We learn early in life to seek abundance–to want more as a way of ensuring our safety and success. From a young age, though, we’re taught that abundance is entirely about getting. Getting richer. Getting more stuff. Getting ahead. Getting the deal. Getting the sale. Getting a break. Getting a leg up. Getting it done.
As a culture, we’re obsessed with getting.
In many respects, this shouldn’t be surprising. Abundance is a survival strategy, and ‘getting’ through life requires a certain amount of it–we all need to eat.
The Abundance Myth
Where we go wrong, though, is in misunderstanding how abundance is created. Our obsession with getting has led us to believe that some of the outward signs of success–material things like luxury cars and homes and clothing–are not the result of success, but the way to get there. We’ve begun to see abundance not as an end, but as a means. We call this The Abundance Myth.
When we buy a car we can’t afford because we think it will help us earn more, that’s the Abundance Myth at work. When we spend outside our means on a home because it gives us the feeling of abundance, even though we’re actually worse off, we’re falling victim to the myth again.
Ironically, our quest for getting rarely leads to true abundance, but instead moves us away from it. Getting more, it turns out, has a dangerous tendency to become getting by.
The antidote to the Abundance Myth is to turn the belief on it’s head–to focus not on getting, but on giving. To create true abundance, you need to reframe your human interactions—both personal and business—as opportunities to create abundance for others, not opportunities to create it for yourself.
Want more from your relationship? Give more to it. Want more from your clients and customers? Find ways to deliver more value. Give, in other words.
True abundance, it turns out, is defined not by what we have, but by what we give.