There is a legendary Hassidic Jewish story of Rabbi Zusya who approached his students in a state of worry. When they asked what was wrong, he recounted a dream he’d had: “I learned the question that the angels will one day ask me about my life.”
His students couldn’t understand his worry. After all, he was a pious and beloved leader and scholar. They said as much, praising his humility and his devotion. They noted how much he helped all of them. They could not imagine a question that could frighten their beloved teacher.
His reply: “The angels will not ask me, ‘Why weren’t you a Moses, leading your people out of slavery?’ or ‘Why weren’t you a Joshua, leading your people into the promised land?’ They will ask me, at the end of my days, ‘Zusya, why weren’t you Zusya?'”
This week’s Torah portion, Shabbat Vayechi, is all about blessings. The blessings given by parent to child, each specific to that child. There are general blessings, of course, in all religious traditions, but the tale tells us this week that each one should be carefully crafted for each child.
Because we each have our own path to walk, our own goals in life, our own possibilities. It is incumbent on each and every person to rise to their own potential – not mimic the potential of someone else or covet the accomplishments of another. Forget all the jealousy on Facebook, as you scroll through the accolades and bragging of your friends.
Go inward, and reflect on whether you are living the life you were meant to live.
I keep repeating in my head the Mark Twain quote: “There are two important days in a person’s life: the day when they were born, and the day they learned why.”
Why are you here? What is your life’s purpose? Are you living the life you were destined for?
And if not, why not? What are you waiting for?
Successful people take chances. They don’t fear change. They fall, dust themselves off, and get back up. They don’t shy away from new opportunities because it might be hard or scary or hurt a little.
They jump in and hope for the best. No, they expect the best.
I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 28 years old, and I’ve come to understand that entrepreneurs succeed because we believe we will.
I didn’t write a business plan before I started Your People, my public relations company. I made a plan, approached the company that would become my first client, and jumped.
When you jump, sometimes you land in deep, cold water, but guess what? Humans are buoyant. Unless you hit your head on a rock, you will float. You will rise to the surface. You will come out of the cold, dry off and be amazed at what you took a leap to try and do.