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Personal development potential: Tikkun middot March 15, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Personal Development Potential.
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By Dennis Mellersh

Although following a personal growth program can be complex, it need not be a major challenge to assess our progress, at least at a fundamental level.

Sometimes a simple self-given test can be a helpful guideline as to whether we are on the right track with our personal development program(s).
This can be particularly applicable with self-improvement regimens emphasizing internal work.

Edgar M. Bronfman, for example, in writing about  the Jewish practice of tikkun middot, which Bronfman likens to repair of our inner world, comments that he uses the “mirror test” to gauge his own progress in internal self-improvement:

“At least once a week I gaze at my reflection and decide whether or not I’m happy with the man looking back. If not, why not? Have I hurt someone or made a mistake? Where have I failed myself or others? What positive attributes do I need to strengthen? What negative traits do I need to address? Where am I out of balance?” *

Bronfman notes that he is not trying to oversimplify the process of internal improvement and cautions that “…real change requires more than looking in a mirror and asking oneself questions. But this kind of self-examination is a start.”

* Edgar M. Bronfman, Why Be Jewish, published by Signal, an imprint of McClelland & Stewart, 2016

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