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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘HAPPY’

Soul Talk – Secrets to a Really Really Happy New Year [audio]

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

There are many concepts connected to the High Holiday’s: Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur that are essential to properly understand in order to make the most of the opportunity of the holidays.

What does it mean that G-d has the book of life and death open during this time? What bad decrees are we trying to avert through mending our ways? What is the power of Repentance, Prayer and Charity giving in revoking these bad decrees?

Join Rabbi David Aaron on Soul Talk to gain a better understanding of essential High Holiday concepts and enter the holidays with clarity and focus.

We welcome your questions and comments. Send us an e-mail at soultalk@israelnewstalkradio.com

Soul Talk 02Oct2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Happy Rosh Hashana from the IDF

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

This video is from 2013, but we’re celebrating Rosh Hashana this year too!

We’ll post the latest IDF Rosh Hashana video once it’s up.

Video of the Day

If You Want to Be Happy, Just… Be Happy?

Monday, September 19th, 2016

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.” – William James

“It’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us but the lens through which our brain views the world that shapes our reality.” – Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage

“For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespseare


In his book The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything, Neil Pasricha argues that the key to happiness is… happiness! He’s says that we have the formula for happiness backward. He writes, “We think we work hard in order to achieve big success and then we’re happy.”

We think that the model for happiness is as follows: Great Work = Big Success = Be Happy.

Pasricha explains that in reality this isn’t so. Instead, we do great work, we have big successes, but we aren’t happy. In fact, instead of being happy, we set new goals. “Now we study for the next job, the next degree, the next promotion. Why stop at a college degree when you can get a master’s? Why stop at director when you can be VP? Why stop at one house when you can have two? We never get to happiness. It keeps getting pushed further and further away,” says Pasricha.

So, how does happiness work? How can we achieve it? Pasricha says we need to snap off the “Be Happy” piece from the equation above, and stick it on the beginning. In other words, the equation should look like this: Be Happy = Great Work = Big Success.

If we start off happy, then we feel good about ourselves and what we doing. If we feel good about ourselves, we look great. We take care of ourselves. We sustain meaningful relationships with those around us. And, we do great work because we feel great while we are doing it. That great work leads to great success and accomplishments. Therefore, we need to start happy in order to be happy.


Why Aren’t You Happy?

Think about the lives our ancestors lived – they had very little time to be happy. In fact, they were constantly running from danger. If they had a little food, they quickly went out with a full belly to hunt or scavenge for more. If they had stopped to experience the feeling of happiness, they would have been lost because their lives were all about survival. Although society has become civilized and enlightened, we still have many of the same instincts as they did. Our brains are still programmed to look for problems and attempt to solve them. Our brains are still programmed to look for our next meal or next goal.


How Can You Be Happy First?

Pasricha suggests seven steps to achieving happiness first, and then, of course, doing great work and achieving big success.

Three walks. I’ve written about the benefits of exercise for children with ADHD, but exercise can help everyone feel happier. The Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology found that the more exercise people did, the happier and more contented they were. This needn’t take over your life, as research shows that even three thirty-minute walks a week drastically improve your mood.

The 20-minute replay. If you take 20 minutes to write about a positive experience, you will feel happier, a University of Texas study found. That’s because as you write the experience, you are reliving it. And, you relive it every time you reread the piece you wrote.

Random Acts of Kindness. Performing five random acts of kindness (treating a friend to coffee, driving out of the way to pick someone up, giving a homeless person a meal, etc.) can help you feel better about yourself. Aside from that, people will appreciate your kindness.

A Complete Unplug. Luckily, we do this automatically every Shabbos – we turn off our phones and electronic devices. When you completely unplug, you can recharge for the future. You can even try it after dinner or while on vacation. This “downtime” helps your brain and body be a lot happier and more productive when you are plugged back in.

Hit Flow. Pasricha describes flow as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.” Find your flow. And, then try to engage in that activity (running, taking photographs, playing the guitar) often.

2 Minute Meditation. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital discovered that if you take two minutes to engage in mindful meditation, you can rewire your brain for happiness.

Five Gratitudes. Every week, write down five things you are thankful for. This act not only helps you remember all the wonderful things in your life, it also makes you happier and physically healthier.

The bottom line? If you want to be happy, you’ve got to be happy first! Try the steps above to condition your brain toward happiness. The great work and big success will follow.


Register now for a Social Thinking workshop by Michelle Garcia Winner on November 16. Please call Mrs. Schonfeld at 718-382-5437 for more information.

Rifka Schonfeld

How to Prepare for a Happy Retirement

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Planning for a happy retirement is not only a question of money. There are other factors to consider. Wes Moss, financial planner, podcaster, and author of You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think, talks about what makes a happy retirement. Retirement is not only about leaving the daily grind of going to work — it should be a time for doing what you have always dreamed of, but were unable to do during your working years. A happy retirement takes into consideration factors other than the size of your bank account. Listen to find out what else you need for an enjoyable retirement.

Have you recently received a letter from your U.S. brokerage firm asking you to transfer out your account? What should you do? Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, of Profile Investment Services, Ltd. explains the steps you can take if you need to end your existing brokerage relationship. Don’t miss the free download of a toolkit that can guide you through the process of managing your U.S. accounts from overseas.

The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Israelis Not Happy Over Pharrell Williams’ Notice

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

If you live in Israel and are a fan of Pharrell Williams — the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who is known best for his music video “Happy” — you won’t be happy to read the following news.

For reasons unknown, Williams has cancelled his much-anticipated July 21 concert set to be held in Rishon Lezion this summer.

Promoters told media that “unexpected scheduling conflicts” were behind the sudden cancellation and apologized to ‘Happy’ fans, saying the star hoped to reschedule.

There was no mention of pressure on Williams by supporters of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement that backs the Palestinian Authority against Israel.

Full refunds to ticket holders are set to begin on Sunday, July 17.

Hana Levi Julian

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me. This sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Especially when it is realized that there are about one and one-half billion of my kind produced in the U.S.A. each year– I, Pencil by Leonard Read, 1958


In his essay, Read explains that even though billions of pencils are produced every year, not one person can make one. In fact, it takes millions of people to make a pencil, from the loggers who cut down the cedar trees, to those who mine the graphite, to the chemists who make the lacquer, and the truckers who transport the materials from one place to another.

Read asserts, “There isn’t a single person in all these millions, including the president of the pencil company, who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how.” Yet, regardless, there are billions of pencils produced every year. The same goes for more complex products like computers, smartphones and dining chairs.

Why do I bring up “I, Pencil”? I recently read Matt Ridley’s uplifting book The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves which focuses on how the world is a much better place now than it was a century ago. And, “I, Pencil” fits right into his theory.

Ridley argues that as a society we are constantly building on an exchange of ideas. With all other species, as the species becomes more populous, it become less prosperous and eventually die out. People are the only group that has become more prosperous as they have become more populous. This is because they build on each other’s ideas. Even the seemingly insignificant pencil represents an exchange of ideas and collaboration on the part of millions of people. He writes, “At some point, human intelligence became collective and cumulative in a way that happened to no other animal.” For this reason Ridley believes we should live in a state of rational optimism.

“Rational optimism,” he says, “holds that the world will pull out of the current crisis because of the way that markets in goods, services, and ideas allow human beings to exchange and specialize honestly for the betterment of all. So this is not a book of unthinking praise or condemnation of all markets, but it is an inquiry into how the market process of exchange and specialization is older and fairer than many think and gives a vast reason for optimism about the future of the human race. Above all, it is a book about the benefits of change…”

He offers a sunny view of the world: “First, I need to convince you that human progress has, on balance, been a good thing, and that, despite the constant temptation to moan, the world is a good a place to live as it has ever been for the average human being – even now in a deep recession. That it is richer, healthier, and kinder too, as much because of commerce as despite it.”


Does optimism always work?

In American culture, there is a large emphasis put on optimism. We are told that if we think positively things will work out. For a lot of people (like Ridley), this type of outlook is beneficial and healthy. However, optimism is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Positive thinking works for some, but not for all. For people who have anxiety, optimism can be very difficult and unproductive. Instead, anxious people can harness their anxiety and use it in order to ensure that they do succeed.

This approach is what Julie Norem, the author of The Positive Power of Negative Thinking, calls defensive pessimism. She explains that defensive pessimism encompasses an entire process by which negative thinking transformed anxiety into action.”

“Don’t worry, it will all work out” does not always come true. Worrying and preparing yourself for the worst can help. And that is exactly what defensive pessimists do. Before going into a stressful situation, they set low expectations for themselves and then follow up with a list of all the things that can go wrong. Once they have figured out all of the bad things that can happen, they can prepare to prevent them or to prepare to deal with them when they occur. This gives those with anxiety a sense of control.

In reality, roughly thirty percent of Americans are defensive pessimists, and then tend to also be highly successful. Their belief in the fear of negative outcomes tends to motivate them to perform better in the future.


Register now for a Social Thinking workshop by Michelle Garcia Winner on November 16. Please call Mrs. Schonfeld at 718-382-5437 for more information.

Rifka Schonfeld

Rejuvenation: Harvests, Humanity and Humility- Happy Jerusalem Day [audio]

Friday, June 10th, 2016

What will you say on Judgement Day? Was the 1967 War a victory for mankind? It’s Jerusalem Day and we’re home in the heartland again.
Bible scholar Dr. Yael Zeigler and Eve Harow discuss the Book of Ruth, read on Shavuot next week, as the antitheses of the Book of Judges in the pre-Davidic period. Social justice, leadership, concern for the ‘other’, unconditional brotherly love- are all rooted in the Tanach, and part of ancient and modern Judean thought and action. Israel of today is collectively rising to the challenge, despite threats against us from within and without. A wheat field is so much more than its sheaves….and Israel so much more than the sum of our parts.

The Land of Israel

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