Finding inspiration when things go wrong
There are two ways you can find inspiration
- You can be inspired by the positivity you find when things go right.
- You can be inspired when things go wrong, because you know you don’t want to carry on living that way.
The Zohar says that negative inspiration is more powerful than positive inspiration.
דלית נהורא אלא ההוא דנפיק מגו חשוכא
There is no light other than that which emanates from within darkness.
- Why are you in a better position to change and grow when things go wrong, than when things go right?
- Why does the Zohar say that light emanates from darkness, which implies that the darkness itself is the source of light?
A quote often attributed to Einstein is, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Although this seems obvious, what is not obvious is we fool ourselves into thinking we are doing something different now. In fact we are doing exactly now as the time things went wrong, just in a different time and place.
How can we know when we have actually changed?
The Zohar offers the following clue.
דהא ודאי אמר קהלת (קהלת א’ ט’) “אין כל חדש תחת השמש” אבל למעלה מן השמש יש לו
“It is true that ‘There is nothing new under the sun’, but beyond the sun there is.”
Most people are not good at everything. We are born with natural tendencies, and we develop these tendencies into our own way of doing things. There are things we are really good at, but there are weak areas which drag us down in challenging situations.
To change, we need to identify the areas in which we’re not strong, and then find someone brilliant in this area. We need to connect with and learn from someone who conquered in their own lives what we are struggling with. By doing this, we rise above the natural level of “under the sun” existence that we were granted at birth.
Positive inspiration can make your life shine, but negative inspiration has a more powerful potential for change. The realisation that we need to live on a higher plane forces us to rise above our natural operating level. Through seeing the need for change we incorporate the light from other people into our natural way of doing things.
When disappointment shows that life can be better, inspiration forces us to grow beyond our natural selves. In retrospect, the obstacles that made us to think out of our mindset were the source of our progress.
So the darkness itself, is the source of light.