Right now, we are celebrating the holiday of lights: Chanukah, a festival where we commemorate the miracle of the last remaining holy jug of oil that was supposed to last for one day, and ended up lasting for eight days. Additionally, we are celebrating the miracle of the many falling to the hands of the few– a miracle that continues to happen in Israel until this very day. In the 1973 Yom Kippur war, the Jews were outnumbered thousands to one, yet by the grace of God, they won the war and kept Israel. Even today, Israel is surrounded by billions of people who want to eradicate their very existence, yet the miracle continues as Israel thrives and grows.

When I read about historical miracles, it always seems to me as though they happened in an instant. Yet in the main story of Chanukah, where the Jewish priest Matityahu and his sons overcame the Greek enemy, this happened over a three-year period. The miracles in Egypt took place over more than two hundred years; as we can see, sometimes miracles take time.

I’m reminded of the saying: “overnight success happens overnight in twenty years”. Most of the time, nothing happens in an instant.

I recently came to the realization that although I may seem like an extrovert, I’m really more of an introvert, yet because outside approval and immediate gratification is so important to me, I often come off as an extrovert.

Yet, when I look back at my successes, they all have come with time. Nothing happened immediately and none of them happened because of outside approval.

To combat this need, I have created long-term goals and partners to keep me accountable. I also constantly remind myself that it’s not my job to get outside approval, it’s truly my job to act in a way that I personally approve of, and it’s my job to act in a way in which I can look in the mirror, stand tall, and say, “yes, I am doing the right thing, and not only for a day or for a month, but for years, even if I don’t receive the recognition I so desire”.

How do you combat your need for outside approval? Furthermore, when you don’t receive the recognition you desire, how do you stand tall, remain focused, and propel yourself forward?

This week, let’s remind ourselves that we are all created with the unique ability to stand in concert with our own internal, moral, and ethical compass. Let’s not seek out anyone else to let us know we are okay– rather, let’s behave in a manner that we know is above reproach and is truly connected to our souls.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love


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