What would you like to be? What would you like to do? So, nu? What are you waiting for?
Yeah, if only life were that simple…
“I can’t because I have no time”;
“I can’t because I have no money”;
“I can’t because I have no control” (of my food, of my job, of my family);
“I can’t because I have no support” (of friends, of family, of coworkers, of supervisors);
“I can’t because I have no will or ability” (to do what is necessary).
Does any of this sound familiar? How do these excuses appear to you? Unbreakable shackles? Overwhelming obstacles?
Mitzrayim, the land from which we were redeemed, literally means “borders” or “boundaries.” In fact, ancient Egypt prided itself on its exclusivity and superiority; they had everything they needed, and there was no need or desire to leave its borders. Its workers were both physically and emotionally trapped, with no will or thought of escape. This was the land in which our nation developed. After two centuries of gradual constriction, we became slaves with a slave mentality, inured to our state of being, unable to make a difference in our own destiny. We blamed others for our downfall, we blamed others for our failures, we blamed others for our inability to pull ourselves back up.
Some of us, unfortunately, have not changed much in nearly three-and-a-half thousand years. “I can’t because I have no…?” You need something from someone else before you can move forward? Why? What have YOU done to alleviate your misfortune? What have YOU done to attain your goals? We blame our parents, our coworkers, our boss, our spouse, and the list goes on… Enough! Change starts with YOU, not anyone else. If you don’t surround yourself with inspiring motivating supportive people, time to move on and find a new place to call “home.” In the end, your power can only come from within and from Above, nowhere else. You must use your abilities and your intellect to make it happen, and to find people who can help you make it happen yourself; the strength must come from you. Be intrinsically motivated and driven, not extrinsically pulled and cajoled.
When Hashem gave us the freedom to escape Mitzrayim, he gave us the ability to break through our own boundaries and limitations. But most people don’t push themselves hard enough. Most people don’t do what it takes to realize their God-given potential. Laziness is not an excuse; “I have no…” is not an excuse. What have you sacrificed to achieve your goals? Where are your priorities?
“If only life were that simple…?” The truth is, at the end of the day, life is that simple, and only our excuses complicate it. It’s time to shed the slave mentality.
When your body is tired, push a little more; when your mind is weak, push a little longer; when your will is drained, push a little further. Always press your limits. If you don’t, you’ll never know how much you can attain and of how much you’re truly capable. Always push against your own “Mitzrayim.”
Every day, be a better person than you were the day before—spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially and intellectually. Progressive development, as I’ve written before, allows you to take small steps each day to achieve your goals. Your only deadline is your “deadline,” so don’t procrastinate. As long as you move forward every day, striving to do better today than you did yesterday, with the ultimate goal of being better tomorrow than you are today, one day, with Hashem’s grace, you will realize your potential. We weren’t put here to just be, we were put here to become. This isn’t a fanciful philosophical notion, this is our chiyuv. A day without trying to improve oneself and/or one’s environment is a day wasted.
We ALL have this ability, each with our own strengths. Inspire yourself, inspire others. After all, look who led us out of Egypt: an 80-year-old stuttering little brother; a humble fugitive who, ultimately, found his calling and realized his own abilities.
Freedom means the ability to choose, so choose wisely… what are you going to do with your freedom?
Chemmie Sokolic is an ACSM-certified Personal Trainer, and owner of Frum & Fit LLC. Chemmie can be reached at [email protected]. Visit www.FrumandFit.com or www.Facebook.com/FrumandFit for more information.
By Chemmie Sokolic