“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
Why couldn’t all the king’s horses and all the king’s men put Humpty back together again?
First, Humpty had to want to be put back together again. Secondly, and most importantly, only Humpty could put himself back together again.
Everyone else could lend a supporting hand, an uplifting hand, be a cheerleading section, but it was all up to Humpty. Humpty could continue to be a Dumpty, or he could choose to be an Upty!!
We all sometimes stumble, we all sometimes fall, and we all sometimes get knocked down. What you do when that happens determines where you go and you determine the determining.
“Why do we fall- so we can learn to pick ourselves up.” – from Batman Begins
“The righteous may fall seven times, but they always rise again.” – King Solomon Proverbs
If you were a boxer and got knocked to the mat, you might say to yourself (consciously or un) “if I stay down I can’t get hit again”. That is the self-preservation instinct born of fear, protecting you from getting hurt again. The odds of winning are zero if you stay down.
The ultimate self-preservation instinct should be to get back up again in order to fight for the life you want. How much do you desire that life? How hard are you willing to fight for it?
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair
Know that you will fall or get knocked down again. Accept that and understand that it’s part of preparing and learning. The trick is to train, learn, and prepare yourself so that each time, you not only get back up, but you get back up quicker.
Heart and Soul
You have probably heard about the amazing and inspiring feat of Rob Konrad, a former Miami Dolphins Fullback. He was fishing off of his boat alone, about nine miles from shore when he was suddenly thrown overboard at night without a life vest.. He swam the nine miles for sixteen hours. A seemingly superhuman feat.
How and why did he not give up? Yes, he is a trained professional athlete, but not a good swimmer. The key was he had a purpose, he had/has something and someones to live for. He said he prayed for help, thought of his family with wife, Tammy, and two daughters, eight and 10. Then he said to himself, “Look, I’m not dying tonight and I’m going to make it to shore”.
In “Man’s Search For Meaning”*, this is what the author, Dr. Viktor Frankl witnessed when he as a Jew was in Auschwitz.
He saw that even in the most unimaginably extreme circumstances, the will to live comes from having something/someone to live for, and/or a meaning/purpose to their life as yet still unfulfilled.
In your most trying moments search for your meaning. You may not know what is. You may not think there is anyone in your life. If you don’t know it, or think there is anyone as Rob Konrad did know, then try this:
Go fishing. Throw out a fishing line and you will catch it or someone. In plain English, reach out to others. You will be pleasantly surprised that there is always someone who will take your bait, someone who needs what you have to give them.
“The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity—even under the most difficult circumstances—to add a deeper meaning to his life”. – Dr. Viktor Frankl from “Man’s Search For Meaning
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way”. – Dr. Viktor Frankl from “Man’s Search for Meaning”
Heart and Soul
*If you haven’t read this book…..Do
In addition to the new year and other new calendar events being opportunities to re-charge your enthusiasm, this and every new is also an opportunity to evaluate what you are doing.
If what you are doing is not getting you there, then wellll….. Enthusiastically make changes.
If what you are doing, is getting you there….it probably could still use some improving and refining. Re-charging doesn’t mean just doing more of the same. Remember this
More is not always better. Better is always more
In addition, use this new as an opportunity to try and do something new as well. Continuing to grow, particularly as we age, comes from creating new neural pathways. Those pathways are created from doing new things.
“What grows never grows old.” — Noah Benshea
“One who does not grow, grows smaller”. — Pirkei Avos
“Every single blade of grass has its own angel that whispers to it grow, grow, grow…” – Talmud
The most important step in the evaluation process is to evaluate where you are vs. where you need to be, or are meant to be, or are needed to be…..
In Genesis 1:1-6:8, G-d asks Adam “Where are you?” This seems like an odd question. One would think that G-d knows where Adam is. The Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812) explains that the question
“is G-d’s perpetual call to every man. Where are you in the world? What have you accomplished? You have been allotted a certain number of days, hours, and minutes in which to fulfill your mission in life.”
Heart and Soul
Another New Year that we celebrate. Another New Year that we make promises/resolutions to ourselves with an eye towards reaching our goals.
There are lots of new beginnings. There is a new year, a new month, a new week, a new day. Each new is another opportunity to reignite the enthusiasm you had at the beginning of the last new. If we celebrate each new as another opportunity, we can find enthusiasm and excitement constantly.
“The beginning is embedded in the end, and the end is embedded in the beginning”. – Sefer Yetzirah 1:7
From year to year, the passage of time may dilute the beginning enthusiasm. Less so with a new month, a new week, a new day. The ultimate new is the next moment. So cherish the new of every new and especially every moment. Remind yourself with every new to keep the enthusiasm in the present.
You were given life for this moment, so that you can give this moment life.
The most important ingredient of you reaching your goals, is the Doing!! “Wishing and hoping… and planning and dreaming”*, – “Won’t get you where you want to go”**. It’s the doing that will get the results.
For a new to truly be a new beginning means not being anchored to the past. It is an opportunity to leave it behind. Leave the past behind, except for remembering the lessons you learned and create the present……Enthusiastically!!
Happy and Meaningful 2015
*”Wishing and Hoping”,Dionne Warwick
**Words of Love, the Mamas and Papas
Heart and Soul
Jews all over the world are now celebrating Chanukah, the celebration of many miracles. From the victory of a small band of men fighting for their religious freedom against a very large and well equipped army, to one days worth of olive oil used to light the Menorah lasting for eight days.
The miracle of the oil represents the victory of light over darkness.
At nighttime, Jews place their lit Menorah in doorways or windows to bring light to the dark street and to all who see it.
On the Menorah is a head candle called the Shamash, which is used to light all the other candles. A candle lights other candles without losing any of its own light. Each of us can be like the Shamash and bring light to all whose lives we come into contact with. When we are like the Shamash, not only do we keep our light, we actually shine brighter. We all have that power through acts of goodness, kindness, and charity.
“Light vanquishes the darkness.” – Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, The Rebbe
“From one burning candle many candles are lit, yet its own light is not diminished.” – Numbers 11:17
Here is another powerful and universal message from Chanukah, the miracle of light.*
Of all the special qualities of a pretty and delicious olive, its essence is found in its oil when lit, producing its light. In order to get to the olives essence, it must first be crushed to produce the oil. So too in our lives, we sometimes are or feel crushed – by pain and suffering, loss, struggle, and disappointment – and just like the olive, it is then that our essence can be revealed. It is in those moments that you may find your essence and with it bring your light to the world.
and to all a good light
*Based on a teaching of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson
A recent study* has found that which has been known before, and that is that “good-looking” people are liked more than others based on first impressions. This study confirms that this is the case, based solely on visual first impressions. More importantly, this study goes further and finds that when one learns more about the person they are viewing, the attractiveness rating of the viewed person either increases or decreases. These results show that a person initially rated attractive, based solely on appearance, can actually appear less attractive and vice-versa.
When qualities/character of a person are learned, perceptions of attractiveness change.
So if a person who is visually attractive is found to have negative personality traits, they actually become less visually attractive.
If a person who is visually unattractive is found to have positive personality traits, they become more visually attractive.
What are positive personality traits? (Do I really need to tell you?)
Kindness, compassion, positive outlook, etc., etc., etc.
So remember this study when presenting yourself. To be and appear more attractive have or develop positive personality traits. Do this not only for the sake of being perceived as a more attractive person, although that’s nice, but for the sake of being perceived and being a more attractive human being. As the song says “Beauty Is Only Skin Deep”, the Temptations.
Also do it for what it might do for others. Positive personality traits will rub off on another who might need a lift.
“Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.” – Leonard Cohen
A person with a smile on their face conveys positive personality traits, even before anything is learned about that person. A smile always makes one more attractive.
Smile at a person who isn’t smiling and see how infectious a smile can be.
“Smile – it’s the second best thing you can do with your lips.” – Don Ward
“It takes 17 muscles to smile,and 47 muscles to frown. Conserve energy.” – unknown
Sing along with me…
“There’s a smile on my face for the whole human race…….. , from the song by Jerome Kern,Oscar Hammerstein ll
*for more on the study click here
Heart and Soul
In a recent post, “Assumptions and First Impressions”, we discussed the err of making and spreading evaluations of others based on first impressions and first impressions only.
Following up on that, here is an idea for those in the dating world looking for their soulmate.
If that applies to you, here is an idea for a little dating game. This game will help you get a deeper and more meaningful first impression.
You are on a first, let’s say having dinner. Pick out another couple in the restaurant and ask your date to tell you a story about them. Such as: Are they a couple? Is it a first date or are they in a relationship or married? Are they Happy? What do they do? etc., etc., etc.
Listen carefully to your date’s answer. In addition to how creative and rich with detail the story is, is it positive or negative. Is it kind or harsh.
The story created can tell you a great deal about your date.
If your date’s story is negative and dark, at a minimum be careful.
If your date’s story is positive and uplifting, then there are some good possibilities with this person.
Then, after listening to your date’s story telling, ask yourself (be Honest) if it is similar to the story you would tell.
If your date’s story was negative and your story matches that, don’t fool yourself and think you are a match.
If your dates story is positive and uplifting and it doesn’t match yours, quickly ask for another date. That person is someone who can help you grow, if they’ll have you. If not, at least you will hopefully learn something about yourself, and you will be a better date for someone else.
If your dates story is positive and yours matches …….Bingo!!
Heart and Soul