What should a person do if he wants to become great but he realizes that he lacks the motivation to accomplish it to the fullest extent that he desires?
Look. Here’s a man who would like to become a millionaire. He’s walking in the street and he sees a measly twenty dollar bill lying in the gutter. Now, twenty dollars won’t make him a millionaire but will he pass by? No. Even a millionaire will stoop down and pick it up.
And the answer is, every little bit is valuable. If you’re able to control your character at least one little bit, a little tikkun, that’s already valuable. If you keep quiet a little bit – if instead of talking a thousand words a day, you’ll talk 999 words, it’s already a big achievement.
And therefore, it’s only because people don’t realize how great is the achievement in ruchniyus, they don’t realize that when it comes to the spiritual achievements of improving your character even the smallest amount is worth doing, that’s why people don’t grab the opportunities.
And therefore nobody should disdain that; just because he cannot become a tzaddik like Moshe Rabbeinu doesn’t mean he shouldn’t bend over and pick up the twenty dollar bill anyhow.
TAPE # E-1 (February 1999)