The Jewish Holidays are once again upon us, meaning, at least from a spiritual sense, it is time for new beginnings. Life can be funny in that the past week, I experienced two distinct starts – one at work and one spiritual.
At work, we are introducing new user-friendly software, so this week I sat in a room of fellow employees learning the new software. The older paradigm seemed to be, we need information, can you get it for us. This method has been in place since I first joined the workforce 30+ years ago. This meant myself, or someone else, having to extract the information in a usable format or create a report that our internal customers can use. With the new product, we are empowering our finance community to easily develop their own reporting needs based on templates that do the “heavy lifting” behind the scenes; the end results are reports that become meaningful for reporting and analysis.
The end of last week we attended a Shabbat welcoming service. The synagogue where I belong, like many other religious establishments, has the same basic service that my Grandfather used to enjoy when he came to this county in 1920. Friday, the event was led by a young lady where she was in front of us with her guitar (accompanied by her husband on percussion), provided some spiritual guidance, educated us on options to enhance our experience and led in an interactive format. This was not a performance, but a chance to do something different, to connect on a different level and mentally set us up for success. With this new approach, this was empowering the congregation with a chance to participate in a way that is meaningful for them, whether standing, clapping or just singing.
There is a parallel in both the above examples. The easy part is to present something new, the hard part is internalizing and making the changes required to do these things for ourselves. Change means purposefully and meaningfully taking the action required to move forward, whether it is work related or spiritual alignment. All of us, many times in our life, have opportunities placed before us; it is what we do with these opportunities that determines our successes. In the Jewish world, we are celebrating the New Year, which means there are new opportunities and chances from which to benefit and improve ourselves.