Rabbeinu Bachya ben Yosef ibn Paquda's Chovot Halevavot (Duties of the Heart) elucidates some of Judaism's most inspiring concepts, one of which is the concept of Cheshbon Hanefesh, or "Soul-Accounting."
No one is perfect nor can any human being ever be perfect, but God wants each of us to achieve the potential He endowed within each and every one of us.
In his chapter on Cheshbon Hanefesh, Rabbeinu Bachya lays out 30 different ways to polish your soul until it shines. While it's best to read that chapter in his own words, this workbook can help you can the gist of each technique and use his techniques in a concrete, simplified manner. You never know what your full potential really is.
Innate strengths and weaknesses matter little. An innately and severely flawed person who invests in character improvement can achieve great heights while an innately and greatly gifted person with few innate flaws who invests little will only achieve mediocrity.
So don't despair!
No matter how many strikes you have against you (whether your flaws derive from your nature, your upbringing, your background, or your environment), you can still achieve personal greatness and be a light in whatever darkness surrounds you.
May we all succeed in polishing our souls until they achieve full illumination!
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