Or is it?
You’re walking in a park and you see an old man quietly sitting on a bench alone in thought, perhaps he’s 90 or more. What do you think he is thinking about?
None of us knows how much time we were given or we have left, but certainly someone of his age knows that his days are indeed numbered.
Is he thinking about the past. If so, is it about regrets and woulda, coulda, shoulda…..? Or is he thinking about the past with pride in what he accomplished for the good with his time?
Is he thinking about loved ones still here and some not and the love he gave and had?
Is he thinking about the time he has left? Is he thinking about that with fear? Or does he say to himself, “If I’m still here, then I’m still needed, so what good can I do with the time left”?
At ninety-one the great cellist Pablo Cassals was asked why he still practiced, he said “because I am making progress”
“If you won’t be better tomorrow then you were today, what do you need tomorrow for?” — Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
“What grows never grows old.” — Noah Benshea
“Most of us go to our graves with our music still left inside of us”. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
What you think he is thinking about, is probably what you think about, no matter your age. So ask yourself, which set of thoughts will lead to a more productive use of your time left and hence lead to more happiness and joy.
“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” – Sam Levenson
Time is the most precious non-renewable resource of all
Heart and Soul
Now that you have read the last post and seen the Video “Yes I Can”, (shown below again) it’s time to see where else it can take you.
Having been inspired by the video, you might have attempted to go further than you have before in some physical activity. If you did, you know you can, and you feel the joy that comes from it.
“What I can’t do today, I can do tomorrow.” – Gabrielle Mariotta—- a tailor said after having suffered a stroke
“Success comes in cans; failure in can’ts.” — Morris Mandel
“Imagine if a bird was unaware that its wings enabled it to fly”. – The Rebbe
Let’s now consider how the same approach and attitude can be used to take you further in other ways.
We all would like to be happy and find joy. To get there we must seek to constantly grow and improve in all areas of our lives.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go before I sleep.” – Robert Frost from his poem “Stopping by Woods on A Snowy Evening”
In order to improve and grow, you don’t have to change. You have to be willing to make changes.
Imagine what you’ll be and who you’ll be by breaking free of all those self-imposed constraints. Take that first step.
P.S. There are many posts on this website that give thoughts, ideas, suggestions on what changes to make and how to get there. There will also be more in the future. This post is merely to help adjust your mindset, which is step number one.
Heart and Soul
You will be so inspired when you watch the video below, but first let’s give it a little context.
If there is something you really wish to do or accomplish, how often do you say to yourself “I can’t”? If you say that, then you can’t and you won’t. This is a self-imposed limitation. Besides, how do you know you can’t if you don’t try?
Do you say it because others tell you that “you can’t”? Why are you letting them decide for you? If you listen to them, it’s the same as a self-imposed limitation. Besides, how do they know?
This video titled “Yes I Can”, will show you what never saying “I Can’t” and always saying “Yes I Can” can do and will do for you.
Watching this, you will say to yourself, “Amazing”. The point being made by the people in this video is just the opposite. They don’t believe what they do is amazing!!! They believe they can and no one can tell them otherwise!
You Cannot Lower Your Mountain but You Can Elevate Yourself!
Heart and Soul
How does politics/the candidates affect you, or how do you affect politics/the candidates?
When a parent admonishes a child for some inappropriate behavior, the child’s response is often, “everybody does it”. As adults, if we mention to a good friend or family member that their action was not ethically or morally correct, their response/defense is often, “everybody does it”. If we say that a certain political candidate lies or cheats or….., we hear the “they all do it” response.
By accepting that excuse for ourselves and others is to encourage and condone that behavior.
If we choose the “everybody does it” excuse, to just be like everyone else, then you, no one else, and nothing will ever improve. Our task, is to constantly remind ourselves and endeavor to always do the good and right thing. To do that whether or not it is cool or popular. Sometimes, it’s actually “Hip to be Square ” – Huey Lewis and the News.
“What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.” – Albert Einstein
“heroism of ordinary life, being willing to live by one’s convictions though all the world thinks otherwise, being true to the call of eternity, not the noise of now.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
As more and more do the good and right thing, then less and less will we be able to excuse bad behavior with the “everybody does it” excuse. Eventually, we will say “everybody does it” about the good and right thing. That would be cool and then it would be “hip to be cool”.
When it comes to our political leaders, it’s important to realize that they are us, or just like us and we are them, or just like them. Demand more of them and get more from them. To demand more and better from them begins with us demanding more and better of ourselves.
Heart and Soul
On the Fourth of July 2016, we will have been blessed with and enjoyed 240 years or 87,600 days of independence since the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. It said;
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
This was a novel experiment in building a nation based on individual rights and freedom. Without these rights and freedom we could not pursue our dreams and our individual purpose. Something to be eternally grateful for!
We were created with Free Will. The USA was created to be a land that gave us the opportunity to express our Free Will. With the freedom of Free Will, we can choose to elevate ourselves to be the human we were created to be and have the world we all wish for. To have that freedom to pursue and become our true selves is indeed something to be thankful for. That liberty should be celebrated everyday by using it for the good.
Or with that freedom, we can choose to not use it, or take it for granted, and let our freedoms slip away, or be taken away.
May we cherish, be grateful for, and protect those freedoms for many, many more days and years.
May we use our freedom to fulfill our greatest human potential.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY
G-d Bless America
There are some stories with such powerful lessons that they bear repeating,such as the one below. These stories carry lessons that serve as necessary reminders as we sometimes lose our way forward and up our mountain. We should store these stories in our head’s file cabinet and pull them out from time to time.
This is one of those stories that I have posted here three times before.*
After forty days crossing the desert, the Jewish people are about to enter the Promised Land, as told in this week’s Torah portion Shelach. Before they do, Moses sends twelve spies/scouts to go in first and report back what they see. Only two of the twelve came back with a positive report. The remaining ten said they saw an inhospitable land filled with giants.
In the first part of a very telling statement the ten said, “In our eyes we seemed like grasshoppers…. Notice that they said in “our eyes”. When we come upon a new challenge, how often do we react fearfully? How often do we see ourselves as to small, too weak, and unable? How often do we see ourselves as grasshoppers? When this paralysis of fear hits us we become stuck where we are. We hold ourselves back from continuing our climb to reach our goals, dreams, and discover who we were created and destined to become.
In the second part of their statement they said, ..and so we were in their eyes.” Numbers13:33. Notice here they said “in their eyes”. If you see yourself in a negative light, then that is how you will present yourself and be seen by others. If others see you negatively, then doors will be closed. Believe in yourself, if you don’t, no one else will, and if you don’t why should they?
“Within yourself deliverance must be searched for, because each man makes his own prison.” – Edwin Arnold
“You become what you think, even if you don’t think so.” – Dr. Morris Mandel
Heart and Soul
- OOPs, It should have been titled (4)
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
Although we tell ourselves and others, that we have goals and dreams, we often don’t seem to get there? Too often, we just dream about our dreams. Most of the time, we don’t get there because getting there requires getting out of our comfort zone.
We stay in our comfort zone, no matter how uncomfortable it really is, because that’s what we are used to, or we fear the unknown, or fear of success or fear of failure, or …………
“Fear builds walls to bar the light.” – The Baal Shem Tov
“With love, you set your goals. With fear, you set your boundaries.” – Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, The Rebbe
“I think when you move past your fear and you go after your dreams wholeheartedly, you become free. Know what I’m saying? Move past the fear.” – LL Cool J
“You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear.” – Sammy Davis, Jr.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair
“We all have a fear of the unknown what one does with that fear will make all the difference in the world.” – Lillian Russell
“There is nothing wrong with being afraid–but there is nothing more wrong than allowing that to be your master.” – Bobby Darin
Often, we get close to reaching our goals and then stop, again because of those fears
Finish what you start and that will make you stronger, healthier, and better
If it’s worth starting, it’s worth much more when you finish
Heart and Soul
*with so many quotes on fear, it must be a very common problem