2019-03-28

Rabbi Noah Weinberg said "People often avoid making decisions out of fear of making a mistake. Actually, the failure to make decisions is one of the life's biggest mistakes." By reading these words, we can sense electricity coming into our spirits, but why? There is actual science that explains the reasons inspirational sayings drive us. Motivation expert Jonathan Fader, Ph.D., and founder of the Union Square Practice in New York City emitted light on this mysterious subject. He found that motivational quotes are a simple coaching tool. If someone lived through hard times or overcame obstacles, it encourages us to do the same. “There’s a little bit of implicit coaching that’s happening when you’re reading it. It’s building that self-efficacy in that kind of dialogue that you’re having with yourself,” Fader explained to fastcompany.com. Considering humans are aspirational, we want to look up to people and to a higher power to lead us. It's no wonder why Jewish sayings spur us to celebrate life, become better human beings and to never give up.

Crush Self-Doubt

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook said “In everything you do you encounter sparks full of life and light, aspiring to rise toward the heights. You help them and they help you.” Have we lost our inner sparkle? Many of us have and don't even realize it. People often internalize bad things when they happen. We just get into confusion when self-doubt comes along that we're a failure or life is over as we know it. These are false, faulty and misleading inner voices that need to be drowned. We can still be full of life when things are going south. Each of us has a light and this inner beauty may be covered sometimes because of circumstances, but that is when we tap into the inner strength God gave us. Use this to dispel any darkness or upheaval to annihilate fears and self-doubts.

Be Humble

"Who is wise? One who learns from every man. Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations. Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot. Who is honorable? One who honors his fellows." wrote Ben Zoma in Ethics of the Fathers, 4:1. Serving other people is not a favorite for most as this is our selfish nature that we struggle with. The person who is the servant is the leader and they are the ones who have the real power. Look at Moses and King David, they were leaders, but they served their people first. They were not perfect, but they overpowered their own individual inclinations. Researchers found that people who volunteer are less depressed, and are more productive. Simple? Yes, it is. Look out for ways today to do something for someone you know and don't know. Smile, buy a coffee for a person or help out a person in need. The act doesn't need to be grand, really, it doesn't.

Become a Better Person

"If you are not a better person tomorrow than you are today, what need have you for a tomorrow?," Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said. We tend to always focus on the material things in life and overlook the conditions of the heart and of the soul. Making the small changes in our behavior can help us become a better role model for our kids, help us treat our spouses better or honoring others before we praise ourselves. Another thing that is quite helpful is forgiving people who really hurt us because this is akin to carrying a boulder up a hill that never ends. Humans only have one shot at life, let's become better at it, while we have time. We can do this by changing our behaviors by making the decision to live a more authentic life.

God is There

“God is there. In the spaces in between. Reminding us that we have all along been destined to live forever. Ascending through ever higher spirals of awareness and chambers of light," Rabbi Lawrence Kushner wrote. This quote embodies the true connection that we have with God. God loves us unconditionally and distinctly, but finding the spaces in between is perpetually troublesome. We need to allow His love to flow to and from us when things are not going as we planned by submitting to Him. We may feel God has abandoned us or is being silent, but even in those silent moments, His love continues to reside with us. Tribulation tests our sense of purpose and it's when we can overcome these trials that we find true power. "He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you," Deuteronomy 8:16 reminds us.

You Need Blind Faith

We don't want to trust because we want things now and our way. But where does this get us most of the time? That's right, in a heap of trouble. Proverbs 3:5 encourages us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." We don't really know what tomorrow will produce. So, we have no choice but to use blind faith to carry onward. Esther Riter, the author of the Daily Dose of Emuna, said we need to readily acknowledge that "God is part of our life and never leaves, we can work on developing loyalty to God with that knowledge and slowly begin to feel it internally." Trust is never easy to do, but it's something vital to our lives if we're going to follow Him and if we're going to live with a sense of faith.

Transform Your Life

"The Torah is not education, it's transformation," said Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg. If you are just learning the Torah for education and are not seeing any spiritual growth there is a problem. We need to reassess things in our lives and be honest if we're trying to live as the Torah instructs. We can't be perfect, but when we make an effort to live our lives as God commanded it can be exceptional. The Torah affirms that God’s commandments are righteous because God set His commandments for His people for a purpose. Psalm 19 shared that the teachings of God are absolute, and they renew our lives. "He decrees of God are enduring, making the simple wise. The commandments of the Lord are just, rejoicing the heart; the instruction of God is lucid, making the eyes light up. The fear of God is pure, abiding forever; the judgments of God are true, righteous altogether." 

Quotes are a superb tool for us to utilize to feel happier, more joyful and to convict us when we are not living right. Between the Torah, teachers and people who thirst for awareness, there will always be affirmations to help us along in life no matter what season we're in. If there is a favorite quote, keep it close by to use when it's needed the most.

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