Do you feel like life is passing you by? Rabbi Shmuley says that shattered dreams, missing opportunities and failed promises are just some of the things that cause us to feel like we missed the boat.
In order to fill the void left by missed opportunities, we must realize that there are two sides within each of us, Rabbi Shmuley says. "Our positive side wants us to be sunny, forward-looking and joyous," he says, "but our dark angels want us to be bitter, feel victimized and depressed." This feeling of malaise, or wasted promise, comes from the dark side of our nature, Rabbi Shmuley says. "We have to know where this originates from, so as to squash it and find joy with who we are, rather than what we could have been." Rabbi Shmuley offers these activities to rediscover enjoyment and purpose in your life:''
Watch less television and read more. Rabbi Shmuley says to give yourself a goal of reading one book every two weeks, adding up to 25 books a year. "You'll be less sedentary, more educated, more reflective and will feel so much better about yourself," he says.
Have date night. Instead of taking your spouse to the movies on Saturday night, go to a lounge or restaurant where you can talk. Rabbi Shmuley says to do this at least twice a month.
Spend time with the kids. Start having regular dinners with your kids, or learn something with them every night, like historical trivia or the Bible, Rabbi Shmuley says.
Eat healthy and exercise. "Start feeling good about your ability to control your weight," he says.
Concentrate on your career. "Fine-tune your job to become something that is uniquely suited to your gifts," Rabbi Shmuley says. For example, if you're a lawyer and hate working on real estate contracts, change your concentration to one that better engages your interest, like family law or intellectual property.
Bring spiritual enlightenment into your life. Rabbi Shmuley says to join discussion groups, go to more lectures and debates, enroll in a night class or start going to church and synagogue.
Stop being so hard on yourself. Find the good in you, Rabbi Shmuley says, and learn to first like yourself and then to love yourself. "Feel good about the unique gifts you have to share with others," he says.
"Don't waste your life feeling bad about missed opportunities or squandered potential. Some of the greatest historical figures were remembered for even one thing they did. Be special by focusing on developing your gifts now. Compliment your spouse. Study with your children. Get focused at work on something you love. And develop your mind and heart through spiritual endeavor and study."
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013