Shlomo Ezagui

Embracing the Power of Positivity: A Path to Overcoming Challenges

Priscilla Du Preez

When faced with bad habits, negative thoughts, or any detrimental aspects of our lives, we often wonder how to effectively address these problems. Different approaches exist, such as analyzing the root causes and devising strategies to eliminate the negative, or focusing on the positive and introducing better habits. Exploring the wisdom of the Bible and the teachings of sages provides insights into an ideal strategy for overcoming challenges.

Discovering the Root and Analyzing Diligently:
One approach suggests delving deep into the root of the problem, analyzing it diligently, and formulating effective strategies for its elimination. This method requires going to war against the negative aspects, identifying their origins, and addressing them head-on. It emphasizes understanding the cause-and-effect relationships behind the behaviors or thoughts that need to be changed.

Staying Focused on the Positive:
Another perspective advises staying focused on the positive and setting goals for personal growth. By training the mind on where one wishes to go and what they want to achieve, they can introduce better habits and overwhelm the negative with positive, constructive elements. This approach not only eradicates the negative but also propels one closer to their desired goals.

The Intentional Order in the Bible:
The Bible serves as a guide for our lives, presenting laws and stories in intentional order to teach us valuable lessons. For example, when discussing the disloyal and unfaithful wife, the laws of the Nazarite, who vows to abstain from wine and grapes, are presented immediately after. This order teaches us that witnessing such behavior should trigger abstinence from the frivolity often associated with alcohol consumption.

The Shift in Order: Emphasizing Goodness and Holiness:
Over time, as challenges grew more complex, it became apparent that merely focusing on eliminating bad behaviors and influences was insufficient. The darkness became thicker, and people struggled to find their way out. To address this, the order shifted. Emphasizing positive behaviors and increasing goodness and holiness became the primary focus. The intention is to strengthen the good before dealing with the negative.

The Power of Positive Emphasis:
Negative traits naturally diminish by placing a strong emphasis on positive values, such as love and kindness. Cultivating an environment of understanding and compassion reduces the need to address negative behaviors directly. Similarly, preempting potential challenges through proactive strength can deter conflicts before they arise. Putting most of the emphasis on the positive and nurturing goodness becomes a successful approach to overcoming challenges.

When confronted with bad habits, negative thoughts, or challenging situations, embracing the power of positivity proves to be an effective strategy. Whether by analyzing the root causes or focusing on the positive, both approaches offer valuable insights. By emphasizing goodness, holiness, and proactive strength, we can create a transformative path that not only eliminates negativity but also propels us closer to our goals. Let us embrace the power of positivity and cultivate a brighter, more fulfilling life.

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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