Do you ever feel depleted, stale, lost? Do you ever feel like you are on a never-ending treadmill of aimless tasks? If you do, how do you deal with it? What's your method of revitalizing your life?

There are many great approaches for refreshing and refocusing that can be easily found on the internet. There's also a mind-blowing amount of life-changing techniques embedded throughout Jewish life and Torah study. I'd like to share an idea I've come across with regard to getting off the 'endless treadmill' and finding an anchored sense of meaning. 

In the Torah portions which we are reading over these weeks we read about the beginnings of the Jewish people, starting with Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac and Rebecca. 

Abraham, the towering historical figure recognized by the three monotheistic religions as a patriarch, and whose teachings of monotheism have persisted from early antiquity to modern times, is given an unusual compliment by the Torah: The Torah sums his life up as being 'full of days'.

Now, shouldn't it be the other way around? Having many days of life is a blessing, but not a compliment. It depends on what one does with that time. Evil people can have many days of life as well!

I read an explanation for this verse which I found both interesting and very relevant:

Living a fulfilling life can be accomplished in two ways: 

A) Looking for good things to do.

B) Looking to use our time well.

While these might seem like very similar ideas, they are quite different modi vivendi. Looking for good things to do means that so long as we accomplish our goals, we're good to go. The issue with that is that it leaves us out of the picture. If we're solely focused on checking off tasks, there will probably be a large part of our lives which will will not receive the necessary attention. 

Yes, at the end of each day we might feel good about all the things we did. But what if hours were wasted, relationships were neglected, or our Neshama missed its dose of Torah study or Shabbat family dinner? We might not even notice until a long time after, when we start feeling empty despite those many accomplishments.

This is why it's important to focus on using our time well, too. If our primary focus is 'how can I make sure that each day, hour and minute is maximized', it'll be more probable that we won't leave important things out. We'll be more conscious of our limited time and make sure our priorities are properly ordered.

There's no guarantee, but I think that attitude will, with time, leave us feeling much more focused, fulfilled and happy over all.

With the International Chabad Conference this weekend in Brooklyn, I'm reminded of this very idea. Each emissary who the Rebbe sent around the globe lives every day thinking of how they can best use every minute to make the world a better place. From Alaska to Azerbaijan, Chabad rabbis, rebbetzins and families continue to spread the light of Judaism, with over 3,500 centers, and millions of Jews involved. 

Each and every one of us can do the same.

Rabbi Avrohom