Spidey Sense

Spidey Sense
December 23, 2015 Yaakov Lyons

Spider BiteSuperman can leap tall buildings with a single bound.

Spiderman can stick to walls and sense danger with his “spidey-sense.”

Batman, while not having specific superpowers, has advanced martial-arts abilities and a well-managed, diversified, and tax-optimized portfolio to support his vigilante activities through his alias, Bruce Wayne.

For superheroes, choosing a path isn’t so difficult.  They know what makes them unique, and they have an easy time finding the proper context for their abilities.  For the rest of us, who haven’t been bitten by a radioactive spider that mutates our DNA (yet), it can be more difficult to navigate life, often because we don’t fully appreciate our powers.

At the very end of his life, Jacob “blessed” each of his family members.  Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz notes that the “blessings” merely consisted of noting what each person needed to work on, such as anger, and what they excelled at, such as spirituality, business, and leadership.  While at first these don’t seem like “blessings,” Rabbi Levovitz points out that really knowing yourself might be the greatest blessing of all.

As we start our vacations, after we’ve spent a semester working for our professors and various societies or clubs, it’s a great time to check in on ourselves.  We spend a lot of our time struggling to succeed, but we probably spend far less time trying to determine what constitutes a real success that reflects our personal abilities and values.  Wouldn’t it be tragic if we end up questioning what “might have been?”  And isn’t it so clear that if we can develop more insight into ourselves then we will be happier with where we end up?

Long term, the best prospects for a successful life and career lie where the answers to four questions intersect: What do we enjoy doing?  What do we personally excel at?  What will be a meaningful contribution to the world?  What conditions will enable us to eventually build a home?  Answering these questions and finding a balance between them can enable us to live a life which genuinely reflects our abilities, feelings, and values.

We should all find what we’re looking for!

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