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The year 2013 is upon us, and as we stand at the threshold of this brand new year, brimming with opportunities and the potential for positive change, many of us make resolutions to improve our lives. Whatever it is that we want to transform, here are a few tips that can help us navigate the challenges that we will inevitably encounter when we set out on our paths.
1. Everything in our lives, whether good or bad, is a piece of our individual soul’s puzzle. As I elaborate on in my new book, To Be Continued: Reincarnation and the Purpose of Our Lives, everything that happens in our lives contains lessons for us. Once we are aware that this is the situation, we can and should also understand this: “If my boss fires me or my girlfriend breaks up with me, then there is something I need to learn. I may need to improve the way I’m doing things, or perhaps the situation itself is just making me a better person. One thing is for sure—it has come to help me.”
2. We are here to become leaders in our own lives. But what is real leadership? A leader is someone who is able to conquer his or her own illusions, judgments about others, and preconceived notions about situations. A leader doesn’t try to control others or the surrounding environment, but instead tries to control him- or her-self.
A leader is also someone who can make things happen. Simply having vision isn’t enough, especially these days, living as we do. According to the Kabbalists, we live in a world of action and now the world needs positive action, not just positive vision. A leader is not someone who looks at something and says, “Oh gee, that’s bad.” Rather, a leader looks at something and says, “OK, how do I bring the practical tools together to change this situation for the better?”
3. God doesn’t make deals. We humans make deals—a lot. We say, “I will pray three times a day or I will give four hours a week to go out of my routine, and then x, y, or z will happen.” But when x, y, or z doesn’t happen, we are often bewildered and ask, “How come? I have done all these things; I’ve done everything I promised.” Well, the reason x, y, or z didn’t happen is because we were trying to make a deal with God. Unfortunately, however, the universe doesn’t work that way.
In this world, the only deal we can make is to do and to be the very best we can to achieve the level of enlightenment that God has given each of us to attain, so that eventually we will wake up in the morning and not only see the beauty that is there, but also marvel at how wonderful it is that we can see at all.
4. Every morning we need to make a simple choice: Am I going to live only for myself today? Or, am I going to give of myself and do the spiritual work so that I can receive the blessings that are really meant for me? The truth is that we can create a new world this year. We can do this through the uniting of all of our efforts to wake up and choose to participate in this Game of Life—to work each day on completing the part of ourselves that must eventually return to the Creator.
The world didn’t end on December 21 2012, but perhaps we have started a new chapter. The world hangs in the balance between great positivity and great negativity, and we—each and every one of us—are the ones who, through our individual actions and consciousness, will decide which way the scales will tip.