Category Archives: Resilience

How to Get the Most Benefit from Pain

Sometimes getting older isn’t much fun.  Case in point, while exercising I got a stab of pain in my leg. Miles and miles of running has injured my Achilles tendon. You may know the drill. No exercise for the last week and half. Custom orthotics. Get an MRI. And Pray.

God grant me pain that I may grow…

Pain Isn’t Bad

Despite it hurting, pain is good. You get an unmistakable sign to be aware. When you’re alert to your physical ∞ mental ∞ and spiritual well being you can immediately take action. You have two choices:

  • Push through it. Sometimes pain is just a test of your commitment. When you persevere you come out stronger for having pushed beyond your old limit.
  • Change course. Other times, continuing your behavior despite hurting causes greater injury. My Achilles tendon is a case in point. Had I kept running when I felt stab in my calf I could have severely damaged my leg.

When you’re in tune with all the realms of life, physical ∞ mental ∞ spiritual, you’ll be in the best position to decide which path to take. If you have to make such a crucial decision, a little prayer certainly won’t hurt. So I wrote this one for you. I hope it helps.

How do you respond to pain? Please comment below.

How to Find Your Heart’s Desire… In Seconds

2 minutes to read

Parsha [Passage of Scripture] Nugget [Precious Idea] Bamidbar – Numbers 1:1-4:20

Have you had this challenge? My daughter hates her name. A while back she tried to convince my wife to let her change it. Madliyen, her name in Hebrew, translates to Madeleine in English. It took a long time to come up with an elegant name. But she’s convinced it doesn’t fit her heart’s desire. So we had a little talk about names based on this week’s parsha, Bamidbar:

And the tribe of Gad, and the leader of the children of Gad, Eliasaph son of Reuel… (Numbers/Bamidbar 1:2)

How to Find Your Heart’s Desire…In Seconds

This Sabbath’s parsha begins the fourth book of the Torah, Numbers. It’s Hebrew name, Bamidbar, means wilderness.  G-d commands Moses to take a census of the Children of Israel.  Next He gives the arrangement of the tribes into four camps that will travel with and encamp around the Holy Ark.  Then the Levites are appointed to the service of the Tabernacle in place of the first-born. From this comes the mitzvah of Pidyon Haben, the redemption of the first-born, still done today.

What’s in a Name?

Many people choose their children’s names because they sound good. But words have meaning. So do names. In Parshas Vayeitzei, Jacob’s wives express their aspirations or exasperation in the names of their sons and daughter. Earlier in the Torah, Isaac gets his name from Sarah laughing at the idea she’ll have a child when she is so old.

My daughter’s name comes from the Hebrew verb that means to draw (water). In the Torah, water symbolizes wisdom. Put the verb in the reflexive tense, add the suffix for females, and you get Madliyen. My wife and I hope she will uplift women.

Despite my explaining it to her, Madeleine remains unconvinced. We hope as she matures she will find value in the mission we wish for her.

Finding Your Heart’s Desire

Your parents may have been less than intentional about embedding aspirations in your name. Still, your name has meaning. Have you ever checked into it?

At you can find a lot of information about your name. Included are its language and meaning both as a word and by individual letters. It doesn’t have my daughter’s name. But mine means handsome. Hey, no conceit here. Blame my parents.

Take a few seconds and research your name at What insight do you get into your heart’s desire or life’s mission? Does it highlight part of your character? Not satisfied? Text you folks and ask them why they named you as they did. The answer may surprise you.

Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. True enough. But you’re more complex than a flower. Finding your heart’s desire may change the direction of your life.

What does your name mean? Please comment below.


Every year beginning on Simchas Torah, the cycle of reading the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, ends and begins again. Each Sabbath a portion known as a sedra or parsha is read. It is named after the first significant word or two with which this weekly reading begins.

What verse in the Old Testament would you like to know more about? Ask a question and I will answer it in a future Parsha Nugget!

Want to Be Happier? Limit Your Choices …

2 minutes to read

“How can you be bored when you have a room full of toys and games?”

I asked my daughter when she stayed home sick from school. Put all exaggeration about my childhood aside. She has a lot more things to play with than I did. Yet despite numerous choices, she’s dissatisfied. My daughter is not unique. Most of my friends’ children are the same. For generations we’ve been taught greater choice will make us happy. Turns out the prevailing wisdom is wrong.

Want to Be Happier- Limit Your Choices …

The Paradox of Choice

Convinced I was on to something, I researched the connection between happiness and number of choices. In a TED talk about 10 years ago, psychologist Barry Schwartz explained why the huge number of options we have makes us unhappy. He acknowledged there are benefits to having alternatives. But having an enormous number of choices often paralyzes decision-making. So people don’t take any action to improve their lives because they cannot decide which one is best.

Further, Schwartz identified four bad effects of a large number of choices:

  1. Regret or anticipation of regret. Your satisfaction in a good decision is reduced because with so many other options one of them must have been closer to perfect.
  2. Opportunity costs. No matter how good a choice is others must have had better features. So, you’re dissatisfied even when you know you made the right decision.
  3. Escalation of expectations. Because we’re so used to a huge number of options, the one we choose cannot live up to our expectations.
  4. Self-Blame. When we had limited choices we could accept discontent as the way things are. But when we have so many alternatives, if we choose a bad one we have only ourselves to blame.

Happiness requires striking a balance between too many and too few choices.

How to Effectively Limit Choices

Schwartz and I part company over how to solve this dilemma. He proposes having an outside entity constrain the choices of people in wealthy nations. The extra resources can then be used to increase the options for those living in poorer countries. The problem arises in assuming the optimal number of choices is the same for all people and for all aspects of life.

For myself, having a huge array of electronic gadgets to choose from does not make me happy. But I have a friend who LOVES comparing and deciding which one is best. (So I call him and he makes the choice for me.)

The best solution is for each of us to determine the amount of a choice that is optimal for our life and set constraints accordingly. Here’s how:

  1. Refuse to believe that more choices are necessarily good.
  2. Are you content with your choices in a particular area of your life? Don’t think you have to change them to find greater contentment. You may end up with less.
  3. Identify an aspect of life you think you’ll enjoy exploring. Test it out. Are you happier? I love trying new varieties of chocolate and ice cream. I go to great lengths to find them.

By choosing to limit your choices you will find greater happiness.

Where in your life are you overwhelmed by choices? Please comment below.

Know the Most Powerful Word for Getting What You Want?

1-½ minutes to read

Have you gotten everything you want in life? A lot of people don’t know what they want. They grope through their lives as if in a pitch-black room. With so many choices it’s difficult to decide. Having determined the object of your desire, you’re tempted to stray after something else. Sticking with your original plan seems like settling. Of course, once you’ve committed to your goal you have to meet it.

Know the Most Powerful Word for Getting What You Want?

You’ll Need Help

Everything you want in life is owned or controlled by someone else.Roger Dawson, world-renowned teacher of negotiating

Like it or not you will have to ask people for what you want. So spend some time figuring out how to do this in a compelling way.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a magic word you could use to get people’s help? There is.

In a study on helpfulness, researchers setup a situation where a person approached people using a copying machine. He asked to jump to the head of the line because he had to finish a project for his boss. Even when he said please most people said no. But when he prefaced his request with the question, “Will you help me,” most people said yes.

Use the word help when you want someone’s assistance.

Persistence Pays Off

In another study on helpfulness, researchers examined how people reacted to being asked for two favors. They expected people who turned down the first request to help would be more likely to turn down the second request. But their research showed the opposite. Forty-three percent of the people who at first said no agreed to do the second favor. This was more than double what the research subjects anticipated.

Having once been told no, the tendency is to reject that person for future requests for help. But the guilt at having said no often compels people to make amends by agreeing to a second request. When someone turns you down for a job or sale ask for a referral to someone else. Request that you be able to contact them again to see if their situation has changed.

In any event, confidently seek people’s help to get what you want. Remember, if you fail to ask the answer is always no.

What prevents you from asking for help? Please comment below.

Are You Prepared to Sacrifice This to Succeed?

2 minutes to read

What’s preventing you from succeeding? Do you lack education? Are you too old? Do you need more money? Are you missing the right connections? Do other people demand your attention? Are you too busy to be able to focus on what will lead to success? Is life rigged against you? I have good news for you. If you read on I’ll show you how to overcome all these hurdles.

Are You Prepared to Sacrifice This to Succeed-

Correlative vs. Causative Success Factors

All the issues I mentioned about relate to success but they don’t cause it. Let’s take them one at a time:

Education: Data showing college graduates make higher average incomes correlates to a higher drive to succeed. A degree won’t necessarily make you more money. Except for certain jobs in academia, you can succeed without a college education.

Age: According to the Kauffman Foundation, people over 55 are twice as likely to launch high growth start-ups as people 20-34 years old. You’re never too old to succeed.

Money: There are billions of dollars available for solid business ideas. The Internet has given unprecedented access to it through vehicles like crowd funding. Such sources as credit cards and SBA backing make capital accessible to almost anyone.

Connections: Have you been in the military or gone to college? You can find all the contacts you need using LinkedIn, RallyPoint, and other social media sites. They’re all free. You have unheard of access to almost anyone.

As to having too many demands or being too busy, is it doing your loved ones or yourself any good to put off doing the things necessary to succeed? Create a positive way of saying no. Make sure you’re using your time in a meaningful way.

Finally, if you think life is rigged against you you’re right. But the fact is it’s rigged against everyone else too. None of us gets out of it alive. And even the richest and most charmed have challenges. You may not know what they are. But you wouldn’t trade your for theirs.

To Succeed You’ll Have to Sacrifice

These issues have something in common. You’re belief.

If you want to succeed, you’ll have to kill off the ideas that are holding you back. Make this sacrifice. You’ll resist giving up such a comfortable part of yourself. Be ruthless. Mourn the loss if you must but destroy your old, limiting beliefs.

It’s not enough to adopt new ideas. When the crunch comes they’ll crumble in the face of an ingrained mindset. Pull out beliefs that no longer serve you by the roots.

Eliminate the mindset blocking your success. Open your mind to possibility and abundance. With this outlook, you can’t help but succeed.

What will you sacrifice to succeed? Please comment below.

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