Live a life of abundance

Formula for Happiness
Last Updated : 26 May 2017, 19:24 IST
Last Updated : 26 May 2017, 19:24 IST

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It was the year 1850. Europe’s railways was expanding rapidly and there was an urgent need for building bridges. This called for the availability of skilled labour at construction sites, increasing the expenditure of projects. At that time, a fresh engineer from the Central School of Engineering in Paris, with no high credentials to boast of, was working for a railway construction company. Seeing the quandary in which his superiors were placed, the young man realised that coming up with some innovative ideas was the need of the hour and started brainstorming. Before long, he conceived the idea that relatively less-skilled labour could be employed off-site to manufacture iron structures in sections, which could then be assembled later at the construction site. He soon drew the supporting plans and designs. At first blush, these designs appeared to break all conventions of the time. Yet, his calculations were precise and impressive.

So, the company accepted his plans, and soon the Garonne Bridge was built in half the time and at half the cost. Thereafter, the youngster sat at his desk and plan after plan, laced with simplicity and economy, flowed from his office. With much ease, he completed designs for bridges, dams, stations and structures of great sizes.

Soon, engineers all over Europe started copying his designs and duplicating his ideas. This annoyed his co-workers, and one outraged assistant urged him not to be so free with his data and to keep it as a secret of the company. But the talented engineer replied, “My dear boy, if I have enjoyed inventing something, why shouldn’t others use it? That does me honour. Besides, I can always discover something new!”
This humble young man was none other than Sir Gustave Eiffel, architect of the renowned and eponymous Eiffel Tower in Paris. With his epic reply, Sir Eiffel was punctuating the importance and benefits of what behavioural scientists call “the abundance mindset.” It was with this mindset that Sir Eiffel pioneered a whole new system of construction, and brought to existence several monuments and structures that stand as a testament of an abundant nation. His belief that his mind was a reservoir of new ideas that can be unearthed as and when there was a need empowered him to share his knowledge freely rather than to hoard it all for himself. What resulted was an abundant supply of innovation resulting in collective prosperity and progress.

An abundance mindset paves the way for an abundant life and an abundant nation. This attitude of abundance is believed to be the eternal spring, from which flows all wealth, success, fulfilment and accomplishment. But the moot question is how does one develop this attitude? While some, like Sir Eiffel, are naturally endowed with this mentality, a vast majority of us lack this mindset and need to imbibe it to feel and experience abundance in our lives. Summing up the advice from the experts, here are some tangible ways of developing an abundance mindset:

Break free from the scarcity mentality
We know that when supply falls short of demand, an environment of scarcity is created. But in reality, even when there is no scarcity, an artificial or perceived scarcity is often felt by most of us. The universe is thought to contain limited resources that will run out if not amassed in a hurry. “Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the scarcity mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else,” writes American author John C Maxwell. What ensues is a frenzied rush for all that is thought to be in scarce supply, from money to material possessions, and from love to respect. The need to accumulate and store for the future follows, leading to hoarding, and thus limiting the productivity of the resource.

However, when we develop the abundance outlook, we become aware that there is enough and more for everyone in the universe, urging us to share, be it profits, possessions, fame or recognition. This in turn opens possibilities, options, alternatives, creativity and finally more abundance to all.

The abundance mentality that flows out of a deep sense of personal worth or security punctuates the philosophy that there is enough for everyone to partake. Moving away from the crippling mindset of scarcity to the liberal outlook of abundance will open the floodgates to the bounty of the universe.

Focus on the abundance, not on the lack
It is true that there will always be something lacking in life. However, it is also a fact that each one of us is blessed with more than what we are willing to agree. Focusing on what we have, rather than on what we lack, will help us see the abundance of the world and will in turn attract abundance into our lives. If, for instance, there is a lack of money, the trick in attracting money is not to focus on the lack, rather to focus on the abundant ways of making money through hard work and dedication.

Practice sharing
It cannot be emphasised more that giving away and sharing what we have with others is the core of abundant living. It is a no-brainer that when something is being given away, it is hard to feel its scarcity. Again, giving away some of that which we may not have much of, inexplicably gets added back to us many fold. From money to time, giving away some of it, even when it is in short supply, will put one in a more abundant frame of mind.

Choose win-win outcomes
Life is a game and we are all players, partaking in the same spirit of fairness and sportsmanship that all games advocate. Even so, in this distinctive game of life, we are all called to collaborate and not to compete. Hence, in the game of life, it is not mere winning, but the ability to create other winners that defines the ultimate individual victory. In other words, “when I win, you must also win”, ought to form the guiding philosophy behind all our actions. This philosophy paves way for abundance, and eliminates the lurking scarcity that is bound to surface when we think along the “I must win; you should lose”, outlook. As Zig Ziglar says, “You will get all you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
Surround yourself with abundance thinkers 

Finally, it is vital that we work with and surround ourselves with abundance thinkers. It is said that we will remain the same persons we are in five years, except for the people we meet and the books we read. Furthermore, cynical attitudes tend to have far greater influence on our thinking than the optimistic ones. It is easy to be drawn to discouragement and pessimism than it is to remain enthused and hopeful. So, by interacting with those of abundance mentality, some, if not all, of their positive thinking, will get rubbed off on us.

It pays to think along abundance, as thinking abundant attracts abundance into our lives. We can “always discover something new”, and perhaps like Sir Eiffel create a wave of abundance with this powerful tool of an abundance mindset.

Published 26 May 2017, 18:09 IST

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