Create the habit of taking action right away. To make anything a habit, you keep doing something many times. The wise person doesn’t wait until a new habit becomes a habit. He acts the way he would act if he already had the habit. And then automatically his actions become a habit.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: “Taking Action” – page 38
If you presently find it difficult to believe that you can become an action-oriented person, you will benefit greatly from a teacher, mentor, friend, or coach who believes in you and your abilities. Having someone you respect believe in you is inspiring and motivating. You will gain a stronger and deeper belief in yourself.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: “Taking Action” – page 35
People who are lazy and habitually procrastinate lose out in all areas of their life. They ignore their health. They don’t take care of their financial obligations on time. They don’t study when they should study. They waste a lot of time. They tend to be late to things.
The antidote is to become a person who consistently takes action with joyful zrizus. You gain tremendously in all areas of your life when you make and reach goals, when you do what you say you will do, when you take care of things on time, and when others are counting on you. You gain spiritually and materially.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: “Taking Action” – pages 30-1
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
If you have to explain something to someone who needs many repetitions, imagine that you are Rabbi Praida, who repeated each idea 400 times to a slow student.
You personally might not yet have developed the level of patience of Rabbi Praida. But when you imagine that you are Rabbi Praida, you plug into his amazing ability to be patient.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book “Patience.”
Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein wrote:
“The way to educate youngsters is to elevate them by pointing out the greatness they can achieve by utilizing their potential.”
Sources: Ohr Yechezkel – Michtavim, p.219; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.133