Most people have this problem that when we hear a talk on moral instruction, mussar, so we may be at the time somewhat influenced, but it does not last long; the impression does not remain. What do you say about that?
And the answer is that what somebody tells you is only the beginning of a career of repeating it to yourself. Because if you’re going to wait only for outside influence, then it’s too rare; it’s too few and far between to make a lasting impression.
When something good is said to you—let’s say you read something in a sefer or you hear something useful—it should be adopted by you as your own idea, your own words. You should repeat it constantly to yourself, in the street, in the subway, at work and at home. And by that means, it will become your own.
Once it becomes your own, it becomes part of your personality.
Now, that’s a matter of long practice. It could be years before it finally sets into your character. But sooner or later, someday you’ll wake up and it’ll be part of your personality.
TAPE # 553