Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Inspiration on the Job

Q: I work in an office and I am very grateful to Hashem that I have a job, However, there is one thing that is hard. My day is filled with numbers since I do accouting and it just feels so empty! There's just no ruchniyes involved at all. At the end of the day I might have finished piles of work and that might be off my head, however, it's not a real accomplishment! It doesn't feel real! I wish I can be involved with more!!! When a person teaches others or does for others it makes them feel like they really are accomplishing! When I spoke this year to girls on a shabbaton, it was just the best! I felt like I really actually did something real!
I do try to make this up, that's why at nights I go to shiurim and I go on your blog. However I still wish there could be more to my day! I do know that this is where I am supposed to be right now, and one day I might get involved with teaching, however at this point I am involved with bookkeeping.
One thing that is wonderful about my office that I don't think many offices have, is that once a month we have a speaker right around Rosh Chodesh. That is a wonderful thing that my boss is on top of this!!!
Anyways, Is it a wrong outlook that I have on my job, or should i just be happy where I am and stop having these thoughts?

A: About your job, I know exactly how you feel. I work in an office too - there isn't much spirituality, no speeches (lucky you that they give you a speech once a month!), no hebrew classes - this is life. You start off going to school and being spoon fed inspiration each day, teachers who give over lessons about the yomim tovim and many topics in Judaism. But once real life starts and you graduate, no one is there to do it for you. You have to keep yourself inspired with shiurim - which is amazing that you are able to do that - and read books/seforim on shabbos, learn with a friend on the phone or sign up for Partners in Torah so you can learn with someone who doesnt know as much as you about torah and mitzvos - all these things can help you stay inspired.

Now you are living real life - and you are not in school. Life will continue this way. Iy"h you'll build your own home and may not have time to go to shiurim all the time like you are able to do now. The important thing to realize is that you can inject spirituality even into your mundane job of bookkeeping - because through the job that you do, you are making sure that people get paid, the numbers all match up, the company does not get into trouble for any financial fraud...and this is really a big deal! If not for your job, it is possible that your entire company wouldn't be able to function! Imagine that - you are able to get the zechus of all the good that is being done to help these children!

On your way to work, remind yourself how important you are and how much your office needs you to be there to get your job done! Also know that your job in this world is to do the mitzvos - and that means bringing Hashem into your everyday life by making a kiddush Hashem wherever you go, being honest in business (for example, coming on time), making brachos when you eat during the day, remembering your bracha achrona...by doing all these things you are remembering Hashem throughout your day.
Of course it may not feel as fulfilling as standing in front of a class and teaching and maybe that is something that you'll do in the future. But for now, know that this is your job and you need to do it right - with honesty.
Try to smile at other people so you can uplift their mood and make them happy. Going through your day this way will make it not just a regular day but a special day.

Also, try to focus on doing one extra thing each day that you may not have done before. This way, when you look back at the end of your day, you'll feel good about yourself. For example, you can give someone a compliment, have extra kavanah when you say birchas hamazon after you ate lunch, do an anonymous act of kindness...there are many things you can do to inject spirituality into your day. This way, when you look back at your day, you'll feel accomplished because you did something new and different!

You can read this post about
bringing Hashem into your everyday life.
Let me know what you think of this and if it helps.

8 comments:

  1. What Devorah said is 100% true. There is really no reason to feel un-ruchniusdig because you happen to work in an office and not in a school. I work in an office environment, too. I am not in contact with anything torah-related but that doesn't bar me from anything ruchnius. If you're the type of person who needs to actively do something to feel ruchinusdig, you may want to read something nice (i.e. this blog) during your lunch break or whatever. Otherwise, you can spend a few minutes of time just thinking of Hashem and something nice! This you can do anywhere, anytime.

    Lots of girls think that you have to be DOING something that screams ruchnius to BE ruchniusdig -- which is untrue. There are tons of stuff you can do, which may seem of insignificant value in terms of ruchnius, and Devorah mentioned a bunch, but are really so powerful. Find little things. Don't pressure yourself by feeling bad that you can't be immersed in a ruchnius setting during work.

    And also, there's life after work. I assume you don't work more than 8-9 hours a day, and there's another 8 (considering that 8 are spent sleeping).

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  2. wow thank you devoiry. yes i am still in highschool and am bh being spoonfed ruchnius for 1/2 the day, but i still try to bring hashem into my life like when your spaceing out in class, talk to hashem, dont waste your time. when your upset about s't talk it out with hashem. every second you can bring g-d into your life if your constantly saying thank you and noticeing all the hashgacha pratis hashem dose for you constantly. when doing this you can build a relationship with hashem that dosent just stay with you in school but you have hashem with you whereever you go throughout your life!!!

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  3. wow you're amazing your'e really trying to work on yourself!

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  4. Baila VerschleiserApril 6, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    It is hard sometimes to feel like you are not always in the school setting learning and constantly growing... but there is never a break from ruchnius; if u have extra time to daven in the morning it can make a difference in your whole day! Realize throughout your day there are so many opportunities for growth being nice and pleasant to your workmates, Just being in a good mood makes everyone want to be around you and thats such a kiddush hashem! The main goal we can achieve now that we are in the workplace is to take it seriously, be honest and caring to others. There are countless Dan Lkaf Zechus incidents throughout our day that we can tune into! Most important thank hashem that bh you do have a job and you are happy. Look for the good in all that you have and realize it all comes from the One Above! Now you see all through the day you really can tap into ruchnius!! Every stage has it's own special things that you can tap into. Listen to your heart and mind. If you feel empty inside because you didnt taste ruchnius that day do something later in the day to make you feel uplifted and inspired. There are tons of shiurim over the phone anytime of day or night! Good Luck~

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  5. I just thought of a suggestion that may make you feel more inspired. Since you work with numbers and stuff all the time, maybe it pays to get inspired by numbers? I know that sounds strange, but listen for a second. Hashem gave us a fascinating world where everything runs according to numbers (zmanim, measurements, sizes, angles, temperature, distance, etc.). One day I read this book called "The Man Who Counted" by Malba Tahan. Since then, I keep thinking of Hashem in numbery situations because the book shows you how there is a divine chachma and perfect design in numbers. It just makes me feel awed by Hashem. So maybe this may work for you. See if you can get hold of this book and get inspired!

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  6. I would add...davenen when you feel empty...and hashem to show you the opportunities for ruchnius, helping others as much as possible... when you where in such a school, its great, many never did (like me) but so, when its like a break from these teachings, you could use the time to remind them and live them more deeply, give them roots...for every thing is a time in life...personally I try to listen to shiurim while I work, but I know its surely not possible for everyone...

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  7. Everyone has really good points and I just want to add one possible idea- I have friends who are very much math people. They enjoy playing with numbers, it makes sense to them, it's their element.They even see so much G-dliness in theiir math problems that there is one Calculus class that ends up more oftn disucussing Hashkafa. They see numbers as the spiritiul building blocks of the world, as numbers are. There a sense of perfection about 1+1 always and FOREVER equaling 2 that can put them on a hi. and when they solve a problem or get to the depths of the problems, they really see G-d in the pages. I don't know if anyone else on this blog can relate but it does prove that there is NOTHING in this world that cannot be looked at from a spiritual perspective and the inspiration is inherent in everything

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  8. I want to thank everyone for their comments and suggestions. I really miss being in seminary and highschool, and those who are there should really appreciate every minute. This particular blog has really inspired me to inject more ruchnius into my day!

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