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Would you rather a meaningful life or one of convenience?

Friday, 27 July, 2018 - 4:24 pm

A meaningful life is one full of doing good and bringing benefit to those around you at every opportunity, which often is not convenient. Meaning is associated with effort, growth and challenge. The things that are the most difficult in your life—a high-pressure job, raising kids, caring for a loved one—are often the same things that add the most meaning (and long-term happiness)

The more you seek convenience, the more you experience disappointment and frustration because every inconvenience or challenge is an impediment to your vision of an easy life.

On the other hand, if you seek meaning, you won’t be so thrown off by those inconveniences and you can even find a way to add more meaning as a result. That very same inconvenience or challenge can be seen as an opportunity to make yourself a better person and make the world a better place.

Everyone experiences difficulties, but if you seek meaning rather than convenience the disappointment and frustration will be far less.

It’s like going to the gym. If you go to the gym to relax, as if it’s a spa, you will be sorely disappointed, but if you go to the gym to exercise, the work will be just as hard, but the experience totally different.  

During those last few lifts at the gym, when your muscles are burning, if remind yourself why you are there and you will find the strength to push through.

The same is true with life in general. As Jews we have a daily reminder to seek meaning more than convenience.  It’s called Modeh Ani. The Modeh Ani is a one-line prayer recited first thing each morning that serves as a reminder as to why we are here. (see more here)

Try it out. The work will be just as hard but the experience totally different.

Shabbat Shalom 

Rabbi Benjy Silverman 

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