We can learn lessons of abundance from the lives of achievers who succeeded in spite of great difficulties
Dr Wayne Dyer rose—from being an orphan shuttling between foster homes to becoming a best-selling writer. Louise Hay left behind her home and a difficult childhood to become a successful model, writer and the owner of a flourishing publishing house.
Henry Ford barely studied past the 6th grade, yet founded an automobile giant. Many have risen from nothing to rule the world with their contributions and have earned great prosperity along the way. Overcoming scarcity is indeed possible, though it seems hard and nerve- wrecking for many.
Can scarcity change into joyous abundance? How does one ever convert little into more? Can wealth and prosperity ever result from difficulty and shortage? “Yes, it is possible,” say sages, gurus, and the prosperous. The answers lie within us.
10 steps to abundance
Let’s look at the 10 steps to abundance, based on the life and teachings of some of the most revered and successful individuals.
1. Feel good, love yourself
“To me, true prosperity begins with feeling good about yourself,” writes Louise Hay in her book, You Can Heal Your Life. “It is never the amount of money; it is a state of mind,” she adds. “True wealth is an emotion,” writes best-selling author and trainer Anthony Robbins in his book, Awaken the Giant Within. “It’s a sense of absolute abundance.” The abundance that is the sum of life, the luxurious excess of Nature, its landscapers, oceans and hills. It is the immeasurable wealth of joy that babies’ giggles bring and the timeless richness one feels in elders’ wisdom.
2. Be carefree, don’t worry about money
“To have true wealth or affluence is to be totally carefree about everything in life, including money”, writes Deepak Chopra in Creating Affluence. He adds, “Affluence or wealth means that one is easily able to fulfil one’s desires, whatever they may be, whether they apply to the material realm, or to our emotional, psychological or spiritual needs, or to the realms of the relationship. A truly wealthy person’s attention is never focussed on money alone.”
Abundance is the quest for a happy, fulfilling life, whereas money is only a means; a means that has become a measure of our ego. Abundance isn’t about money nor is it the never-ending pursuit for more. It is enjoying life, being happy with what is, and seeking joy through the pursuit of our goals.
3. Focus on the positive
As a poor orphan, Dr Dyer never saw the scarcity around him, but basked in the joy of abundance that he felt deep inside.
“It’s all about having an inner picture of abundance, thinking in unlimited ways, then being in a state of ecstatic gratitude and awe for how this whole thing works,” he writes in The Power of Intention.
As a child, he never saw difficulties, only opportunities. To others a snowstorm was a curse, to him it was a blessing—a means to shovel snow and earn more. He always believed in the abundance of the Universe and focused on the positive and thus attracted abundance into his life. “The universal Spirit has always worked with me in bringing my thoughts of unlimited abundance into my life.
The right people would magically appear. The right break would come along. The help I needed would seemingly manifest out of nowhere,” states Dr Dyer.
4. Think abundance
Louise Hay believes one must uncover limiting beliefs, and change them. Observe what thoughts arise when you think of money and prosperity. What past incident or which person’s opinion made you think these thoughts. Let it go. Choose better thoughts and instil them in your mind. We can believe that ‘the world is full of abundance for everyone’ or ‘I am worthy of prosperity and it easily flows into my life’. Thoughts lead to action and it helps to fill the mind with positive thoughts.
5. Take your mind off scarcity
Abundance and joy lie in our minds. Focusing on the good, helps us create the great. Paying attention to our troubles and deficiency only creates greater misery. We waste our time and energy in worrying rather than focusing on dreams, solutions and happiness. Our thoughts of scarcity ensure that we subconsciously begin to believe and act accordingly. “Our own belief in lack and limitation is the only thing that is limiting us. What belief is limiting you?” asks Louise Hay in her book, You Can Heal Your Life.
6. Realise that you are responsible
“To hear, ‘your poverty is only a belief in your consciousness’ only made me angry. It took me many years to realise and accept that I was the only person responsible for my lack of prosperity. It was my belief that I was ‘unworthy’ and ‘not deserving’, that ‘money is difficult to come by’, and that ‘I do not have talents and abilities’ that kept me stuck in the mental system of ‘not having’,” writes Louise Hay in You can Heal your Life.
7. Express gratitude
“Every time I see a coin on the street, I stop pick it up, put it into my pocket, and say out loud, “thank you, God, for this symbol of abundance that keeps flowing into my life”. Never once have I asked, “why only a penny, God? You know I need a lot more than that”, writes Dr Dyer.
8. Give, you will receive
“The day of the ‘go-getter’ has passed. He has been supplanted by the ‘go-giver’, writes Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich. He says, “It is one thing to WANT money—everyone wants more—but it is something entirely different to be WORTH MORE”. As Anthony Robbins states, “devise a way to consistently add real value to people’s lives and you will prosper”. It is really a simple technique of being more valuable. Giving our best performance consistently at work, devising ideas that improve the quality of people’s lives and excelling at your skills are ways of truly being of value to others. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Wayne Dyer, and Thomas Edison contributed to the wellbeing of others—be it material or spiritual—and hence received greatness and prosperity in return. In small ways or big, give to others and see the abundance flow right back at you.
9. Continue to dream, don’t quit
Napoleon Hill was commissioned by American industrialist Andrew Carnegie to study wealthy people and derive a common method of operation and thinking. His book Think and Grow Rich is the culmination of the 25 years of studying 25,000 cases. “A burning desire to be, and to do. Edwin C Barnes wanted to be a partner with great inventor Edison, but Edwin was a tramp with no money even for a train journey. However, he hopped onto a freight train, met Edison, and got himself a menial job with the inventor. As luck turned out for him, Edison’s salesmen refused to sell Edison’s Dictating Machine, and Edwin promptly got himself a contract. A tramp became Edison’s partner, all because he believed he could. Those who achieve do so by never giving up. Practical dreamers do not quit!” writes Hill.
10. Have a goal, believe in it
Henry Ford with sixth grade schooling founded a ‘mastermind group’, people whose ideas and skills he used to create cars. Edison with three months of schooling did not have general education but got himself specialised knowledge. People like him did not see failure, rather saw only limitations to overcome and fervently went about believing and achieving. It wasn’t about prosperity. It was about having a goal they believed in, and striving to see it translated to reality.
Abundance begins with enjoying what you already have, basking in the joy of simple things, releasing negative thoughts, being a ‘go-giver’, and ceaselessly following your dreams and goals. Prosperity and success tend to automatically result.
Indeed, the world is a joyous, prosperous place that doesn’t know scarcity or difficulty. Lao Tzu says, “When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you”.