6 ways to calm discord and lead a more inspired life

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Rabbi Daniel Cohen
Rabbi Daniel Cohen

Many of your workers and residents may be disheartened by the divide that seems to have arisen in this country and across the globe. This discord affects everything from family relationships, friendships, relationships with the neighbors and others we see on a regular basis. It often can lead to a feeling that there is nothing they can do about it.

The answer to the turmoil isn't difficult, however, and it lies within each of us.

We have to ask ourselves every day, “What did I do today to uplift another soul?” We are called on with the talents we possess to rise to the occasion, every day.

For example, think about the seniors, co-workers and other people you encounter in a day, the emails you receive or the requests for advice. Is it not possible that you could have done more, given more or listened more to people? Of course it is. I don't meant to depress you; rather, I want to alert you to the numerous possibilities you possess to have an effect.

Begin by taking a quiet hour and digging deep within yourself. Who are you? Who do you want to be? If you could only speak one more time, what would you say?

Why not say it now?

Everyone, deep down, wants a more inspired and authentic life. Rarely do we take the time to find that sacred space to listen to our inner voice and solidify our most cherished values.

To create a life that fulfills your purpose and leaves the world a better place, here are my suggestions:

  1. Be an agent of kindness. When you go to work, what can you do within the next few minutes to make someone's day? Smile and make eye contact with someone passing in the hall instead of staring at your smartphone? Perhaps the person was having a tough day and by acknowledging them, you've had an effect on their lives. One human being, in the briefest of encounters, can change a person's life.

  2. Make courageous choices. We make big and small choices every day, and some are easier than others. At the end of life, many people regret the things they didn't do. When we die, I believe we won't be judged against someone else's life but against our own potential. Did we do the best we could with the hand we were dealt? To get yourself in the habit of making better choices, wake up every morning and decide one good deed you will do that day and think more about the person in your life who motivates you to make better choices.

  3. Seize meditative moments. Meditate every day to reflect on your own humanity. Use prayers or poems or your own journal writings to think about who you are, your relationships and what you've done to make an impact. Doing this gives you an opportunity to consider what you've done right and what you need to correct.

  4. Find faith. The sources of our faith may be in a higher power, within ourselves, or in friends or a spouse who believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. We all need cheerleaders in life. Who are yours? Are you harnessing all your resources? The more you do, the more successful you'll be on your journey.

  5. Live inspired. Living inspired stems from an awareness that life can change in an instant. It means taking nothing for granted and not assuming you're owed anything. Start a gratitude journal that lists new blessings every day. Really appreciate the people you work with and for. Write a letter of thanks to your parents if they're still here, or to a mentor or friend who laid the foundation for your success. This one day, the moment you're now experiencing, is holy. Unlock it. Cherish it. Harness its full potential.

  6. Discover your renewable energy. Identify your talents and skills and what makes you smile. When do you feel the most alive? Remember that your life is a gift that has infinite potential.

Finally, remember that each of us has a purpose in the world and choices to make.

We're all faced with transitions, changes and pauses in our careers, and we may experience setbacks such as health issues. Although we can't always avoid these situations, we can control how we face these new possibilities. Do we retreat and lament our misfortune, or do we seize our new scenario as a chance to forge a new frontier?

Rediscovering your life purpose is more relevant now than ever. Your life is a candle. You are a flame. You can ignite thousands of lights in your world every day.

Rabbi Daniel Cohen has served in the rabbinate for more than 20 years and currently serves as senior rabbi at Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, CT. He also is co-host, with Rev. Greg Doll, of the nationally syndicated radio show “The Rabbi and the Reverend” and is the author of the new book, “What Will They Say About You When You're Gone: Creating a Life of Legacy (Health Communications, Inc.).

McKnight's Senior Living welcomes guest columns on subjects of value to the industry. Please see our submission guidelines for more information.

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