Giving positive advice to people who are open to hearing it, is one of the greatest acts of kindness you can do.
Be careful not to give advice when it is unwanted, even if you are well-meaning. A prerequisite for giving advice is to have the humility not to give advice unless you are certain it will have a positive outcome.
How you give advice is often a key factor in whether or not it will be appreciated. Giving positive advice takes great skill.
Sources: For a series of probing questions on this topic, see Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Self Knowledge,” pp.104-6
When you are confident that you can do something, that itself mobilizes more of your talents and skills.
Increase your appreciation for the Almighty’s power and how He can give you the Divine assistance to succeed. This is the ultimate way to increase your level of confidence.
See Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Self Knowledge,” pp.171
Worry is when you choose from millions of possible thoughts, only the few which deal with a potential misfortune or problem.
Once you accept your worrying as the act of choosing specific thoughts, you can consciously make an effort to avoid those thoughts that cause you needless pain and choose more constructive, positive thoughts.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, pp.157-8
What are some of the scripts that create patience?
“Things are going as fast as they are. I will do what I can to speed things up and I will accept the reality with serenity.”
“Each second of life is precious. And I won’t waste it by causing myself needless distress.”
“One never knows where it is best for one to be at any given moment. I will try to make the wisest choices. But I will realize that where I am could be the best thing for me.”
“I choose my emotional state and I am committed to living my life experiencing positive, resourceful states.”
“Opportunities for personal growth can be found wherever one is and in any given situation. Right now I will look at the present as a gift and an opportunity.”
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book “Patience.”
For those who have mastered serenity, fifteen seconds ago is ancient history. They realize that once something is over, it is over regardless of whether it has been over for many years or for a relatively short time. It is understandable that it can take different people varying amounts of time until they are able to let things go. But the goal should be to let go of what is over and done with. In truth it is gone whether or not you let it. It is just a question of the degree of emotional mastery that you will have. Regardless of where you are at this moment, you can always improve on your ability to let things go as soon as they are gone.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book, “Serenity,” p.51
When your property or possessions sustain some damage or loss, work on yourself to accept the Almighty’s judgment with love. Realize you were born without any belongings, and you will eventually leave the world without belongings. You need not identify with your possessions since they are not an integral part of you.
Sources: Raishis Chochmah – Sha’ar Ha’anava; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.252
When you focus on the outcome of your words, you will be careful not to insult others. Imagine the harm you are causing yourself by turning this person against you! Practically speaking, you never know when you will need this person’s help or friendship.
Of course, we should avoid hurting people with words because it’s the right thing to do. But at least we should do so out of enlightened self-interest!
Sources: see Vilna Gaon – Proverbs 11:12; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin – “Consulting the Wise”
Feel joy with what the Almighty has given you, and do not focus your thoughts on what He has not given you.
Imagine how you would feel if you gave someone a present (although you had no obligation to do so), and he immediately complained that you didn’t give him twice as much! You would certainly regret having given him anything.
Failure to appreciate what the Almighty gives you is behaving in a similar manner.
Today, write a list of things you feel you have overlooked appreciating in the past. Be resolved to start feeling grateful for those things.
Sources: see Dubner Maggid; Sefer Hamidos: shaar hasinah, ch.2; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.37
Since you are part of the planet, and also part of the entire universe, by your making yourself a more joyous and serene person, our planet and the entire universe is automatically a more joyous and serene place. By your reacting in an elevated manner, the world has become a better place. Let this thought empower you. This will broaden your feeling of self-importance and increase the value of what you say and do.
Sources: see Rav Zelig Pliskin’s “Anger: The Inner Teacher,” p.340
For a wise person, there is no greater joy than that of improving his character traits. When someone reaches this level, he can feel joy even when someone insults him – because he has worked himself free of all animosity and resentment.
Take pleasure every time you: – control yourself from getting angry – are patient with others – overcome your desires – react positively instead of with envy about someone else’s accomplishments.
Sources: see Chazon Ish – Emunah U’bitochon, 4:15; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.110