Mentality of Scarcity

From writer and speaker Lynne Twist: “For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is ‘I didn’t get enough sleep.’ The next one is ‘I don’t have enough time.’ Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of… Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack… This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life.” 

This really resonated with me. How many times have I thought those very things!? I was challenged to ask myself: Am I living with a mentality of scarcity or a mentality of abundance? Especially when it comes to time. There are so many things I want to do. I NEED more time! Yet, I have the same 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week that anyone else does. God has given me as much time as I need. I’ll never get any more. So I need to change my perception. Instead of focusing on my lack of time, I’m invited to focus on my abundance of choices.

Because, really, it boils down to what I choose to do with my time. And often that choice can be between two equally good things. For example, I was asked to speak at a women’s meeting. My calendar was open and I enjoy meeting others. On the other hand, I could really use that time doing any number of other things already on my plate.

But I had a choice. Saying yes to one thing means saying no to another. Each choice has a consequence. I will never be able to do ALL the things I want to, but isn’t it wonderful that I have so many opportunities? It is therefor not that I have a shortage of time, but an abundance of choices.

I know not all people are blessed with the abundance of choices I talk about. Perhaps physical or other limitations take some opportunities away. But whatever your situation, try to focus on what is instead of what isn’t.

Being Human connection: The switch from living out of a mindset of scarcity to living out of a mindset of abundance can be a powerful tool for living life to the fullest.

I came that you may have life and have it abundantly. –John 10:10b

You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. –Psalm 65:11

“When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have.” -Lynne Twist

About the artwork: This is one of my zen doodles where I played with my new watercolor pencils. I used it as a confirmation card for a friend’s son.