Minute #654: Doing Better

Suri’s closet was always neat and orderly. Finding what she needed to dress appropriately for any weather and all occasions was a simple task. She even separated her clothing into size ranges.

Unfortunately, Suri had a problem keeping her weight at a healthy level. She tried diet after diet. Following initial success in reducing her weight and fitting into smaller sizes of apparel, she would inevitably resume her bad eating habits and lazy exercise patterns and regain the weight.

“You were looking and feeling so good just a few weeks ago when we went to the museum together,” Ruthie said. “What happened since then? I see you’re back to where you were last winter!”

“I don’t know,” Suri replied. “It seems that as soon as I start to reach my dieting goals, the diet stops working for me until I find a new diet and the process begins again.”

Suri’s problem is one that affects people in various areas of life. Some take courses or get tutoring and stop the effort as soon as they see any degree of achievement. Exercise programs increase a person’s strength and stamina only to result in a return to “couch potato” behavior patterns.

The way to reach true accomplishment and achieve real change is to continue whatever it was you were doing that led to success, and stick to it stubbornly until your goal is reached. Whoever persists will not only reach their personal goals but will surpass all others who quit as soon as they begin to see progress.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

The Sages strongly condemned the use of derogatory nicknames. Calling someone by a nickname that he dislikes is a violation of the prohibition against onaas devarim. Every time you call him by that nickname you cause a negative reaction, even if it is very slight. At times this can be very destructive if the nickname implies strong limitations or faults, since people tend to live up to the names they are called. (Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, The Power of Words, p. 190)