Have you ever been to a college commencement ceremony? If you have, you probably heard much about the importance of following your dream, doing something you enjoy, passion and perseverance. What is the deeper meaning behind all these terms, that we feel so compelled to share with young people just starting out? Wouldn't it be more apropos to speak about investing techniques or engineering tips?

The way I see it, the underlying idea of all these messages is to always have a core around which all your actions revolve. Have a focused, clear, high-aimed goal, and follow it till the end. The benefits of such an attitude are numerous. Since it's the long term goal that we have in mind, it helps us stay focused and not get deflated by bumps along the road. It gives energy to small, tedious tasks since we have in mind that they are all smalls step in a large picture.

A little while ago, I asked a few people for tips on how to stay organized. One tip I got was from a businessman in Florida, who suggested that at the beginning of each day, write a list of things you need to do on a piece of paper. Throughout the day, work through that list and that list only. If something is on the list, do it, if not, don't even think about it.

If we live our lives running on many tracks at once, juggling a myriad of different, disconnected chains of events simultaneously, and no central core and meaning, we can be left feeling lost, unmotivated, overwhelmed and empty. We might feel this way even when met with success.

The idea of unifying the journey of life around one central idea is fundamental to Judaism. The Torah itself is structured that way. The Torah was given to the Jews first as Ten Commandments, though there are six hundred and thirteen commandments (!) in total. Why? Because the rest all revolve around those ten.

Judaism, the beauty of the Torah and its commandments, and 3,000 years of Jewish tradition, provide a tremendously solid core that can give immeasurable meaning to our lives. It's a gift that we each have sitting in our pockets. The knowledge that there is a God who created everything and everyone with a purpose, that ultimately there is meaning to the world and the goings-on within it, is a very comforting thought. It doesn't discourage man-made advancements in technology or science, nor discourage hard work. It gives meaning to all we do.

Rabbi Avrohom