One of the best keys to unlocking and developing our personality is to follow one of Hillel’s most frequent teachings in Avos 1:14 – “If not now, when?” Do it immediately, with a sense of urgency. Avoid procrastinating and commencing to proceed with a slow start. If you spend too much time preparing, you may miss the ‘doing.’
But wait a minute – what should we do with the rule in Avos 1:1 – “Be slow and patient in deciding issues?” If you practice delaying methods, is it just a waste of time or is it better to avoid impulsive decisions? When should one stop to do adequate research and take action?
Just Do It! Begin it; that puts power and genius in it. The mind and body will get heated, and the mitzvah will be completed. Focus on starting, and then focus on finishing what you started.
Which Comes First?
At times we may have a question. We know the great rule, “Torah study exceeds all.” Thus we should study Torah as much as possible, day and night 24/7. When another mitzvah opportunity comes our way we are taught, if it is not doable through other people, we need to take off from our Torah study to do it.
But what if we have two other mitzvos waiting for us and you anticipate that one may be more difficult and challenging? There is another rule that is applicable, “Do first that which may be more of a challenge so that we overcome our evil inclination! That which is most challenging, may end up being most rewarding – “According to the pain, the gains increase,” Avos 5:23.