6 Mitzvahs, 7 Weeks
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Video: "The Secret of Success"

The Secret of Success


We are involved in understanding the Shaish Mitzvos Temidios and looking at them from a unique perspective, how can I use them every single day to be more successful in everything that I do in my life. Now we are up to mitzvah #2 and Mitzvah #2 is Ein Zulaso that there is no power outside the Almighty.

Now you might ask yourself what was mitzvah #1? Leida Ulhaamin Sheyaish Shum Elokah, to know that there is an almighty G-D. Well what does G-D mean? Obviously we are talking about the Jewish G-D, which is the monotheistic G-D so why do you have another mitzvah to say Ein Zulaso – there is no power outside G-D. It should be self understood.

So the 2nd Mitzvah of Ein Zulaso we are going to take a little bit of a different tack. Ein Zulaso is based upon  the 2nd of the Aseres Hadibros which is ‘Lo Yihye Lecham Elohim Acheirim Al Panay’. That there should not be foreign gods before you. But if you look  how Dovid Hamelech treats that in Tehilim he says there should not be within you a foreign power. So what does it mean to have a foreign power within us?

This stems from Chayt and Rabbi Noach Weinberg says that what chayt this refers to is the fact that each and every one of us thinks that we are the people that possess the power. It is our power. That the foreign power that exists in every one of us is the ego.

I will give you an example, because we all suffer from this. Imagine a little boy is playing baseball with his friends and he is very good at the game. So pretty much whenever he plays with his friends he always hits a couple of balls out of the park and he does very very well. Now imagine that suddenly he finds a new group of boys to play with and he has never met his opposing pitcher before. He steps into the batters box and the new pitcher fans him on three straight pitches. And he is So angry and So upset and So religious that when he strikes out he throws the bat on the ground and he says G-D why did you do this to me?

Now imagine the same kid is up a second time and the same thing happens again. This time I hope he does not use language that cannot be repeated. A third time he gets up. He has seen the pitcher twice before, the first pitch comes down the pike, wacks it out of the park and hits a home run and as he is scoring the winning run, what does he say now? YEAH. 

We do this all the time, suddenly it is my power. Where was G-D when you succeeded? You know when we are in trouble as human beings we call out to G-D and guess what it is a local phone call. He is right there – we are always blaming G-D. But what happens when we succeed we love to take credit for our own success. Taking credit for your own success is not only of course an awful thing to do but is a bad strategy. If you want to succeed in like taking credit for what you do is guaranteed to lead to blaming yourself when you don’t do right. And if you didn’t do right and you weren’t successful, often enough you get frustrated and guess what? You stop trying. So when we succeed, instead of taking credit for our success, we should take pleasure in our success. Take pleasure  that Hakadosh Boruch Hu ran the universe in a way to include my success today and in that way we feel terrific. It is much better then inflating your own ego. Hakodosh Boruch Hu the creator of the universe knows I exist and he gave me this because he loves me!  And then when we don’t succeed. What we have to say is I guess this wasn’t in my best interest. G-D loves me more then I love myself. 

We all know stories of people who have done well in life only to come down crashing later on. Say a baseball player who is praying every day as he is in the minor leagues as he is languishing there that he gets his big break and he comes into the major leagues.

Imagine he gets into the major leagues and he becomes a phenomenon, he is a sensation right? But he is 19 years old. Eventually the fame and fortune get to him and before you know it he might be hooked on drugs. He might be involved in crime. He might be doing all sorts of destructive behavior. This is a story that repeats itself over and over and over again in sports. The same thing with us. We have to recognize. Not only is it in my best interests. Not only is it ok for me not to succeed. But we actually should say Gam Zu Ltovah. It is the same Tov when I do succeed, and when I don’t so what is it then, it must be in my best interest to do this.

So number one let us accept the fact that when we succeed it is with Hakadosh Boruch Hu giving us success. Hakadosh Boruch Hu is running the universe in a manner to make sure that we are going to be successful. And if we don’t succeed say ok that certainly is not in my best interest. Not only is it ok but Gam Zu Ltovah.

There is another thing that happens often when we take credit for our own successes. Taking credit for your own success means “I CANdo this. I’ve done it and I CAN do this”. Very often what happens when something requires a whole lot of effort, we might cop out a little bit and tell ourselves, ‘you know what – I can’t do this’. And if you are the authority to declare that you can do, therefore you are also going to be the authority to declare what it is that you can not do and that is how people fail. Nobody fails for any other reason other then they stop trying. Because as long as you are trying you are still in the game, and you can still win. But you stop trying, it is all over. Therefore when a person is going to undertake something, rather then ask yourself ‘what will make me the most successful’, which you shouldn’t do because success is up to Hakodosh Boruch Hu, we should be asking ourselves what is the right thing to do. If it is the right thing to do you get into that batters box and you swing away, the wrong thing to do, you are somewhere else. What is the right thing to do, if it is the right thing to do you make your hishtadlus and you do what you need to do, you let Hakodosh Boruch Hu take care of the rest, the wrong thing you are someone else.

The second mitzvah, Ein Zulaso – there is no power outside of the Almighty. Let’s not get all caught up in our own power, in our own ego, but let’s recognize, that it all comes from Hashem.



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