You Are Successful
Conceit due to one's accomplishments or sadness arising from one's setbacks both constitute arrogance. In either case, we are attributing the results to ourselves...
by Koby A.
In the emuna CD, You Are Successful, Rabbi Lazer Brody conveys key principles to achieve true success in life.
Success Key # 1: Emuna
The root of success is to know that everything depends on emuna.
Without Hashem we are nothing. We have zero independent ability and are totally dependent on Him for every breath and step. This realization will fast forward us to truth. When Rav Shalom Arush says that a person is nothing, he doesn’t mean that the person is worthless. He means that without Hashem we’re nothing, but with Hashem we can be everything.
As soon as we connect to Hashem we can put to use the wonderful tools He gives us and fulfill our potential. If we don’t seek Hashem we are like a plane without avionics, lacking a spiritual compass. To be successful we must live life connected with Hashem. Everyone has this potential, not just Tzadikim.
Rabbi Brody says that to live a life of truth we must aspire to be with Hashem. We are with Hashem when we thank Him not only for our successes but for our setbacks. In this way we acknowledge that everything is from Him and for our ultimate good. Conceit due to one’s accomplishments or sadness arising from one’s setbacks both constitute arrogance. In either case we are attributing the results to ourselves.
In Garden of Knowledge Rabbi Arush says that a quick and effective solution to feelings of disappointment and depression is to begin speaking words of emuna. Words of emuna are capable of dispersing negative thoughts, just as a strong breeze can disperse dark clouds.
Speech, like money, should be invested in the right places. Emuna depends on speech. By speaking words of emuna, one attains emuna.
Success Key #2: Humility
In Duties of the Heart it says that all virtues and duties are dependent on humility which is fundamental to them and a prerequisite for their attainment.
Rabbi Brody explains that our patriarchs, prophets and tzadikim didn’t start out aspiring to be great. Hashem made them great. Success came because they nullified their egos and devoted their lives to selfless service. Hashem says: “You are out to sanctify My Name? I’m going to make you great!”
When I was in Uman a couple years ago, Rabbi Arush said you can either be like King David and say, “I will place Hashem before me at all times,” or you can say, “I will place myself before me at all times.” If you do the latter you will be angry, nervous, and sad. This results from falsely believing that you are in control and thinking that it all depends on you.
Each of us should ask “Who am I?” The answer is that each of us is merely a messenger from Hashem with a job to do. Rav Arush says that with strong emuna, a person’s sole goal is to gratify Hashem.
I heard a teaching from the Baal Ha Turim that “Shalom” (peace) has the same letters as “Lishmo”, (for His sake). The path to “Shalom” is to serve Hashem “Lishmo”.
The biggest obstacle to connecting to Hashem is ego. Rabbi Brody writes in Trail to Tranquility that an inflated ego is like an iron curtain separating us from Hashem and blocking the Divine Light. Without the Divine Light our souls cannot be healthy and we suffer from a host of negative emotions.
In the CD lecture, Rabbi Brody explains that as soon as one knows he or she is nothing without Hashem, Rebbe Nachman promises that Hashem will personally coach that person and bring him or her to greatness.
Success Key #3: Personal Prayer
Rav Arush says that every day that you speak to Hashem in an hour session of personal prayer you receive another dose of humility. Rebbe Nachman says that personal prayer brings a person to nullify himself and cling to the root source of his vitality.
Additionally, in Garden of Knowledge Rav Arush advises us to pray before each undertaking and see what a big difference it makes. Seeing Divine assistance with our own eyes will really strengthen our emuna. Moreover, when we know that it's Hashem who helps you succeed we won't become arrogant and smug about our accomplishments.
Success means believing everything is from Hashem
With emuna we realize that Hashem is the source of all power. We’ll make our best efforts while understanding that the outcome depends on Him. We’ll turn to Him for all our needs, large and small, material and spiritual.
Praying brings humility and humility brings every blessing imaginable. By humility one’s prayers are heard. Our Sages say that a person who acts with humility is considered to have performed all the sacrifices in the Bais Hamikdash. He can fear no evil and know that Hashem is with him.
When you make emuna, humility and prayer your top priorities, you’ll receive Hashem’s Divine light and see blessings in all that you do.