Waking Up to Abundance
The Five Habits to Cultivating a Mindset of Abundance
I believe changing your fortune begins by changing your mindset.
As entrepreneurs, we strive for a LOT of money.
We all have our own financial goals — yet once we reach them, we often move our “Financial Finish Line” further back.
What we have is often not enough.
If we want to tap into abundance in our lives and flourish in financial success, I believe it starts with changing our view of money and wealth.
Finding true abundance isn’t about having more money, it’s seeing the world in how it truly exists.
There’s abundance always.
Here and now.
Some of us continue to feel the lack.
We continue to feel anxious about the future and miss the beauty and abundance that surrounds us.
If you only seek abundance through money, you’ll never have enough, and you’ll stay in a mindset that focuses on all that you lack.
I’m not suggesting that those who aren’t making enough to meet their basic needs of food and shelter simply need to change their mindset.
I’m also not suggesting that you shouldn’t have money or shouldn’t set goals for financial success.
More often than not, our businesses not only meet but exceed our basic needs, maybe even many times over, and we still feel it’s not enough.
Here are my five habits I cultivate to shift from lack to abundance consistently:
- Feeling Grateful Practice
Everyone says, start with gratitude.
Start by writing down three things you’re grateful for, they all say.
While grateful acknowledgment is the first step, I believe in moving from Lack to Abundance; you need not only to think but feel gratitude for what you have.
There’s a difference between casually and intellectually noticing what you’re grateful for and emotionally conjuring up the feeling of overwhelming gratitude and feeling it tingle all over.
If you don’t feel it, my advice would be to start with writing down three things you’re grateful for but don’t STOP there.
Do what the Ancient Stoics do and imagine yourself WITHOUT that thing you just said you’re grateful for.
Imagine the worst-case scenario.
A lot of people aren’t awake to the aliveness of the world that’s around them.
The only time they wake up is when a tragedy happens.
- Consistently Mindful
Oprah has referred to meditation as “space where all creative expression, peace, light, and love come to be.”
When you operate from this space, all things are possible.
Mindfulness not only enhances creativity, it strengthens your ability to learn and memorize according to a Harvard University study.
When you can think clearly and learn quickly, you’re performance level accelerates.
This ultimately leads to making better decisions, which in turn leads you down a path of financial flourishing.
Shifting your perspective from one of lack to one of abundance requires practice.
A regular mindfulness practice or meditation practice has proven to create a greater sense of serenity and resilience.
Boosting your ability to brainstorm + staying focused + reducing stress and anxiety is an equation for success.
Learning to sit still, for most of us going against the pace of our lives, helps us connect to what is present now instead of focusing on all that we think we lack.
“If we are taken over by craving, no matter who or what is before us, all we can see is how it might satisfy our needs,” the meditation teacher Tara Brach writes in her book Radical Acceptance.
“This kind of thirst contracts our body and mind into a profound trance. We move through the world with a kind of tunnel vision that prevents us from enjoying what is in front of us. The color of autumn leaves or a passage of poetry merely amplifies the feeling that there is a gaping hole in our life. The smile of a child only reminds us that we are painfully childless. We turn away from simple pleasures because our craving compels us to seek more intense stimulation or numbing relief.”
Mindfulness practice helps us find our way out of that feeling of lack.
- Nurture in Nature
Not only does being in nature reduce stress and increase our sense of happiness, but it can also make us more generous, according to a 2014 study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley. Researchers exposed participants to nature for 20 minutes and then had them play two economics games to see if their responses differed from another group not exposed to nature. They found those exposed to nature were more generous and trusting.
Nature reminds me of all the abundance we have in this world. I was hiking Temescal Canyon in the Pacific Palisades on one of those hot LA days recently, and I saw some trees ahead that provided me shade, and at the moment, that was what was needed. That was abundance. These everyday reminders keep me connected to that feeling of having what’s needed.
- Spend Time with People Who Uplift You
Having deep social connections to others improves our immunity, extends our longevity, reduces depression, and improves our self-esteem. It also can help us shift out of that feeling of lack.
“We are profoundly social creatures,” Brene Brown, author of “Braving the Wilderness,” and known for her popular TED Talks on vulnerability and empathy, told Psychology Today. “We may think we want money, power, fame, beauty, eternal youth or a new car, but at the root of most of these desires is a need to belong, to be accepted, to connect with others, to be loved.”
How you relate to money is how you relate to time. It’s how you relate to people in your life, to the things you enjoy. Money is simply the energy you give it. If you don’t value money, you’ll squander it. If you feel like it makes up for all you lack, you’ll buy, buy, buy to fill that hole. By valuing our money and our time, we can start to choose where we spend our money and time and who we spend it with.
Just as it’s essential to develop social connections, it also matters who you spend time with, as the people we surround ourselves with influence how we feel and act. A 2014 study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that our friends affect the choices we make, whether it’s a choice to indulge in a bowl of candy or support each other in abstaining. Similarly, you can spend time with those friends who talk about others and complain about what’s not working, or you can spend time with those who are optimistic about life and support you. If you want to shift your mindset from lack to abundance, start spending more time with the latter.
- Give Big
If you feel like you don’t have enough time or money, volunteering can help you feel like you have more of both. It’s counterintuitive.
One study found that people who volunteered felt an increase in “time affluence.” “The research demonstrates that spending time on others makes people feel like they have done a lot with their time — and the more they feel they have done with their time, the more time they will feel they have,” according to Stanford Business publication Insights.
In their book, the Paradox of Generosity, authors and sociologists Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson rely on one of the largest studies in the U.S. on volunteering and giving to charity across different race and socioeconomic divisions. They found that giving time and money, with an authentic intention to help others, boosted feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
Empower Entrepreneurs to Change the World
This is why I’ve chosen to write this blog each week, give my time to Entrepreneurs Organization. I’m serving on the EO Global Communications and Virtual Learning Committee this year and host the weekly podcast EO Wonder
I get to collaborate with fellow successful entrepreneurs who challenge me to grow and keep learning while also supporting me in the areas I’m struggling.
Wake up to Abundance
You can be asleep to the abundance of the world and have a lot of money. There are plenty of people who do. They may even give some of it away so that it looks good. But you won’t reap the rewards of greater happiness and wellbeing.
You can choose to spend your money and life working to look good on the outside. But it’s not going to bring you abundance. Abundance and joy come from awakening to the beauty that’s around you.
What do you do to have a mindset of abundance? Please share!
“Alive in the present moment”
—THICH NHAT HANH
Here are just a few my favorite meditation resources
“We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.”
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My goal is to help 1M female founders change the world!
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