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How can I keep myself inspired for more than a day?

How can I keep myself inspired for more than a day?

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The way to keep inspiration is to bring it down into practice.

Inspiration means that you get excited and inspired about something. You feel spiritual and connected. You feel alive, encouraged, enthusiastic and interested in committing yourself to more positive action. And then, slowly but surely, the inspiration leaves you, and that “high” that you experienced is gone, with nothing remaining.

What do you do to keep the inspiration?

There is a lesson in the reading of Yom Kippur that teaches us how to keep up our inspiration. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year, when we do not eat or drink, apply creams or concentrate on our bodily needs, but act almost angelic, piously devoted to our spiritual connection, reaching higher and higher heights of devotion as we spend the day fasting and in prayers.

What do we read for the Torah reading on the afternoon of Yom Kippur? We read about forbidden sexual relationships (Leviticus ch. 18)!

The lesson that the Torah is providing us is very clear. Today you might be high up in the heavens full of inspiration, but what are you doing with it? What will happen tomorrow, when you are a regular human being? The Torah teaches us: bring that inspiration all the way down to earth, right into the realm of physical action. Refrain from wrong behaviors, and you will have accomplished what you were meant to on Yom Kippur.

We cannot always be in a state of supreme inspiration. But when we do feel inspired, we can bring that down to the realm of action. We can resolve to take on something small in our life that we can continue to do—even when the inspiration leaves us.

So, what should you do to keep the inspiration? Decide on an area of your life where you would like to improve. When you feel spiritually inspired, take upon yourself something small in this area that you can continually work on. It could be working on a character trait: for example, for half an hour a day you will work on not getting angry, or on greeting whomever you meet with a pleasant smile. It could be working on how you act towards your spouse or parents: from now on you will try to call your parents every day and ask them how their day was, or you will do one pleasant act for your spouse when you return from work. It could be something between you and your Creator: from now on when you pray, you will focus on saying the words of the Shema with greater concentration, keeping in mind the meaning of each word in the phrase.

Whatever you choose, the important thing is that you translate that lofty, holy feeling of inspiration into actual action—something not too big, but something that you can maintain even after the inspiration leaves.

One last thought: to keep the inspiration coming, get your regular dose of Chabad.org. The articles, learning and inspiration online are sure to keep up your inspiration!

Wishing you success,
Chana Weisberg for Chabad.org

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
All names of persons and locations or other identifying features referenced in these questions have been omitted or changed to preserve the anonymity of the questioners.
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Anonymous NY, NY February 19, 2008

a great idea I am just beginning to focus more on religion and some days I get such a high from it, and others nothing at all. I found that goingon chabad.org and i get lost in reading the inspirational stories and I do become uplifted. I spend many many hours reading and researching and find these articles to be great tools to help me on my journey Reply

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