“As a man thinketh, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
The first of Partners for Prosperity, Inc.’s seven Principles of Prosperity is “THINK.” What do we mean by “think”? We mean to have a Prosperity Mindset – to think from a mindset of Abundance and Prosperity rather than from a paradigm of poverty and scarcity.
Our thoughts provide the blueprint, if you will, for the life we are building, just as a physical blueprint predicts what a house under construction will look like when finished. Steven Covey would describe this as “beginning with the end in mind” in his seven habits. Napoleon Hill, based on interviews with the world’s wealthy, says we “think and grow rich” through our desires, faith, imagination, the power of our brain and subconscious mind. Bob Proctor discusses the creative and magnetic qualities of our thoughts with the Law of Attraction.
Regardless of what they call it, our great thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and spiritual texts agree: our thinking determines our reality. But what do we mean when we say to “THINK” from a Prosperity Mindset?
First of all, thinking from Abundance means thinking – believing – that wealth, success, and prosperity are possible. For you. As Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad says, “If you want to change who you are, begin by changing the size of your dream. Even if you are broke, it does not cost you anything to dream of being rich. Many poor people are poor because they have given up on dreaming.”
But thinking Abundantly isn’t just about “us” – nor is it just about money – a prosperous Mindset also embraces the idea that there is enough for ALL. In The Soul of Money, author and Hunger Project fundraiser Lynne Twist reveals how we tend to automatically think from scarcity:“
…for many of us, the first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of…. We live with scarcity as an underlying assumption.”
Twist encourages us to embrace sufficiency, showing that our thoughts are what limits us from discovering there is “enough” if we all think from a sufficiency paradigm.
Thinking from a Prosperity Mindset also determines how we handle our money. The Parable of the Talents (generally interpreted through a “spiritualized” lens), has much to say about investing. In this story, a wealthy man leaves for an extended trip, entrusting three different servants with his assets. The first two double what is given them through investing wisely, but the third is fearful and buries the money: “Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.”
But the master was furious. “That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.” – The Message And in the end, the small amount originally given to the third scarcity-minded servant was now given to the one who had earned the most!
A scarcity mindset leads us to handle our money fearfully, timidly, and ineffectively. It leads us to cling tightly to every dollar, thinking that we are keeping it safe. But in reality, our tight hold eliminates growth, prevents profits, and even takes opportunity out of our hands. Thinking abundantly increases the flow of our money by allowing us to use it in multiple ways, not simply “bury it” or lock it up to slowly accumulate interest.
This chart demonstrates some of the differences between Prosperity Thinking and Poverty Thinking.
How do you THINK? Is your mindset aligned for Prosperity and Abundance? And how does your thinking show up in your actions and your financial strategies? To download a podcast that describes all 7 of P4P’s Principles of Prosperity, click here.