"It is not expected of you to complete the entire work" (Pirkei Avos 2:21).
Frequently, a person is discouraged largely because he has goals that are beyond his ability to reach. While we do have much more potential than we utilize, we still are limited in what we can do. We must set reasonable goals. Our sages tell us that we are not expected to complete the work. There is so much spirituality to study and many good deeds to fulfill. More than anybody can do in any amount of lifetimes.
A person who demands too much from himself will feel frustrated and discouraged and is likely to quit. Therefore it is important to be aware of your limitations. But some people might feel that if they cannot obtain perfection and cannot complete everything necessary to be done, they might as well not even try. In the same Mishnah (section of the oral bible) the Sages state, "But you are not free to refrain from the matter, just because it is more than you can do!"
As I am planning my trip, my son-in-law had a relapse and is now suffering from blood clots. His wife, who has limited capicity, has never been seperated from him in the last 10 years. She believes there is a conspiricy to seperate her from her husband..Her world of unrealty has caused me major stress. All I can do is provide for her and put the rest in G-d's hands. It is not up to me to solve the world's problems, butg I can not throw up my hands either. Out of my work to try to solve the problem, an angel appeared who will drive Katie back and forth to see her precious husband. I am not free to refrain from the matter, just becasue it is more than you can do!!
Choose the middle path. Try to accomplish as much as possible, but also realize that you will not be able to do everything. Learn to take pleasure in trying to accomplish without feeling frustrated from not being able to finish all that you would have wanted.
Know where You're Going...
A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.
"Not very long," answered the Mexican.
"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.
The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."
The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."
"And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."
"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.
"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.
"And after that?"
"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"
"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your grand children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends..."
And the moral of this story is: ……… Know where you're going in life… you may already be there.
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