Rule #39 : Live a life of Abundance
A good friend and long term mentor Mike Miles dropped me note today, catching up on each others adventures. Good friends will become more important as you get older, they are the glue that keeps you together when the world is pulling you a part. They should be cherished .
He mention in our correspondence that he was moving away from a life of scarcity. It was an interesting phrase that had a lot of value tied to it. That made me think, what do you move to and why?
Scarcity is what we are taught early in life, to accumulate and prepare. To not waste. To be the prudent ant and not the grasshopper fiddling away the summer. Its about building wealth, security and stability. Scarcity is making good long term choices and being ready for what the world throws at you.
In a Gordon Gekko view, scarcity teaches us that Greed is Good. That the world is effectively one large pie, and the slice of your pie leaves less for others. So if you don’t get yours someone else will. Its the voice that tells us to horde toilet paper and grab the big piece of chicken off the plate first. It keeps us safe but makes us small.
Small, in that viewing the world as being filled with people trying to get your share, makes you limit you friends and connections with the world. As you build your tower of success you get further and further away from people with whom you can enjoy the successes.
Small in that every interaction with people comes down to an equation of net sum gain. We are only winning when others are losing. Its a small view that tells us that everything has an hidden motive and that people only do things which result in benefit to themselves. It focuses more on protection from harm than enjoying the abundance of life.
This fear is real and grounded in fact. Lots of people live their lives to take advantage of other people.
Bobbi was coming out of Target the other day and saw a man playing a violin with his small child next to him He was playing beautiful Christmas songs. She was touched and dropped a $20 in his tip jar.
She called her friend to tell her about it. She learned then it was a scam, and it was recorded music, and that a group was going around tricking people into tipping them. The more she investigated the more wide spread this scam seem to be. It was disappointing.
But this will not take Bobbi’s Christmas spirit, and she will be likely scammed by many others. Bobbi’s act of generosity was not because she wanted something, it was just to share the Christmas joy she felt. That $20 did not lose its impact on her happiness, rather she felt sorry for them having to make a living that way.
There will always be a scam artist or dishonest person thinking they are getting the best of you when you are feeling sentimental or kind. But to try to protect yourself from them takes more from yourself then that the loss of the $20, it makes you live your life in a very small way. Bobbi remained her abundant self.
One of my business partner Greg’s favorite stories was when he was in New York rushing to a restaurant for a meeting with an important client. He was approached by pan handler pleading his own ” fake violin” case for money. Greg reached in his pocket and only had a $100… he thought for a moment and said what the hell… gave it to him. The man was overwhelmed and kept thanking him all the way to when he went inside the restaurant.
The dinner went well and he left the restaurant with the clients in a good mood. As they walked to the cab, that same pan handler screamed across the street… ” That’s him .. the greatest man in New York, The most generous man in New York” . Greg smiled, and the clients left with the impression that they were with the King of New York. Some time abundance comes to you in strange ways.
Being Abundant is about living life in an open large way. It is looking to impact people with our time, energy and money that is about the joy of the moment and not the the result of the exchange. Its living life in fear of not connecting rather than in fear of losing. For in being closed off and scared of being cheated we cheat ourselves out of joy.
One of the greatest secrets to a successful life is that when things look overwhelming in your own life, and you feel helpless – the solution is to find someone to help. Its is only through an open abundant life that we can find our own pathway through challenges. Abundance grows joy in the world while scarcity steals it from us.
Life is often very hard and some people become bitter and evil because of this hardness. But the more open and abundant you live your life the smaller these people’s world will become.
Living a generous open life of abundance will greatly increase your chance of loss, but it exponentially increases your chance of gain. When we focus on others we become much larger.