We focus on money as if it is the main point. Is it the main point? A more interesting question might be “what is it that money brings us?” For many people it brings security and a feeling of abundance and richness, psychological as well as physical. At least that’s what we hope it will bring when we get enough of it. What if we mistakenly confuse money with the hope of what it will bring us and, in doing so, give our power (and happiness) away to this concept of money?
Rather than focusing on money, try thinking in terms of “richness” and “abundance”, both internal and external.
Internal richness is related to how you think about yourself. If you could catalogue all the thoughts you have in a day, would they be filed under Richness, Abundance and Delight or Poor Me, Ripped Off, and Not Fair? Many people think with what one of my teachers called a “poverty mentality”. Poverty mentality is a huge trap, and it’s a life pattern for many people. Habitual complaint is one way it can manifest, the basic message being “my (unhappy) circumstances arise because of the actions of others and because of circumstances beyond my control” – the victim mentality. People with these kinds of patterns are unattractive to be around and are unlikely to be successful in business since no matter how good their product or service may be, they are just depressing company! If you live under a cloud of poverty mentality, what do you attract? Poverty! If you live and think in terms of abundance and appreciation – what you can offer to others, the wonderful and joyful things in your life – that is what you attract. This might sound straightforward but it’s not. Trying to always see the positive side does not always work; with the fake cheerfulness and a refusal to look at the negative (you probably know people who take this attitude) there can be a brittle, fake, shell-like feeling as if the real person is absent and you are trying to communicate with someone in a toothpaste commercial.
You can feel the real thing when someone is genuinely interested in the people and world around them; when someone is not self-absorbed, but asks penetrating questions and is genuinely curious about the answers, and who appreciates and supports others.That is likely to be a person who understands how to live a rich life.
Closely allied to the poverty mentality is “problem thinking”. Thinking about a problem- obsessing about it – induces anxiety, and anxiety and its stream of fearful thoughts leads to more anxiety… “I can’t solve this problem. I’m stuck!” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is much more helpful to spend time thinking about possible solutions to a problem, deliberately focusing on a bigger view that might lead to addressing several challenges, rather than on the one narrow issue.
Another way to say this might be “focus on the vision and fruition, rather than the obstacles”. The solution can then transcend the context of the “problem”. So developing internal richness involves taking an attitude of abundance, genuinely benefiting others through offering your business product or service, and appreciating the positive things you have access to in your life and the world around you.
External richness is related to our environment and the way we work with it. A life of abundance requires us to pay a lot of attention to our environment. Take a look at your home office, the physical environment of your house. What does it reflect? Poverty, chaos, emptiness… or clarity, abundance, richness? Interestingly, the answer to this question is barely related to the amount of money you have. Even a very modest apartment can feel clean, bright, and rich with the right colour paint, and a few well placed objects.
How about the environment of the people you hang out with? If your family and friends exhibit a high level of poverty mentality, you will be affected. Surround yourself with people who manifest abundance and appreciation and you will find you are positively affected. Environment is a strong determinant for an attitude of richness and abundance.
Developing an attitude of external richness doesn’t mean you ignore financial planning and business planning. Far from it! External richness does also involve money and conventional wealth. Appreciation for your business involves maintaining it properly; appreciation for your life involves enjoying what your family, home and community have to offer ie., appreciation of your body involves eating good food, exercising and not abusing yourself with a lot of caffeine, fat and sugar! When you think in terms of developing your business and growing your personal wealth, your clients are much more likely to come from people oriented to abundance and richness than people stuck in poverty mentality. Business relationships are sustained by people who like to work together, appreciate each other, and who enjoy each other’s company. So taking an attitude of richness, abundance, and appreciation is good for you – and good for your business. Take that attitude, and the money will follow!