2019
1 MIN. READ

“A Goal Is a Dream With a Deadline”

When I heard our Trip Leader, Lori Palatnik say that this morning, my synapses started firing: how often have I thought “what if?” or “it would be great if …” but did nothing?

We also heard from Zeev Ben Shachar today about building habits, to retain the feeling of amazement we may have today (but that feeling will wane once everyday life intrudes). He mentioned that the development of a habit requires 66 days, on average.

I want to follow through on good ideas and inspirations, leaving my comfort zone. So this summer, I fulfilled a dream: I started piano lessons at age 46.

I am still struggling to develop a habit of practicing piano (especially the dreaded scales), so I decided to do it first thing in the morning (before coffee!). In a week, I had started to see a difference, and in two weeks, my teacher noticed, too. Now I need to stick with it.

So after our first full day, I’m thinking about what habits I would like to grow, related to Judaism, following this trip. I’m glad I started a Mussar class the week before this trip. It’s a spiritual practice by which we try to become better Jews, mensches. My teacher urged us, as part of developing rigor, to journal daily, even if we write there’s nothing to write. He also said Mussar teaches that each person’s journey is guided by what values and traits they have (or lack).

As I hear from our teachers and my peers this week, in class, on the bus, and over meals, I will be thinking about how I can be my best self, create positive change in my life and develop habits that help me reach those dreams with deadlines.

Jenn Rafael
Pozez JCC /The JFGW
Fairfax, VA

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