What is Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut?
“Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut” – The first time that I heard that expression was in September of 2013.
The speaker was telling the jam-packed audience that if you think good thoughts, then good things will happen.
I was confused, not because the idea was so foreign, but because I never expected these words and the idea of tracht gut vet zein gut to come from the speaker.
The speaker was, in fact, a Rabbi, and my experience had never been one of a Rabbi giving a talk on positive thinking.
But this was a new experience and frankly refreshing.
Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut is a Yiddish Expression
Once you understand that Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut is Yiddish, now you will have an easier time in the translation.
Yiddish is a plus thousand-year-old language that originated with the Ashkenazi Jews in the 9th century.
Yiddish is based on German and written using Hebrew script.
- Tracht in Yiddish means Think.
- Gut means Good.
- Vet Zein means Will Be.
- And the last gut is Good.
Therefore, tracht gut vet zein gut can be translated at it’s most basic level as ‘Think Good, It Will Be Good’.
The Big Surprise
Growing up, the most famous Yiddish expression that I was familiar with was kvetch.
There are hundreds of expressions in every language, but being a kvetch, a whiner, a complainer, was much more familiar.
Kvetching was something of an art form and could even be employed in a Rabbinical sermon.
- Your mom kvetched why are you not being a good boychik, a good boy, or worse a mensch when you become an adult.
- You kvetched cause there are no more Oreos.
- So your dad brings home bagels and lox, plus Oreos, Ice Cream, and lots of other noshes (snacks).
- Eventually, grandma kvetches that you are getting too fat.
- Your Rabbi kvetches that you are not religious enough.
- And when you make the Rabbi happy, the aunt kvetches that you are too religious.
- Last but not least, your uncle kvetches about how terrible the world is.
Who is not kvetching?
You might have grown up thinking that kvetching is a Jewish art form.
Or perhaps kvetching is a human art form.
Imagine my surprise when I heard a Rabbi teaching the opposite; Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut is the essential part of traditional Jewish wisdom that a person should use, not kvetching and complaining.
Think Good and it Will Be Good.
If you want to change your life, you have to start with your thoughts.
A Personal Example
While he was speaking about many examples of people who had overcome various misfortunes by using Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut, I started to daydream a bit.
At that time, I began to imagine, to think of some good scenes in my mind.
I imagined that I would get married in the hall where I first heard this expression.
On face value, the idea of getting married after having been single for so long did not seem possible.
But why not think good?
How about not whining, complaining, kvetching, and instead, thinking the good thoughts that I really wanted.
I visualized getting married in that very hall where I was hearing the words Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut.
Think Good is not Natural
At least not for me or many people that I know.
True, there are a few people that I can think of who are usually on the positive side of life.
There are so many though who are not.
Why would there be so many shrinks in New York City if this was not the case?
Is thinking good natural for you?
Tracht gut vet zein gut did not come naturally to me, but because I had already been employing the concepts and actions of Hashi Mashi, this concept resonated with me.
I knew that positive affirmations were working, I did not know that the idea of revolutionizing your lives with thoughts could be found in Yiddish as well, the language which I had mainly associated with Kvetching!
Make Thinking Good the Default
I admit I can be a real kvetch.
I can speak from experience that in the case of kvetching versus good thoughts:
Thinking good wins because:
- no matter what the results are of your thoughts, at least, you will be feeling good while thinking.
- good thoughts are going to make your life smoother.
- thinking good thoughts is going to motivate you to stay on the best path for yourself.
- these positive thoughts will help fuel your direction and accomplishments.
If you are going to think at all, why not think good thoughts?
The cost of thoughts in your mind is nothing, probably the least energy expended of anything that you will do today, so why not think the best thoughts possible?
Practice makes perfect, which makes tracht gut vet zein gut an excellent practice.
Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut – Final Thoughts
A year and a half later from when I first heard the words Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut, I did get married.
And the marriage took place at that very same hall, in the very spot where I had imagined the wedding taking place.
Was it because I was thinking those thoughts that it happened?
Frankly, it does not matter.
What matters is the quality of your life on a day to day basis.
Either you are thinking powerful and motivating thoughts or you are not.
If you are going to spend time thinking at all, tracht gut vet zein gut is a wonderful place to start.
Besides thinking good, you need to take action.
There are few exercises that are as transformational for your mind and body as the simple deadlift.
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Here is an infographic from Brian Tracy for a quick start to thinking good thoughts: