Chazaq and Chickens for Shabbos hosted a new series on “Let’s Be Our Best with Rabbi Lazer Brody,” author and inspirational speaker. Rabbi Brody shared a virtual shiur on Motza’ei Shabbos, January 29, on focusing on a goal. “The difference between people who succeed and those who don’t is those who do are totally focused on their goal. Those who don’t succeed don’t have a specific goal in mind. There’s an expression in English, “pastime.” This means no purpose. Any marksman or archer knows that to hit the bullseye you need to be honed in and focused on the target. You need total concentration.

He shared that to climb a mountain you focus on your goal of reaching the top. We start at the bottom and work our way up. “This keeps us always looking up, and that’s emunah. That is seeing Hashem.” After 120 years, we will be asked, “What have you done?” We have to make goals and focus on them. People seeking Hashem ask Hashem to help them attain their goals. Hashem wants us to ask Him for help. This gives us humility. People are depressed when they think it all depends on them. “We need to know that Hashem is always with us and that we can succeed.”

When we are at the bottom, our view is limited. The higher we climb, the more we can see. We humans have an engrained trait. “We don’t appreciate anything unless we work for it.” A spoiled child has a sense of entitlement. We should know that we don’t deserve anything. We have to appreciate everything. We have to thank Hashem for everything and thank each other for everything.  This is what will make a good marriage: when we thank our spouse for everything. A person with a sense of entitlement doesn’t say thank you. There is satisfaction in achievement, and you know you succeeded because Hashem helped you. When you reach a goal, you should recite T’hilim 100. You should learn this psalm by heart.

He taught that in this generation there is a problem with focus. If you go onto Google, advertisements pop up. This type of thing robs you of your focus and attention. Screens are passive entertainment; they kill a person’s initiative, aspirations, and ability to focus.

The higher we climb, the more we exert ourselves. There are two things that give us strength to achieve our goal. Those are focus and desire. Focus helps us to keep our eye on the goal. Desire is G-dly and it comes from Hashem’s crown. We take desire and it brings us close to Hashem when it’s what Hashem wants us to do.

Rabbi Brody explained that the afterburner is what catapults a rocket into space. Desire is a person’s afterburner, so to speak. “No Olympic athlete reaches the finish line on physical prowess alone. To accomplish any endeavor in life, you have to have desire.” This is especially true with learning Torah.

He noted that instant gratification is instant progress. Easy come and easy go. He cited the fable of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise was focused, and the hare was not.

He then listed four points to keep in mind to achieve our goal. First, guard your time. Don’t let it slip away. Remove things that do not have to do with your goal. Second, keep focus and keep your goal in mind. Third, don’t let disappointment or pain discourage you. This is part of the goal. And know that this is from Hashem. Lastly, don’t let other people discourage you.

Rabbi Brody stated, “An eagle doesn’t fly with pigeons. Eagles fly on their own. Focus on your goal. Go for it!”

He taught that if you follow these four steps, you will make giant strides towards your goal and you will succeed.

By Susie Garber