“Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.” - Epictetus
Have you ever found yourself comparing your life to someone elses'? Wishing you had something that they had? Intelligence, looks, house, lifestyle?
Of course you have, you’re human!
In this world of social media glamorization, it’s hard not to feel envious of others at times. But, did you realize this is a characteristic of a scarcity mindset?
What is a scarcity mindset?
In very simple terms, a scarcity mindset, as introduced in Stephen Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People”, can be thought of as focusing on what we don’t have, instead of being grateful for what we do have. If we choose to have a scarcity mindset, we can always find something to feel bad about.
A scarcity mindset leads to perpetual work towards the unattainable. The carrot that will always be just out of reach. A constant paranoia. A life occupied by a false promise that the “next thing” will lead to what you’re looking for, whether that be peace of mind, happiness, fulfillment, etc...
Note: (Please do not to confuse the concept of a scarcity mindset and scarcity of resources. Each present completely different planning challenges).
What is an abundance mindset?
On the flip side, having a abundance mindset often leads to a focus on gratitude, opportunities, contentment and a commitment to intrinsic growth. When we are content with what we have, I believe we tend to make better decisions, including financial decisions. We stop comparing ourselves to others. We follow and embrace our own path.
A scarcity mindset may lead to material riches, but it won’t lead to wealth, as defined by Brian Portnoy in the Geometry of Wealth as “funded contentment”. Portnoy defines funded contentment as "the ability to underwrite (afford) a meaningful life, however one chooses to define that". This is an ideal worth striving for.
Having an abundance mindset is key to not only long-term financial success, but living a happy and fulfilled life.
The Walden Planning process is centered around enriching people’s lives by inspiring them to live with intention and purpose. One would struggle to live with intention and find purpose without having an abundance mindset.
It’s often hard for people to see the connection between their daily mindset and their finances. We strive to bridge that gap. If you'd like to get started living with an abundance mindset, give me a shout. It is possible and I’d love to help you get started.
If you found these thoughts to be interesting, helpful or entertaining, please feel free to use the links below to share with a friend(s).
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