Tuesday, August 22, 2006
"Who is strong? One who conquers his desires." the Talmud
Many times people want to stop doing something however somehow they cannot find enough will power to do so. They know something is wrong and destructive, however they simply cannot control themselves so they continue doing it and hating themselves for it.
Is there a simple solution?
In my experience, yes: making vows.
It works like this. Each week you read a list of vows along the lines of:
The following fast days will be obligatory only if I definitely and knowingly require myself to observe them, and I am aware that I am required to observe them an hour after having fulfilled the conditions needed to require the fast.
I hereby accept upon myself that if later this week or next week I knowingly unblock any webpage from ContentProtect software I will be required to fast 1 day during this month of Av, 5766 or next month of Elul, 5766.
I hereby accept upon myself that if later this week or next week
I knowingly and deliberately turn on and listen to a radio or television I will be required to fast 1/2 day during this month of Av, 5766 or next month of Elul, 5766.
I have personally found this to be an incredibly powerful tool for building greater self-control in any area, whether it’s Judaism or weight control or anything else.
Of course, one must be careful and cautious about doing this responsibly and I think it can often be used as a sort of “training wheels”. Once one becomes stronger in a certain area, he can stop making the vow and do it on his own. Hopefully.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 10:02 AM