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  • Alana Stern

"Na'aseh veNishmah" and the Value of "Failure"

Bear with me for a minute and allow me to take you on a journey from Shavuot to "Getting Stuff Done".

On the eve of Shavuot, חג מתן תורתינו – the festival of receiving the Torah, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to experiential learning – learning by doing. We are told that Bnei Yisrael accepted the Torah with the statement “נעשה ונשמע”- “We will do and [then] we will hear (understand)”.

A common interpretation of this verse is that we first do the mitzvot, and then by doing them we gain an understanding of them. In the beginning is the deed, the action. Only then comes the grasp, comprehension and insight.

The Value of "Failure"

I purposely put the word "failure" in quotation marks. One of my favorite sayings that I learned while studying to be an NLP practitioner is that: “There is no such thing as failure, only feedback”. Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of the process. It’s the first step (or 2 or 10...) towards success. It’s when you know at least you’ve started and are no longer stuck.While struggling to invent the light bulb, Thomas Edison is known to have said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

We have to נעשה -take action (even at the risk of not getting it right), in order to נשמע – understand, gain insight and grow.

Feedback from "Failure"?

What feedback can we get from “failure”? Take a look at this flowchart I created. I use it with my clients every week as we reflect back on their task that they had set themselves for the previous week.

I know. “Doing” is not always so simple. It involves a lot of brain-based skills. We have to:

  • prioritize (sometimes from many options) and decide what’s most important to do with our time.

  • plan: create a roadmap to complete our task.

  • remember what we need to get done.

  • get started in a timely manner.

  • stay focused throughout and manage distractions.

  • stay on track timewise.

  • reign in any negative emotions that might derail us from performing the task well.

So yes, doing can be more complicated than it seems. But as the Torah tells us, נעשה ונשמע – just do it! You’ll learn on the job.

Run your Life so it Doesn't Run You

If you’d like to learn brain-hacking tools for getting stuff done, I’d love for you to join one of my upcoming workshops starting right after Shavuot. Details below.

Wishing you all a chag sameach and a year of "just doing It!"

Join us for an interactive workshop where you will:

  • discover the link between your hormones and your daily functioning

  • pinpoint your personal pitfalls and

  • get concrete tools to overcome:

  1. Weak Memory

  2. Distraction and Brain Fog

  3. Procrastination

  4. Poor Planning & Prioritizing

  5. Bad Time Management

  6. Emotional Stress

...so that you can run your life rather than having it run you.

Pre-pay and you will get the BONUS PACKAGE today, so that you can start running your life NOW!

Hope to see you there. Chag sameach! And remember, just do it!

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