Why Were You Not

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-6-23-06-pmWhy were you not?

There is a tale of a chassidic rabbi named rabbi Zusya. Zusya was a timid man, a man who lived a humble life.

One day Rabbi Zusya stood before his congregation and he said,  When I die and have to present myself before the celestial tribunal, they will not ask me,  ‘Zusya why were you not Moses?’ because I would say ‘Moses was prophet and I am not.’

They will not say ‘Zusya, why were you not Jeremiah?’ for  I  would say ‘Jeremiah was a writer, and I am not.’

And they will not say ‘Why were you not Rabbi Akiba?’ for I would tell them, ‘Rabbi Akiba was a great teacher and scholar and I am not.’

But then they will say ‘Zusya why were you not  Zusya?’ and to this I will have no answer.

All of us strive to be great leaders, the best parents, exceptional partners, who are we being?

How do we know what is the right thing to do, and how do we live a life without having regrets about ‘Why were you not’?

It begins with living with integrity.

To have integrity will define our lives.

To have integrity we will do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

To have integrity is to be true to the life we have been called to live.

Having integrity is having character, consistency, commitment and congruency with your truest self.

If you know who you are you will know what to do and if you know what to do …. you will not have to be asked why were YOU not.

  •  Your integrity is when your beliefs and thoughts and actions come together.
  •  Your integrity is finding out the uniqueness of you and living it
  •  Your integrity is discovering your giftedness and sharing it
  • Your integrity is detecting your strength and showing it.


To discover your integrity ask yourself the following questions:

  • What does integrity mean?
  • What are the characteristics of someone who lives a life of integrity?
  • What do you have to change to be more authentic about yourself?
  • Are your decisions congruent with who you are from within?
  • What are your blind spots that keep you from being real?
  • What do you value?
  • Do you know what is right in your heart?

Lead From Within: Integrity is the anchor of your heart; it is your commitment to being who you are deep in your soul.



N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Peter

    09. Apr, 2012

    Wow, what a challenge – how to live a life without having regrets about ‘Why you were not’? Decisions not made, opportunities not taken, blessings not realised.This a challenge that often comes back into my thoughts and meditations. It’s easy to rationalise it away. Yet I have pondered, and yes, worried, could I have done that better? Have I let people down? Have I let myself down? But where to start.? Integrity – it seems obvious now, it’s the basic building block – thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Shannon Steffen | Human SEO

    09. Apr, 2012

    Thank you so much, Lolly! I’ve been searching for a specific word that holds all the truths that you have written about. Integrity is definitely the word by which I strive to live.

    There are so many words that can be taken out of context. Integrity is not one of those words.


    Reply to this comment
  3. rick

    10. Apr, 2012

    Integrity has always been a a focal point in my Christian walk. God will expose and refine us to shape this integrity as our godly character is developed. It is import to know the points you outline about ourselves. I would add that integrity is the ability to show our humility as well as our strength. Our humility and love for others opens the doors for God to mold our character-hone and expose our integrity. Thanks for the post. It is a subject always on the forefront of my prayers.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      11. Apr, 2012

      Integrity is always core, without it nothing else matters.

      Reply to this comment
    • david

      28. Aug, 2017

      Thank you for your comment, as I read the original and some of the replies I was thinking that integrity is virtual, it does not necessarily mean the same to me as to you. Integrity only becomes solid when that integrity has been defined and I believe, as you, that integrity is defined in and through the life of Jesus, now I can comprehend what integrity means and have an anchor point on which to base my own integrity and something to measure my life and how I am doing and what needs addressing.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Scott Patchin

    10. Apr, 2012

    Lolly – This is a great story to get people thinking about the BIG topics of integrity and authenticity. I was going to say this is a good one to read/reflect on over a cup of coffee – but I think it would have to be a big cup of coffee because it opens up some very meaty topics. Nice post.

    Reply to this comment
  5. john paul

    10. Apr, 2012

    You are Lolly,

    Nobody can tell a story like you. What a wonderful gift for passover! Thank you!


    Reply to this comment
  6. Gordon Robb

    10. Apr, 2012

    Wow! That was a lot deeper than I expected it to be. I like that list of questions. I plan to ask them of myself soon. Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Eddie Howden

    11. Apr, 2012

    This wonderfully told story make me ask the question to myself: What is it about who I really am that I find so undesireable to constantly want to be someone else!?
    Food for thought

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      11. Apr, 2012

      Thank You Eddie,

      The story makes you think.. lets think of the answer now so we dont have to live a life of regrets or longing….


      Reply to this comment
  8. Jason Ministries

    11. Apr, 2012

    Very good post. I think every man, woman, and child can benefit from the lesson laid out here. Thank you for posting.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Greg Marcus

    11. Apr, 2012

    What I particularly like about this post is the word Integrity. Often authenticity is used in conjunction with this story. Integrity implies values, and I think you are making a great point that being true to who you are is the right thing to do. Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      11. Apr, 2012


      Thanks for your comment.

      This story for me is all about the values of integrity.

      Authenticity is being real.

      This story embodies something deeper for me.
      And I see it resonates with you too.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Cheryl Aldridge

    11. Apr, 2012

    This is an excellent article and it is something much needed, in every aspect of our society. Christ gave us the ultimate true perfect example of integrity.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Chase Christy

    11. Apr, 2012

    One of the hardest things to do in life is to keep your head down for any length of time, and do what you were meant to do. Whenever I get my grove on, doing well at what I can do, I find myself popping my head up like a groundhog.

    Paralysis steps in at the thought of underachievement, not enough, and disappointment.

    I’m getting better about putting my head back down, but I’m not there yet.

    (I posted an article about dealing with disappointment on my blog today. Drop by and check it out.)

    Reply to this comment
  12. Amin Rajani

    11. Apr, 2012

    Congratulations for igniting the thought process within… i believe integrity is being true to yourself, because if you are true to yourself then how can you not be true to others,

    Reply to this comment
  13. Kendra

    11. Apr, 2012

    Love the article! I hope that in my book, I can use your quote about integrity! Wow, this was such a great read at the right moment. Great job!

    Reply to this comment
  14. Gail

    11. Apr, 2012

    Integrity has become a rare jewel…

    Thanks Lolly for this beautiful reminder cloaked in a beautiful story.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Sneha

    12. Apr, 2012

    “Why were you not” I read this and re-read this. I tried to understand and answer. You have simplified the subject and still captured the depth of it. But it does not end here.. Looking forward to the continuation…

    Cheers to beautiful life!

    Reply to this comment
  16. Ivan Novello

    12. Apr, 2012

    “Live your life as if it was your last day, live your last day as if it was an ordinary day”. I don’t know the author. But if you really can achieve this, probably you will have found your vocation and you will be sure a person living with integrity.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Alan Shelton

    17. Apr, 2012

    In my corporate development work I take the position that understanding that we all arise from awareness relieves us from having to try to develop values. Integrity simply is when the ego and it’s drama aren’t the glue that makes you tick anymore. Thanks for a great version I can use in my work.


    Reply to this comment
  18. Simon

    18. Apr, 2012

    Lolly you always bring up such great questions and I am always so drawn to your wonderful blog. So my comment is to answer your questions as best I can.

    What does integrity mean? To me it is to live with honesty, forgiveness, compassion and love, and to do so as best I can every day.

    What are the characteristics of someone who lives a life of integrity?

    Characteristics of someone who lives a life of integrity, a person with love and is at peace. A life lived with integrity will bring you peace, love and happiness as you discover who you are, what humanity is and what you can give back to life.

    What do you have to change to be more authentic about yourself?

    Just do today better than I did yesterday. Life is a journey of continual change. What I see today will be different tomorrow and what you see in me today will be different on tomorrow’s today.

    Are your decisions congruent with who you are from within?

    Most of the time, and all is well then, there is balance within. When they are not I can feel the imbalance and have to adjust, forgive myself, learn from this and move on. In the here and now, all is calm.

    What are your blind spots that keep you from being real?

    If I close my eyes to what is within, I can be blinded by the falseness of answers outside. There is great knowledge outside but the answers are always within.

    What do you value?

    Life, love, family, friendship, my faith in humanity, the here and now.

    Do you know what is right in your heart?

    Yes,’right’ is, as the sun. It can not be missed, even when it is dark, it is always there, love, family, friendship, peace,compassion, forgiveness, truth and understanding.

    Live the life you believe in, believe in yourself, forgive and love; always love.
    Love U

    I see you, for we to are one

    Reply to this comment
  19. Dan

    19. Apr, 2012

    As always, Lolly, such a beautiful post. When I read your words, I feel called to be much larger than my projects or theories, my current relationships, or my plans for the future. I always feel called stand up in my own life — and right now.

    Many blessings!

    Reply to this comment
  20. Alona @ Etiquette Blog

    03. May, 2012

    This is a wonderful post. “But then they will say ‘Zusya why were you not Zusya?’ and to this I will have no answer.” – a quote to remember and revisit!

    Reply to this comment

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