Tag Archives: commitment

How to Get Others, Even G-d, to Help You

Is Your Faith in a Successful Job-Hunt Unshakable?

2-½ minutes to read

Parsha [Passage of Scripture] Nugget [Precious Idea] Beshalach - Exodus13:17-17:16

Not all the redeployers coming through Sembach are looking forward to going home. Some like the fast op tempo on deployment. Others face divorces and other personal turmoil. But most dread returning to a job they hate or no job at all…

How to Get Others, Even G-d, to Help You

A Passionate Bad Decision Is Better than Indecision

Deployment provides a sharp contrast for those with private sector employment problems. Working as much as 16 hours a day, seven days a week takes commitment. They lived their purpose and had a mission while deployed. But they have no comparable commitment to their civilian job.

For those without a job, often their search is lackluster. They don't know what they want to do. They don't understand the job-hunt process. When you don't feel it, how do you project confidence?

Having left Egypt, the Children of Israel faced a similar problem at the Reed Sea. (The usual translation, “Red Sea,” is incorrect.) Caught between the horror of Egyptian slavery and an unknown existence in the desert, they faltered. Parshas Beshalach picks up the narrative:

Moses stretched out his hand over the sea . . .” (Shemos/Exodus 14:21)

The Israelites saw no way across the Reed Sea. Pharaoh had changed his mind about letting them go. He gathered his chariots and chased after them. With nowhere to run, G-d split the sea for the Children of Israel. At least that’s how it worked in the movie.

When Moses stretched out his hand over the water, a tsunami-like wind blew from the east. Moses may have caused the water to split and the wind dried the seabed. Or the wind caused the water to split so the miracle would not be obvious.

Whichever is the case, the Torah alludes to an act of deep faith. Nachshon ben Aminadav, leader of the kingly tribe of Judah, plunged into the water. He kept walking forward until it reached his neck. Only when Nachshon was in so deep he would drown did the Almighty split the waters.

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Nachshon believed, indeed knew, G-d would save the Israelites. With the Egyptians intent on destroying them, only one direction remained. Forward into the unknown, Nachshon trusted G-d would fulfill his promise of salvation.

Bust a Gut for Yourself and People Will Help You

When you can take a familiar path, but you know it’s wrong, reject it out of hand. Although it challenges your faith, commit to moving forward in a new direction. G-d will show you the way through unknown territory.

Your action must precede the Almighty’s help. He knows what’s best for you. But growth isn’t pain-free.

  1. First, plumb the depths of your soul. What will give your life meaning?
  2. Next, decide on the direction your life will take.
  3. Finally, dedicate yourself to it.

Your commitment will inspire people to help you. They’ll fill in the blanks of your knowledge. Time and again I’ve seen it. When you hit a dead end, someone will open a door that lets you move forward.

Resist the temptation to pray for a smooth ride over the rough road of life. Move straight and tall into uncharted territory. When you commit heart and soul, G-d’s help will appear.

Have you committed 100% to your job or job-hunt?

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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.

Do you have a question about the Old Testament? Ask it here and I will answer it in a future Parsha Nugget!

The One Word That Changed My Life

No man is an island. ~ John Donne

The One Word That Changed My Life

Two weeks ago I had an emergency appendectomy. In the moment it all seemed routine. We dropped something off to a friend before going to the hospital. Once there, everything happened with beautifully choreographed efficiency. The first incision was made four and a half hours after we arrived. No miracle here – just ordinary healthcare, right?

But lying in the hospital while waiting to be discharged, I realized it is not overly dramatic to be grateful for being alive.

  1. Surgery by contemporary standards dates from 1867 when British surgeon Joseph Lister published an article extolling the virtues of cleanliness. X-rays are only about 120 years old. Antibiotics have been around for less than a century, laparoscopic surgery less than half that. Without the first three, my chances for survival would have been low. The last one reduced my hospital stay to 24 hours.
  2. Had it been up to me, I would not have gone to the hospital. My stomach was hurting, but I was prepared to tough it out. Thank goodness my wife Hannah is a registered nurse and knew better. I felt too awful to put up my usual argument. Left to my own devices my appendix would probably have had to rupture before I sought help.
  3. I overheard a conversation between my wife and the discharge nurse who said as he cut me, the surgeon noted my lack of belly fat. Evidently, my physical condition was crucial to my high tolerance for the surgery, lack of post-operative pain, and rapid recovery. I was unable to engage with my family and work for only two days.

Remove any of these three factors and I am, at best much sicker, and, at worst dead.

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This time last year I was nearing the end of four months of recovery from the debilitating effects of an acute back problem compounded by a severe reaction to medication. (See Lessons from Taking Lyrica). I lost out on or had reduced productivity for one-third of a year. My daughter’s favorite holiday, Chanukah, was not much of a celebration. I had been trying to live a balanced, resilient life. Therein was the problem. I should have lived it instead of trying to do so.

I committed to living intentionally. Period.

  1. In the near future, I will be releasing my first product. It is a tool I used to determine what a balanced life means to me, identify my areas of weakness, and set goals to strengthen them. Then I developed a plan. I have not conquered my challenges, but this latest episode demonstrated I am on the right track. I reduced the time I could not pursue the life my family and I want by 6000%!
  2. Strengthening my marriage is my number one priority. Forming an enduring connection with my daughter ranks a close second. Not far behind that is my commitment to continue building friendships and business relationships, both existing and new. Donne’s words carry more weight for me today than ever before. The quote above to be sure, but the end of his poem too:

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee.

Is my life actually balanced? On a day-to-day basis? No. In the longer horizon. Yes. Am I resilient? You be the judge. I intended to title this piece Success Is Not Always Moving Forward because I felt fortunate not to have lost the ground I did last year. Now I see that I have vaulted forward.

It all came from one decision. When I asked myself are you #LivingIntentionally? A year ago I answered:

YES

Are you living a balanced, resilient life? If not, when will you commit to doing so?

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The One Thing You Have to Do to Start a Business

Many people tell me they want to have their own business but they do not know what they want to do.

The One Thing You Have to Do to Start a Business

Often, embedded in this statement is the fear that they lack the knowledge, skills, or ideas necessary to be successful. Having met thousands of prosperous entrepreneurs I have found:

  • Some have advanced degrees, many did not go to college.
  • A few started out with most of the skills they needed to succeed, most learned as their businesses progressed.
  • A handful had unique or clever concepts, nearly all did not.

The only trait they have in common is a commitment to be and stay in business.

“Are you saying talent is not a factor?” Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Look at this equation:

Talent = Latent

They look almost identical. That is because any expertise you need is resting inside you. You may think I am just playing a word game. In truth, if you always remember this equation you will succeed.

For example, most entrepreneurs learned how to sell. There are some natural born salespeople. But often they take their gift for granted and are eclipsed by those who studied and practiced.

All the talent you need to be successful in business is latent within you. Will you commit to developing it and prospering?

Question – Which skills or knowledge, that cannot be learned, do you think are essential to succeed?

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