Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Adar 5759 - Feb 24, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly

















Home and Family
Mishenichnas Adar - Increasing Your Happiness Quotient
by M.W.

Seems like the blueprint for a good life is based on the premise that our natural frame of mind should be a joyous one. In Adar, we are asked to increase our joy. Of course, this is easier for some people than for others, depending on every individual's temperament and the parameters of his daily life. But I think it also depends on our basic orientation to life. It is within our power to work on this and to turn our thinking around.

A small concrete example: jealousy is known to erode happiness, to erase joy, and to depress us. Jealous feelings cause us to focus on the empty half of the glass. A tiny step towards acquiring the marvelous mida of farginning [the only translation we can come up with is to `rejoice in the happiness of another's good fortune' - or the opposite of `begrudging'] is to start thinking along a new track. Think of it selfishly. If your happiness is dependent on your own state, i.e. what you've accomplished, acquired, achieved or received, you are limiting your happiness quotient drastically.

Think in multiples. If you share in other people's joy, your chances of having pleasureable moments increases exponentially. Times 10, 100, 1000. You may not be ready for this, but Mishlei teaches us that the goodhearted are always celebrating. Instead of looking at your interpersonal relations as a difficult burden, challenge yourself to find the up side of every relationship. You don't have to turn into a cockeyed optimist or an irritating smiley Pollyana; you don't have to undergo a total personality metamorphosis. But try out this formula in a gentle and quiet way. See how your ability to fargin builds your own world up. To say nothing of building up the other guy.

May Adar's joy be permanent and increase. For the Shechina rests upon us when we are in a joyous state.


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