10 Tips to Improve Your Personal Environment

The Torah compares man to a tree of the field. Here we examine 10 ways that preserving the environment can serve as an analogy for keeping our personal environments clean and healthy so we can grow to be the best we can be.

Download PDF

The Torah (Deuteronomy 20:19) compares man to a tree of the field. Many lessons can be drawn from this comparison.

Here we examine 10 ways that preserving the environment can serve as an analogy for keeping our personal environments clean and healthy, so we can grow to be the best we can be.

    1. Remember to Recycle
      If someone does a kindness for you, pay it forward. Did someone smile at you? Smile to the next person you see. Did someone lend you a hand? Look out for the next opportunity to help out someone in need.
    2. Keep it Fresh
      Feel like your life is getting a bit stale? Change things up a bit. It’s also a good idea to keep your growth fresh. If you’re been trying to get rid of a bad habit or improve a relationship and it’s not working, maybe you’re barking up the wrong tree. Try a different approach, and consult with a friend or mentor if you’re out of ideas.
    3. Go for the Natural Stuff
      Be yourself; be natural. Appreciate your unique strengths and talents, and resist the pressure to be someone you’re not.
    4. Stop Pollution
      Stay positive and don’t pollute your conversations with negative talk or gossip. If you need to vent your anger, speak it out with a good friend and then let yourself move on. You don’t have to vent about your bad day to every single person you meet. Keep the air clean.
    5. Don’t Litter
      Every person has a unique set of characteristics, and no one trait is good or bad - it’s just a question of how you use it. Don’t discard traits that seem negative. Instead, try to channel those strengths and passions into a good cause. Find yourself getting angry? Channel that anger toward the pursuit of justice. Have a tendency to feel arrogant? Channel that pride into pride for being a Jew.
    6. Stop Global Warming
      Tend to get heated up when you’re in an argument? Take a few minutes to walk away and cool off. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Save your warmth for your relationships and save your passions for causes worth fighting for.
    7. Eliminate Toxins
      Get rid of all that negativity and guilt. Just as ignoring environmental toxins wont solve the problem, we need to recognize our negative feelings and clean them out as soon as possible. Don’t let guilt or resentment build up inside of you. Confront it and clean it away.
    8. Water the Grass
      If you did a kind act or overcame a challenge, water yourself - give yourself a compliment or a reward. Make a point to celebrate your victories and congratulate yourself on all the good things that you do and you continuously strive to do.
    9. Conserve Energy
      Don’t waste your energy on things that are not worth your time. Someone said a nasty comment? Chalk it up to their own insecurities and don’t take it personally. Move on with your life and save your emotional energy for doing the things you do best.
    10. Keep up the Faith
      Planting builds faith, as the Talmud says (Shabbos 21a). It can take weeks and months before a seed takes root and becomes visible above the ground. Even when you don’t see results of your efforts, just keep trying and keep plugging away. Keep faith in yourself even when you fail and even when it seems like you’re not getting anywhere. The greatest achievements can take years or even decades before coming to fruition.