When the world feels like it’s out of our control, it’s time to look inward. In fact, our first “Principle of Prosperity” is to THINK with a prosperous mindset. (If you want to learn all 7 of our Principles of Prosperity, download our Prosperity Accelerator Pack.) Because no matter what is happening in the world at large, a change of mindset is the most powerful strategy. To THINK is about more than financial strategies (though those are important). The principle also refers to our thoughts around money, and our thoughts about the world.
In a “post-2020” world, mindset is what propels us forward, pulls us out of tough scenarios, and creates lasting changes for the better. As Strategic Coach so aptly describes, adversity is an opportunity to develop the “muscles” of our minds.
In other words, challenges are actually an opportunity: an opportunity to become better, more resilient human beings. Never believe that all you can do is survive. It’s time to take a more creative and, more importantly, optimistic approach to life and personal finance. Be a leader in your own life.
Scarcity Thinking vs. Prosperity Thinking
As we move into the New Year full speed ahead, approach challenges from a Prosperity mindset. After all, that’s what moves you out of stagnation and into growth. A scarcity mindset means operating from a place of “not enough”–not enough money, time, joy, or other resources. Prosperity is for the opportunity seekers. So, using some examples, let’s talk about how to shift your thoughts from scarcity to Prosperity.
Scarcity is staying trapped in the details; Prosperity is creating more value.
In circumstances like we saw last year, prioritize your ability to create genuine value for yourself and others. Value isn’t simply monetary, either—seeing opportunity, having integrity, being humorous, and even encouraging the strengths of others are all valuable skills.
When the world becomes uncertain and chaotic, take a step back to focus on the things that matter most to you. After all, there’s more than one type of capital. For example, there is value in the relationships you build, and cultivating them can take you far.
Scarcity is obsessing over the future; Prosperity is using the present to grow.
We love the idea of creating your own future and we encourage you to envision a future that inspires you. However, since the future doesn’t exist yet and is influenced by many factors, flexibility is essential. Typical financial planning would have you map out each detail of your future, yet that just isn’t realistic. That’s why we stress the importance of a flexible strategy that can accommodate many future possibilities! Then, you can focus on the present. Have you noticed how many “experts” could not predict what is happening right now? No matter how well-informed we are, there are things in life even experts can’t foresee. After all, we don’t know anyone with a crystal ball. So what should be your focus? What you can do, right now. Wish you had started saving more money a year ago? Start today.
Scarcity is looking inward; Prosperity is community.
Feelings of helplessness during uncertain times can trap us within ourselves, creating the illusion of isolation. Even the most introverted of people desire connection on some level. Actively resist those feelings of isolation, and move mindfully in the opposite direction by growing a stronger connection with your community. Whether this is your work community, a church group, or your immediate family—foster the relationships that are important to you so that you can thrive together.
Let’s make our focus helping others find the positive in the negative. When we lift others up, we create a “win X3” scenario.
Scarcity is reliving the past; Prosperity is growth-oriented.
While we should be proud of our achievements, living too far in the past can actually limit our growth in the future. For instance, defining ourselves by our social and economic position, or how other people perceive us, is a trap. Your external circumstances and accomplishments are a part of your experience, yet they do not have to dictate where you will go. You have the power to change your life, so don’t be afraid to leave the baggage of past negative experiences behind. Positive experiences can motivate you to do even greater things, (yet should not be an excuse to rest on your laurels.)
Instead of relying on your external circumstance to define you, decide who you want to be. What are your personal values, principles, ideals and dreams? No external circumstance can dismantle the principles you stand for.
Scarcity is complaining; Prosperity is gratitude (even when it’s hard).
While it can be difficult, gratitude becomes even more important when times are tough. Gratitude can lift you out of a funk (and possibly make you wealthier). Strategic Coach uses a strategy called “positive focus” to keep negativity from overwhelming. It’s a powerful strategy for focusing on what is working so that you foster more progress.
Kim’s sister, Tammi, shared a powerful message about mindset on Facebook. An 83-year-old woman, who had recently lost her husband, was preparing to move into a retirement home. Delighting everyone around her, she declared her love for the room she had not yet seen. “It doesn’t matter,” she replied when others pointed out she hadn’t yet seen it. Why didn’t it matter? It didn’t matter because she controlled her mindset. She had decided that no matter what the room looked like, she would choose to love it. She created her own happiness.
Scarcity is dwelling on failure; Prosperity is growing from failure.
Difficulties are opportunities in disguise. Think about some of the most amazing opportunities in your life–did they arise when everything was smooth sailing? Or did they arise as a solution to a problem? The lessons we take from failures are the same–we can dwell on our mistakes, and make ourselves miserable. Or we can take the learning experience and do an even better job next time. Take your failures as an opportunity to be better than you were, and don’t be afraid to “fail” in the first place.
Mistakes can help us to identify what no longer works. Sometimes, you must find new tools, ideas, and resources that will help you progress now, in your new circumstances. And the way the world is changing, what may have seemed impossible yesterday could be possible today, if only you have the courage to pursue it.
Scarcity is submitting to chaos; Prosperity is taking control where you can.
No human being can control all the circumstances of his or her life. If you believed you could before, that was an illusion. It’s not events that you control—it’s how you choose to respond to them.
Remember our story of the 83-year-old woman. She did not get to choose the time of her husband’s passing, nor likely some of the resulting circumstances. Yet she took control of her responses and didn’t let the details disrupt the positive mindset she had cultivated over her lifetime. She was abundant in happiness because she chose to be, and did not allow any external circumstance to change that fact. She simply pivoted her focus. Even though she had lost her husband and was about to enter life in a retirement home, she continued to wake up early every morning and do her hair and makeup for the day. She knew positive actions would help foster her positive mindset.
Scarcity is asking, “What’s missing?” Prosperity is asking, “What’s available?”
Ever heard the expression, confidence is everything? We like to think so, too! And one of the best ways to improve your confidence is to harness the opportunities, information, and knowledge available to you at each moment.
A scarcity mindset will hold you back, especially in challenging times. Instead of focusing on what you lack or what is making life more difficult, choose a Prosperity mindset. The power of positive thinking isn’t just a cliché. It’s a powerful strategy that is available to us all.
At Partners for Prosperity, we love to help people find new ways of seeing and use Prosperity thinking to find creative financial solutions. If we can be your sounding board, reach out to us via phone, email, or social media.