Inspiration For After Yom Kippur

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This morning I received an email that I’m sure many rabbis would have been proud to write.

Though not the author’s intent, it is a very powerful message as we leave Yom Kippur behind and move into the rest of the year.

I think it’s especially important to have this message in mind when you stumble and start wondering if you’ll ever get your life straightened out.

I’m going to quote some of the email (in the blue boxes) and add my thoughts.

You and I both know that you could just as easily change your life today as you can on New Year’s Day.

Of course, he’s referring to January 1. Fine. The message is the same.

“New opportunity is matter of choice not calendar.” – Dan Kennedy

We are taught that the time from Rosh Hashana until Yom Kippur is a particularly good time for you to do teshuva and take control of your life.

Do you feel like you missed the opportunity? Don’t despair, there is still today.

You have gone through the muck and dealt with hurt, but it’s time to leave past mistakes behind.

What’s done is done and what’s gone is gone. Let no more heartbreak linger over what you cannot change.

Shift your focus to what you can control – and that is your future.

I would have said this slightly differently. Focus on what you can control – that is your present.

We have only the present moment, but that is all we need.

Don’t stop.

Every morning is a new opportunity to be a better you.

Every day you can get a little bit better.

For most of us, our progress is measured in small steps. Also, in most areas of life, small steps are more sustainable.

And never, ever give up on something that is important to you.

This is serious.

This is your life. This is not a dress rehearsal.

Just because you fell short of your goals yesterday does not mean that the goal has lost its value. Today recommit yourself to achieving your goals.

Life is giving you a second chance today (or 22nd chance – it doesn’t matter how many, all that matters is that you take it).

As we say in the 13 Middot, God is long suffering.

The #1 way to make yourself UN-happy…

…is to compare yourself to others.

Stop. Don’t do it. It does not serve you.

Compare yourself only to your past self. Measure progress, not perfection.

This is my favorite section of the email. So often we make the wrong comparisons and sabotage ourselves.

Who wrote this email?

His name is Craig Ballantyne. He’s a fitness coach from Ontario.

His focus is on physical fitness, but I think you can apply the message to whatever area of your life you feel is lacking.

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