Jan 31, 2014

Putting in the Work

Miriam Stark Zakon wrote an article about having completed a year long study of bitachon which is all about putting Hashem in the picture, and then encountering a frustrating situation in which Hashem wasn't in the picture for her at all.

"I realized that in my search for bitachon, I'd been enjoying the company of a fantastic group of women, basking in the intellectual and emotional stimulation of a shiur, maybe taking a few baby steps in the direction of self-improvement."

Her epiphany was, "Baby steps don't win marathons.  You want to win bitachon? You've got to work.  You've got to do more than you ever thought you could do."

She had felt so good about spending a year studying an important subject.  It took a temper tantrum for something not going her way to make her realize the dissonance between what she had spent the year studying along with the pride she took in it, and how much it had actually changed her.

I found this a valuable insight.  For those who like to learn, it can be gratifying just getting through the material and feeling that sense of satisfaction.  For those who do this in groups, it can be stimulating and delightful to learn along with others.  It all makes an impact, but like the author points out, if you want more than that, you need to put in work to master anything.

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