How the Abundance Mentality Can Benefit Your Life and Career

by Scott Sery on February 17, 2014

abundance mentalityThere 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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Scott Sery

Scott Sery is a native to Billings, Montana. Within an hour in nearly any direction he can be found fishing, hunting, backpacking, caving, and rock or ice climbing. With an extensive knowledge of the finance and insurance world, Scott loves to write personal finance articles. When not talking money, he enjoys passing on his knowledge of the back country, or how to live sustainably. You can learn more about Scott on his website Sery Content Development
  • Dennis

    Abundant thinking has been doing wonders to me. I do my best to embrace all of these points, but it’s the teamwork that is the hardest for me 🙂

  • Great post! I have an abundance mentality and one where I am grateful for the ability to live my life on my terms. I’ve witnessed my fair share of scarcity thinking and their belief that other people’s success hurt them. Such a unhappy way to live and think.

  • Great post! I also have an abundance mentality and enjoy making my own decisions but I also enjoy learning from others. I believe that working with others is potentially the way to grow and build at a faster rate. Greed and the ideals of if I have it all or if I am better can leave someone alone in a dark corner. I enjoy my job and I’m always looking for ways to improve my new skills. I am the type of person that enjoys what’s happening around me but also likes to be the leader.

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  • R Hall

    I like the majority of the article but we do live in a finite world.

  • Cashville Skyline

    Fantastic post! The abundance mentality definitely helps a lot when it comes to setting and achieving personal goals. Scarcity thinking seems to prevent us from seeing the big picture.

  • I’ve always been an optimistic person. I think everything, good, bad and ugly happens for a reason. this mentality alone helps keep me sane!

    • I am right there with you. I feel it’s always better to be optimistic with the things you do.

  • This is something I’ve worked really hard at changing over the last few years. It’s slow going, but the more often I check in with myself and take responsibility for things that happen to me, the happier I am in the end.

  • I like to think I’m optimistic, however that may just be me being optimistic!! Living to work vs Working to live is definitely something I need to work more on though…

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