Quoting: Re-Channel Your Enthusiasm

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


Quoting: Visualize Without Fear

Make it a regular practice to mentally visualize yourself behaving in a fearless manner in situations where you presently experience fear. Think of something that, if you would be able to do it, would make a big difference in your life and vividly imagine yourself doing it without fear.

Sources: For a series of probing questions on this topic, see Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Self Knowledge,” p.232

Quoting: Your Anger Causes You Harm

The Talmud states: “When a person becomes angry, he acquires only his anger.”

There are usually no benefits in becoming angry at others. Becoming angry merely causes harm to your health and makes you feel miserable. Your anger does not help you, and the person you are angry with usually pays less attention to what you are saying than if you’d have said it tactfully and patiently.

Sources: Kiddushin 41a; Toras Avraham, p.440; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.189

Quoting: Life as a Growth Seminar

When people go to workshops and seminars that will help them develop and grow, they are willing to try out all types of exercises and experiments. They consider it fun and enjoyable to do things that they have not done before and might even have experienced as distressful. But since it is being defined as part of the growth experience, they reframe it in a positive manner. In fact, the more difficult something is, the more you gain by trying it out. When you view your entire life as a growth seminar and all that happens as just exercises and experiments, each experience teaches you something. You learn something from each reaction. You learn how to prepare yourself for similar things that might occur in the future. The difficult becomes fun. Even what is not that enjoyable is viewed in a positive light for it enriches you and adds depth.

-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Happiness”,p.117

Quoting: Assess Your Growth in Marriage


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

Everyone wants a happy marriage. The best way to ensure a happy marriage is to master the ability to experience joy in your life with each moment of growth. And each moment is an opportunity to grow. There are many forms of growth in marriage. Growth can mean you are happy with your marriage and constantly grateful to G-d. Growth can mean that you have a partnership that is eternal for both of you. Growth can mean that you are increasing your appreciation for doing acts of kindness. Growth can mean that you are improving in your character traits. Growth can mean that you act in an elevated manner even though things are difficult. Growth can mean that you develop resources to turn around a difficult situation. Growth can mean that you transcend your natural tendencies in order to be compassionate and forgiving.

Growth can mean that you make sacrifices for the benefit of your spouse and children. Growth can mean that you sustain a loving and respecting manner – even though this may not be reciprocated. Growth can even mean that you have the courage to end an abusive situation. Growth always means that you act according to G-d’s will.

Growth always means that the Torah is your guide for which patterns of speech and action to increase… and which to eliminate from your repertoire.

-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book entitled “Marriage” – ArtScroll Publications, 1998, Chapter One, pp. 61-2

Quoting: Breathe in Life

Often what seems to be a depressing situation is due only to the lack of fresh air. Get out into the air and breathe deeply, or at least open the window and fill your lungs.

Your emotions become normalized when your body is invigorated by the influx of cool, moist and moving air. This often has immediate effects. Drink deeply of the Almighty’s bounty, and inhale a lungful of the champagne of life.

Sources: Sing, You Righteous, p.315; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.182

Quoting: Don’t Spread the Insult

Some people become so upset when they are insulted, that they repeat the incident to others who would otherwise not know about it! By giving the matter additional attention, you are causing yourself additional embarrassment!

Sources: Rabainu Yonah to Mishle 12:16; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.298

Interestingly enough, thanks to sharing, retweeting, and reblogging, insults get spread all the time, spreading outrage and indignation to epic proportions, even when the original event might have been relatively minor.

Quoting: Your Attitude Toward Insults

Some people mistakenly say, “He hurt my feelings,” or “He made me feel bad.” But in actuality, no one can hurt your feelings or make you feel bad — unless you allow their words to affect you. Your attitude toward an insult causes you pain, not the insult itself.

The emotional pain of an insult comes from what you add to it.

-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.294

These messages appear in a newsletter I receive daily from Aish.com, so I don’t choose the content. That said, the message above is exactly what I’ve been trying to communicate about people and their visceral reaction to the current political climate, and particularly the guy who is now sitting in the Oval Office. No one can “hurt your feelings” unless you let them. Yes, I know, we all let others take control of our emotions at times, including me, but it doesn’t mean we have to, and it never means we have to give our power over to others.