There are two different ways of viewing the world. One could call it pessimism or optimism; glass half-empty or half-full. Another way of looking at it is: are you an abundant thinker or a scarcity thinker? It is more than just looking at the positives and negatives of the situation; it is how you respond and react in order to shape the world you live in. Those who are successful and happy understand the difference and make an active choice to be an abundant thinker.
There is a book by Stephen Covey called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In this book Stephen teaches his readers how to become an abundant thinker, and how to move from a recipient of what goes on around them to playing an active role in shaping the circumstances around them. He later went on to define this idea as the abundance vs. scarcity mentality. What it boils down to is that many people feel the world is filled with a finite number of resources. They believe that successful people are taking those resources from the less successful. In this mindset one should live as simply as possible, only taking and using exactly what they need and no more. However, the world is not a zero-sum game. When the proper abundance mentality is applied, there can be win-win or win-win-win situations. The more abundantly a person lives, the more resources there will be to go around.
So how do you spot abundant thinking? Once you start to see it, you will be able to recognize it everywhere.
Logical vs. Emotional Investing
Abundant thinkers will rely on logic, what has been proven to be true. Scarcity thinkers will see that the market has gone down and panic resorting to cash.
Living to Work vs. Working to Live
An abundant thinker will shape his or her career to fit their lifestyle, making work enjoyable. A scarcity thinker will drag themselves to work because they have to make a living somehow.
Money is the Goal vs. Money is the Tool
Like shaping their jobs, the abundant thinker will find that money is a tool to make more money. While the scarcity thinker finds that money is the end, a means to purchase items needed to live.
Calculated Risks vs. Safety
An abundant thinker knows that there is great wealth to be made; they take calculated risks in the market or with their business. A scarcity thinker would rather have the safety of cash, not experiencing any losses but missing all the gains.
Our Success vs. One Person’s Success
The abundance mentality knows that everyone can be successful. The scarcity mentality feels if one succeeds another has to lose.
Teamwork vs. Untrusting
Abundant thinking shows that working with others provides a greater outcome than working independently. The scarcity thinker is untrusting and does not believe in synergy.
Synergy is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Simply put 1+ 1 = 4. Meaning if I can create 1 widget per day working by myself, and you can create 1 widget by yourself, together we can create 4 widgets per day (the premise behind assembly line work). This is because working alone is draining, time consuming, and cumbersome. By synergizing and using the abundance mentality, a team can get far more work done together than if they each worked on their own.
Think of a viewpoint you have. Are you thinking abundantly or scarcely? Have you avoided partnering with anyone because you think they will eat up profits? Have you avoided taking risks even though the pros outweigh the cons? The point is to re-tool how you think, then implement this new thinking. Take it from being a win for you, to a win for everyone.
What area of your life can you change from scarcity to abundance? How will you get there?
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