10 steps to Greatness by Rav Avigdor Miller z’’l

Rabbi Avigdor Miller was the “Rebbe” to Jews of All Backgrounds, giving Shiurim / Lectures – Teaching Dozens of Torah Classes a week. He appealed to the Scholar, the Yeshiva Student and the Common Man. His ideas were very straight and clear. He gave us 10 steps to greatness and 10 Steps for a Happy Marriage (Perhaps I’ll Include in a later post).

The idea to achieve greatness is to Emulate G-d. Connecting to G-d allows you to achieve anything you want. Obviously you have to put in the effort as well and pray.

Do the following once a day. (if this is too much, maybe do one/day)

These are Rabbi Avigdor Miller’s, obm – 10 Steps to Greatness.

1. Spend 30 seconds thinking of Olam Haba / the World to Come

2. Say once “I love you Hashem”

3. Do one act of chesed / kindness nobody know about

4. Be like Hashem who lifts the humble, say something to

encourage someone.


5. Spend 1 minute about what happened yesterday (cheshbon hanefesh / accounting of deeds).


6. Your actions should be l’shem shamayim / for sake of heaven (say once during meals)


7. Look into someone’s face and think – I’m seeing a tzelem Elokim / Image of of G-d


8. Just like Hashem’s face shines on us, give someone a big smile.


9. When saying [blessing of] “malbish arumim” (who clothes the naked in morning blessings., think about the great gift of garments. 1) they separate us from animals 2) where they come from 3) benefits of


10. When reciting the words, “If I forget you, Yerushalayim…,” sit on floor and think of Churban /  loss of Yerushalayim (privately, 1 second). Spend 30 seconds thinking of Olam Haba

He recommended doing the above exercises for thirty days. “If you feel exhausted, take a break and come back slowly. To become great, you have to be extreme.”

Rabbi Simcha Zissel zt’l, the Alter of Kelm taught:

“The education of a person (in middos) needs to be in simple things. Small things, to come through them to the greatest heights. It appears that this principle was not known to the philosophers…(who searched for a ‘sudden enlightenment’)

Through small acts, one can reach the greatest heights…this is why the great men of history chose to become shepherds. They wanted to practice acts of compassion even for animals. Through small acts, they were able to reach the greatest heights. (Chochma U’Mussar pg.9)

Courtesy of Daf Yomi Review

Here is a more elucidated list from tape # 706 of R. Avigdor Miller

Reprinted from Aish Hatorah Website.
GOOD MORNING!  When I first started learning in yeshiva in 1973 at the age of 23 there were very few books available for a Jew from a secular background who wanted to learn about his Torah background. One of the most prolific authors dealing with Jewish history, questions of science and Torah, personal growth — amongst other topics — was Rabbi Avigdor Miller, of blessed memory. His books had a profound impact on my life. He wrote: Rejoice O Youth!, Torah Nation, Behold a People, Sing, You Righteous, Awake My Glory, Praise My Soul, amongst others (available at your local Jewish bookstore, at JudaicaEnterprises.com or by calling toll-free to 877-758-3242). There are over 2000 recorded lectures available that he gave over the years!

Recently, I came across Rabbi Miller’s TEN STEPS TO GREATNESS which I thought you might find of benefit. Rabbi Miller was a Torah giant, wise in Torah and secular knowledge.

STEP ONE: Spend at least 30 seconds each day thinking about the WORLD TO COME – Olam Haba – and that we are in this world only as a preparation for the World to Come. This is the purpose of life.

STEP TWO: Spend a few seconds each day in a private place and say to the Almighty / Hash-m, “I love you God / Hash-m.” You will be fulfilling a positive commandment from the Torah. This will kindle a fire in your heart and will have a powerful effect on your character. Your exteriority bestirs your interiority. The Almighty is listening. He loves you much more than you love Him.

STEP THREE: Every day do one act of kindness that no one knows about, in secrecy. Have intention beforehand that you are doing this in order to fulfill your program to greatness.

The practice of doing acts of kindliness – Gemilut Hasadim – is one of the three most important functions in the world.

Examples: If you are the first one in the Beit HaMidrash (Place of Torah Study) put the books in the proper order and place. If your wife is not in the kitchen, clean a few dishes or straighten up for her without her knowing. If you should see something potentially dangerous on the sidewalk, clear it off to the side so no one will get hurt.

STEP FOUR: Encourage someone every day. “The Almighty / Hash-m encourages the humble.” Have in mind you are doing it because of the program. Anonymous letters of kindness can do a great deal of good to encourage people.

STEP FIVE: Spend one minute a day thinking about what happened yesterday. “Let us search out our ways and investigate.” Everyone should have his mind on what he is doing – by reviewing yesterday’s actions daily.

STEP SIX: Make all your actions for the purpose of Heaven. Say it once a day.

Example: “I am doing this in order to be more aware of the Almighty.”

STEP SEVEN: Be aware of the principle — “Man was created in the image of God.” Every human face is a reflection of the Almighty / Hash-m. Your face is like a screen and your soul like a projector which projects on your face the glory of the human soul which has in it the greatness of the Almighty / Hash-m. Once a day pick a face and think “I am seeing the image of God.” You will begin to understand the endless nobility of a face.

STEP EIGHT: Once a day give a person a full smile. Just as the Almighty / Hash-m shines on us, we should smile on others. Smile because the Almighty / Hash-m wants you to, even though you really don’t want to.

When you smile have intentions that you are doing it for the purpose of coming closer to the Almighty / Hash-m through the Ten Steps To Greatness.

STEP NINE: “The Almighty / Hash-m clothes the naked.” Clothing is a testament to the nobility of man. Man is unique — has free will, has a soul, made in the image of the Almighty / Hash-m . Even Angels are beneath man in greatness. To demonstrate the superiority of mankind, we must be clothed. Spend 30 seconds in the morning thinking about our garments: what a gift they are from the Almighty / Hash-m .

STEP TEN: Spend time each day thinking about the olden Jerusalem during the time of the Temple. Every day sit on the floor (before going to sleep), spend one second on the floor and mourn for the destruction of Jerusalem. Think “If I should forget you Jerusalem, let my right arm forget how to function” (Psalms 137:5).

King Shlomo / King Solomon “The wise man seizes the opportunity to do mitzvot” (King Solomon). The lazy person says — someday I’ll do it. If you start this program, after 30 days you will be tired. So, wait six months until you start again. Do another 30 days then wait five months and so on. After a while you might do it all the time. If you do it even one day you are extraordinary!

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