101 Simple Truths We Often Forget:
  • The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing.  Growing happens when what you know changes how you live.
  • You can’t have good ideas unless you’re willing to generate a lot of bad ones.
  • A good idea without action is worth nothing.
  • Change is often resisted when it is needed the most.
  • Discipline is choosing what you want most over what you want right now. 
  • People seldom do things to the best of their ability.  They do things to the best of their willingness.
  • You can’t change other people; you can only offer guidance, and lead by example.
  • Right now, there’s a lot you don’t know.  And if you never challenge your own beliefs, the list will never shrink.
  • If you’re talking to someone you don’t know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about the topic of conversation than you do.
  • The most common and harmful addiction in the world is the draw of comfort.
  • Growth begins at the end of your comfort zone.  Stepping outside of your comfort zone will put things into perspective from an angle you can’t grasp now.
  • When you spend time worrying, you’re simply using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
  • It’s usually only as good or bad as you think it is.  Most of what we see is only what we think about what we see.
  • Most of the bad things you worry about will never happen.  Most of the bad things that do happen will have never crossed your worried mind.
  • Some circumstances are uncontrollable, but we can always decide how we react to those circumstances.
  • Those who complain the most, accomplish the least.
  • Whenever somebody discredits you, and tells you that you can’t do something, keep in mind that they are speaking from within the boundaries of their own limitations.
  • Every problem you have in your life right now is your responsibility, regardless of who initially caused it.
  • It’s not so much about finding opportunities as it is about creating them.
  • Having a plan, even a flawed one at first, is better than no plan at all.
  • Paving your own road is intelligent only if nobody has gone exactly where you are going.
  • What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.
  • What you don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.
  • If you’re waiting for the perfect conditions, ideas or plans to get started, you’ll never achieve anything.
  • Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.
  • Putting something off makes it instantly harder and scarier.
  • You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
  • If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
  • The harder you work, the luckier you will become.
  • Kindness and hard work together will always carry you farther than intelligence.
  • Lots of successful people have failed as many times as they have succeeded.
  • Failures are simply lessons that help you prepare for next time.
  • Being successful is a journey, not a destination.
  • To be successful does not mean you have to dominate others; it means you have to dominate your own potential.
  • Your success isn’t just about you.  It’s about how you positively impact the lives around you.
  • Being busy and being productive are two different things.
  • Being happy and being successful are two different things.
  • You have every right to be happy, but it’s up to YOU and only YOU to exercise that right. 
  • Everyone you meet is better than you at something.  We all have different strengths.  What worked for someone else might not work for you.
  • When you’re worried about what others think of you, you’re really just worried about what you think of yourself.
  • The bad news: nothing is permanent.  The good news: nothing is permanent.
  • You don’t have to settle.  It’s simply a choice you make every day.  If you don’t like your life, then it’s time to start making changes and better choices.
  • There’s no such thing as ‘risk free.’  Everything you do or don’t do has an inherent risk.
  • No matter how smart you are, you will make mistakes.
  • Problems, when they arise, are rarely as painful and hurtful as the process of fearing them.
  • Confusion isn’t a bad thing.  It means you’re growing and thinking.
  • Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
  • In the beginning, you need to say “yes” to a lot of things to discover and establish your goals.  Later on, you need to say “no” to a lot of things and concentrate on your goals.
  • Even if it doesn’t cost any money, it’s not free if it takes up your time.
  • No matter how you make a living or who you think you work for, you only work for one person, yourself.  The big question is: What are you selling, and to whom?
  • Money makes life easier only when it’s yours free and clear.  The stress of financial debt can change a person.
  • The fewer possessions you own, the more you will use and enjoy them.
  • Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.
  • There is good reason why you should wake each morning and mindfully consider what and who you will give your day to:  Because unlike other things in life - love, money, respect, good health, hope, opportunities, and many more - time is the one thing you can never get back once it’s gone.
  • Cutting your losses is sometimes better than the alternative.
  • We sometimes do things that are permanently foolish just because we are temporarily upset.
  • Screaming at people always makes things worse.
  • Everyone likes a person who gets straight to the point.
  • First impressions are oftentimes inaccurate judgments of a person’s true character.
  • When you’re up, your friends know who you are.  When you’re down, you know who your friends are.
  • If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.
  • When someone truly loves you, they don’t ever have to say a word.  You will be able to tell simply by the way they treat you over the long-term.
  • We rarely lose friends, we usually just figure out who our real ones are.
  • Just because one person doesn’t seem to care for you, doesn’t mean you should forget about everyone else who does.
  • Family isn’t always blood.  They’re the people in your life who want you in theirs – the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.
  • Good looks attracts the eyes.  Personality attracts the heart.
  • In human relationships, distance is not measured in miles but in affection.  Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart.
  • Being nice to someone you dislike doesn’t mean you’re fake.  It means you’re mature enough to control your emotions.
  • If you aren’t happy being single, you won’t be happy in a relationship.  You have to create your own life first before you can share it with someone else.
  • Whenever you hate someone or something, you are giving that person or thing a piece of your heart.
  • Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.
  • It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.
  • Saying “no” to right people gives you the time and resources required to say “yes” to right opportunities.
  • When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
  • You can raise the bar or you can wait for others to raise it.  Either way, it’s getting raised.
  • In life you get what you put in.  If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you want money, provide value.  It really is this simple.
  • Cynicism might seem warranted at times, but it’s never useful.
  • Everyone dies, some sooner than later, and often unexpectedly.  To know this means you are alive, with a chance to make the time you have left count.
  • You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself.  You are competing to be the best you can be.
  • Trying to be somebody you’re not is a sure path to self-hate, and a waste of the person you are.
  • It’s better to be disliked for who you are than to be liked for who you are not.
  • Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go.
  • Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  • You can’t make the same exact mistake twice. The second time you make it, it’s no longer a mistake, it’s a choice.
  • Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  • You never have to deal with more than one moment at a time.
  • Many of the greatest lessons we learn in life we don’t seek on purpose.
  • You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.
  • A harsh fact of life:  Bad things do happen to good people.
  • Regardless of the situation, the sun rises the next day and life goes on.
  • You never know how strong you really are until being strong is the only choice you have.
  • We end up regretting the things you did not do far more than the things you did.
  • We meet no ordinary people in our lives.  If you give them a chance, everyone has something amazing to offer.
  • Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.
  • People are not as beautiful as they look, as they walk, or as they talk.  They are only as beautiful as they love, as they care, and as they share.
  • Silence is often the loudest cry.  So pay attention to those you care about.
  • Making one person smile can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world.
  • Blowing out another’s candle will not make yours shine brighter.
  • No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  • Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.
  • Life is short.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
8 things you should fight for everyday-

1.  Personal greatness.

Easy goals don’t exist.  A goal is a point of achievement that requires effort and sacrifice.  There are no esteemed ventures worth participating in that don’t require some level of effort and struggle.

Decades from now when you’re resting on your deathbed, you will not remember the days that were easy, you will cherish the moments when you rose above your difficulties and conquered goals of magnitude.  You will dream of the strength you found within yourself that allowed you to achieve what once seemed impossible.

Don’t do what’s easy, do what you’re capable of.  Astound yourself with your own greatness.

2.  Honesty and truth.

Personal transformation and growth can be remarkably rewarding, but only when the process of change is based on honesty and truth.  When you’re not being authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life, any attempt at transformation eventually leads to anger and frustration.  The truth always creeps back up on you; it does not cease to exist when you ignore it.

Being fake about any aspect of your existence slowly digs a dark void in your soul.  Life will simply not work for you if you don’t show up as YOU.  The truth may not be easy to deal with, but it will always set you free in the end. 

3.  A mind free of envy and jealousy.

Envy and jealousy are costly diseases; you simply can’t be yourself within their confines.  When you give in to them, the price you pay is steep – a bad mood, an unproductive mind, an inferiority complex, and a chronic migraine headache.

Being envious of what someone else has is like drinking poison and waiting for it to somehow improve your situation.  Likewise, tearing someone else down in your jealous mind only tears you down in real life.  Rather than devastating yourself with contemplations of things you don’t have or don’t want to happen, think for a second about what you do have, what you do want going forward, and what you can do right now to make progress with realities you face.

4.  Positive change.

When you’re in a situation you don’t want to be in, the prospect of making any change at all can be very appealing.  Yet, unfocused change for the sake of change won’t necessarily bring you forward.  When you use your time and energy to make a change, be sure it’s a change that will not only move you away from where you are, but will also move you to a better place.

Realizing that you need to make a change can be a great source of motivation, but in order for this motivation to create positive change, you must apply it toward creating things of value.  Don’t fight against what you don’t want; create what you do want.  Don’t punish those who have caused you pain; let go and focus on something new that soothes your pain.  Don’t focus on what you are running away from; give your attention to the great things you want to create in your life.

5.   A willingness to learn from mistakes.

One mistake does not have to rule your entire life, and it can’t unless you let it.  This hour is a brand new hour with no faults in it yet.  Think about your mistakes and learn from them, but don’t attempt to carry their weight around with you.

The road to success is littered with mistakes.  Avoiding them is impossible.  The thing that will ultimately define your success or failure will not be how many mistakes you make, but how you handle them all.  The bottom line is that all mistakes die quickly, but you can’t live beyond what you know today if you aren’t willing to make mistakes and forgive yourself for them. 

6.  Persistence and patience.

Before you give up, think about how unfortunate it would be if the results you have worked to achieve required just a tiny dose of additional effort.  How disheartening would it be if the train you’ve been waiting for arrived five minutes after you walked out of the station?  Not only does success require diligent effort, it requires persistence and patience.

Rest when you are tired, but don’t quit.  You never know what’s just around the corner.  It could be everything you’ve been working for, or it might be just another mile marker on your journey.  Either way, when you keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day the next step you take will be the one that carries you to your goal.

7.  True love.

There is no soul mate out there who will solve all your problems.  There is no love at first sight that lasts without work and commitment.  But there is someone out there worth fighting for.  Not because they’re perfect, but because they’re imperfect in all the ways that are right for you.  You compliment each other’s flaws in a way that allows your two spirits to unite and operate more efficiently as one.

You will know when you meet this person, when through them you meet the very best in yourself. 

8.  Goodwill.

There is no greatness or peace of mind where there is betrayal of your own goodwill.  Always aim at complete sincerity of your thoughts, words and deeds.  If it is wrong, don’t do it.  If it is untrue, don’t repeat it.

Do what you do because you believe it’s the right thing to do.  Do the right thing even when nobody is looking.  Be one of the people who make a true difference in the world by leaving it a little better and more wholesome than you found it.

on cultural differences regarding demonlogy, and how it relates to Cypora’s Guide

Christian ideas of “demons” are very different from traditional Jewish ones. Our demons, the shedim, are tempters, corruptors, and destroyers, sure. But the ways they do these things relate back to the different mentalities about sin & wickedness between the two faiths/cultures.

In one old Jewish tale, a man discovers his wife is actually a demon and rejects her—so she uses the law to argue in favor of her rights. In another, a man is abducted by a demonic steed and taken to a mansion of smoke and shadow where he is tempted with objects of great wealth, only to make the right choice and be rewarded for it. Other tales describe shedim that try to snatch and claw, to steal people away when they wander in the liminal hours. They’re shomrei Shabbos, they have a demonstrable sense of honor & adherence to laws and codes yet deviate strangely from human morals and ethics.

An English translation of the memoir of Saadi Levi (from J.M. Benardete’s Hispanic Culture, which i found as cited in Foundations of Sephardic Spirituality: The Inner Life of Jews of the Ottoman Empire, by Rabbi Marc D. Angel) mentions the shedim being else known by the names “those who are better than we”, and “those from below”.

Shedim might be translated as “demons”, but i’m sure lots of goyish Tumblr users will recognize right away that they’re more analogous to the Sidhe.