We’re all still students, or at least, we should be. Even though some of us may have our academic days behind us, the School of Life never stops teaching.
That’s why I flip through Chovat HaTalmidim at least once a year.
You see, the Piaseczner was no softy. He wasn’t soft on teachers and he wasn’t soft on students. When it came to owning education, the onus was never on the other party. Sure, your parents and teachers could have been more encouraging. Sure, your children and students could have taken more initiative. In his book, what other people believe about you doesn’t matter. What matters is what you believe about yourself.
Allow me to serve as a test case.
I’m up to Week 4 of my job hunt. Overall, it’s been encouraging, thank G-d. Still – and I think this is true for most job seekers – doubts creep in. Is my limited Hebrew stifling my potential? How long will this take? How much more of my savings will I have to use?
Then, at the beginning of this week while I was taking my usual morning stroll around the yeshuv, my proverbial heels dug in: I want to make my life here? I want to give it my absolute best shot? No one’s going to bet on me more than I’m willing to bet on myself. It’s time to start living that way.
Not just feeling that way, not just thinking that way, but really living it with every ounce of strength and intention.
As the Piaseczner alludes, as long as we think someone else is deeming us reliable, dependable, or worthy, we’re not achieving what we’re capable of.
You want to be a writer? Write. Don’t wait to be noticed.
You want to speak Hebrew? Start speaking. And watch more Shtisel.
You want steady, stable, loving relationships? Be steady. Be stable. Be loving.
Others will bet on you once they see you’re already betting on yourself.