“If you look at what you have in life, you will always have enough. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” Oprah Winfrey. Living in abundance…simply defined by Queen O herself.
Holiday time approaches and all must appear plentiful yet we are fooled to believe we live in scarcity. Certainly the economy does not want you to be satisfied or peaceful. The weighty mantle of an abundance of happiness descends on our shoulders. Or what I shall call the “heavy haves”.
We have to get along perfectly with everyone so that we can have a perfect holiday.
We have to be at every event and look magnificent.
We have to find the perfect gift for every person on our list and beyond.
When expectations are high, the likelihood of fulfilling all those desires are very, very low. The months of November and December are not magical times when all the emotions, money, and conflicts we have had the last ten months disappear. With reality remaining, perhaps our mindset needs refreshing.
Let’s Talk the Abundance of Pie
In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey gives a tremendous example of the abundance vs. scarcity mindset. Do you see your life as a finite pie? When someone gets a piece, there’s less for you. In short, a scarcity mindset is in action. In contrast, an abundance mindset is when someone gets a piece, you know there is enough pie for everyone or there will still be enough pie for you.
My Wake-up Call to Abundance
As young, poor parents, my husband and I attended a Christmas Eve program. The atmosphere was abounding in love and comfort. The songs, the message, and even the brief children’s skit brought a peaceful feeling to the enormous sanctuary. However, when the pastor called for those hurting and stressed to come to the alter for prayer, almost the entire congregation went forward. I was stunned. What has happened that has corrupted such a time of simple joy and peace into agony and shame? Immediately we decided we would not let our holidays get away from us.
Focus on Your Abundance
First, focus on what you have. Recently when my Crock-Pot broke, I realized the InstaPot in the back of my cabinet doubled as a slow cooker. Boom. Scarcity sees limits (I can’t cook stew tonight. I don’t have a slow cooker.) while abundance shows opportunities (more cabinet space and let’s figure out how to use the InstaPot). Have you ever “shopped” your closet? Too many times we can find exactly what we need (or a close proximity) if we look in the back or bottom of our closets. Clearly defining what you want or need sets you up for finding it or finding ways around it.
Like-Minded People Build Each Other Up
Second, hang out with abundant-minded people…not always an easy task when shopping and complaining is what solidifies your relationship. Organize a clothing swap to shop your friends’ closets. Meet for a brunch as a gift to one another. With your kids, pick a family in need to shop for. Become kindness secret agents by being observant and anonymously helping other people. Once you develop an attitude of abundance, you will find like-minded people.
Third, put on your creativity cap. It’s easy to go out and buy someone a new candle or lotion, but creativity calls you to think about what would really speak to your person. Do they love your brownies? Could you take them to coffee? Do you really need a new dress? Can you use one you already have and accessorize it differently? Abundance is knowing we already have enough and are enough. Most importantly we don’t need to compete with anyone else for that enough-ness.
Incorporate Gratitude and Generosity in Your Daily Life
Fourth, take opportunities to be grateful and generous. I love writing thank you cards to friends who have been generous with their time and resources. It’s often surprising. Generosity doesn’t have to be just money. Above all, think of your time and talents as extremely valuable commodities. When you live in an abundance mindset, you see the value in yourself and the value you bring to the table. As a result, the value and strength of others will be revealed. When you think of how you can give and are grateful, you are able to be more satisfied in your life.
Look for Lessons and Possibilities
Finally, it is theorized that the scarcity mindset comes from fear of the unknown. In contrast the abundance mindset develops from a sense of inner worth and security. Some good questions to ponder are: what about the future makes me uncomfortable? What am I proud of? What makes me feel as if I’m not enough? What does enough look like? What are the possibilities in this situation? The lessons? The “what-if” game brings you peace or fear. Attempt to be mindful when asking yourself “what-if”. Several times late at night when searching for meaning (stuff) online, I have to ask myself what “what-if” am I trying to fill? That turtleneck on Amazon certainly isn’t going to fill it.
There is Enough Everyone!
As a consequence of a mindset shift, we start to clearly see what is possible for ourselves as opposed to always searching for the next thing. We see others as teammates as opposed to competition. And we are able to appreciate the fullness we have instead of always feeling empty. Let this season and all seasons be a time of true peace and abundance instead of an exercise in frustrating futility.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, its employees, sponsors, or affiliates.