“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” – Buddha

Have you ever caught yourself complaining about things that don’t really matter? “I have too much to do before I go on vacation, and I just remembered I need to get the oil changed.” “Geez, the wifi is so slow today!” First world problems, right? We live in an advanced, wealthy society, which can be a double-edged sword. The good news is, we live in a society where abundance is almost everywhere we look. The bad news is, our abundance is so abundant that we forget to notice, let alone appreciate, how good our lives are.

So what is abundance anyway? Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines abundance as “an ample quantity; affluence, wealth.” When we compare our standard of living to that of our grandparents, or even parents, we can recognize how quickly things have changed. The phrase abundant mindset is thrown about a lot, and it can be tricky to figure out what it actually means. It may be easier to define by contrasting it with its opposite, scarcity mindset. Living your life from a scarcity standpoint means you never have enough, will never have enough, can never have enough. You hoard what resources you have because you don’t know if you’ll ever be able to get them again. Scrooge is the quintessential illustration of scarcity mentality. 

Abundance, on the other hand, is recognizing the good things you have are enough and to spare, and that those things will continue to be available. You recognize that just as plants tend to increase and produce more, and as populations tend to flourish in the right conditions, your resources can do the same. You are willing to pass along aid and encouragement to others because you know there is enough for all.

Sounds good, right? How can we all cultivate an abundant mindset? The first step is to recognize the good things you already have. Have a place to sleep every night? Great. Everyday remind yourself how lucky you are for that luxury. Do you have food to eat, clothes to wear, and a job to support yourself? Even better. Practice looking at your life with gratitude.

Next, look outward. How can you improve the lives of those around you? The person next to you on the bus could benefit from a friendly smile. Supporting a good cause is another way to spread positivity. Having an abundant mindset means you are generous with all that you have, whether it’s tangible or intangible.

By recognizing the good things we have, and acting to help others, you can create an abundant lifestyle for yourself. Thinking and acting with gratitude and generosity has many benefits—from improving your outlook to making a difference to those around you. Setbacks are not the discouragement they once were. This way of thinking can be transformational. Wayne Dyer said, “Abundance is not something we acquire. It’s something we tune into.” Tuning into this wavelength of gratitude and generosity can increase our life satisfaction, happiness, and self-confidence to a level we have not previously thought possible.

Author:  Hillary Barton

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