The Key to Building a Successful Life

Focus on small, meaningful actions consistently. . . . . the road to success is built one step at a time.

Written by Kevin S. Bemel

Wednesday, 19 August 2015 03:30

Parsha [Passage of Scripture] Nugget [Precious Idea] Shoftim – Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

Wealth, a solid marriage, or better health: We all want these things yet they seem so elusive. Wouldn’t it be nice to know the one thing to do that will lead to success? What grand action inevitably leads to wealth? What are the magic words that will create a solid marriage? What is the trick for breaking a bad habit or ingraining a good one? Parshas Shoftim, has the answer:

“I will set a king over myself…” (Deuteronomy/Devarim 17:14)

The Key to Building a Successful Life

This Sabbath’s parsha reviews the mitzvah (commandment) to establish courts, how to handle certain crucial types of cases, the appointment of a King, the gifts for the Kohanim (Priests), how to tell if someone is really a prophet, setting up cities of refuge, how the Israelites will conduct war, and what to do about an unsolved murder.

Knowing that the Israelites will want a king like the other nations, the Almighty places many restrictions on this ruler, including writing two copies of the Torah. Doesn’t that strike you as a little strange? Wouldn’t it be better to require the king to know the Torah by heart?

But G-d had a different purpose in mind. The king had to write the two scrolls, placing one in his treasury while keeping the other with him at all times. In this way, though he goes through his day constantly being shown honor and deference, he will nonetheless remain aware that he is subject to the laws of the Torah and by extension subservient to the Creator. When he sees the vast wealth in the royal treasury he may be tempted to think he is omnipotent. But among the money and other riches is something even more valuable – the blueprint for how to have a relationship with G-d. Ideally, this will keep the king humble.

Since most of us won’t become kings and queens this seems to be of little use. However, the king also must read the Torah every day.

If you want to make something a part of you, daily involvement is required. Do you have a goal? Every day, preferably two or three times a day, review the goal and why it is crucial to achieving it. Write it out and carry it with you. Read it before you go to bed and when you wake up. When you face a challenge, pull it out and read it again.

Do you want to improve your relationship with your spouse? Create meaningful interactions, like the ones I wrote about in a previous post, that you can do every day. They don’t have to be big. Focus on connecting.

The road to success is built one small action at a time, whether you’re building a business, relationship, or habit. Make them your constant companion and sooner than you think you will be the monarch, at least as far as having the life you want is concerned.

What do you find is the biggest hurdle to doing something enough times to be successful?