Four Words for More Life

Bill Abbate

Some years ago, I had a defining moment in my life. I will never forget driving on the highway, listening to a cassette tape by a popular personal development guru. He asked a simple question containing only four words. The thought had never crossed my mind before this moment. My life was about to change forever. Answering this one question can provide so many answers about life to anyone at any age it is worth giving serious thought.

There is one caveat to this question. Only ask it to yourself in earnest. By doing so, you too can change your life forever. The simple, four-word question I heard that day was:

"What are you becoming?"

That one question set me on a course for which I will be grateful forever.

The man who uttered these words is widely known as America's foremost business philosopher, Jim Rohn. He was a major influence on many great leaders in the personal development field, such as Tony Robbins, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, and T. Harv Eker.

How has Rohn's question impacted my life since first hearing it back in the '80s? It would take far too long to list all of the ways it has affected me, so let's focus on a few that stand out in my mind at this time.

It built my confidence

When I first heard Rohn's question, I had just started my first full-time job as a sales professional. I landed the job because of my technical skills and had only recently started learning about industrial sales. I felt I had stuck my neck out and lacked confidence in my ability to succeed in a thousand ways!

Discovering the power in seeking an answer to "What am I becoming?" put me on the path to learning which would forever change my life. I started reading and listening to everything I could on sales. As I began to put much of what I was learning into action, my confidence soared!

Within six months, my sales numbers rose sharply, and people started noticing. I was quickly rising to the top and became one of the companies leading sales reps. Within another year, one of our competitors saw what I was doing in the marketplace. They soon made me an offer I could not refuse. Before long, I was climbing the corporate ladder in a big way.

It gave me something to aim for

Before hearing Rohn's question, I had not given much thought as to what my life might look like in the future. Everything I did was about my immediate needs and the next thing I needed to do.

Thinking about what I was becoming gave me a whole new perspective on life. I started wondering how what I was doing then would affect the future for my family and me. I started thinking about what I could accomplish in my career. Around this time, I thought to myself, "What is stopping me from reaching the top?"

My attitude toward work began to change from what can I do now to what can I achieve in the next five or ten years. I started aiming higher. The heights of my aim continued to increase for years after until I finally it the top spot. The fortunate thing about this question is it went far beyond my work. It made me carefully consider what I was becoming as a husband, father, and man. It affected my spiritual walk as a Christian. In fact, it affected every area of my life and continues to do so to this day!

It is helping me build a legacy

Rohn's question led me to discover the single most important thing in the world. It is the one thing on which all intelligent life is based. Without it, intelligent life ceases to exist. If you have read much of what I write, you know what it is. It is the one word that makes everything in life work. Relationship!

Life is relationship. It is in our relationships that we come to know who we are and can understand ourselves. We were created for relationship, dating back to the Garden of Eden. Relationships give us purpose in life, something to live for, something to inspire us to become more and to become all we can become in life.

Because of Rohn's words, I work every day to help other people even though I am retired. I write and publish to inspire others, to help them discover their path in life, and to become more in their lives. It took me many years to discover the legacy I wish to leave. Sure we can leave money, homes, and other possessions, but they will cease to exist one day. All of the money will be spent, and the homes and possessions sold, lost, or destroyed.

My legacy consists of the words I write to help others in their lives. To date, I have published one book, nearly 600 articles on many platforms and am in the process of starting a youtube channel. The only reason I do any of this is to help other people do better, achieve more, and become more in their lives. It has never been about personal gain but has been all about giving back for the incredible blessings I have received.

I no longer want to take. I only want to give. This is what drives me to write so much, to pursue new ways to help people in their lives. This is where the ultimate fulfillment lies for me. This will be my legacy.

Final thoughts

What is it that drives and motivates you in life? Perhaps by asking yourself, "What am I becoming?" you too can discover more about who you are and what you want from life.

I shudder to imagine how different my life would have turned out had I not discovered Rohn's life-changing question. Those four words have seriously changed my life!

Why not ask yourself the simple question, "What am I becoming?" and think about it deep within your being. What do you have to lose?

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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