I’m 50 years young! What a monumental moment in life. I can finally give [good] counsel. If you’d like, I could tell you who to be, where to be, and when to be.
Or more importantly, I could remind you of how to be the aspect of yourself who wants nothing more but to be your best self.
Yehuda Ben Teima would say: Five years is the age for the study of Scripture. Ten, for the study of Mishnah. Thirteen, for the obligation to observe the mitzvot. Fifteen, for the study of Talmud. Eighteen, for marriage. Twenty, to pursue [a livelihood]. Thirty, for strength, Forty, for understanding. Fifty, for counsel. Sixty, for sagacity. Seventy, for elderliness. Eighty, for power. Ninety, to stoop. A hundred-year-old is as one who has died and passed away and has been negated from the world (Pirkei Avos, 5: 21).
It’s World Book Day. So, I’ve pasted my chapter on decision making for your perusal below.
— Sorry you missed it. This chapter was only posted for a few days —
— Decisions —
Why are decisions so darn difficult to make?
We can attribute our decision making struggles to a normal case of FOMO. It’s like we’re all prophets when it comes to decision making. Just toying with the idea of making a choice unboxes the sense that once we clop down the gavel, single out an idea, and select one option over another, we’re certain to die of regret.
That’s because our Antagonist places in our heart the overblown idea that making a decision means we’re automatically excluding all the other options. This is why we often feel like we’re losing out on something really important. All it takes is one decision, and somehow, we’ve already missed out.
And it all happens so quickly…
It’s National Read Across America Day! My book is called: “The Wisdom of Getting Unstuck.” Check out my first chapter below:
You’re the author of your own story. You’re the main character, and as you know, a compelling story always has the major character come into conflict with an opposing force.
This force is your Antagonist.
It wants to see you struggle. It snuggles up next to you, rubs its shoulders against you, and attempts to feed you its lines all day long.
It wants you to follow its script, not yours.
The Antagonist tries to distort our vision. It blurs the lenses with which we view ourselves and the world around us. Our perception of reality becomes muddied by its foreign messages and external expectations. It’s easy to become misguided by its thick layers of deception.
Would you describe yourself as a wise person?
You’ve got your struggles just like everyone else. You’re most likely wiser in some aspects of your life than others, and whether you’re fully aware of it or not, you’re always making efforts to become the person who you truly want to be.
Have you ever met anyone who isn’t grappling with something? We’re all struggling with one thing or another. Every one of us has an Antagonist.
The Antagonist leaves us good reason to be concerned. It’s doing everything in its power to distract and entice us into doing the wrong thing. When we start to identify ourselves with the negative messages that it delivers, we’re bound to start experiencing a heightened degree of discomfort, emptiness, pain and tension.
It’s a Bother
You’ve probably already given what’s bothering you a name. People often call it anxiety, depression, mania, fear or addiction. A good diagnostician is able to break down one’s negative behaviors and thought patterns into simple terms.
We can learn a lot from these labels.
The problem is when we start defining ourselves by them. It’s not clear from where they originated. One thing’s for certain, once we start basing our most important life decisions on our Antagonist’s ill-driven directives, that’s when we know that we’ve stumbled right into the muddy middle.
Imagine making life decisions based on your own values, making choices that look right and feel good, and whenever you decide to take your next step, you can count on it to be firmly planted and well secured.
What if you could establish a mutual understanding with your Antagonist, and change the relationship for the better? Nothing could stop you from writing your own story in your own way.
You’d have the freedom to develop a narrative that suits you best.
In order to start relating to our Antagonist on our own terms, we have to become wiser to its daily shenanigans. As long as we’re convinced of its rhetoric, it’ll continue to rule over us.
It’ll continue to dictate our life.
It takes a wise person to be able to avoid one’s Antagonist’s whims, but when we time and time again find ourselves stuck in the muddy middle, it’s upon us to start developing new and clever ways to finagle ourselves out from the middle of its sticky mud.
Want to read more? Click below to order “The Wisdom of Getting Unstuck.”