How Things Change

The following is a paper for my final in a class titled “Personal Skill Development”. It is interesting and ironic that although the dreams I described in this paper are the ultimate dreams I had for my life, I was ignoring the most important and compulsive dream I’ve ever had. Coming to Boston and Northeastern, I tried to lay to rest my burning desire for joining the IDF, the dream that had been present in my mind since the moment I left my semester abroad in Israel in the tenth grade. I was focused on my ultimate life goals rather than my immediate dream and desire to build myself through the experience of the IDF. I remember on one occasion, as I was doing my homework reading for my “International Affairs and Globalization” class, I threw down my book and exclaimed, almost at a volume level that would have disturbed the whole library floor on which I worked, that I was done reading about “The Globalization of Sushi”. At that moment, my burning disquietude with my studies and my life in general again were associated with the cause of these feelings. I told Nathan and Patrick that I wanted to leave and join the IDF. Although I chalked this up to me wanting to escape the mundane, humdrum lifestyle of college, the real reason behind this exclamation ran deeper. I did want to join the IDF. That feeling was not going to go away. Although I didn’t know it while I wrote the proceeding essay about “If you will it…”, the most burning and essential dream to my being was left as exactly that: a dream. After I threw down my book and refused to consider the implications of Globalization on Sushi, I knew I had to give more weight to my dream of going to Israel. I have to will that dream into existence before all else. The content of this essay still rings true, but with a different dream in mind. Save for the dream described, this is my thought process, this is my lifestyle, this is how I chase my dreams and make them reality.

“אגדה זו אים תרצו אם”

“If you will it, it is no dream”

-Theodor Hezl

Elon Zlotnik

Personal Skill Development

Ms. Duchardt


This phrase, which translates to “If you will it, it is no dream” is one of the founding principals of the creation of the State of Israel. It is also the motto that I live my life by. The “Father of Zionism” Theodor Herzl first spoke these words more than a hundred years before the state was established. They became the rallying cry for Jews everywhere who, after the Holocaust, yearned for a country of their own, a homeland free from religious and ethnic persecution. To me, this phrase stands for the ideal that if I want something in life, truly yearn for it, I can make it a reality. This goes beyond the superfluous “I want to get an A on my midterm” or “I want to succeed in life”. It embodies the spirit of hard work and manifesting the dream we each have in reality. The only way to be successful in achieving something is to never stop fighting for that. Striving for the realization of the dream is what makes a dream transcend into reality. The word “will it” is put in the command form in Hebrew, translated as “you will it”. This speaks to the fact that many people do passively will things, but that does not mean that they become reality. This offers, rather, that if you actively will it, not just the philosophical ideal of it, but also with spirit and with body, nothing is impossible. Indeed, nothing that is a dream has to stay a dream. In fact, the things that I have willed, such as coming to Boston to study at Northeastern against the tacit and often vocal sentiments of my parents, and succeeding in school and in sport, have been because I have pushed these dreams past the point of being merely dreams. I actively pursued them because I wanted them so passionately. This saying rings true to me because especially in the modern age, we are taught to dream big and to work hard, as if these things are completely disconnected. Instead, this commands me to dream big and work hard towards that dream. Just as the pioneers of Israel worked through total adversity and fought many battles to realize the dream, I will continue to work hard to achieve my dreams. Being a Business major, for most people, entails working in school and in the workplace towards the ultimate goal of being successful fiscally. To me, being a Business major means giving myself the ability to “be the change I want to see in the world”. Without this, I would be nothing. There are many languages and versions of the phrase “if you will it…” but being raised speaking Hebrew connects me to this version the most. The grammar, sentence structure, and most of all idea behind the saying root me to my heritage. This saying will stick with me forever, continually motivating me to not settle for anything short of realizing my dream. The world that I imagine is a world that is free of energy sources that sap the environment of its natural beauty and resources; a world that runs on free energy. Indeed, bringing solar power into the spectrum and eventually into the position that natural gas, coal, and gasoline currently hold is my dream. With this phrase I will not stop until this dream is realized. I will be the change I want to see in society. I do will it and while it is a dream at the moment, I wake every day fighting to make it a reality.


1 thought on “How Things Change

  1. Elon, I am so moved and impressed by this; may Providence bring you all you will need to realize, and fabulous friends to share, your inspiring and amazing I tent ions. Your eternally proud Ma on said:


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