Success…. Immersion in the present

For a person to succeed in any endeavor, he must be entirely present. To win, a soldier must not be distracted (by) any of his soul garments. Whether it is in thought, speech, or action, when a soldier is engaged at the front, every part of the soldier must focus on his mission to be successful. That means no SmartPhones, no texting, and no multi-tasking.

Chassidim sing a meditative melody to prepare themselves to hear and absorb a mystical discourse, to put them in that extraordinary moment. It once happened that they were singing this preparatory song too quickly, to get to the intellectual discourse. Their Master, the Rebbe, addressed his students on the differences between a superior, internally oriented person and an inferior, externally oriented person. The Master explained that an internally centered person, even while singing a “preparatory” song, is still totally and completely engrossed in what they are doing, despite anything and everything occurring outside of the present moment.

A person who is completely immersed in the moment will not just do things technically, as would an externally oriented person. An internally oriented person is wholly involved in the moment. Therefore, he is totally alive and enthusiastic in what he is doing because his actions are not only on the outside, done for show, but are internally motivated and oriented. This manner of action allows him to have the most excellent chances for success because all his faculties are focused on the mission at hand. Doing something, and having one’s soul invested in doing that thing, gives a person the most incredible satisfaction because the person is at peace with himself and living harmoniously.

Once, a Mystic in the times of the Bolsheviks was being sent off to do hard labor. Minutes before he was taken away, he was working on important documents and addressing pressing issues, oblivious in his thoughts and actions, at that moment, to the danger that lay ahead for him. On another occasion, he explained that this is the secret to making the best out of a day and the most out of life: to be always in the moment.

When a person prays, the Bible says all his thoughts and words, and actions need to reflect his desire to connect with God. If, while saying his prayers, he entertains foreign thoughts — incongruous thoughts that just don’t belong with the words and actions he is involved in — then the words are hollow; they lack the thrust and energy to reach the heavens. It is not he who is praying, but the words, devoid of anyone behind them. For prayer to be meaningful and have any significance, a person must enter the words with his thoughts and soul and wholly embody the words he speaks.

King Solomon says, “In all your ways you shall know him,” and, “all your deeds shall be for the sake of heaven.” King Solomon is teaching us something fundamental. In all that you do, always make sure it is imbued and aligned with your higher purpose — that is how one attains deep fulfillment of the soul.


About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" Rabbi Ezagui opened in 1987 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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