The Talmud teaches us – as has been confirmed by modern studies – we only can remember (in our RAM) two things at a time. So what to do? Often we need to remember many things. Well many many many little things like Microsoft Outlook have been designed that help us remember. Perhaps I shouldn’t be one to be giving lessons on memory. What was I saying? Oh, yah, just remembered:_ Well here is a simple trick that works: Instead of trying to figure out what to do every day, start at the beginning of the week. Fill in your week ahead, schedule a time when you want to do the things you want to do. It’s that simple. The reason this system is good, is as Stephen Covey writes, we have a tendency to focus on what is urgent as opposed to what is important. So by thinking once a week what is important and scheduling it in, you will find you are not reacting to crises rather you are proactively creating.
There are generally two states, the open and closed state. When are we open? When are we closed? Simply speaking, I heard an amazing teaching of the Rebbe that the open state is when we are the giver, on the other hand, the closed state is when we are the receiver. The open giver state, is the ideal state; though a person must also be the receiver. In other words, towards others – certainly dependents, we must God-forbid never be in a closed state (think how much pain and suffering it was when you were a dependent – child perhaps – and didn’t receive the open love of a beloved parent or even teacher etc.) on the other hand, a person who is just open is rife for all kinds of negative behavior (the manic state) hence a Jew must equally be completely closed i.e. understand that his every gift is completely dependent on the constant grace of God. No one better exemplified this dichotomy as perfectly as the Rebbe who unconditional love for all was evident, yet equally his unconditional humility / reverence for God perhaps matched his unconditional openness towards people.