Norton: Fear and scarcity, or hope and abundance?
Interest rates going up, inflation on the rise, and empty shelves where baby formula used to sit. A war raging in Ukraine. A resurgence of COVID-19, although mostly mild symptoms, is still making its rounds, with some becoming severely ill. Gas prices out of control. Employees hard to find. Mid-term elections, a leaked opinion about a possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, and battles over school curriculums make this the perfect time to choose fear and scarcity over hope and abundance.
Or does it?
You see, it’s not only asking if the glass is half full or half empty, but also more like asking if the ocean is half full or half empty. Any one of the events mentioned above is enough to push us over the edge. Imagine trying to understand and cope with all of them at the same time, while also dealing with all of life’s other challenges and difficult seasons of life, sickness, divorce, losing a loved one, loss of a job, and other things that happen to us that are mostly out of our control. If ever we were going to buy into fear and scarcity, the time is now.
Or is it?
I was told a long time ago that hope and fear are the same thing — either word is a belief that something will happen in the future. Some will choose to pick fear, stressing and worrying about that bad thing that is coming next. Others will choose hope, believing that whatever is headed our way will be a good thing, maybe even a great thing. Those who choose fear will think with a scarcity mindset, but those of us with hope will still see the opportunity for abundance. And when I speak of abundance I am not speaking of money, profits or things. No, I am speaking of an abundance of faith, hope and love. I am speaking about an abundance of people being kind, good, gentle and compassionate.
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When we live with the fear and scarcity mindset, it is easy to let go of the goodness and kindness, and the other traits mentioned above that we can still find in abundance if we look for them. And when we live with fear and scarcity, it starts us down a slope that leads to selfishness, resentment, anger, isolation, envy and dread.
The reality is that there are some very serious and frightening things happening in our world. If you are like me and have children and grandchildren, you may be thinking about this through the lens of a parent or grandparent with your thoughts centered on their future, and what happens if we can’t solve some of these things now or in the relatively near future.
For every situation, conflict or problem mentioned above, there are thought leaders working on resolutions. We may not appreciate what they are doing, or who is leading the charge, or which side of the aisle they may be on, but I firmly believe there are enough good people with great intentions trying to do their very best to restore things to order so that solutions and agreements can be made and that there will be a better tomorrow for everyone, regardless of which side we are on.
How can we move from fear and scarcity to hope and abundance? I think that will be different for all of us. I can only share what I believe to be true and where my family and friends draw their encouragement when it comes to living with hope and abundance. We use words of love, hope and encouragement with one another. We text or call each day with a message of love. We go to church, we read our bible, and we pray. Zig Ziglar used to say this, “Each day I read the newspaper and my bible, this way I know what both sides are up to.”
Which is it for you: fear and scarcity or hope and abundance? I would love to hear your story at email@example.com and when we can go out in the spirit of hope and abundance, it really will be a better than good year.
Michael Norton is the grateful president of XINNIX, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager, and motivator to businesses of all sizes.