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September 13, 2012

Secrets of Success on the 405 (Kosher Sutra: Nitzavim)

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/secrets_of_success_on_the_405_kosher_sutra_nitzavim/

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Marcus J Freed prepares to join the on-ramp for the Los Angeles Freeway.

What if life doesn’t seem to deliver all we'd hoped for? How do we get more of what we are lacking (money, clients, relationships)? Today’s Kosher Sutra reveals more…

Moving from England to Los Angeles was a big culture shock and I still haven't become used to the driving style (or as they'd say here, "gotten used to..."). They didn’t call this the ‘Wild West’ for nothing - if you’ve ever tried changing lanes on the 405 freeway then you’ll know what I mean. The British custom is to indicate and another other driver will slow down to let you in, but if you indicate in LA then many drivers will actively speed up so that you can’t get in front of them! One of my native friends explained that she only uses her indicator immediately before changing lanes because she “doesn’t want to reveal her hand” until the last possible moment. Ignore local wisdom at your peril!

Our Kosher Sutra is from a final speech of Moses where he says that people should ‘Choose Life! (Deut 30:19) and Rashi (11th Century) comments that it is like a father saying to his son ‘take a look at my estate, choose the piece you’d like…take it!’. Interestingly, the verb is not ‘wait and receive’ but to actively ‘take it’.

This is a metaphor for successful driving in Los Angeles AND achieving success in life. Nothing much happens to people who sit around in this town and wait for things to happen. If you want to get where you’re going, you have to actively go out there and get it. That could be pursuing your dream career, improving your personal relationship or taking your space in the adjacent lane on the freeway.

The Yoga Sutras offer a thought which can help us enjoy and become more successful about going and getting the most out of life: stay unattached to the results. It taught that “non-attachment is the mastery of consciousness” (1:15, Stiles trans.) – that is not to say that we shouldn’t have ambition, but if we just focus on choosing life itself, then everything else is a bonus.

What are you waiting for? Fire up the ignition and drive safely.


Marcus J Freed is the author of The Kosher Sutras, to be launched Fall 2012, and you can buy his book at pre-sale price here - http://marcusjfreed.com/marcuss-new-book-the-kosher-sutras/ .

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