Are you giving out of abundance, or holding back out of scarcity? In this lesson, John Maxwell drew a contrast between those who give to others out of an abundance mindset and those who held back out of a scarcity mindset. Which are you today?
We’ve been talking about living a life of significance. We’ve been talking in this series about living intentionally so that we can make a difference in this world. To use these two terms, those who make a difference and live an intentional life are those who have an abundance mindset. Those who don’t live a life of significance are those who go through life with a scarcity mindset.
The difference between the two is simple: do you see the glass as half full or half empty? Half full means that the focus is on what we have left to use. It means that when we give away a bit of our time, or something of ourselves to others, we believe that the glass can be refilled. That is an abundance mindset – there is always more to replace what we have given away.
A scarcity mindset focuses on the fact that the glass is already half empty. It focuses on what we’ve given away. It makes us hold onto what we have left because we do not believe that the glass can be refilled. We see things through the lens that what we currently have is all that we will ever have. When the glass is seen as half full, we do not live a life of significance. We do not live an intentional life that focuses on adding value to other people. We simply go through life maintaining what we already have.
I have the opportunity to sit on many boards and committees and I see the abundance/scarcity mindsets play out in almost every meeting. Those who believe that what they have can be replaced or refilled will try new things and spend their organizations money to further the goals of the organization. Those with a scarcity mindset hold on to their money and do not try new things because they believe that they may need that money someday when they no longer have the resources coming into the organization.
A funny thing begins to happen with each of these groups. Those organizations with a scarcity mindset somehow always seem to fade away and eventually die even though they tried to hoard their financial reserves to avoid that very thing. Those with an abundance mindset have learned that the more they give away, the more they receive back. The first organizations never makes an impact on this world. The latter organizations are the ones that change the world.
Again, I ask the question on a personal level. Which mindset do you follow in life? Are you one who sees the glass as half empty (scarcity) and focus on keeping what you have? Or, are you one who sees the glass as half full (abundance) and focus on what you can give away to empower others? The answer to those questions will greatly determine the impact that you will have on this world!