“Keep forgetting to make a bracha after snacks.”
“Got angry at my kids the other day.”
Welcome to the world of teshuva. So many omissions, so little memory. So many faults, so little willpower to overcome them.
But there is a whole other aspect of teshuva we never give much consideration to, namely, what am I supposed to accomplish in this world anyway?
The Slonimer Rebbe writes that a person can serve G-d her entire life and not fulfill her life’s mission. How can that be? What else is there to life other than Torah and mitzvot?
Never since the beginning of time has there been another you. If you don’t paint your part of G-d’s mural, nobody else will. While all of us have a “universal life mission” as Rav Arye Nivin calls it, each person also has a unique mission only she can achieve.
Yet how do you identify that mission?
Just a week ago we read about the horrible curses that would befall the Jewish people if they didn’t worship G-d with joy. Frankly though, there seems little to be happy about. Though we crave control, almost nothing in life is up to us. We have no say in when, where or to whom we are born, who our siblings are, or what kind of upbringing we get. We have no control over our innate intellectual abilities or personality make up. And although we think we are choosing our spouses, in reality the choice had been made long before we were born. As we go through life, events and circumstances are thrown our way right, left and center, as we make an effort to keep it all together.
There is one thing we do control though. Rav Soloveichik writes that we have a chose between seeing life as fate or turning fate into destiny. Our fate is just a toolbox. What we do with the toolbox is up to us.
Being involved in your life’s purpose is the path to true and authentic joy in the service of G-d. It fills you with a sense of accomplishment and happiness. You feel you could be doing this 24/6. Think of it as vanilla ice cream vs an ice cream sundae. Vanilla ice cream is great on its own, but add some chocolate chips, or cookie crumbs, or cherries and it becomes a treat to be savored.
Too often I come across business owners that think they have fallen into their line of work “by chance.” At other times, I meet people who are passionate about their work, but have no clue how to make the business financially stable. And so they wonder if they are on the right track and should be doing what they are doing. Instead of looking for ways to solve each problem, the obstacles make them question the wisdom of running a business altogether.
To my mind, there is only one way to run a business, by making it an expression of your unique mission in life. Why else would you devote so much time and energy to a project, nurturing it as you nurture a baby.
If you would like to explore your life’s mission and see how it can give you inspiration, energy and joy in running your business, download the free Business – Inspired workbook here.
Knowing where you have to go is the only way to get there. And it’s a big part of our teshuva.
Ketiva vechatima tova to all of my readers.