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Thought for the Day: Goal Setting to Achieve Happiness and Joy

No, I do not mean to set goals for how happy and joyful I want to be by a certain date.  That is without doubt a recipe for despair and anguish.  I mean that setting appropriate goals can yield almost immediate benefits in terms of joy and happiness.  Great thought for a Monday, no?

In my experience with getting angry (a topic on which I am an unquestioned expert), they initial cause of my anger is having a monkey wrench thrown into my plans.  For example, I am trying to get home and the stupid traffic light goes yellow and the even stupider drive in front of me decides to stop instead of speeding up; I am now seeing red, and I don't mean just the traffic light.

So simply change the goal.  Make the goal that I want to finish this last paragraph of my book before I get home and so some red lights would be very helpful.  If you are more religious, make the goal to practice your bitachon that your arrival time at home doesn't depend on how many red lights you hit.  In both cases you will actually find yourself getting excited about seeing the light go yellow as you approach the intersection and perhaps even a little disappointment about making the light.  In case you think that your yeitzer hara isn't that stupid, just think back to the last time you got angry.  It wasn't anything very substantive, was it?

One last thing... if you are going to try that rid light thing, be prepared to set one other goal.  Namely, not getting flustered by that guy behind you who hasn't changed his goals and is still irritated that you didn't speed up to try and beat the light.


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