To protect ourselves from sin, we should utilize routine scenarios to remind ourselves (in an inspiring way) that this is the result of sin.
Two of the big curses are working by the sweat of your brow to earn your bread and raising children with tzaar.
So Rav Miller suggests that whenever you see an example of these curses (a man pounding into concrete with a jackhammer, a teacher struggling with unruly students, your own work woes, or the frustration of getting your children to bed), you should think about those 2 curses b'ze'at apecha tochal lechem or tzaar gidul banim and remember how great life could have been if we hadn't sinned, thus encouraging us to avoid sinning now.
Also, when you think these thoughts and these passukim in mundane situations, you are bringing Hashem into the picture and uplifting your soul.
Gleaning Emunah from Muskrats & Other Animals
Rav Miller explains (pg. 9):
Every creature was provided by Hakodosh Boruch Hu the ability to care for itself.
Every creature except one! Only man was left out.
Now that's a remarkable thing.
After all, man is the most perfect of all beings.
Man has the ability to speak, to pass down information. He has more intelligence and also many skills that other creations don't have.
But he lacks the gift that Hashem has given to the rest of Creation. He has no natural instinct to care for himself, no means of providing parnasa for himself like all of the other creations.
Of course, if people would have any sense they would see immediately the biggest kasha – it’s the biggest refutation of evolutionists.
Because according to the evolutionists who claim that everything is the result of development, so the more a creature develops, the more its abilities and instincts should develop.
So according to them Mankind should have been endowed with everything – and instead he is endowed with nothing.
He doesn't even have claws.
At least let him have good claws.
Claws are remarkable; you can catch food with your claws. And if anything comes to catch you, so you can climb a tree.
And the instincts of man should also be more developed.
A man should know instinctively how to build a nest. He should instinctively know how to make traps and catch animals.
(It actually reminds me of Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter, in which Laura's Pa realized they were in for a hard winter because he'd never seen muskrats build their mud-houses so heavy and thick. "I don't know how they know," said Pa. "But they do. God tells them, somehow, I suppose." Then follows a little lesson in God's gift of bechirah for humans and how we're different than animals, and how muskrats can only make muskrat homes, but humans can make any kind of home they choose. It used to be that any person could gain knowledge of Hashem by looking at Nature. Then fake science came along...)
Emunah from Apple Seeds
Amazing fruits, including fruits and trees themselves that taste like any kind of food you can imagine. (It sounds like mann.)
But all that's just a distant memory now.
Instead, we need to work for our stuff.
Rav Miller suggests that we say a brief prayer before we do whatever we do, whether it's giving a class or selling something. We should offer a brief yet heartfelt tefillah to Hashem for success.
In the vort following the dvar Torah, Rav Miller recommends the following easy-shmeezy act to improve your emunah & simcha (pg. 17):
I’ll tell you a good idea. Let’s say you’re eating a tomato or an apple; spit out the seeds and put them in your pocket. Carry it around with you from time to time.
I do it.
I keep apple seeds in my pocket, and when I’m walking down the street I take them out sometimes to look at them. I marvel at them: “Ahh! Look at the miracle! This is why Hashem said those extra words in our possuk!” [i.e., "The tree is desirable as a means to wisdom” - Bereishis 3:6]
People write to me that I should send them some of my seeds. I send the miracle seeds by mail. I go to the post office and I mail my seeds to people.
And he was so nice about doing it too.
But I just never thought to send him a self-addressed stamped envelope with a request for his apple seeds.
It's good to collect things from big rabbanim: a dollar from the Lubavitcher Rebbe ztz"l, apple seeds from Rav Miller ztz"l...
Having these tangible reminders of how much a big rav cares about you personally, plus the idea behind the dollars or apple seeds...it's a good thing to have with you to contemplate when you're going through low times.
There's also a Q&A way at the end which presents a very good way to discuss nifla'ot haBorei with a small child. Nice!
(Also, Toras Avigdor has apparently improved their design with a new & very pleasant typeface & layout. All credit for all quotes here goes to Toras Avigdor.)