HOW TO BE AN ABUNDANT THINKER
The first step is to take a good honest look at your current and past attitudes, and assess whether your thinking has been based on abundance. If not, then you have to gauge how far away from abundant thinking you are. You should ask certain questions: Do you routinely bother evaluating how your life is faring? If so, do you accomplish what you set out to do? If you have mixed results, do you know what is working and what isn’t? Which areas need to be improved? Where does your attitude need adjusting to create a better life for yourself?
Once you know these things, the real question is whether you are prepared to do anything about it. This will make the difference between abundant thinking and scarcity thinking.
One thing to be aware of is how you talk to yourself. This can reveal a lot about how healthy your thinking really is. How many times do you use “could have”, “would have”, and “should have”? Although you may think that these are useful correctional phrases that mean you have understood your mistakes, they are nothing to do with abundant thinking. They are dealing with the past, and giving power to the things you feel you failed at. They are self-critical and full of regret. They remind you of the lack in your life; the chances you should have, would have, or could have taken. They are linked to feelings of expectation, and this is the enemy of abundant thinking. All these should be replaced with a simple “I want”. That brings our desire into the present moment, and that is the only way our brains register that an action needs to be performed now.
People who think in these negative ways make themselves victims, and this is self-perpetuating, especially when other people or outside circumstances are blamed for the hurt. Whenever you blame, you remove your responsibility to improve the situation. You are saying that there is nothing to be done to make things better because it is out of your control. You have denied the abundance in your life.
Here are some ways in which you can become an abundant thinker:
1. Identify your biggest bar to abundant thinking. Analyze why you have not embraced the concept before. Have years of negative conditioning made it difficult, or did you just not know about it?
2. Decide now that you will start to think abundant thoughts.
3. Count your blessings right now, and start being grateful for all the good things you have in your life.
4. Stop thinking of what you believe you don’t have; you are concentrating on an empty space. Instead, begin to focus on creating the circumstances that will cause abundance to fill your empty spaces. Develop your interests, knowledge, and skills in areas that will help you achieve more.
5. Exchange “could’ve”, “should’ve” and “would’ve” for “I want”.
6. Don’t feel guilty for wanting. It is your personal choice to strive for happiness for yourself and others.
7. You can want, but don’t create specific expectations for yourself.
8. Create zero expectations of what you will receive. Do not automatically assume that you will receive! Just know that anything is possible while inviting abundance into your life.
9. Be mentally prepared for the worst-case scenario. Think positively about receiving what you want, but do not take it as read. If you meet your goals, it will add to the happiness you already enjoy; if not, it doesn’t matter because you are happy with what you already have.
10. Stop thinking the world owes you a living and that you deserve to receive what you want. Everything you receive in life is a gift. The world doesn’t owe you anything, but its abundance is capable of giving you anything.
11. Stop feeling cheated, and like a victim. Take control and take responsibility for your own happiness.
12. Know that your past does not equal your future, and your current unfavorable situation does not have to last if you choose to make it better. You are not your condition.
13. Accept that you will make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up when you do; regard that mistake as a moment on your learning curve that will help take you to new heights. Learn from it and move on. Don’t dwell. Some of our hardest knocks teach us our most important lessons in life.
14. Think of a physical reminder that will help you keep your thoughts on track. Every time you feel you are drifting back to thoughts of scarcity, perform your little physical action to realign yourself with abundance. You could click your fingers, snap a rubber band on your wrist, or simply join your thumb to your forefinger as people do in meditation.
15. Develop a mantra that you repeat every morning and evening out loud, and in your head whenever you need a boost. You could try: “Abundance is mine right now and always.” Remember that whatever you say, keep it in the present tense. Saying that “Abundance will be mine” causes the brain to keep abundance in the future.
As a starter exercise, think of one situation in your life that you believe should have turned out better because your expectations were so formulated. Try and find a way to see the positives in it, how you may have learned from your “failure” to meet your expectations, and then let go of those expectations. Rephrase your expectations into a request for abundance. This is one piece of deficit thinking that is now abundant thinking.
HOW TO BE A WEALTHY PARENT
Having a wealthy-parent mindset is about focusing on the financial aspects of abundant thinking, rather than just the psychological. This involves analyzing how you view certain pertinent financial questions, and swapping a scarcity or deficit thought for an abundant thought.
1. “I can’t afford” becomes “how can I afford?” when abundant thinking is applied. This is because saying you can’t do something closes down possibilities and tells the universe that this option no longer exists for you.
2. “My kids make me poor” becomes “I want to be rich for my kids” with abundant thinking. This is not focusing on the expense of having children, but on the duty to create a more secure life for them.
3. “I don’t care about money” becomes “money is power” when abundant thinking is applied. The idea that money is somehow “dirty” is exchanged for the acceptance that money allows a person to have more choices in life.
4. “Don’t take financial risks” becomes “take calculated risks” with abundant thinking. This is about trying to put your money to work whilst mitigating the risks involved.
5. “Pay myself last” becomes “pay myself first” with abundant thinking. This ensures that there is finance available for investments so further returns can be possible
6. “The state will provide for me” becomes “I take responsibility for myself” when abundant thinking is applied. This counters entitlement thinking by teaching financial self-reliance.
7. “Academic literacy is important” becomes “academic literacy and financial literacy are important” with abundant thinking. This provides a firm grounding for the real world.
8. “I work for my money” becomes “my money works for me” with abundant thinking. This is about removing yourself from the “rat race” and accepting that you are responsible for your own destiny.
9. “Making money is important” becomes “managing money is important” with abundant thinking. This concerns the ability to establish financial education that lasts a lifetime.
10. “My house is an asset” becomes “my house is a liability” when abundant thinking is applied. Although this may seem the wrong way around, this argues that anything that drains your finances is a liability, as a mortgage does.
THE ALTERNATIVES TO ABUNDANT THINKING
DEFICIT MOTIVATION/ENTITLEMENT THINKING
Deficit motivation is the opposite of abundance motivation. It is also known as entitlement thinking. This is how victims are made.
Entitlement thinking has already been discussed to a certain extent. It is that awful feeling that says you have been cheated out of your just desserts, your rightful inheritance. It is how people think when they set specific expectations for themselves that are based on their belief that they deserve more. Entitlement thinking can create the narrow miss that causes a little grimace, or a headlong plunge into an empty chasm. The latter happens when delusion is largely responsible for a person’s expectations. Think the tone-deaf crowd in the first round of “American Idol”.
This sort of thinking takes many forms. It may make you think you deserve more money, a better job, more praise, a more attractive body, better opportunities, skills, friends, partners etc. It covers the whole gamut of disillusionments that can cause our lives to be so miserable, and our emotions to be so fraught and charged with anger and resentment.
These emotions are caused by the belief that you have received less than you expected or less than you deserve. It is setting too-high minimum expectations. This is down to often arbitrary personal assessments that have no basis in reality, and that have been bolstered over the years by well-meaning but ill-advised encouragement from others. Think the relatives of the tone-deaf crowd in the first round of “American Idol”. On the other hand, entitlement thinking may be based on a sound assessment of a person’s skills and abilities, which makes missing the mark even more annoying. Either way, however, the stumbling block is the same: expectations. These are what cause the unhappiness.
Recognizing entitlement thinking is easy. It is feeling that we are in a hole and trying to climb out. It is the sense that we are constantly struggling to keep our head above water. Although these situations may be true now, they should not become who you are. A better way to think of things is to realize it could be a lot worse: the hole could be your grave that you never get out of; and at least your head is above water and you’re not drowning. With these new interpretations, it instantly becomes apparent that you have a lot to be grateful for.
Deficit motivation can cause serious harm to an individual. It can make them aggressive and negative to be around, even with those people closest to them; or especially so. It can provoke a reckless attitude to life, where dangerous and un-calculated risks are taken. Or it can cause a person to feel so sorry for themselves that they withdraw and give up, which can lead to depression or worse.
The really sad part of deficit motivation is that it can cause people to miss some truly outstanding opportunities because they do not completely conform to the individual’s preconceived ideas of how their main chance will appear to them. By the time they realize that they may have misconstrued the situation, their window has passed.
To defeat entitlement thinking, we must ask ourselves exactly why we believe we are entitled to anything at all. Mostly, it is because we have been born into a society that promotes the idea that anything is possible. This is the selling of The American Dream. Yes, almost anything is possible with abundant thinking, but we have been not been schooled in the workings of abundant thinking, we have been taught that we are entitled, and this has created expectations.
You have to separate the ideal of entitlement from the reality of what you can honestly expect. We all believe we have the right to life, the basic entitlement to live our lives peacefully, but try telling that to the have-not who intends to join the haves by using a gun on you. Nothing can be taken for granted, and once we realize this we can truly begin to be grateful for what we do have, because we will understand that it is all a gift.
Over the centuries, and recent years especially, our notion of what we are entitled to has changed beyond all recognition. Perhaps we feel we are entitled to foreign holidays twice a year, but that’s only thanks to the Wright brothers a hundred years ago. Before that, trips abroad were far more arduous and expensive affairs. Luxuries have become necessities, and our values have been screwed up. We no longer look at the simple things in life that used to make people grateful, we notice instead all the things we are lacking. We are teaching ourselves to be unhappy, and to feel that we are victims of some awful fraud.
Deficit thinking can even create paranoid thinking; that we are being “robbed” of what we deserve. We can start to view other people negatively and with deep suspicion. Anyone we perceive as having the things we want becomes the enemy. We cease looking inwardly for answers and instead focus on who is to blame for our deficit.
Scarcity thinking is the opposite of abundance thinking. This happens when people focus on what they do not have in their lives. They take what they have entirely for granted, show no gratitude, and choose instead to focus all their energies on being resentful at the “gaps” in their lives.
People who live by thoughts of scarcity are creating the very circumstances that will cause further scarcity, because they are convinced that there is a shortage of the things they want in life. They do not embrace the concept of abundance, and thus do not invite it into their lives through a positive attitude.
Scarcity thinking can also produce more far-reaching negative repercussions. It can cause people to take things they don’t need, or too much of what they do need, or can make them hoard which stops them giving. Those who think abundantly, on the other hand, are happy to take only what they need, because they know that there is a limitless supply should they want any more.
The concept of abundant thinking can be puzzling if you do not understand the message that lies at its heart.
To summarize, abundant thinking is about being grateful for what you do have rather than focusing on what you lack. It involves having no hard and fast expectation of what you will receive based on some egotistical notion of what you deserve out of life. It says: be happy with what you have because it is all effectively on loan to you whilst you are here, and if you want more then take the appropriate actions to achieve more, but remain happy in the knowledge that it may not happen as you expect.
All this serves to produce the correct frame of mind to ultimately accept the gifts that the universe has waiting for you in abundance. This is where some people may struggle, because this asks that you make a leap of faith and believe that there really is an abundance out there. The only way to get round this is to realize that the alternative view is that there isn’t an abundance, and that you will have to live your life in scarcity. The choice about what to believe should then be clear.
Think of it this way: It’s your birthday. It’s not written in stone that you are entitled to gifts, so whatever you receive is a bonus and you should be grateful. However, you are more likely to receive better gifts the nicer you are, and nice people tend to have positive attitudes. A negative attitude means you are not so much fun to be around, thus fewer people will show up at your party and they will likely hand you their unwanted gifts from the previous Christmas, or come empty-handed and just drain your booze cabinet.
Which would you prefer?