Monday, January 2, 2012
Using Your Abundance Mentality
There was one concept that really stood out to me in the Principle-Centered Leadership course by Stephen Covey which I completed several years ago. It is the concept of “abundance mentality.”
Abundance mentality is a bone-deep belief that there are enough natural and human resources to realize my dream and that my success does not necessarily mean failure for others, just as their success does not preclude my own.
I think it appealed to me so much because it eliminated small thinking and adversarial relationships. So often, people are looking out for number one, anxious to get their “piece of the pie” and protect their “turf.” Covey explains that such self-centered activity springs from a belief that resources are limited, or a “scarcity mentality.” People with a scarcity mentality tend to see everything in terms of “win-lose.” They believe, “There is only so much; and if someone else has it, that means there will be less for me.”
By contrast, people with an abundance mentality are trusting, open, giving, willing to live and let live, and able to value difference. They realize strength lies in differences. They employ the negotiation principle of win/win and the communication principle of seeking first to understand before seeking to be understood. They don’t get their security from someone else’s opinion.
Seven characteristics of people with abundance mentality:
They return often to sources of internal security—sources that keep them gentle, open, trusting, and genuinely happy for the successes of other people…that renew and recreate them…that nurture and nourish abundance feelings, enabling them to grow and develop and giving them comfort, insight, inspiration, guidance, protection, direction, and peace of mind.
They seek solitude and enjoy nature—cultivate the ability to be alone and to think deeply, to enjoy silence and solitude. Reflect, write, listen, plan, prepare, visualize, ponder, and relax. Serene natural settings make us more contemplative and peaceful.
They sharpen the saw regularly—by exercising mind and body…cultivating the habit of reading widely and deeply.
They serve others anonymously—feeling that service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living in this world. If our intent is to serve others without self-concern, we are inwardly rewarded with increased internal security and an abundance mentality.
They maintain long-term intimate relationships—whenever they sense someone is at the crossroads, they go the second mile in communicating their belief in that person.
They forgive themselves and others—they don’t brood about yesterday or daydream about tomorrow. They live sensibly in the present and flexibly adapt to changing circumstances. Their self-honesty is revealed by their sense of humor, their willingness to admit and then forget mistakes, and their ability to cheerfully do the things ahead that lie within their power.
They are problem-solvers—they become part of a creative problem-solving process, and the synergistic solutions coming out of these interactions are usually far better than those originally proposed.
How about you, in what ways will you apply your abundance mentality in your life?
Note: Concepts from Principle-Centered Leadership by Stephen Covey.