The Incredible Story of The Miracle Twins

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By: Tammy Sassoon, M.s.ed

As Jews we are fortunate to have all the guidelines that we need for living a fulfilling and productive life clearly outlined for us in the Torah. In every generation Hashem gives us the relevant tools that we need to come close to Him. We are living in a very busy generation, where it’s very easy to become so distracted that one can chas v’shalomforget his or her destination.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Peopleby Stephen Covey is a popular book, and its habits are a "must follow" for adults and children as well. My own kids and many of my students are well versed in the habits, and I highly recommend that you study them, model them, and teach them to your children as well. I have summarized the first three habits and in next month's column I will summarize the rest.

Habit 1:Be Proactive

Being proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. Your life doesn't just "happen."

We choose happiness or sadness.

We choose decisiveness or ambivalence.

We choose success or failure.

Proactive people take charge of their own emotions and actions:

They take responsibility for their mistakes.

They apologize when they make mistakes.

When they see a problem, they take charge and fix it.

Reactive people don’t take charge of their own emotions and actions:

They blame others for their mistakes.

They don’t apologize when they make mistakes.

When they see a problem, they complain.


Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind

Habit 2 explains how important it is for the people to have a goal. Imagine trying to solve a maze without knowing the end goal.

We learn from Rabbi Shimon in Pirke Avot(chapter 2) that the best trait for a person to acquire is to be “ro’eh et ha’nolad”– to see what is born (out of one’s actions).

“Failing to plan means planning to fail.”

“Begin with the End in Mind” means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen. If we begin with this “END in MIND,” we can accomplish all that we set out for.

Habit 3:Put First Things First

First work, then play.

To live a more balanced life, we have to recognize that NOT doing everything that comes along is okay. All it takes is realizing that it's all right to say “no” when necessary, and then focus on your highest priorities. If a friend asks you if you want to make plans, but you have a goal to study for an hour for an upcoming test, you can “Put first things first,” and say, “No.”

Habit 3 is about life management­­, your purpose, values, roles, and priorities. What are your "first things”?

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