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Ten Inspiring Quotes for Ten Days of Repentance

October 5, 2016 | by Debbie Gutfreund

Motivation to begin change now.

The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are imbued with a special light that gives us the chance to make changes in our lives that seemed out of our reach during the rest of the year. Here are ten quotes to inspire us to begin the process of change.

  1. "Open for me an opening the size of a needle and I will it expand it into a door through which wagons can go through" (Midrash on Song of Songs 5:2). Change is not all or nothing. God tells us that we just need to take that first step, however small it may be, and He will show us a way forward.

  2. "I stopped looking for the light and decided to become it instead" (Anonymous). Stop thinking you need to change the people and things around you in order to grow. Authentic transformation comes from within us. It comes from the goodness and the light we bring to everything that we do and everyone that we encounter.

  3. "Everything is a choice" (Anonymous). We can escape from the tyranny of our bad habits. We have free will. The haphazard mornings or the orderly routines, the complaints or the compliments, the endless distractions or the moments of reflection: these are all choices we make, and if we want to change our lives, we need to first look at our choices.

  4. "It is never too late to be what you might have been" George Eliot. Let’s not bother focusing on the time we wasted or the opportunities we didn't use. That was yesterday. Today is another chance to become who we want to be. We can turn our regrets into lessons and our failures into stepping stones.

  5. "Your goals don't care how you feel" (Anonymous). We won't always feel motivated. Sometimes we’ll feel tired and want to push off our goals until tomorrow. But tomorrow we may not "feel" like working either. One of the biggest myths of change is that we need to feel motivated to move forward. It's the moving forward that really matters; the motivation will follow our actions. Motivation is wonderful; discipline is critical.

  6. "Thinking ‘I can't’ is idolatry. If the Almighty helps us, we can change the world. And if He doesn't help, we can't do anything" Rabbi Noah Weinberg. We limit ourselves by walls of false beliefs that we hide behind. When we have faith, we can let go of who we imagined ourselves to be and become who we really are.

  7. "If you believe breaking is possible, believe fixing is possible" Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. We don't need to cover up or deny our mistakes. We fall. Our lives can sometimes feel broken. We need to remember to focus on fixing the brokenness instead of allowing it to lead to hopelessness.

  8. "Set a goal so big you can't achieve it until you grow into the person who can" (Anonymous). Change takes time. Don't be afraid to have extraordinary goals and huge plans. If we are committed to the process, we can become the kind of people capable of accomplishing those feats that seem way out of reach now.

  9. "A great attitude becomes a great mood, which becomes a great day, which becomes a great year, which becomes a great life" Zig Ziglar. It is far easier to change from a place of joy and abundance than it is from a place of despair and lack. Focus on the good and it will lead to more goodness.

  10. "No matter how many mistakes you make or how slowly you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn't trying." The two most important elements to change are focus and effort, and we can control both. We can keep trying. We can keep growing. We can focus constantly on where we want to go. No matter how small the changes we make, we are still way ahead than we would have been if we didn't try at all.

Open the door and the Almighty will show us the way through. All He asks us to do is wake up every day and try.

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