Looking Back …

Looking Back …

The Jewish festival of Pesach (Passover) has just finished and I was thinking about some of the lessons that I learnt over the festival to incorporate into a blog.

Without going into details of the festival, on the first two nights we read a book called the Haggadah that recalls the story of the Jewish nation from slavery in Egypt to ultimate freedom.

Post Pesach, I noticed a very relevent quote from Chief Rabbi Mirvis[1] that is applicable to all aspects of our lives “…during Pesach we look to our past in order to gain inspiration for our present and our future.”

I will try to link the 2 topics of looking back and freedom.

On the first night of Pesach, I normally like to do a bit of a speech. Normally I would give an insight on the festival, but this year I focussed on non-religious quotes on the topic of “freedom” that I had heard and read over the last year. I would like to share a few of these quotes that are applicable for business, life and fitness training.

One of the key ideas in this concept of freedom is that even with freedom you have some type of responsibility. Victor Frankl[2] says, “Human freedom is not a freedom from but freedom to[3]”.

Jocko Willink[4] is a retired Navy SEAL commander, bestselling author, and popular podcast host. The mantra that Willink instilled into his men was “Discipline equals freedom,” and it’s the idea that with structure and a strict dedication to it, one can act with more efficiency and find freedom.

Do you want more time for freedom? Be disciplined with time management.

Do you want to be healthy? Have the discipline to train and eat well.

Do you want financial freedom? Have financial discipline to save and be prudent.

Do you want to free your mind? Have the discipline to read daily.

Dotsie Bausch[5] is an Olympic Cyclist who went from drug addict and bulimic to Olympic Champion. She only started cycling at 26, did road racing for a number of years, changed to track riding and won a track silver medal at the age of 39 at the London Olympic Games. She said , “There is freedom on the other Side”. She says that there is always a way out, there is a pathway to have freedom from… there is freedom.

For the present to have any meaning or influence there must first be a background to help explain it and contrast changing circumstances and times.” – Rabbi Berel Wein

In an essay from Althea Mirvis, she asks “Surely ‘launch day’ should be called the ‘first’ day.” She continues to explain the inherent value of preparation and ends with an excellent quote “The journey to the destination is no less important than the destination itself”. Only if we look back at the preparation that we have put into a ‘mission,’ can we appreciate the success that we can achieve. As Rabbi Berel Wein[6] says “If you know how far you have come it is easier to imagine that you will successfully achieve your goal”.

We all need to accept that we have strengths and weaknesses and accept that at times we may need help, support, mentoring and [7]criticism. Rabbi Jonathon Sacks says that feelings of inadequacy, the imposter syndrome , can be bad news or good news depending on what you do with them. Do they lead you to depression and despair? Alternatively do they lead you to work at your weaknesses and emerge successful. He ends with a brilliant quote “Our weaknesses make us human; wrestling with them makes us strong.”

Our Sages tell us that from here we learn that it is only when you know where you are coming from that you can know where you are going to.” – Chief Rabbi Mirvis

This week the State of Israel is celebrating 70 years since independence. It is unbelievable what a small country has achieved in this time in the fields of technology, agriculture, science and medicine. But like everything we need to look back at the loss of lives Israel has suffered during this period. During a commemoration service (Yom Hazicharon) in Melbourne, a survivor from the Israeli Defence Force was talking about his 2 ½ years of rehabilitation and made the following comment about his reflections of the incident and his recovery “… it gave me a whole new perspective on life: how we, as human beings, have the ability to change our reality, to dream and make a difference, to create a vision and see it through…

To end in the Chartered Accountant’s magazine, Acuity, Camille Woods[8] is asked why she chose to become an accountant? She answers, “I wanted freedom – freedom to work the way I wanted, the freedom to dream big with the support of a fullback”. She goes on to say that the funny thing about accounting is the further you run away from it, the more it strengthens its grip…

[1] https://chiefrabbi.org

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

[3] http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/viktor-frankl/

[4] http://jockopodcast.com

[5]  http://dotsiebauschusa.com/index.html

[6] https://www.rabbiwein.com

[7] http://rabbisacks.org/weakness-becomes-strength-shemini-5778/

[8] http://acuity.realviewdigital.com/#folio=12