Quoting: Don’t Buy Approval

The Chafetz Chaim wrote that a major reason some people live beyond their means is to gain approval. They feel the need to spend large amounts of money on things that will gain them status, even though they are unable to afford them.

This is the opposite of a Torah way of life.

-Sources: Kuntros Nefutzos Yisroel, ch.6; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.271

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Quoting: Mentally Preparing for Challenges

The more mentally prepared you are for challenges to your being in a serene state, the greater your ability to maintain this state. The goal to strive for is to be able to remain in a serene state even when other people say and do things that could potentially cause distress. Mentally practice remaining serene regardless of what anyone says. Knowing that you can do this in your imagination will free you from worrying about what anyone may say in the future.

-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book, Serenity, p.78

Quoting: The Greatest Day of Your Life

What would help you view today as the greatest day of your life? If today you have a greater awareness of your immense intrinsic value than ever before, then today is the greatest day of your life. If today you decide to upgrade your character beyond ways that you have done before, then today is the greatest day of your life. If today you make goals and plans that go beyond previous goals and plans, then today is the greatest day of your life.

If today you have a greater spiritual awareness and feel more connected with the Creator than ever before, then today is the greatest day of your life.

-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book Happiness,p.105

Quoting: Take a Relaxing Break

Regardless of your physical condition, your present state is determined by your thoughts. Your emotional reality depends upon the focus of your mind.

Today, think of five places, either places you have already visited or would like to, that you can go to for mental vacations. Mentally go to a place where you will automatically experience the state you wish to be in.

Remember: Since we are dealing with your mind, no place is too far away. And the transportation costs are always free.

Sources: see Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz – Daas Chochmah Umussar, vol. 2, pp.6-7

Quoting: Feel Joy at Overcoming Obstacles

military training

Military training

A powerful general will prefer difficult military assignments because he wants to show his strength and abilities when he is victorious.

Similarly, if you feel strong love for another person, you will experience joy when you find opportunities to express the full extent of love for that person.

So, too, when you have a strong love for the Almighty, the greater the obstacles in your path when trying to serve Him, the more joy you will experience – because this is an opportunity to show the strength of your commitment.

The next time you face an obstacle, focus on the fact that this enables you to feel greater love for the Almighty. Feel a sense of joy and empowerment that you can express your love by overcoming obstacles.

Sources: see Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto – Path of the Just, ch.19

Quoting: Powering Up with Enthusiasm

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Rabbi Zelig Pliskin – Found at the website promoting the book “The Light From Zion.”

Rabbi Simcha Zissel of Kelm (19th century Europe) wrote: “There is no comparison between doing something with enthusiasm and joy and doing it without enthusiasm and joy. If we would do everything with enthusiasm, there is no limit to the elevated levels we would reach. Enthusiasm generates power. A person with enthusiasm is able to overcome laziness and pursue wisdom and higher spiritual levels.”

Live today with enthusiasm. “But,” you might say, “there are many things I have to do that I’m not interested in doing.” But wouldn’t you do it with enthusiasm if you were being paid a large amount of money to do it?!

Knowing that you have the ability to generate enthusiasm will transform the entire quality of your life. Hear the inner sounds of enthusiasm. Feel the feelings of enthusiasm permeating your entire being.

Today, pick a task you’ve been procrastinating – and generate enthusiasm to accomplish it!

See Chochmah Umussar, vol.2, p.172; cited in Gateway to Happiness, p.25

Quoting: Talking to the Little Child Within

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Rabbi Zelig Pliskin – Found at the website promoting the book “The Light From Zion.”

We all have many positive messages stored in our mind since childhood. Counterproductive and limiting messages are stored, too. We may have outgrown many of them. but often, not all of them. Now, in the present, we have the ability to talk to the “little child” within, as it were. You can immerse your childhood self with positive and life-enhancing messages.

Some people find that giving encouraging and empowering messages to their “inner child” helps them do more than just develop new attitudes and mindsets.

What is the main message that is so important for every child to have? It is the awareness that he is a valuable human being. He is lovable; other people will like him and want to be friends with him. He has positive qualities now and he will be able to continue developing these and other positive qualities throughout his life. He is competent and able to do many things, and he will be able to keep learning new things throughout his life.

People who already have these positive attitudes, beliefs, and mind-sets are fortunate. Those who don’t yet have them need to make it a high priority to keep developing them. By talking to your “inner child” directly, you can make it easier for your mind to integrate these basic and fundamental attitudes towards yourself and your life.

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Quoting: Love Criticism

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Rabbi Zelig Pliskin – Found at the website promoting the book “The Light From Zion.”

Work on developing a love for accepting criticism. When you have a sincere desire to grow and develop, you will appreciate the opportunities that arise for further growth and development.

Criticism expressed with profound love and concern is easier to handle than criticism expressed with anger or condescension. But if what is said to you is beneficial for you, accept it regardless of how it is said.

-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Self Knowledge, pp.184-6

This one’s particularly difficult, because while some people criticize you in a sincere effort to help you improve, others do so as a method of tearing you down. That said, even the latter can sometimes be useful, but only if you can accept the criticism without blame or shame.