The very first person to reach the status of billionaire was a man who knew how to set goals and follow through. At the age of 23, Rockefeller had become a millionaire, by the age of 50 a billionaire. Every decision, attitude, and relationship was tailored to create his personal power and wealth.
But 3 years later at the age of 53 he became ill. His entire body became racked with pain, and he lost all the hair on his head. In complete agony, the world’s only billionaire could buy anything he wanted, but he could only digest milk and crackers. His personal, highly skilled physicians predicted he would die within a year.
That year passed agonizingly slow. As he approached death he awoke one morning with the remembrances of a dream. He could barely recall the dream but knew it had something to do with not being able to take anything with him into the next life. The man who could control the business world suddenly realized he was not in control of his own life. He was left with a choice.
He called his attorneys, accountants, and managers and announced that he wanted to channel his assets to hospitals, research and mission work. This new direction eventually led to the discovery of penicillin, cures for current strains of malaria, tuberculosis and diphtheria. The list of discoveries resulting from his choice is enormous.
But perhaps the most amazing part of Rockefeller’s story is that the moment he began to give back a portion of all that he had earned, his body’s chemistry was altered so significantly that he got better. It looked as if he would died at 53 but he lived to be 98. Rockefeller learned gratitude and doing so made him whole.
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