Making Miracles in our Lives

Chanukah (Hanukkah) commemorates two prominent miracles.

  1. One was the great the military victory of a small band of Jewish fighters against the more numerous, more experienced, better trained and better equipped Seleucid (Syrian-Greek) army.

  2. The other was the extended burning of the menorah lights in the Jerusalem Temple for eight days instead of one.

Yet, the observance of Chanukah focuses exclusively on the lighting of candles, which commemorates the second miracle alone. Only in prayer are the military successes mentioned.

One explanation for this is that whereas these military victories strongly suggest Divine Intervention, the undeniable miracle of one cruse of oil burning uninterruptedly for eight consecutive days points directly to it.

Chanukah is a time for us to reflect upon and give thanks for the miracles in our lives, the blessings and gifts that we can readily point to.

Whether it’s the family and friends that surround us, the health that we enjoy, our jobs or businesses, or our connection to a Higher Being, we must realize that everything we have is a gift and an opportunity to bring more light into the world

Chanukah is also a time to banish the darkness in our lives, get unstuck, and break through.

Many of us feel it, in our personal lives, in our relationships and of course at work in business.

We think we're capable of doing more. We want to build our businesses, build our relationships, get so much more out of life.

But we just don't seem to know what to do. Many times, as a result, we do nothing.

We sit around sort of on our hands waiting for something to happen and unfortunately nothing does.

So, here's some strategies that I came up with to get more done when you’re stuck. I use them with my clients all the time.

These are the key things that I think if we focus on could really help us move the needle and get unstuck and get going.

  1. Ignore, or, better yet, drive back your inner critic – Often, we can be our own worst enemies. We can do the work, but we talk ourselves into thinking that we can’t. When this happens, be willing to push back and engage in some positive self-talk. Examples include: (1) “You CAN do this! That’s why they promoted you.” (2) “You’ve been in situations like this before and have always come through.” (3) “Just ask someone who was in a similar situation how they handled it.”

  2. Envision yourself breaking through – Ask yourself this: Suppose that overnight, while you are asleep, a miracle occurs and you are no longer stuck. Instead, you have achieved your goal and then some! When you wake up in the morning, everything is exactly how you want it. What do you notice is different? What is the first thing you see?

  3. Learn to think differently – Too often, getting stuck is simply the result of continuing to think the same way about a problem or task as we have always done. Albert Einstein is attributed as saying: “If you always do what you've always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” Brainstorm alternative approaches, ideally with others, and see what you can come up with.

  4. Set clear, actionable goals – For goals to be effective in moving us forward, they need to be expressed in actionable terms that will focus us on the steps that will be needed to meet our goals and help us more easily measure progress. Click here for more about goals and goal setting.

  5. Share them with others, including deadlines – Few things motivate us more than knowing that someone will be checking in on our progress, especially when we have made our goals public knowledge. Ensure accountability by setting deadlines and having others check in on your progress.

  6. Set decision limits – Avoid the paralyzing effect of “decision quicksand” or “paralysis by analysis”. Our brains are poorly equipped to consider dozens of data points while making up our minds. When we have too many options to consider, two things – neither of them optimal – tend to happen. We either punt or we’re paralyzed. One way to handle this is to give yourself a time-limit in which to make a decision. Give yourself permission to make a decision without having every single piece of information or data. Focus on a few that are truly significant.