Minute #583: Pressure Cooker

“I need a vacation,” Mr. Bronfman grunted. “If one more thing goes wrong, I’m ready to jump out the window!”

“Take it easy, sir,” his secretary pleaded. “I’m beginning to think the business is taking its toll on your health and well-being!”

“You’re probably right,” he admitted. “However, there are so many things we need that I’ve just got to keep pushing in order to keep up with the purchases as well as the fixed expenses. Pressure is all I deal with 24 hours a day.”

Sometimes people chase goals and get frustrated by failure to achieve their objectives. Reasons for failure vary with different people and different situations. What often goes unnoticed is that sometimes people do things to get what they desire, yet they are actually employing techniques that drive them further from their goals.

When one’s goal is peace of mind, one envisions oneself surrounded by conveniences and comforts that man has developed over the past 5,700 years. The pace of pursuit quickens when one is seeking attainment of a new technological gadget or the latest model of a staple item like a car. “If only I had… then I would be happy!” or, “If I could get…  then I could rest” are erroneous mantras of a stressed-out generation.

The Torah teaches that the things of this world do not satisfy. They create thirst for more. One who gets more wants more. The difficulty of attaining more causes aggravation and stress.

The solution is abstention, not involvement in material pursuits. The Sefer Chassidim states: “Celibacy from the world is leisure to mind and restful for the body. Love of the world, a nuisance for the mind and strain on the body.” (Siman 89, 90, 91)

Take what you need. Want what you get. You’ll feel real peace of mind and rest for your body.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

What is man’s profession in this world? Maybe he’s a doctor, or perhaps he’s a plumber? No. His profession is “Yaaseh atzmo k’ilem — he has to make himself as though he cannot talk.” That’s your profession: keep quiet.

(Rabbi Avigdor Miller, Simcha Minute, p. 63)