After Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), we cannot help but to reflect on the previous year and how to make the upcoming year even better.
It is human nature to always want to grow and go beyond the status quo. There is always room for improvement. A person may enjoy success in one area of life, but in other areas s/he may be a failure. A person may have all the bases of societal success covered but a feeling of emptiness may still perk up inside.
It is easy to get derailed and it is difficult to get moving again.
The question is how can one move forward and get going amid challenge?
The answer is quite clear and simple. We actually don't need to look further than the very G-dly mission statement of creation.
According to Kabbalistic teachings, a main reason for G-d creating the world is kindness. "The nature of kindness is to share and give" explain the Kabbalists, G-dliness is the epitome of kindness and in order to share there needs to be another entity to be kind to. It is for this reason that G-d created the world, in order to have another existence to be kind to. In the words of King David "the world is built on kindness."
In G-d's mission statement of kindness there's a message that we can apply to our own lives and may even be the defining factor of personal success or failure.
Instinctively the human being is "self oriented" and looks out for self pleasure and gain. However, a person has the choice to go beyond self and be "other oriented," when we do so we feel the sensitivities and needs of others.
These two approaches are really two attitudes in life. We can either always ask "what's in it for me?" Or we can go with the approach of "how can I help and contribute?" The contrast between the two may spell real success or failure in life. People who are "self oriented" will always be calculative and only make a move if there's personal benefit. This approach is very limiting and at times very distasteful to others. However, people who are "other oriented" make their own success another person's success as well. When you're "other oriented" people want to be around you and seek your friendship, business or services.
Furthermore, according to the Kabbalists, "initiation from below" inspires "initiation from above." When we do something good we elicit that same G-dly response from above. By helping others we get helped ourselves.
In honor of the Jewish New Year let's make a resolution to be more "other oriented" particularly in the areas that we want to succeed most.
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