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Self awareness is a critical element of a successful life - awareness of potential, as well as shortcomings. A primary element of the milestone of reaching Bar and Bat Mitzvah, as well as a cornerstone of marriage, business and happiness is self awareness.

As children, even infants, we already have much, if not all, of the potential that we'll have as adults. We're just not as aware of it. Starting at the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and for the rest of our lives, we are able to be truly aware of our capacities and potential, thereby enabling us to appreciate ourselves and be the best we can be.

On Monday we will celebrate the 'Second Passover'. It was a day that - in Temple times two millennia ago - was available for those who missed out on celebrating Passover to celebrate it, just one month later.

Traditionally this somewhat unsung holiday has represented the timeless message of 'it's never too late'. The meaningful idea that it's never too late to get back on track is central in Jewish thought. And it is not only relevant when fixing a misstep. Rather, it is a state of being, a sense of self-awareness and appreciation. 

How so?

When we are truly connected with our inner selves and are aware of our true potential, then we don't judge ourselves by external circumstances or by our mistakes, rather by our inner character. It is who we really are that counts. 

Of course we can't ignore mistakes we might have made, but only focus on them in order to be better in the future. In order to grow. Otherwise, it's our best potential we need to always remember.

This is what life is all about. Remembering and appreciating the tremendous potential we have. The gifts and talents G‑d blesses us with. The blessing of family, the blessing of being Jewish, it is up to us to maximize and live up to the tremendous amount of potential and goodness that's inside of us, waiting to shine.

Rabbi Avrohom