A vital element in emotional wellness is doing what you want and what you believe is right. Anytime you bend to social pressure, and therefore bend your personal principles, you're sewing the seeds of bitterness. Don't go there. Don't just hang with the flock; do what your heart knows is right and do what you want to do. It's not easy but it sure is conducive to a healthy body, mind and soul.

So how do you learn to buck social pressure, do what you want and not what others want from you? Learn to do what most people hate doing – be alone with yourself.

We attain inner peace by taking a daily timeout, going somewhere where we can be tranquil and collect our thoughts, and honestly assess ourselves. When we take daily stock in ourselves, we review what we did during the past 24 hours while thinking of what we need to improve and what we need to reinforce. If we invite the Almighty to be with us and guide us, then we'll have a daily emotional reboot that is priceless. Once we get used to such a daily session, we can't live without it. By being alone with ourselves and asking help from Above, we can clarify our thoughts and clarify what's true. We can ask ourselves if we are about to make our own choice, or to succumb to outside pressures and to things we don't want to do or don't believe in doing. Only when we're alone and centered, can we ask and candidly answer the four following questions:

  1. Do I want to do this?
  2. Does this make me happy?
  3. Is this the morally and ethically right thing to do?
  4. Will this make me a better person?

If you can answer "yes" to all four of the above, go forward! If the answer is "no" to all four, avoid doing you're being asked to do. If your answer is a combination of yes's and no's, ask Hashem to guide you on the right path. When you ask for help, He'll be glad to give it to you. Just remember, instead of hangin' with the flock, you could be soaring on your own. Blessings always, LB

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