Keeping Your Eye on the Ball – the Secret of Real Success

colored_glass_balls_of_colorSuccess. Oh the Glory. The Power. The Popularity. Great – isn’t it?

Success comes with hard work. Most people want to be rich – but are armchair quarterbacks. I’ll just buy the lotto – and who knows? Maybe I’ll win. But really to be a success – you have to want it. Really want it. Really want to make it. Really want that job. Really want to become a Torah Scholar. Make sincere, diligent, strong efforts towards your goal & Pray to Hash-m – and you’ll make it.

But really – before you start – the real question you want to ask is what is success?

Apparently there is financial success. But being wealthy does not usually solve your problems. You buy bigger toys and are in bigger debt. Get rid of the “if only” and start enjoying life.

Real success is being a good person. Ask any person – would you consider a person makes 7 digits a year a success?

Most will say yes.

Then ask them “What if that person is a tyrant at home? An unforgiving boss? A person who lies to & cheats others? – still a success in your eyes?”

Probably they would respond in the negative.

So how can you be a real success?

Become a better person.

Self-improvement books are some of the top selling books. Apparently people recognize this truth – that to be happy you have to better yourself. To be a better you – you need to work on your charachter traits.

The Torah is the ultimate guide for a person to self-improve.

The Messilat Yeshiarim / Path of the Just says – “The foundation of perfect faith is to make clear and truthful – what is your purpose in life – that you should set your sights upon all the days of your life.”

Meaning – just like companies have a mission statement – a person should have a personal mission statement that encompasses his or her goal in life based upon the qualities, resources & traits that G-d gave them.

There are two aspects – one is being truthful – ask “is your goal truthful?” Meaning truthful to what G-d wants from you. Usually you can find this out by consulting a Torah Authority or Scholar – if your goal is in accordance with the principles of the Torah. Otherwise a person can work all their life, and find out in the end they wasted their life following after vanity or falsity.

A good starting point for gentiles is following the Torah’s 7 Noahide Laws. A good starting point for Jews is following the Shulchan Aruch – code of Jewish law. Then consult a Torah authority.

The second thing is – to make clear what this goal is. Some people say – i want to be a good person. So do most people. So it befits us to make the goal more precise. I want to inspire people by bringing the beauty of Judaism to people through music and song. That’s one goal.

Then – once the goal is established – then see if your acts correspond to your goal.

Here is an example Let’s say a person was doing sounding the Shofar / Ram’s Horn in your synagogue. Your goal in life is to “Help people reach their potential.” You can sound the Shofar better than he. You have a dilemna – should you sound it instead of him – that is good for the congregation. But on the other-hand you want to help the other person reach his potential. Do you say that you want to sound the Shofar, instead?

Your acts – that are targeted to your goal – get you closer to true service of G-d. Your acts that are just acts to pass the time – or escape that have no lasting value usually do not. Keep your eye on the ball. Choose your acts to fit your goals for what you want to achieve in life.

In the end you will have accomplished something to better the world.

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