I would like to share with you a story that I have taken to heart, and I hope you will too.
A number of years ago, a man came to consult on a deeply concerning personal matter with Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, of blessed memory, the worldwide leader of millions of his generation. The man had been supporting and operating a prominent institute of higher learning, which he felt was a tremendous merit for himself and his family, but the burden had become extremely onerous and severe anxiety was beginning to affect his health. His doctor advised him to abandon his responsibilities immediately, in an effort to alleviate his crippling anxiety. The man was torn and asked his revered Rabbi what was the right course to follow.
Rabbi Auerbach thought for a moment and responded, that he agreed with the doctor. “It is not possible for you to live with this pressure and suffering. However,” the Rabbi said, “I believe there is another approach which could be equally as effective.
“Let me suggest to you a method that can assist you, and anyone suffering from pressure and anxiety. Keep a small notebook in your pocket, and call it the Book of Thanks. Any time throughout the day when you feel that G-d or a person has helped you in someway, even a small way, simply take a moment and write it down in your book. I am very confident that if you do this regularly, in a short time you will see your anxiety and pressures recede.”
The man thanked the Rabbi for his advice and immediately bought himself a small notepad. He began to write down every instance he had something to be thankful for. Unbelievably, within a short time, the man began to feel the pressure lifting.
As he continued to write down moments of gratitude in his book, he began to see small miracles before his eyes.
Slowly but surely his worries began to dissipate. Instead of forgoing his responsibilities, he felt he was now able to expand them and take care of the institution’s needs without feeling the pressure he once felt.
This incredibly powerful insight is relevant to us all today, more than ever. In these extremely uncertain times, we must seek out the moments of gratitude in our lives to counteract the negativity all around us. When we make an effort to focus on the positive moments and events, we will surely be able to overcome any adversity.
I hope you will use this Book of Thanks to record the moments of your day for which you are thankful.
By recognizing the good occurring all around us, we will merit even more good being sent our way. All I ask in return is that you perpetuate this message, encouraging the recognition of thanks in those you are in contact with.
With wishes for good health and with much appreciation and gratitude,