A person is lazy because he wants serenity and quiet. Comfort-seeking is the root of laziness. But realize that although the lazy way might at first appear to give comfort, in the long run, a person who is lazy will lose greatness. Why? His life will be one of mediocrity!
Today, think about what have you been pushing off because of laziness. Then commit to begin one action to counteract this tendency.
Sources: see Vilna Gaon – Proverbs 15:19; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s – “Consulting the Wise”
A person who has a love for money will constantly look for ways to obtain more money. So, too, when you develop a love for doing acts of kindness, you will look for every possible opportunity to do so. Even though someone else might be able to do the kindness instead, you will feel a strong desire to do it yourself. Rather than looking for ways to free yourself from doing acts of kindness, you realize that you personally gain from helping others.
Today, try doing a kindness for someone even when they do not ask for your help. Be motivated because of an inner drive.
Sources: see Rabbi Yechezkail Levenstein – Ohr Yechezkail, Midos, pp.105, 174-5; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Consulting the Wise”
Even when you are on the receiving end of someone else’s kindness, you can do something to increase kindness in the world. How? Express gratitude for the kindness in a way that this person will build up a greater appreciation for doing even more acts of kindness for others!
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book “Kindness.”
Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin used to say:
“The worst fault a person can have is to forget his intrinsic greatness as a human being.”
Sources: Dor Daiah, vol. 1, p.172; Rabbi Zelig “Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness,” p.131
There are minor acts of kindness and major acts of kindness. Every kind deed and word is precious and valuable. Every kind deed and word is eternal.
And when your actions and words have a positive lifetime effect on someone, you have created something magnificent — whether or not the extent of its greatness is recognized by any other mortal.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book “Kindness”
The less gratitude you receive for doing a kind act, the greater the value of the act. True kindness is when we do not receive anything in return for what we do.
Instead of feeling resentment towards the person who is ungrateful, take pleasure in doing a more elevated good deed. Focus on how your kindness towards that person is more altruistic.
Don’t tell yourself, “How awful it is that I’m doing all this kindness and this person is not doing me favors in return.” Rather, tell yourself, “This is a great opportunity to do a true act of kindness!”
Sources: see Genesis 47:29 with Rashi; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.106
The type of humility the Torah advocates comes only after one realizes how elevated he really is. Then there is value to humility. A lack of this awareness is not a virtue, but a major fault.
Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman was asked if his teacher the Chafetz Chaim, who was an extremely humble person, was aware of his own greatness.
“Yes,” Rabbi Elchonon replied. “Although the Chafetz Chaim was imbued with great humility, nevertheless he frequently acknowledged personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of his entire generation.”
Sources: Chovos Halvovos 6:2; Ohr Elchonon, vol.1, p.64; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.124
A person is obligated to say:
“The world was created for me” (Talmud – Sanhedrin 37a), and
“When will my deeds reach the level of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?”
The Torah attitude is that we are obligated to be aware of our greatness. Feel proud that you are created in the image of the Almighty. Pride in the elevation of your soul is not only proper, but is actually an obligation to recognize your virtues and to live with this awareness.
-Sources: Toras Avraham, p.49; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.119
A master of happiness will appreciate what he or she has while they have them and the moment any specific thing is gone or lost, the focus will be on other things to appreciate and be grateful for. At times, this could be gratitude for the memories that remain. Material and physical objects are temporary, memories are forever.
-Rabbi Zelig Pliskin (1999). “Happiness: Formulas, Stories, and Insights”, p.229, Mesorah Publications
We were put into this world to accomplish. Each of us has a unique mission. There are many different forms of personal achievement, just as there are different people on our planet.
Make it a regular habit to imagine yourself accomplishing what you wish to accomplish. This will motivate yourself to accomplish more. As you create these visions in your mind’s eye, you will be conditioning yourself in a way that – in reality – will lead to many positive accomplishments.
Sources: For a series of probing questions on this topic, see Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Self Knowledge,” pp. 101-2