We can accomplish great things, we can draw great applause and acclaim, all while remaining defeated within. This is because nothing can replace true strength of character. This is the battle waged within our own selves and it is only this battle that determines whether one achieves triumph or defeat.
BEGINNING WITHIN PODCAST
The Beginning Within Podcast is all about repeatedly asking ourselves the one question that always matters, “What can I do about this situation?” Beginning within is about changing the one person we can change. Beginning within is about learning that by transforming ourselves we transform the world.
It's the hardest mile. Your mind is telling you it's not possible. Your body is shouting no. This is why it's the most important mile. The Talmud teaches that this mile demonstrates whether you're in the relationship or not.
Our knee-jerk reaction to the hurts of life is growing a thick skin and becoming less sensitive. Numbing ourselves comes at a serious cost. It compromises one of our greatest virtues, sensitivity. Don't give up what makes you most beautiful!
When we don't remind ourselves why we're doing what we do, what we do becomes frustrating. Simply tapping back into our why will reinvigorate what we're committed to. Just ask yourself, "Why am I doing this again?"
As long as we're still excusing ourselves, we won't achieve what we're seeking. The difference between the more and less successful people isn't in how capable they are, it's in how committed they are!
The word selfless is accurately put. We will never entirely obliterate the self. We can continuously make our lives less and less about self. While it may seem counterintuitive, this is also the path to greater happiness.
Experiences are what make our lives so enriching. However, when we're distracted by other things, we lose the experience. This is why being in the moment is the key to having an experience.
“Wow, he’s so deep,” we might say about someone we meet. What makes a person deep, and why is it important? In this talk, we explore the difference between the realms of matter and non-material reality, gaining tools to help us become deeper and more authentic people.
In life, we all experience a contradiction; times of confusion, and times of clarity and beauty. Although complete perfection is not possible, we can learn tools to help us experience more happiness and strength. Choosing what to focus on can change our lives.
We all experience pain and suffering and wish desperately not to. Is there possibly a difference between the two? What is it? Can we minimize how much suffering we will experience? Explore important tools to help you grow your ability to do just that!
We all struggle with our egos, our need for attention. To “make it” we try to stand out and be significant. Paradoxically, we experience tremendous joy and holiness when we can unite with our brothers and sisters. There are special times and ways of celebration that help us tap into that beautiful oneness we all share at our core.
“Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? Was it me, no you! Couldn’t be. Then who?” This childhood ditty encapsulates one of life’s major issues. Do we admit our wrongdoings? Try to blame the other? How do we react to our failings? Learn why evading our own misdeeds can be so damaging. and how we can move towards taking greater responsibility, react with greater integrity, and provide a safe haven of growth for others who err.
Our lives are full of problems and challenges. How do we respond? We can point out the problem, better yet, offer a solution; or be one of those rare people who takes responsibility and works the solution. Gain insight and motivation into becoming a solver, learning why we already have the ability inside us.
It can be intimidating and discouraging to hear others say that we have such great potential, when we know how far we fall short. When we think about our personal natural abilities-- they may indeed be limited. By learning to tap into the potential G-d implanted in us, we can stretch and reach farther than we could ever imagine. Gain insights and tools to tap into the infinite.
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve micromanaged someone? When we can’t trust, it frustrates those we work with, and limits ourselves. We can train ourselves to trust others, step by step, and how with appropriate trusting we can accomplish things that seem impossible.
Learn how developing greater trust can expand your life.
While we may admire pristine order and perfection, is there greater virtue in another focus? Perfection and holiness can be two different paths. Learn how the busy, rumpled person may be actually greater in holiness, since he has a different priority. Gain perspectives on where to put your energy for maximum happiness and satisfaction.
We learn so much from a seed. One tiny seed can yield a tree overflowing with fruit. True abundance comes from a special kind of planting, with a certain kind of attitude. Learn how to invest in a way that will yield abundance and blessing.
It’s so hard to know when we’re being taken advantage of, exploited, or even worse, abused. Finding the strength to set clear boundaries and knowing when to walk away is challenging. Learn insights and tools to recognize such situations and move forward with greater clarity.
We all like to be right and to win. It can be hard to have the objectivity and humility to admit that we err. Especially if we can win with a “cheap shot” that makes us come out on top, but diminishes our true integrity. Gain insight into how a temporary setback can sometimes be an ultimate win, building deeper character.
Why is peace so elusive? Life seems full of conflict on every level- internal, personal, national, and global.
There are quick fixes and deeper long-term solutions. Learn insights for integrating the parts of your life that seem intractable.
So much of our life is based on stats. The stock market, the bottom line, the winning team’s scores, our FitBit print out, to name a few. Is quality over quantity a worn cliche or a true approach to life? Learn an approach that goes beyond a spreadsheet.
We all want to be seen as the nice guy who everyone loves. Praise, treats, second chances keep us the favorite. But is it ever better to say no, to let people experience tough love?
Learn about the growth that the right severity can create.
Sometimes we see it coming. We warn our spouse or child, and they proceed to mess up. Isn’t this the time for tough love reprimand, to point out their errors? Learn how to most effectively support and rebuild the person who did wrong.
So many of us search, yearning to find our deepest and truest selves. This can involve traveling to distant lands, seeking out therapists and teachers, spending copious hours and dollars on our quest. Yet, by turning outside ourselves, we may encounter something dramatically different.
Is the glass half empty or half full? We know that a positive outlook can transform the way we experience life. But what about those really hard times, when seeing any good, having any kind of vision seems impossible. Learn a new perspective, and the possibilities it can open up.
We’re all drawn to light. Physical light - daylight, candlelight, sunshine - and to those people who seem to give off a luminescence. Do we need to be around certain people or environments to create light for us? Learn how to shine your own light and never let it dim.
Why do placebos work? Is it because people are gullible, or because something deeper is at play? Believing we are being healed can change us physically. Our thoughts and attitudes are powerful. Learn how to better shape and mold your reality.
A young boy in our story reminds us of the saying, "When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you." It is always wise to take a few moments and consider whether it is you who is the problem. More often than we'd like to think so, it is.
Lying is the root of most of our problems. This all stems from the fundamental lie, the belief in the material without seeing the source behind it. Speaking truthfully is the same as bringing light into a dark room. Suddenly there's connection, clarity, and safety.
Your life should be just like a cup. While a cups utility is holding liquid, its purpose is quite the opposite, dispensing liquid. What is your purpose in life, receiving or giving?
Light shines through transparent objects. When we are transparent, the light of G-d and the light of others can shine through us. When we mix in our own agenda or bias, we lose our transparency and reduce our ability to shine.
When we experience a crack in our armor, a failure or a weakness, we must run. We must run toward it, not away from it. All accomplishments are achieved through imperfection, failure, and mistakes. If we run away, we will never reach accomplishment.
Are you a moral force for those around you? Do your friends know you won't support any unethical behavior? Are you raising children with the clarity that we must be dedicated to our values over ourselves?
Our job is in the effort department, not the results department. Remember, you are not the genius, you were endowed with a genius. Your job is to put that genius to work. What your genius will do with your efforts is not your department, That's where G-d steps in.
Reigning ourselves in is one of the great secrets to healthy living. We all desire to think, say, and do things which don't serve our overall purpose. Developing our muscle of self-discipline is vital if we want to be high functioning and productive in life. If you care about yourself, don't do whatever you want.
You were created by design. You were created on purpose for a purpose. You have a destiny calling upon you. We all count on you to play your part in our collective destiny. Are you heeding the call of your destiny?
True greatness isn't becoming something, it's becoming nothing. Becoming nothing is truly something! Listen to this podcast to understand the deep association between great and small, and something and nothing. Then you'll understand why nothing is the new something.
A painful reaction to unhealthy food is a sign of our healthy physical condition. The same is true with spiritual sensitivity. When we are spiritually sensitive, we have a reaction to unhealthy spiritual behavior. Regardless of our sensitivity, the science of spirituality states that there is always a reaction to spiritual behavior. This is why when we accentuate the positivity of another person, we strengthen them without their even knowing it. The reverse remains true as well. Be a force of positivity!
There are two paths we can take in life. The path we choose affects almost everything we experience. Which will you choose? The path of proving to the world that you have value and are worthy of respect or the path of acknowledging your inherent worth and working on living up to who you were created as?
Dwight Eisenhower said, "If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking is freedom. The title of Chapter 6 in It's Within You, Choosing Your Freedom, describes how much courage it takes to choose freedom. You might be living in a free country but until you choose freedom you are choosing the security of enslavement over the vulnerability of freedom.
My senior colleague lost four of his eight children to Bloom syndrome. He said the following to a friend of mine, “There is a phrase that some people say when they feel that life is not fair. And that is, ‘Why is G-d picking on me?’ Yet, if you remove one word from that phrase, it changes everything." Once you learn which word it is you'll realize that he has mastered the art of acceptance and it makes all the difference. Without acceptance, you can never be free from the endless number of unwanted circumstances in your life.
Enjoy inspirational sound bites from my book launch talk. Change is never easy. The difference between the one who does and the one who doesn't isn't talent. It's simply that the one who does, chose to do, despite the challenges and discomfort.
When evil rears its ugly head, spiritual leaders often call for more acts of goodness. This can sound naive until we are willing to define good and evil. Once we do, we understand why abundant good eradicates evil.
Darkness isn't necessarily a sign to run. Very often it's a sign that we must break through. This is because darkness and light are deeply associate. Very often, directly behind the darkness lies the greatest light.
Love is a blessing only when appropriately tempered. Otherwise, it will destroy a relationship. When we understand the difference between love and respect, we learn why they must be balanced so as to temper each other.
Your ugly character isn't justified because you happen to have religion on your side. Values must not be compromised and nor should our attitudes toward others. Just because you're right in principle doesn't permit you to be wrong with your attitude. You're not angry because you're so righteous. You're angry because of your arrogance. Never confuse the two!
Submitting to what is beyond can be frightening and uncomfortable. It is also the greatest way to leap forward. By learning from another's experience and mistakes, we can get far ahead of what we're capable of on our own.
Is there anything about you which you wish was different? Do you find yourself resisting who you are, what your capable of and the circumstances that were given to you? Here's a perspective to help you diminish that.
When you meet another person your disposition can be needy or needed. You can see yourself as a resource for others and be needed or you can see yourself as needy, only seeking to take. Which disposition will you choose?
Inaction can be very costly. It's not worth its price. Action requires a lot of strength. You can find that strength in a good friend, a mentor or envisioning the price you'll be paying if you don't act.