In the previous essay we began our journey into discovering our mission, by identifying our place in the Torah, our personal Mitzvah, our kingdom! We spoke about how each person depending on their circumstances, talents and passions will discover some part of the Torah that they feel more deeply connected. And while we all strive for greatness in every area, it that place of connection where we will discover our originality and unique contribution to the world.
Another place where we can look to get a sense of our place of connection is into our past. Throughout our childhood, teenage years and young adulthood there are experiences that we have in which we feel at that moment that we are in a place of expanded consciousness. Perhaps there was a specific place to which we have traveled, or a person or group of people we got to know who deeply touched us, or an inner awakening of some sort that opened up our eyes and made us dream. Those precious moments provide us a window into the inside of our souls. What was it about that moment, place or person that inspired us so much? What did that experience touch us so deeply and what might that say about our mission?
Once we have discovered our “Kingdom” by looking inward and into our past, we need to create a much bigger vision and dream for what we want our kingdom to look like in the future. And we do that by thinking big, by dreaming!
Perhaps, the biggest obstacle to reaching our potential is small thinking. Most of us are guilty of small thinking. We think about today and tomorrow, next week and next year. We think about how we are going to maneuver around in this little world that we are in at the moment.
But in order to achieve anything big in this world, you need to think very big. In order to achieve something very big, you need to think huge. And in order to achieve something huge, you need to think crazy!
Allow me to share with you a story about the great Rabbi Yosef Kanamen, Rabbi of the town of Ponovezh and the builder of the great Ponovezh Yeshiva and many other dynamic Torah institutions. Someone once commented to him, how fortunate he was to have accomplished so much, compared to the average person who only accomplishes perhaps 10 percent of what they set out to do. His response was, “I have also only accomplished 10 percent of what I set out to do, but I set out to do a lot more than the average person.”
People would make fun of him. They would say “Ha! There goes the dreamer”. But he used to comment “Most people dream while they are sleeping. I dream but I am very much awake”. You need to dream. And dreaming requires taking a break from the reality around you and just thinking big in a way that touches you and excites you even about the possibility of fulfilling even part of your dream.
In an upcoming essay we will speak about setting for yourself attainable goals and strategies, but at this point, we still need to be in the mode of thinking long term and big. Like “How can I change the world” big, or “What would be the most amazing thing I would want people to say about me when I am 100 years old” big!
Can you paint such a picture in your mind? When you think of that image, does it fill you with joy? If you could possibly live your entire life up against the backdrop of that picture, would jump out of bed every morning? Do you think that you would take chances? Would it make you a happier person?
If the answer to these question is yes, than you have taken the first step in defining your mission in this world. But there is still much to be done! We must still identify the steps to realizing our dreams. But first we must explore another part of our mission in this world. And that is our struggles, challenges and test that we will encounter as we try to bring a reparation to the world.