“Spy” on yourself – find out what you can truly achieve

Many people know the biblical story of Moses sending 12 spies to check out the Promised Land. As youngsters, we were taught that 10 of them reported that the land was unfit / dangerous, whereby the Children of Israel received a collective punishment. Cool story.

This week, Jews around the world read this part of the bible. I learnt two fascinating perspectives on life from local religious authorities.

First, ask yourself, why did Moses chose people, who although they were top tribesmen, were ill-equipped individually to carry out the task of spying? Surely, an interesting lesson here for managers of today.

Second, what was the real crime of the spies? After all, they spent more time praising the land than criticising it in their report. And why the collective punishment?

A second look at the texts reveals that what the “ten baddies” said was “no, we can’t”. The task is not possible. (In other words, they had been let down by those who have taken them out of Egypt and that the land is not for them). And 600,000 adults believed them.

The 21st Century is full of mentors and shrinks encouraging us to find the true voice of inner authority. But the fact is that too often we are content to avoid responsibility and tell ourselves that “we cannot” do womething, if only because we have been conditioned that way or that it is an easy option. Sensible, when we are discussing ourselves, yet very disappointing when viewed from the outside.

Well, it would seem that thought this thought process has been around for a lot longer than experts will care to admit. It was nearly 40 years on, when the Children of Israel finally entered Jericho – a different generation, habouring the same basic values. However, this new generation held a deeper belief and understanding of themselves and who was guiding them.

That was a generation that brought down walls of the their enemies. It is time for the rest of us to remove the obstacles from our dreams.

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