Live with ‘abundance’ mentality

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Being generous with one’s resources will replenish, not deplete them

By Bob Mueller

My wife Kathy has taught me many things over the years. One of her greatest lessons is telling me to have an “abundance” mentality.

In a nutshell, people with a scarcity mind set believe in life, there’s only a limited supply of anything to go around, whether it’s money, opportunities, resources or whatever. They see the world as a pie with a limited number of slices. Once they’re gone, that’s it. As a result, they fight to get their piece of the pie. Once they have it, they protect it.

People possessing an abundance mentality believe there is plenty of everything to go around. If life is a pie, and others are helping themselves to a slice, the solution is to bake another pie. There will always be more.

An old solution isn’t working anymore? No problem: someone will find a new one. The entrepreneurs of the world are continually creating new pies so everyone can have a piece.

Really, people are either takers or makers. “Takers” are those who take, grab and consume whatever they can to meet their own needs. They see life as a rat race. The main problem with that is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.

“Makers” give and make things happen. They create progress and foster success for others. They are just as likely to give as to take because they are continually helping to create more for everybody.

People who give with no strings attached almost always have an abundance mentality. They are generous because they believe they will not run out of resources.

Pastor and professor Henri Nouwen summed it up powerfully: “When we refrain from giving, with a scarcity mentality, the little we have will become less. When we give generously, with an abundance mentality, what we give away will multiply.”

I have found this to be true for daily living. Someone asked me why she should adopt an abundance mentality, and she was surprised by my answer. I told her if you believe in abundance, that’s what life gives you. I don’t know why that is, but after more than 60 years of paying attention to people’s attitudes and watching how life unfolds for them, I know it to be true. So if you desire to be more generous, change your thinking and your attitude when it comes to abundance. Not only will it allow you to be more generous, but it will change your life.

All change can be expansive in potential. The choice is ours. As I open my heart to accept change, my heart softens and grows larger. Every experience carries the seed of transformation. Every event can bring blossoming and wealth.

My personal will can resist change or embrace it. The choice is mine to determine the life I will have.

Today, I choose to embrace change. I open my heart to its hidden but abundant blessings.


Bob Mueller is senior director of mission & stewardship at Hosparus. The views in this column are those of the writer.