For the past two weeks, Jews around the world have been celebrating the Days of Awe.  The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are generally used for introspection, repentance, and transmutation.  It is a time for one to go inside of themselves and do internal housecleaning.   It is a time to truly look at your accomplishments of the past year, to grade them, and to set outcomes or goals for you to accomplish the next year.

          When you look back on the year that has passed, did you live up to your potential?   Were you as good to people as you should have been?  Did you improve your lot in life or did you fall behind?   These are profound and introspective questions which need to be answered.  By spending time and literally grading yourself for what you’ve accomplished for the prior year, one is forced to face the reality of your life.  For me, it was time to formulate a different plan and move in a different direction.

           As you are well aware, the definition of insanity is to do the same thing in the same way but expect a different result.  This, of course, defies the laws of the universe.  It is in the changing and challenging of yourself that you truly grow as a human being.  I feel that the most important attribute that one can possess is being able to give of yourself without expecting a reward in return.  People that exemplify this type of attitude are the people that will reap large benefits.  The universe works within definite constructs.  Your ability to help people is in direct proportion to your self-esteem.  For without self-esteem, or love for yourself, you are unable to take on the challenges of other people and help them achieve their goals.

          After the death of George Steinbrenner, the Yankees owner, people were amazed to know that this hard-nosed business person was also one of the greatest and largest philanthropists of his day. One of the most remarkable attributes of Mr. Steinbrenner was his ability to truly help someone and not tell the world about it. He thought that if he told anybody else other than the recipient about his help, it was a form of ego and therefore lack of self-esteem. 

          We all can learn from this great American.  How many of us have helped someone and then told exactly what we did to the world?  I’m sure we are all guilty of this.  Was that an act of giving or was that an act of self indulgence?  These are interesting questions to ponder.

          I honestly think that we were put here on this Earth to be able to live up to our individual potentials.  The greatest gift that we can give to other people is to be able to use this vast knowledge in helping other people achieve great things.

          If we are more interested in our acts of kindness then we are in stroking our egos, we will find rewards far beyond those of just the physical. The old adage of, it is better to give than to receive seems to ring true. Our success IQ is predicated on our ability to take our vast amount of knowledge and disseminate it. As you gaze into the mirror tonight, look deeply and ask yourself if you have done what is necessary to achieve your greatest potential.  Remember, we are all in this together, so why not help other people achieve along the way.