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Monday, December 1, 2014

Perform a Mitzvah

Perform a Mitzvah

The Jewish word, Mitzvah, can be interpreted as a commandment to complete good deeds. 

In essence, it's a means of taking the focus off yourself and putting it on someone else.

A true good deed isn’t performed with an attitude of, “What will I get in return?”
It’s undertaken in a spirit of, “How could I genuinely help this person?”

You’ll want to take a little time to center yourself first and simply focus on helping for the sake of helping. Plan and complete a mitzvah then notice what happens within you.

Revisit your dilemma with this fresh perspective. What has changed?

Bill O'Hanlon tells a story of how he learned about "Mitzvah Therapy" from Dr. Sol Gordon here.

Need some ideas?

Commit a Random Act of Kindness. Loads of ideas on their website!

Here's an app that can help you come up with ideas and allows you to share what you've done with others.

Erin McHugh's 2012 book,  One Good Deed: 365 Days of Trying to Be Just a Little Bit Better, describes a full year's worth of mitzvah work you could focus on. Here are a few to get you started:

1. Make a big deal out of something small. Celebrate those small "wins" when you make a big decision or when someone else receives a much-needed compliment. 

2. Volunteer. So many non-profit organizations need your help! Pick one, contact them and GO. Make it a regular commitment and you'll begin to see a difference in not only your life but in the lives of others.

3. Return favors. It can be something small. Did someone buy you lunch? Drop off soup when you were sick? Even if you can't remember when someone did you a favor, maybe YOU could start a trend!

4. Make a donation. Spend a few minutes clearing items in your home that you no longer use and donate them to a thrift store. Or take canned goods to a soup kitchen. Or donate books to a library.

5. Keep a gratitude list. Ok, so this isn't a mitzvah, but when you're feeling out of sorts, making a list of things and people you feel grateful for can open a window where it seems doors were closed.

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