Enthusiasm is a learnable skill. And the best people to learn it from are those who are already enthusiastic. Even if someone else is enthusiastic about a specific matter that you have no interest in, you can still pick up from that person how to be more enthusiastic in ways that are suitable for you.
When you were young, you learned from those older than you how to walk, talk, and do many actions. This process came about because we all listened and observed. Utilizing this ability, we can become more enthusiastic by modeling people who are enthusiastic.
Whenever you encounter someone who is enthusiastic, look and listen. See the expression on their face. See how animated they are. Note specifically the nuances of what they do. Listen carefully to their tone of voice. Hear the expressions they use.
Then try it out. As an experiment imagine for a little while that you are this enthusiastic person. What attitudes enable you to be enthusiastic? What is your thinking patterns? In what ways are you speaking and acting differently than usual?
Love Yehuda Lave
This Tisha B'Av, as usual, I felt uncomfortable with the Kinot, which have become nothing more than lip service. We are actually in love with destruction. We have exchanged the essence of the Temple Mount for the Western Wall, the candy for the wrapper, and the purpose of the lamentations for the lamentations themselves. The longing for the Temple that kept us whole as a nation during 2,000 years of exile and returned us to our land and our state has somehow morphed into a horror show in the minds of too many Jews – both secular and religious.
The secular have been brainwashed to believe that the Temple – the source of world peace and stability – will create a world war. The religious think – rightfully – that the Temple will destroy their religion. In other words, the Temple will extricate Judaism from its narrow, religious, detached-from-reality framework and restore it to its original, all-encompassing stature. Judaism will then be part of every facet of life, from the most mundane and personal to the most sublime and universal.
The religious are not enthusiastic about that. The Zionist Jews have become used to the separation between holy and mundane (the complete opposite of their declared ideology) and the ultra-Orthodox have become used to being detached from the mundane. Every camp is quite comfortable in its own shallow and murky pond.
The Temple threatens everybody's world. It sanctifies everything. And due to the fears of the observant Jews, it still lies in destruction. Only because of the fears of the observant Jews.
In a visit some time ago to the Temple Mount, we met some of the paratroopers who had liberated Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. "It looks like you will have to re-capture the Temple Mount," I said to one of them. "We're ready and waiting for orders," the aging veteran answered with a smile.
With G-d's help, we will soon have authentic Jewish leadership that will issue those orders
About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.
Now we know the rest of the story!
Once upon a time there was a king who wanted to go fishing.
He called the royal weather forecaster and inquired as to the weather forecast for the next few hours.
The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days. So the king went
fishing with his wife, the queen. On the way he met a farmer on his donkey. Upon seeing the king the
farmer said, "Your Majesty, you should return to the palace at once because in just a short time
I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area".
The king was polite and considerate, he replied: "I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard.
He is an extensively educated and experienced professional. And besides, I pay him very high
wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my way." So he
continued on his way. However, a short time later a torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and
Queen were totally soaked and their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful
Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the weatherman at once!
Then he summoned the farmer and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of royal
forecaster. The farmer said, "Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain
my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey's ears drooping, it means with certainty
that it will rain."
So the king hired the donkey. And so began the practice of hiring asses to work in the government
and occupy its highest and most influential positions.
By Rifka Schonfeld
Change Your Habits, Change Your LifeHow to free yourself from ingrained habits
Nora always walks to the vending machine at 3pm. Even if she brings a snack from home, at 2:45pm she starts thinking about the vending machine.
Over the years, Nora has put on a few pounds and her 3pm visits to the vending machine are not helping her lose the weight she wants to shed. But, like clockwork, anticipation starts to build and Nora feels the need to head to the elevator and down to the vending machine. A couple of minutes later, she gets back into the elevator, holding onto her chocolate bar or bag of chips.
Nora's anticipation, walk to the elevator, and purchase of the food have become part of her daily routine. In fact, her need to go to the vending machine might not have anything to do with hunger. Rather, it all comes down to a simple, yet very powerful concept: habits.
The Power of Habit
In his best selling book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg argues that most of the choices we make each day may feel like products of well-considered decision making. In reality, they are not. He explains:
They are habits. And though each habit means relatively little on its own, over time, the meals we order, what we say to our kids each night, whether we save or spend, how often we exercise, and the way we organize our thoughts and work routines have enormous impacts on our heath, productivity, financial security, and happiness. One paper published by a Duke University researcher in 2006 found that more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren't actual decisions, but habits.
Duhigg's research not only explains why habits work, but also how habits change. With an understanding of what habits are and then how you can change them, you can truly improve your life one baby step at a time.
The Habit Loop
The process of forming a habit is a three-step circular system within our brains. Habits begin with a cue, or a trigger that signals to your brain to go into "automatic." A cue can be a time of day (such as Nora's 3pm snack break), sound, smell, or feeling. Once the cue is triggered, there is the routine, or the response, whether it is physical, mental, or emotional. Nora's routine is the walk to the elevator and the purchasing of the snack. Lastly, there is the reward, which helps your mind figure out if this loop is worth recalling for the future. The following is a diagram of the habit loop:
With time, this loop becomes more and more automatic. The cue and the reward become interconnected until your brain anticipates the reward as soon as it hears, sees, or touches the cue. In this way, the routine action becomes a habit – a powerful craving for a reward whenever the trigger is activated.
Habits are not fixed in stone. Duhigg writes, "Habits can be ignored, changed, or replaced." However, habits are so powerful because unless you actively work on fighting that habit, your brain stops fully participating in decision-making and focuses on other tasks. Therefore, unless you create new routines, the original habit (or routine) will progress automatically.
Change in Habits
The more we understand about habits, the easier they are to break down into their individual parts and change in order to lead happier, more fulfilled lives. The trick is not to get rid of habits, but to create ones that are more in line with our needs and values. After all, without habits such as many of our morning routines and nightly rituals, we would be consumed by the minutiae of our everyday lives. Even basic activities would seem daunting if we did not have an automatic routine to fall back on. Therefore, the goal is to change existing negative habits into ones that work within our desired lifestyles.
Duhigg argues that you cannot get rid of habits. Rather, you must work to replace them. The way to learn how to do this is to figure out what the reward is for each cue that triggers a routine. For instance, is Nora's reward the snack or is it a needed break from boredom at a lull in the day? If Nora truly is hungry, then the 3pm cue to go to the vending machine can be followed by the routine of going to the office refrigerator and taking out a prepared snack such as a cup of fruit or some chummus and vegetables. However, if the reward is a break from boredom, Nora need not eat at all at 3pm. Rather, getting up and taking a 5-minute walk around the block or the building would provide the same reward.
In this way, habits are changed. By replacing the routine with another that yields the same reward, you can incorporate habits that positively affect your life.
Duhigg explains the timeliness of habit changing today, providing hope and words of encouragement:
In the past decade, our understanding of the neurology and psychology of habits and the way patterns work within our lives, societies, and organizations has expanded in ways we couldn't have imagined fifty years ago. We now know why habits emerge, how they change, and the science behind their mechanics. We know how to break them into parts and rebuild them to our specifications. We understand how to make people eat less, exercise more, work more efficiently, and live healthier lives. Transforming a habit isn't necessarily easy or quick. It isn't always simple.
But it is possible. And now we understand how.
With this newfound information, you too are equipped with the ability to change your own habits and to therefore change your life. You can break those bad habits into parts and rebuild them to your specifications.