Cultivating the Abundance Mentality


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by Jayaram V

By abundance mentality I mean whether you think in terms of abundance or scarcity. Consider the following. Are you constantly bogged by the fear that you may lose everything, even if there is no apparent reason to worry? Would you prefer to save on the basic necessities of life, even if they may be required for your enjoyment or comfort, and even if you can afford them? Do you focus on what you have and you may enjoy, or what you have but what may lose? They are the attitudes which people cultivate and which may be rational or irrational or which are based upon reality or baseless fears.

The true meaning of abundance

Abundance is a state of mind. It is also closely related to positive thinking, the question of whether you look at the half empty bottle or half full bottle. Abundance also does not mean abundance of wealth only. It can be abundance of anything that may contribute to your wellbeing, peace, prosperity and happiness. Some may not have the abundance of wealth, but they may have the abundance of beauty, strength, courage, generosity, knowledge, artistic talent, intelligence, friendliness, compassion and so on. You can use any of them to enrich your life. People do not achieve the material abundance by pure luck. They use their talents and skills or their special abilities to achieve their goals.

It is difficult for people to cultivate abundance mentality if they have gone through adversity or hardship for a long time, or if they have suffered from scarcity, hunger and poverty. Studies show that people who live through wars, famines, calamities and severe economic recessions, know the value of money and do not prefer to save rather than spend, even if the expenditure is necessary to secure a few comforts of life, and they can well afford it.

The same mentality drives people to hoard things, long after their value or utility passed. They may not also like to be generous or contribute to charities, or help people in need, because they suffer from feeling of insecurity or the fear that by giving they may be risking their financial wellbeing. It is not that they become poor by giving away something. They are just afraid to part with things that seem to comfort them or make them feel secure.

Suggestions to overcome scarcity thinking

It is difficult to overcome fear and anxiety if people have gone through great hardships for a longtime and seen how cruel the world can be towards those who do not possess enough money, wealth or power. There is no need to risk one’s life or endanger one’s financial wellbeing to enjoy the simple pleasures of life or spend money for a few luxuries or help others with little charities. One just needs a little reorientation in thinking, attitude and outlook.

In the following discussion we focus upon a few suggestions that are useful to overcome scarcity thinking and cultivate the abundance mentality.

1. You deserve a good life: If you had a difficult past, it does not mean you do not deserve a good life. You can take care of your financial insecurity, with intelligent planning and wise investments. However, you need to think of your current life too and enjoy the good things that life offers and which you can afford within your means.

2. Focus on the current reality: Your decisions must be based upon your current situation, rather than what happened in the past. You may learn lessons from your difficulties and hardships, but you cannot live as a prisoner of your past, especially if your circumstances have changed and bear little on no resemblance to it. Be in the present and go by your current needs, goals and priorities.

3. Learn to let go: Those who endure suffering and past injustices cannot easily overcome their painful memories. They keep influencing their current thinking and behavior. It requires great strength and effort to forget your past, and move on with your current life, doing what you can do. What happened cannot be reversed, but you can let go of it and stop being influenced by it.

4. See opportunities: The world opens to him who sees opportunities even when there are threats, but closes its avenues to him who sees threats even in opportunities. Some people succeed because they push on with tenacity amidst grave dangers, never losing hope and courage. They know that the world is filled with innumerable opportunities and is willing to be open and helpful to the extent they focus on the positive aspects of their lives and actions.

5. Believe in the law of compensation: The world runs according to the law of karma or the principle of compensation, according to which, the good is repaid with good, and evil with evil. The same law ensures that what you give you shall receive in abundance in one form or another. Therefore, try to help others with no expectations, irrespective of the outcome it may produce.

6. Know that you have choices: We are constrained by our self-limiting thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and others. Fear is a major constraining factor. It is necessary to know that you always have a choice to go by your fears and anxieties or your hopes and aspirations or see things with positive or negative attitude. With willpower you can change your self-limiting beliefs and act realistically.

7. You can change your thinking: Suffering teaches people to be pessimistic and cautious about others and the environment and not easily trust anything. Because of that, they may also feel reluctant to build relationships or seek help. If you are open minded, you can see people as they are and break free from this negative thought pattern to build right relationships.

You do not have to be extremely rich to cultivate abundance mentality or free yourself from scarcity mentality. You need to have an open mind and a large heart to live within your means, enjoying its blessings, unconstrained by your fears and anxieties. If you have gone through painful experiences, you do not have to be limited by those memories, especially if they no more represent your current reality. They should not deter you from pursuing your goals and dreams. Scarcity exists only in the mind, not in the world, which is filled with abundance. Life may teach you lessons, but you should not focus upon the pain it produces, but the lessons that it may teach you. Having learned the lessons, you should move on.

Suggestions for Further Reading

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