There were two new movements who appeared on the horizon of the Torah world about 200 years ago [give or take - I am not that old so I don't remember:)] - Chassidus and Mussar. Both had identical goals - To achieve closeness with the Creator and to climb the ladder of perfection. [See Michtav Mi'eliyahu Vol. 5 Page 35!!] Both movements were successful in their heyday in capturing the hearts of many, although to my great dismay, today the Mussar Movement has all but breathed it's last [we are trying to resuscitate it but we - meaning me - are very small].
Although both movements share the same ultimate goals they differed in their approaches and methodologies. One example [very general]: A true ba'al mussar is CONSTANTLY scrutinizing his actions and motivations to ensure complete honesty and sincerity. Any behavior that seems to smack of insincerity is cut out or at least done begrudgingly. Chassidus [as the Rebbe says in B'nei Machshava Tova] teaches - take it easy. Go with the flow. If you do 20 actions, even if 19 are not from the heart, if one singular act is done from the heart, it is all worth it. Don't sweat it. If Yidden are singing, sing along, even if you are not feeling it.
However, AFTERWARDS, when one is finished doing whatever he did, he should take stock of his actions and try to determine from whence they stemmed.
May we all be zocheh שה' יטהר לבנו לעבדו באמת
Inspired by Reb Kalonymos Kalman's ideal of a group of people coming together with the common goal of enhancing their service of God, increasing their sensitivity to all things spiritual, strengthening their love of acheinu kol beis Yisrael, and unlocking the enormous potential that we all have to cleave to the Almighty.
Interaction and discussion of practical ideas and concepts toward this end, culled from any Torah true source is welcome and appreciated.
Observations and personal experiences are also welcome; the point is to grow!