I’ve noticed a number of people discussing the contrast between thinking in terms of scarcity and thinking in terms of abundance. Even for high achieving people, often there is a lack of a reference or a measuring tool that can be used to see how well a person is doing. It’s easy to start comparing what we have with what someone else has. We might adopt a zero-sum point of view. That is like a poker game where to win means taking chips away from someone else and to lose means that another person has taken chips that used to be yours.
Sometimes resources are truly limited so the scarcity idea of the world is helpful. For example, living in a desert or where everyone scrounges for food, finding water and food is necessary for survival. Eating a prickly pear now before another person does would make sense for personal survival. In a situation of rampant uncontrolled inflation we might spend our paychecks as soon as possible before their value declines. Achievement by others can lead us toward legitimate sadness and regret because their gain is our loss.
Luckily situations like that are rare for most of us. Except for extreme situations, thinking in terms of abundance makes life more satisfying and relaxed. Knowing there is plenty of food and we will be able to eat later, makes it easier to avoid cramming the last cookies down our throats when we are already full.
Thinking in terms of abundance, we can look at long-term life and financial planning. It may make sense to postpone a vacation to be able to save money toward buying a new car.
With abundant thinking it is easier to feel good when someone else succeeds when we realize that his or her success does not in any way diminish our chances to advance. Maybe we can learn from another’s success to facilitate our own.
As a writer, I sometimes find myself pushing for what I would like to do. When I stop to recognize and enjoy what I have already done, I feel better about myself. I am more relaxed and realistic about the future.
Engaging in cooperative ventures builds relationships. Skipping ads, which are designed to push the idea of scarcity, can help keep things in proportion. Comparisons to others can let the scarcity idea creep in. The comparisons are very rarely realistic. No two people face identical obstacles or have identical opportunities. When losses happen, as they inevitably will, we may be able to learn from them and find some positive aspects from the experiences that will help us in the future.