may access the happiness He has to give us.

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Monday, January 11, 2010


Try out this thought: In reality, we do nothing, absolutely nothing. The Creator does it all for us, (making it simply appear that we have a hand in the process). However, we can want to do, long to do, strive and pray to do, and the more we want it, the stronger our desire, our trust, belief and clarity of thought, the sooner we reach our every dream.*

*"Along the path a person wishes to go, heavenly forces lead him", Makkos 10b, even without him doing anything!

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Special Key

Happy events make us happy. Isn't this a simple idea? -- No, not at all.

Happy events make for happy thoughts, and happy thoughts make us happy. We anticipate something special, something glorious, something exciting and funny, and we are happy. Conversely, we do not think thoughts that are sad, bad, scary, and we are not unhappy.

Accordingly, we shouldn't need happy events to make us happy. We should just need happy thoughts. To rely on happy events is a weakness.

Still, to be happy without outside help is something most of us don't know how to do. Unhappy events do sadden us. We must know, though, that we can change ourselves, we can work on ourselves. And in working on ourselves and improving our ability to think happy thoughts, we will find a special key to happiness.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Today's Gift

Each day, The Creator sends us another gift -- a different gift to the one He sent us yesterday. If we missed yesterday's gift, we may still enjoy today's gift -- but what was yesterday is gone. Each day is special.

More important, however, is how we unwrap this gift, how we access this gift, how we make it ours fully. For this, we need to know the combination, the hidden code that unlocks our gift.

What is this code? I don't know. Worse -- as with the best security firms -- this code changes daily. Yesterday's combination won't work today.

What then should we do? We must think. We must think, long and deep. We must penetrate our own hearts. Only within ourselves may we find the magical key.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

High Expectations

"If you see a generation that loves Torah knowledge, go teach them. If you don't see such a generation, stay at home."[1] One idea from this teaching is that much depends on how we see our world.

To a large degree, people respond to us as we expect them to respond. Our excitement or lack of excitement, our happiness or lack of happiness, affects them.

At the same time -- and the other way round -- how we expect them to act or react affects us. Our anticipation or apprehension affects our excitement, our happiness, and therefore, the way we speak to them.

In other words, our attitude influences their reaction, while their reaction -- or how we think they will react -- decides our attitude.

Which comes first? -- Obviously, our expectations. All depends on how we "see" our world. So, we should try always to see happiness and success approaching us.

Now, to set our expectations too high is no good. Our skeptical side doesn't accept ridiculous hope and won't work with it. But, if we are too "realistic", this is twice as bad. It leads to folded arms, despair, and gloom. We must expect the best we plausibly can expect – and then go out and achieve it.

[1] Brochos 63a

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Right Thoughts

Thinking the right thoughts can comfort our bodies in their pain. But when our thoughts are upset, our bodies cannot comfort them (Rabbeinu Yona, Mishle 3.7). Therefore, we must strive to straighten our thoughts.

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