A master at accessing and creating joyous states will find it easier to master patience. While others stew and fret over delays and the need to wait, the joyous person will use the Creator’s gift of a brain to experience positive thoughts and feelings.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book “Patience.”
Develop the habit of repeating, “This, too, will increase my patience.”
How often will you say this? The more impatient you are when you start this process, the more frequently you will find this beneficial. The problem itself will be the source of the solution.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book “Patience,”
In order to have peace of mind, prepare yourself in advance to accept with serenity whatever occurs. People who expect everything to go the way they want are caught off balance by difficult life situations. Have an awareness that difficulties constantly arise. Being prepared in advance to accept what happens makes it much easier to cope with the vicissitudes of life.
When you feel anxiety about a future event, imagine the worst and accept it. This has a very calming effect. For example, if you are afraid you will miss a bus and feel anxiety, imagine you have already missed it and accept the consequences. If you are afraid you will be fired from your job, imagine you have already been fired and accept it.
Then “reality” can only get better!
Sources: see Ohr Yechezkail: michtavim, p.286; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.75
Every hour on the hour, create an inner mental cheer for being alive. Hear an inner enthusiastic voice shouting, “It’s great to be alive!” Imagine a stadium crowd cheering for your being alive.
When you control your anger or other character trait you’re working on, see and hear the same immense crowd cheering for you!
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Anger: The Inner Teacher,” p.342
Everything that you have ever done in the past, you did in a present moment. Everything that you will ever do in the future, you will only be able to do in a present moment.
All your thoughts are thought in a present moment. All your feelings are felt in a present moment. And everything you actually say or do is said or done in a present moment.
Since you live your whole life in the present, moment by moment, it is wise to consider the wise thing to say and do in the present moment, in the here and now of that moment. It is also wise to prepare the wise thing to say or do in the future.
Someone who tends not to have zrizus (alacrity) might be thinking about how challenging it is to have zrizus. It’s actually not difficult to have zrizus. Rather, it might appear difficult when you are not in a zrizus state, or when you are thinking about having future zrizus that you don’t now have. But all moments of zrizus are just present moments, and when you are in that present moment of zrizus, it isn’t difficult. Someone with a tendency to do things with zrizus will tend to look at zrizus as something he only needs to have one moment at a time.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin”s book: “Taking Action” – pages 26-7
When you have meaningful goals, you create a meaningful life. Being goal-oriented gives you a direction. Goals create a focus for your efforts. Setting goals that you want to reach makes it easier to have the quality of zrizus. When a goal is very important to you, you are driven to do what you need to do to achieve that goal.
When you have clear goals, you can accomplish more than someone without clear goals. The most accomplished people in the world are experts at setting and reaching goals. Learn from them. All great people are great because they have made meaningful goals and took action to reach those goals. All joyful great people are among the happiest people in the world because they enjoy all that they are doing to achieve their meaningful goals.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin”s book: “Taking Action” – page 20
Your thoughts are the source of your willpower. The actions you take flow from your thoughts about them. Every step you take is through the use of your willpower. Every time you do anything, it is through the use of your willpower.
A person who uses his willpower to engage in meaningful goals will feel a great sense of victory and joy. This might be difficult initially, but in the long run a person who uses willpower wisely will live a life full of joyful accomplishments.
You have the ability to choose to be joyful when you use your willpower in positive, meaningful ways. There is tremendous power in mastering “joyful willpower,” to joyfully do what is in your best interests to do.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin”s book: “Taking Action” – pages 16-17
An ill person can needlessly worsen his situation in one of two ways. He can mistakenly consider himself not to be ill, and fail to seek the doctors and the medicine he needs. The second is the opposite. His sickness might be severe, but he exacerbates his situation by considering himself even more sick than he really is and this leads to his giving up hope of ever being cured. He himself increases the damage of his sickness by his discouragement.
This is very important for a sick person to keep in mind. But it is also appropriate in the area of spiritual welfare. A person not aware of his faults and failings will not work on self-improvement. But if he over exaggerates the extent of his negative qualities and behavior, he will become discouraged and his discouragement will prevent him from improving.
Sources: Chosen Yehoshua 1:8; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.378
When you are working at your job, focus on how you are helping other people and fulfilling the commandment of “love your neighbor.”
Moreover, your job is an opportunity to work on being honest and trustworthy in every transaction.
Sources: see Rabbi Yisroel Salanter in Michtav M’Eliyahu; Chochmah Umussar; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.104
Develop even more enthusiasm for doing good deeds and spiritual growth – than you have for financial gain and physical pleasures.
For a series of probing questions on this topic, see Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Self Knowledge,” p.220