Back Home Up Next
 
4 Words Can Change Your Life
 
A joyful middle-aged man was asked, "What was a major breakthrough in your 
life?"
 
He related, "I used to be what one would consider a negative person. "Until 
about ten years ago I would frequently complain and kvetch. I usually 
focused on what I didn't like. Each and every day a number of things weren't
going exactly as I would have wanted them to. I would blame others for not 
being the way I wanted them to be. This would make me unhappy. I considered 
myself a constant victim of circumstances. I would have been much happier 
if other people and my life in general would be more the way I wanted. In 
addition, I never had enough money. And I was terrified that in the future 
I would be short of the money I needed. I was filled with insecurity and 
anxiety. 
 
"Then a Rabbi told me that he could tell me four words that would totally 
change my entire emotional life. I was skeptical. "'Four words?' I challenged 
him. 'Do you really believe that after three years of therapy that helped a 
bit but didn't make me a happy person, you can just tell me four words and 
those four words will transform my entire way of being? 
 
"'I'm not claiming that these four words are magic, and that just by my 
saying them or your repeating them, you will become a happy person. What 
I am saying to you is that these four words contain a mind-set that will 
totally transform your life when you give thought to what they mean and 
you frequently think about this during the day. I'll only agree to share 
them with you if you give me your word that you will make a serious effort 
to apply them for just one day. 
"'One day is a long time,' I argued. 'What about for just one hour?' 
 
"'Nothing doing!' the Rabbi said firmly but kindly. 'If you aren't 
committed to think about this for an entire day, I don't think that you 
are serious when you say that you would like to know how to improve your 
emotional way of being. If you don't care about your own emotional 
well-being, my just wishing you well won't really help you. For this to 
work you need a real commitment. After a day of applying what I'm 
suggesting, if you feel that you prefer to be grumpy, negative and 
depressed, that's your choice. But I want to know that you really mean what 
you say when you say that you truly want to become a happier person.' 
"'I saw that the Rabbi was going to be stubborn, or as he would say, 
'steadfast' about not telling me his formula unless I committed to giving 
it a try for an entire day, so I reluctantly said I would go for an entire 
day. 
 
"He then told me the verse that has been my motto and blueprint for life 
ever since that moment. The four Hebrew words "Chesed El kol hayom -- the 
Kindness of God is all day long." Since I said it in Hebrew it was just 
four words. 
 
"He told me that I should start the next day from the moment I woke up 
until the end of the day. It was amazing! That day was one of the best 
days of my life. I kept projecting how wonderful my life would be if I 
kept this up each and every day. At times I would feel bad that I had 
wasted so much time in the past feeling needlessly miserable, but that 
too would be a lack of focusing on the kindnesses of God. I realized 
that it would be much wiser to view my past unhappiness as a way to 
gain greater appreciation for the present happiness in my life."