Good Chodesh everyone! It’s Rosh Chodesh Elul, so you know what that means……ANOTHER YEAR OF QUICK THOUGHTS FOR ELUL! That makes six years of this video series, for those of you keeping track.
Let’s dive right in.
Today is technically the last day of the month of Av, but it’s also the first day of the month of Elul. It’s the month of accounting, of starting to prepare for the upcoming spiritual new year that starts on Rosh Hashanah.
Accounting and preparation are connected, because we can’t really prepare for the future without first taking an assessment of where we are at this moment right now.
That reminds of the book I’m currently reading, Grit, by Angela Duckworth. In it, it discusses the difference between having a fixed mindset versus having a growth mindset.
Here’s an example –
Fixed mindset: “I’ve always been disorganized. I don’t like how it makes things stressful, but that’s just how I am. Some people are naturally organized, but not me, it’s just not my thing.”
Growth mindset: “I’ve always been disorganized. I don’t like how it makes things stressful. I believe that I can learn how to become more organized, and that it is possible to change.”
The belief that change and growth are possible is one of the things that first attracted me to Judaism. Judaism is all about growth mindset, and this is the optimal time of year to sit down and think about what’s blocking us from making progress.
So get out a piece of paper and write down three areas of your life where you have been stuck, and spend five minutes (set a timer! It helps!) thinking about possible reasons why you haven’t moved forward.
Elul note: We start saying Psalm 27 after Shacharis and Mincha today, all the way through Hashanah Rabba (and yeah, yeah, I know we don’t all get to actually daven from a siddur, I know I usually don’t these days, but sometimes if I have a minute I’ll say that perek to get in the Elul frame of mind)
I’m going to try to post the QTFE videos on the bajillion platforms that exist (seriously, who needs so much social media? It’s exhausting), and if you want to receive these via WhatsApp just let me know!
-today’s QTFE is from Rabbi Simon Jacobson’s excellent book – 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays. I recommend this book every year, and I will recommend it again right now. It’s a great book. You should get it.