An Abundance Mentality. What it is and How it can Help You.
Abundance mentality is all the rage, and for good reason. But what is it? And how is this new mindset going to help you? Those are excellent questions with simple and complex answers. First, the simple answers:
An abundance mentality is a view that life is abundant and ever producing. There are no practical limits to what is available and possible for an extraordinary experience.
This new mindset can help you find happiness and fulfillment while seeking and obtaining ever-greater levels of success.
A few years ago, I was reading a book called “The Islandman” By Tomas O’Crohan. It is a story about a small group of people living on the Blasket Islands just off the western tip of Ireland. There is a constant battle for life and survival. Tomas himself nearly dies a handful of times. Money is absent or near-absent for most of the story. These men and women lived off the land and the sea in a dangerous and threatening environment. But underlying this constant struggle is a joy, an aliveness that spoke to abundance. Despite not having 99% of the things people think bring happiness and success, they danced and played music and wrote poetry. The islanders told stories and attended mass together. They lived, laughed, and loved intensely. They lived abundantly because of their mentality. It was their mindset that produced feelings of plenty in a world of scarcity. From what little they had, they were able to create deep and lasting rewards. What is an abundance mentality? Perhaps an abundance mentality is best explained in the context of its opposite: Scarcity. Scarcity is the idea that there are a finite number of resources to be divided among us. The world’s wealth/happiness/food is a pizza cut up into slices. If someone has three slices of the 8, then the rest of the world must share the other 5. This mentality tends to divide the world up into the have’s and the have-nots. It defines success as a more significant portion of the available goods. Scarcity drives violence and competition for resources, even if you don’t need or want them right now. Scarcity is the driving force behind the fear we feel around money and status. Abundance, on the other hand, is a mentality that recognizes the always increasing innovating power of the human mind. Together, utilizing the creative capabilities of the mind along with the life-giving power of Mother Earth, an infinite world of possibilities exists. Often, we look around us and see limits on what is available to us. We limit how something can or should be done. We limit how we can or should live. This attitude leads us to a place of scarcity. In 1968, Paul Ehrlich, a professor from Stanford, released a book entitled “The Population Bomb.” In his book, Ehrlich forecasted that humanity would soon run out of food with dire consequences. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” -Paul Ehrlich, 1969 We have since doubled the population of the planet and reduced the number of people who are dying from starvation. We have accomplished something that no one in 1969 knew how to do. We didn’t know how to feed twice as many people with the same amount of resources available to us then. The power of the human mind in concert with others is unlimited. This is the essence of an abundance mentality. Abundance is the lifeblood of cooperation and collaboration. When I believe that there is enough for me and you, I am happy to give you my ideas and receive your ideas as we work towards creative solutions. The light bulb is a classic example. Most of us think of Thomas Edison toiling away hour after hour alone in a lab until he stumbled upon the design that gave birth to the light bulb. The truth is that he, along with a series of scientists, over decades of research, learned more and more about what worked and didn’t work. They shared their ideas and together the light bulb was born. This is abundance. In scarcity, I am afraid you will take from me. In abundance, I know we are on the same team and that your success is my success.How does this help you? To answer that, I’d like to return you to the Blasket Islands. Imagine living in an environment where every day you were risking your life to feed your self and your family. Very few days guaranteed that tomorrow would be any better. How would you stay motivated? Perhaps survival alone is enough to push you to work. But why would you expend effort on storytelling, dancing, and poetry? Wouldn’t you rather just crawl into a hole and complain? Life isn’t fair to you. Where did the joy come from? The joy comes from an innate recognition that you possess the ability and resources to overcome any obstacle that comes at you tomorrow. The poetry comes from a recognition that there is enough to share, to give, and to grow. When Ehrlich made his predictions back in 1968, he was basing it off sound science and his experience with insect populations and food shortages. The thing he didn’t take into account was the amazing power of the human mind to innovate and create. Innovation and creativity are at the heart of abundance. When you can see that you are equipped directly, or indirectly, to handle any problem that may come at you, you begin to live in abundance. This creates a deeper energy to keep you pushing forward when problems arise. If you look back at the dreams you had, but never reached, you will see that they were derailed by some problem, big or small. This could have been a gatekeeper, like an editor, or middleman, that turned you down, or it could’ve been a technical problem that you didn’t immediately know how to solve. Whatever it was, you thought there was no way around it, and gave up. How do I know? Because I’ve done the same thing many times. I have started and stopped 100 businesses in my head alone. I have created at least three business models online that never went anywhere. My energy for new things has been high at the beginning and low at the first real signs of struggle. If I had lived on the island and approached any aspect of life in that manner, I would have died. An abundance mentality does not magically remove your problems. It simply puts them in perspective, from a lens that incorporates the infinite potential of the human mind. There is no problem that you will face, which you cannot solve using the tools you possess and the friends, colleagues, associates, and creativity you have access to.How to get an abundance mentality? Unfortunately, there is no checklist that will suddenly grant you an abundance mentality. But there are a few simple steps you can take to help get you there.
Practice Gratitude. By spending time in gratitude you will condition yourself to see the possibilities, in the face of adversity.
Stop complaining. Complaining creates a negative focus that zeroes in on limits and boundaries. By refusing to engage in complaining, you can focus your time and thoughts on solutions and new ways of looking at problems.
Practice charity. Giving allows us to mentally let go of the need to hold on. This opens us to new ways of collaborating that don’t always revolve around money.
Find Value. In every interaction you have, there is value. There are lessons to be learned and ideas to grow from. This means that nothing becomes a waste, and everything you do contributes to your growth and success.
Step into awe. When I feel overwhelmed by life, I step out into the night sky and marvel at the stars. Light crossing millions of light-years to shine upon my face is a miracle I cannot fathom. It helps readjust my lens, and sense the deeper possibilities. Find something that does that to you, and then go out and do it.
Shifting from the paradigm of scarcity to abundance doesn’t happen all at once. I find myself slipping back into scarcity at times. Right now, it is easy to be afraid and not see the possibilities. The world is changing under our feet. That is the very reason why this is important. Scarcity and fear are pushing people into a dark place. Abundance is the light we need to move forward into a better future. Your abundant mind is waiting, ready to pour forth ideas you had never considered. Trust your wisdom, seek good counsel, and move forward into greatness. May you see the abundance that has always been. Love and peace, Adam King