Minute #638: Transformations

“I’ve made my resolutions AGAIN and I’m ready to enter the new year,” Goldie declared.

“I know I’m supposed to do the same, but I’ve looked back and see that every year I promise myself I’ll change, but somehow it doesn’t take long for me to revert to my same old self,” Chavi replied. “It’s so difficult; I don’t know if I have the energy to do it.”

Most people don’t like to change. Status quo, they feel, is comfortable, so why upset things? One says to oneself, “Yes, if I were to institute a change, the situation could be better, but change is so difficult to achieve!” Or one might be dissuaded by thinking, “It is hard to maintain motivation in the face of such a huge task.” There are so many excuses to avoid working on growth.

Actually, one’s motivation is determined by one’s attitude. When a baby does even the simplest things, adults applaud and smile. The “firsts” are rewarded and the child learns to enjoy changes. Unfortunately, when people mature, they see the process of self-development in a more negative light.

When you are in a position to make changes, you should approach them with childlike excitement. There could be a fear of failure. There might be anticipation of discomfort. However, if one thinks of the advances one makes as one grows from a child into an adult, one realizes that the advances were growth and the rewards, immeasurable. First one walks, then one talks, and then one reasons. At each stage, growth yields happiness. Thinking of the benefits will motivate performance and success. Success brings happiness.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

When you wake up in the middle of the night or have a long wait in a doctor’s office, cherish those moments as opportunities to think. A wise person uses these opportunities to learn more about himself and to think of ways in which he can improve. (Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe, Alai Shur, p. 167)