A Day In Your Life – Toward a Meaningful Day

A Day In Your Life

Toward a Meaningful Day

 

Chapter 1 What was your day life?

 

Practice and theory

 

What was your day like?

 

If you were to make a list of all the things you did today, it might look like this: You woke up, exercised, showered, ate breakfast, made a phone call, read the newspaper, checked the weather forecast, got dressed, went to work, had pleasant moments with some colleagues and unpleasant ones with others, took a lunch break, had some productive meetings and some unproductive ones, went home, ate dinner, did a little paperwork, talked with your family, read a magazine and went to sleep.

 

Along the way you had hundreds of trivial encounters and perhaps one or two meaningful ones.

 

Your life is made up of countless such bits and pieces.

 

One days worth may not seem like much, but add up the pieces day after day, year after year and you end up with an entire life split into millions of fragments, with no connecting thread.

 

What is wrong with that?

 

Human beings naturally abhor fragmentation; it rattles our peace of mind, creating untold tension and anxiety.

 

What’s worse, these trivial activities are bound to overwhelm the very few truly significant events in our lives.

 

Over time, the fragments pile up and begin to suffocate our soul.

 

While your inner self craves focus purpose, a direction, any stray experiences disturb its steady course.

 

Is it any wonder that after forty or fifty years of slogging through such disjointed days, we wake up and suddenly wonder, “What have I done with my life?”

 

We all want to live a meaningful life. And we all consider our lives to be precious.

 

Would it not follow then that each day is precious as well. And each minute?

 

After all, we constantly strive to make our mark on humanity, to contribute something worthwhile to our world.

 

We never know when an opportunity to do so might present itself, shouldn’t we be prepared at any moment?

 

You may have the best intentions and the greatest aspirations to accomplish great things, but when your day is filled with quotidian activity, you simply don’t have room for anything else.

 

With so many hours devoted to earning a living, to eating and sleeping, to meeting your social obligations, how much time do you have left to satisfy your true needs, to pursue higher goals?

 

Amidst the clamor of your chaotic life, how can you hear the voice of your soul?

 

Obviously, it is impossible to eliminate your basic daily needs – you have to eat and sleep and make a living. So the only option is to find a thread that unites all your daily activities and sews all the fragments together.

 

This thread is the mission that G-d asked you to fulfill: to refine yourself and every aspect of your life, from your intellect and emotions all the way down to the most mundane activities.

 

Such focus has a twofold result: Everything in your life becomes united toward one end, eliminating the fragmentation, and even the smallest activity becomes infused with real meaning, since everything you do has a G-dly purpose.

 

Practice and theory

Sanctifying Time

 

How do you become G-dly?

 

By connecting to your soul.

 

And how do you connect to your soul?

 

By giving it time.

 

Instead of acknowledging your soul sporadically, at certain times and in certain places, you acknowledge it all the time, everyplace.

 

You sanctify every moment of your life – not only while you are studying or praying or doing charitable deeds, but while you are eating and sleeping, at home or at work, while traveling or on vacation.

 

Instead of carrying out your daily activities by rote, you discover the G-dliness and goodness and purpose within each of them.

 

Chapter 2 How Do You Live A Meaningful Day?

 

Practice and Theory

Begin with a Prayer

 

When you awake in the morning, while you are still lying in bed, think for a moment: What does it mean to be awake and alive?

 

Begin each day with a prayer; thank G-d for the new day.

 

Practice and Theory

Beginning the Day With Purpose

 

Acknowledge your soul and the vibrancy and fortitude it provides.

 

Think about what you would like to accomplish that would make today a meaningful day.

 

Train yourself to do this every morning and you will begin to see your life in a new sharper focus.

 

Practice and Theory

Gaining Perspective

 

But concentrating on your soul is a daylong activity, not to be confined to those first waking moment.

 

Create spaces during the day when you can be alone with your soul and with G-d.

 

Study something meaningful, using your intellect to think about G-d, and contemplate the purpose of your existence.

 

As your day grows increasingly hectic, look back to that calm moment when you awoke, when your thoughts and desires were crystallized.

 

Try to recapture that focus, and apply it to the moment at hand, creating an island of purpose in a sea of randomness.

 

Wisdom

Reviewing Your Day

 

You should end your day just as you began it.

 

As you prepare for sleep, review the day and how you used its opportunities.

 

Recognize that G-d has put you here for a purpose, and that all your activities should express that purpose.

 

Go to sleep with the resolve that no matter how good – or not so good – today was, tomorrow will be better.

 

If you do so, your sleep will be more peaceful and your waking more meaningful.

 

Practice and Theory

Uniting The Fragments Into A Unified Purpose and Picture

 

By connecting with your soul first thing in the morning and last thing at night, you instill new meaning into every activity that’s in between.

 

Instead of being pushed around by the myriad trivial events in one day, you begin to control them.

 

Instead of seeing hundreds of isolated fragments, you see one big picture and the many pieces of which it is composed.

 

Practice and Theory

The meaning of Sleep

 

Even sleep takes on a new meaning, instead of seeing it as one more fragmentation of your life, a regrettably large portion of the day that you must surrender, sleep becomes an opportunity to rejuvenate your soul by sending it back to a place that is detached from your material worries, returning refreshed for a new meaningful day.

 

Chapter 3 How Should You Manage Time Within The Day?

 

Practice and Theory

Capturing The Morning Ability

 

Without question, the material world and your everyday needs distract you from living meaningfully.

 

This is why it is so important to connect with your soul in the morning.

 

Before the day begins, you are not yet engaged in any physical activities.

 

And it is only physically that you are constrained by the limits of time and place; mentally there are no such boundaries.

 

So during those first moments of the day, which are yours and yours alone, you can circumvent these boundaries and concentrate fully on spiritual matters.

 

And this gives you the opportunity to plan the time meaningfully of your entire day.

 

Practice and Theory

Time is not an enemy but a friend

 

We have been conditioned to see the passing of time as an adversary.

 

We are always rushing to an appointment or trying to meet a deadline.

 

But time is yet another of God’s creations. And as such it has a life of its own.

 

When you waste a moment, you have killed it in a sense, squandering an irreplaceable opportunity.

 

But when you use the moment properly, filling it with purpose and productivity, it lives on forever.

 

Practice and Theory

The key to time management is to see the value of every moment.

 

This is the key to time management – to see the value of every moment.

 

Not only will this make you treasure each moment more preciously, but you will be patient with yourself and with others, recognizing that there are millions of moments on the path to any worthwhile achievement.

 

Practice and Theory

 

You cannot add more minutes to the day, but you can utilize each one fully.

 

How do you do this?

 

By totally investing yourself in the one activity you are engaged in at any given moment.

 

Ignoring everything that came before it and that will come after it.

 

And how can you achieve such concentration?

 

By recognizing that everything you do is important to G-d and is one vital piece of the larger picture of your life.

 

Chapter 4 How Do You Learn To Rethink Your Day?

 

Practice and Meaning

Focusing on each event fully

 

To live a meaningful life – day by day, minute by minute – may seem daunting.

 

How can one possibly focus amidst all the distraction, and emotions?

 

Even when you are satisfied with your past, how can you continue to grow?

 

How can you break out of old patterns and look at life anew?

 

By isolating your problems and addressing them one at a time.

 

As the sages say, “when you grasp for everything you end up holding nothing.”

 

Since each day is a lifetime, you must focus on the day before you, not on yesterday or tomorrow, and utilize its opportunities to the fullest.

 

Practice and Theory

 

At the same time make each day a routine; start with concentrating on the purpose of your life at the beginning and end of the day.

 

It may be tempting to change your life all at once, but slow, steady progress is always more effective than a blitz “crash course.”

 

Make each day meaningful, and the days will begin to add up.

 

Remember even the longest journey can only be completed once step at a time.

 

Practice and Theory

 

Many of us learned to look at each step and each day of life, as an almost inconsequential side trip disconnected from any larger journey.

 

But the secret to any journey – especially the journey of life – is to fix you eye on the destination and to keep steadily traveling towards it.

 

Veering off, even for a short while, is at best a loss of time, at worst we get confused and find it difficult to return on course, to realign our compass in the direction of our destination.

 

Practice and Theory

 

Remember that in the journey of life your body is the vehicle but your soul is the compass.

 

By following its voice, you remain focused on your destination, and each step – each day -brings you closer.

Practice and theory

Start Driving Meaningfully

 

How you live today determines how you will live tomorrow.

 

The very next thing you do, no matter how small, will determine the rest of your life.

 

It is never too late to start heading towards a meaningful life.

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