“I envy you,” Jeremy admitted. “You’ve become so accomplished and respected. Look at this ad: ‘Torah Personality Award: Tzvi Hersch.’ I don’t think it’s in the realm of possibility that my name and photograph would appear as a dinner honoree for such a prestigious organization!”
“I must have more confidence in you than you do. It wasn’t so long ago that we were in school and you always outscored me on any test in any subject,” Tzvi pointed out.
“I haven’t forgotten those days,” Jeremy said. “Yet since then you’ve grown and I’m not really getting any better. By the way, it’s not for lack of trying. I just can’t seem to finish what I start. How do you juggle all your responsibilities and still find time for self-improvement?”
“I’ll share my secret with you,” Tzvi said with a sheepish grin. “You have to set aside a time that’s yours alone. That’s two things: ‘yours’ and ‘alone.’ At the same time every day, you have to spend time with yourself growing in knowledge and character. No cell phone, no radio, no distractions — nothing but you and your learning.”
“How do I do that?” Jeremy asked.
“Pick a time that works for you. Block it out on your calendar. Mark yourself as ‘busy,’” Tzvi said. “As time goes on, those blocks of time will become the building blocks that make Jeremy the best person he can be. You’ll become one worthy of honors.”
“Do you really think I could do it?” Jeremy asked.
“The best way to find out is to start. Set aside the time that you will spend with yourself for yourself, and let nothing interfere with it.”
“The verse says: ‘A man, who dies in a tent’ (Bemidbar 19:14). Torah resides with the man who kills himself over it” (Gittin 57b).
For your one hour imagine that you are not alive for other activities. Consistency will yield success. Start today!
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
Worry is a trait that is evil in most of its manifestations… Worry over attaining anything in this world is extremely reprehensible and is not found in all those who trust in Hashem and believe in Him. (Orchot Tzaddikim, “The Gate of Worry”)