The difference between people is the reason why we are in this world, to be tested and to see if we can overcome it.
It’s so important that this world wouldn’t be a world without it. And our success during our stay in this world and our whole future life in Olam Haba (The World to Come), depend on our success in withstanding the ordeals. Can we get along? -- Living with Others (#R-4)
It’s a plan of Hashem to cause confusion in order to put men to the test, in order to make a certain difficulty to achieve your purpose in life. The nisayon (test) is lefum tzaara agra — the reward depends on the difficulty. We must expect barriers, stumbling blocks that cause it to be difficult for people to realize the truth. That’s why most people walk all their lives in darkness. -- True Happiness (#685)
Tefilah (prayer) changes a man’s ideas. It can build up an entirely new attitude. It makes a new man. If done properly, even a little every day, in the course of time that person will not be recognized; he has come much closer to Hashem and is more aware of Him. -- Career of Happiness
If a maiden is considering a certain Yeshivah man as a marriage prospect, she should allow him to talk. Does he speak of his Rosh Yeshivah (dean of Yeshiva) and of his Torah-studies, or does he discourse on kosher food products? At a Shalosh Seudos (third Shabbos meal) we can assay the participants: one praises the Divrei Torah (words of Torah), another praises the singing, and the third praises the herring. Thus we know the man. — Awake, My Glory
Hashem sent Yisroel into this world with the mission of acquiring and applying His chachmah (wisdom). People who neglect this mission must expect to be chastised to remind them not to be lazy, but rather to exert themselves and gain chachmah...
Such people will regret having wasted their lives, lives which they could have used to acquire and practice chachmah. — Ohr Avigdor Hakdama
Every form of sacrifice is an honor to Hashem. If a man is too poor to offer an ox or a sheep, he can nonetheless bring great offerings to honor his Creator. If his wife has a sharp tongue, and yet he is silent… that is a service of honor to Hashem. If honor is given to others while you are overlooked… and swallow your envy, you thereby slaughter the Inclination.
— Career of Happiness
When you talk to your husband and to your wife always talk words of kedusha (holiness), words that encourage, words that make you feel that this is a place of happiness.
And by the way, never speak of worries in the house where children can hear. Never speak of discouragement. Always talk about the happiness of life and children will grow up with a happy disposition. — Purposeful Home (#E-180)
There is nothing wrong in telling children or simple people that they should fear Hashem so that He will forgive their sins or that He will grant them good health and happiness, and spare them from troubles in This World and the next. But, that’s only the first step...
If they are people of intelligence, they will go higher to the real love of Hashem that is based on nothing except the basic fundamental attitude of love toward the Benefactor. — Ohr Avigdor Shaar Avodas Elokim
You should be aware what you’re asking for, otherwise it’s futile just to say words without thinking. You’re asking for parnassa (livelihood). You work very hard for your livelihood. You might as well invest a few seconds asking for it, because the asking is the most important element. — Wine of Prayer (#555)
If we don’t study what He does for us, we will never be aware of the things that we are continually receiving. We are so accustomed to them that we don’t even feel that these things are a benefit to us. And therefore a necessary prerequisite to practicing our service to Hashem is to spend time thinking about what we are receiving. — Ohr Avigdor Shaar Avodas Elokim
In the history of people, if you look back on every incident in your life, the purpose was to bestir you to think of Hashem. Of course, in most cases you didn’t. So from now on, be on guard — whatever happens, it’s for the purpose of making you, to be reminded of the most important fact in the world: That Hashem is in charge. That’s what history is for, and that’s tefilah (prayer). — Man of Tefilah (#E-091)
Yes, there is happiness in this world. Every time you eat, every time you sleep. All the things we enjoy in life — Hashem did them to give us happiness...
We should realize this, and, even though sometimes there are tragedies, by and large it’s a world of happiness. The fact that people are not understanding enough to appreciate it, that’s their fault. If a person would see how lucky he is, he’d be happy with what he has. — Five Minutes a Day
In This World everything is a gift for which we are expected to “pay,” by showing gratitude. Even the air we breathe is a gift to us. We need to pay for the air we breathe, as it says, "For every breath praise Hashem" (Tehillim 150:6). For every breath we have to pay Hashem. Look how long we have been breathing. Did we thank Him for the air? It doesn’t enter our minds at all. — Ohr Avigdor Shaar Avodas Elokim
When you sit down to eat; does it cost you any money to say, "I’m eating l’shaim shamayim (for the sake of Heaven)"? "I’m eating to serve Hashem"? That’s what the Shulchan Aruch says you should do: say, I’m eating in order to make my body healthy ... so I should be able to serve Hashem.
You can say it too; say it outloud: "I’m eating in order to have koach (strength) to serve you Hashem!" That’s a tremendous achievement. — Eating In Service of Hashem (#851)
Holy people find joy in eating “before Hashem”: the gratitude for food, with the awareness that they ate “before Hashem,” was their joy...
The holy nation that loves Hashem, in order to augment this love, they eat and rejoice before Him; and thereby they gain the acquiescence of the body together with the mind to evoke the strongest feelings of devotion to Hashem. Eating is one of the most effective means of achieving the emotions of Gratitude and of Love for Hashem. — Fortune Nation
When you’re eating kosher ice cream or kosher chocolate cake, then you should practice being grateful—it’s easier [than practicing when you're suffering]! That’s when it’s time to flex your gratitude muscles.
But practice up on it. First of all make a very big bracha (blessing). And while you’re enjoying it, think of all the components. Think of the sugar and the chocolate and the other flavors, the coloring… think of all the delectable ingredients that go in to make this such a luscious experience and while you’re enjoying it, what Hashem is doing for you. — Torah of Suffering (#39)
When you sit down to breakfast you should say "I love, You, Hashem," to yourself. Oh, you say, you love Hashem because of breakfast? It’s not fitting for such a subject!
You’re making a big mistake, because now we’re saying that to love Hashem you have to climb up a ladder, and the ladder is many rungs one after the other, and you can’t afford to skip any rungs. You need all of them. You have to utilize all the motivations that are possible to find. — Learning to Love Hashem (#675)
We have no concept today what that means, "eating for kedusha (holiness)." When it says, "Tov haeitz l’maachol — The trees were good for eating" in Gan Eden (garden of Eden), it meant it was good for Adam...
If he would have remained in Gan Eden he would have achieved by means of the fruits of Gan Eden the most perfect results which Hashem had hoped to have from him. The sweetness of the fruits and the beauty of the fruits all combined for the purpose of achieving the summit, the acme of daas Elokim (knowledge of Hashem). — Repenting in Happiness (#E-160)
[This is] the greatest form of humility, when you can humble yourself and say, "If Hashem says this, that’s the right way to think, and any other way is the wrong way to think."
Therefore, when Hashem spoke to Moshe Rabbeinu He said, "I am giving you a sign that you’ll have great success: This entire nation, a nation of independent minds... they’ll all be humbled and all will accept the Torah out of a humility that came from a great gratitude that they couldn’t pay back. And that was the avoda (service) that took place at Har Sinai. — Supreme Services (#35)
Imagine food would come in big tasteless pills. White, tasteless, colorless pills. And if you don’t take these pills, you'll have cramps. So you need to eat. However, Hashem made apples red, and he made them have a nice taste, and a nice aroma. That’s all chesed (kindness of) Hashem. It is functional, but there is pleasure just for the purpose of pleasure. And that’s what Hashem intended for mankind. — Foundation and Root (#228)
In the olden days, the enthusiasm of Kabbalas HaTorah (accepting the Torah) burned in every home. One of the delights of the days of old was that the house was a place of Torah. Now today we don’t have that spirit with us as it was in the days even of 100 years ago, but if we make an effort, to some extent we can recapture this ideal. — The Home, Fountain of Torah (#967)
“Da ma limaala mimcha: ayin roeh — Know what’s above you, an eye that looks at you" - Pirchei Avos).
You have to work on it. You have to spend time thinking about it: Hashem is looking at you. If you only learn it in a stony way, then it has no effect on life at all. All the great teachings that you take into your mind have to be translated into your nerves...You should feel it with your sensory perception. .. Serving Hashem is happiness. We have to gain that feeling. — Contending with the Yetzer Hara (#788)
When you say the Shema, and you say that when Hashem performed all these great things for us and offered us the Torah, our forefathers accepted it. It’s not only accepted by them, but right now we are accepting it all over again... That’s what we do every day (if we would wake up and think about what we’re saying). — Receiving the Torah 2 (#508)
Kabolas Hatorah (Receiving the Torah) was not a one time thing (it just happened once at har Sinai), but it’s something that takes place every day. A girl marches into a synagogue, takes a seat in the ladies’ section, opens up a siddur (prayer book) and reads the English — the first time in her life she’s in a synagogue.
She walks in with a little flame, a holy flame burning in her heart and now she’s mekabel (accepting) the Torah. Whatever her Torah is, is still pretty small, but she’s mekabel her Torah. — Receiving the Torah 2 (#508)
We have to study the history of the Jewish people, how Hashem loved our forefathers and guided our nation through thick and thin. Study the miracles He did for us, and [how he saved us] from all the wicked people of the world, and how we’re still alive. Or, perhaps you, yourself, were in an adverse environment, and He brought you to Torah[...]Baruch Hashem, you’re here today because Hashem gave you special protection, and therefore you’re grateful to Him. Think about these things; they can stir an inner love of Hashem. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilllas Yesharim vol 2