By Kollel Guy
There is a tremendous sense of awe when you hear someone has published 84 seforim in his lifetime. That person is Rav Yechiel Michel Stern of Yerushalayim, who was featured recently in Mishpacha magazine. The article focused on miraculous events that happened to him throughout his life and some very touching stories that he experienced in the past year.
Publishing 84 seforim in his lifetime is quite a feat, especially for someone who is not even 70 years old. So what is his secret? Is he some super genius? How does someone manage to release new seforim at the rate of 2.3 per year?
The secret lies in his ability to “ship” products fast and without delay. Most people have a fear of “shipping.” Everyone can think up great ideas, but only some people actually start working on them. And from those who actually start working, only a handful end up delivering something to the world.
There is a fear of completion that holds most people back. We fear the ridicule and rejection, so we hide back and do nothing. Rav Stern didn’t care what other people think. He published. (One of the episodes he recalled was how one of his seforim was such a dismal failure that the stores called him to pick them up because no one was buying them.) And published again. And didn’t stop. That’s a rare talent, but it doesn’t take a genius to do so. It takes focus, persistence, determination, and courage. In the famous words of the founder of Apple computer, “Real artists ship.” Everyone can be that artist. We just need to push harder.