Can 32 Words Really Change Your Life?

Business executive interacting with each other

We all have ways of testing opportunities that enter our lives. Some of us just dive right in based on feeling … walking straight into what they know is right by a gut feeling or intuition. Others ponder and measure and weigh all of the options they can conceive of before they take that first step.

Most of us do not have a predetermined strategy for testing opportunities or testing the actions we take and the choices we make in our lives.

The question is … should we? We make countless decisions every day, some small and seemingly insignificant. Others could carry the weight of the world. Even the simplest decisions can have a long-term impact. Here is an easy way to determine if the choices we make and the opportunities we receive “pass the test.”  

An organization that was failing back in 1930 used just 32 words crafted into 4 simple questions to challenge their business ethics. These 4 questions were applied by each employee to each and every minute detail of the company’s workings:

“Of the things we say, think, or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

This little list of 4 questions guided Rotary International to becoming the thriving entity it is today.

It’s exquisite in its simplicity. Because of influences from society (the 24-hour news cycle is NOT our friend), we are most often inclined to make choices and act based on a competitive mind. This comes from the perspective of lack, scarcity, and ultimately greed. 

Any opportunity based on a model of competition and lack will simply not pass the test. Competition promotes strife. It embodies winning one spot, taking it away from all the other people who want it. It misleads people to believing there is only one chance for success when, in reality, there is plenty for all.

The competitive model encourages people to rely on a source outside of themselves to give them what they need. This denies the power of their own ability to create what they want. This narrow focus shows they are choosing to ignore the possibility of creating opportunity in their own lives instead of trying to win the spot from millions of others.

If we built businesses and our lives based on these 4 simple questions we would be coming from a place completely the opposite of the competitive mind and a lack mentality. As you can see, these questions prompt you to choose what is true, fair, and good. They push you into making choices that can build friendships and goodwill. It helps us to see how the choices we make can be beneficial to all concerned.  

Use these questions to test your actions and the opportunities that come into your life. If you are seeking opportunity, (like possibly starting your own coaching or consulting practice these questions may help you see things in a different way. In doing this, perhaps you might find an opportunity in your life which truly allows you to benefit the world, while at the same time reaching your personal dreams, goals, and desires.

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