Perceived Scarcity in a World of Outrageous Abundance

When we see what others have, is our basic reaction to notice what we’re missing or express gratitude for what we have?

Perceived Scarcity in a World of Outrageous Abundance

Photo courtesy of Istockphoto.com/SKapl

I’ve thought a lot about about this question over the years but came back to it recently when I found myself feeling a little jealous over all the vacation posts popping up on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

At some point the serene beaches, beautiful lakes, and mountaintop views started getting to me. I felt like I was missing out. Maybe you’ve felt this way too.

But here’s what’s strange about my reaction: I’m going on vacation in just a few weeks. I’m not missing out on anything. So why do I feel as if I am?

Our Culture of Scarcity

Too often we focus on what we lack instead of what we have. According to researcher Brené Brown, we live in a culture of perceived scarcity, what she calls in Daring Greatly “our culture of ‘never enough.’”

Brown says we start off the morning thinking we didn’t get enough sleep, go through the day thinking we don’t have enough time, and fall asleep thinking we we failed to accomplish enough tasks. Whatever we have, do, or get, it’s never enough.

Throughout the day, as we interact with others, we are painfully aware of what we’re missing: looks, smarts, talent, luck, money, peace, creativity—you name it.

But here’s the problem. Not only are all of these comparisons discouraging and even debilitating, they distort and hide the tremendous gifts we have been given.

Outrageous Abundance

Regardless of our culture of perceived scarcity—or our individual circumstances—we all can point to assets, blessings, and gifts in our lives.

That’s why I say perceived scarcity. It’s not real. Yes, there are a million things we don’t have. But there are a million that we do. If we can see through the right lens, we have all been given more than we can possibly ask or imagine.

That lens is called gratitude, and it’s a lens that amplifies everything good in our lives instead of causing it to shrink to insignificance.

While it’s the easiest thing to fall into a scarcity mentality, gratitude helps us cultivate a mindset of abundance.

Three Disciplines of Gratitude

To battle the deceptive perception of scarcity I’ve benefited from adopting these three disciplines of gratitude:

  1. I start and end the day with prayer. Instead of bookending the day with what I failed to get—sleep or accomplishments or whatever—I try focusing on the blessings I do have and express them in prayer.
  2. I practice thankfulness. Before I get caught in endless comparisons, I express gratitude for the gifts I do have. I find prayer before meals gives me several natural points in the day to do this.
  3. I journal my gratitude. Journaling is useful for many things, but expressing and capturing our gratitude is certainly one. Not only do I have the in-the-moment benefit of focusing on the good, I’ve recorded it for later reflection, for those times when things don’t feel like they’re going as well as I had hoped.

The truth is that we will never have more of what we truly desire until we become fully thankful for what we have.

Let’s be crystal clear about this: Ingratitude creates instant victims in our culture of scarcity.

But giving thanks for outrageous abundance inoculates us from the sense of fear, failure, and discontent we sometimes experience and instead creates a path toward success, joy, and fulfillment.

Question: Are you a scarcity thinker or an abundance thinker? How could the culture of scarcity prevent you from reaching your goals? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

    Such a necessary perspective, Michael. Thanks so much for the essential reminder. I immediately thought of the book you recommended: One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp.

    Journaling the gratitude list is a wonderful idea because it causes you to constantly look for new additions for the list. This daily assignment shapes a renewed mind, habitually searching life for reasons to thank God instead of for excuses to complain.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Wayne. Anne’s book is terrific on this front.

      • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

        Ann’s book is a catalyst to a life-changing journey. Highly recommend it!

  • http://www.shawnandrews.net Shawn Andrews

    My wife and I play the “thankful game” with our four young children at the dinner table most nights. We all take turns telling what we are thankful for. Sometimes we go around once or twice sometimes we do it for ten minutes or more. It is good for them and me. Many a bad mood has been lifted for me by playing this “game” with them.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      We did that for years with our five girls. I think it was huge in teaching them to focus on the right things.

  • http://www.lawrencewilson.com/p/about-me.html Lawrence W. Wilson

    I think I might call myself a “recovering scarcity thinker.” My wife, Heather, has modeled abundance thinking/living for me, and it makes me a lot happier to focus on blessings and possibilities. If you are a scarcity thinker, you can make this switch!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I like that Lawrence: “recovering scarcity thinker.”

  • Michelle

    Excellent and necessary perspective. I love Brene’s work too. I admit that I am terrible at this. I have started a gratitude journal but have not been persistent at it. Thank you for the reminder!

  • http://www.freeforthetaking.net Shane Free

    I think the scarcity mindset is a default setting…at least in my programming it is. When I take the time to be intentional about evaluating how ridiculously blessed I am, it seems to reset my perspective for a while.

    The key (for me) is scheduling this time for reflection and gratitude two or three times each day. It only takes a couple of minutes but the impact on my outlook, productivity and relationship with Christ is a game changer.

    Thanks for an awesome post, Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Maybe we need a gratitude app.

      • http://www.reddstrategy.com Avivit Fisher

        Hi Michael, there is an app called Happier. Its purpose is to record all the things that makes us happy every day and foster gratitude. https://www.happier.com/about

        • Jean Bailey Robor

          Thanks for sharing this!

      • http://www.sethbuechley.com Seth Buechley

        Speaking on how to balance ambition and gratitude twice in October. Feeling like an urgent topic.

  • http://gailbhyatt.wordpress.com Gail B. Hyatt

    Michael, you are so good at this. I wish the discipline become could become automatic, though. We still have to consciously choose gratitude all day long. Remember when we tried to teach our kids this with the “Best Things” game? [I talk about it in an old post here: http://snipurl.com/bestthings

    • http://www.joeljmiller.com Joel J. Miller

      The message stuck. Meg and I do that with our kids. It’s a great way to stay mindful about what’s good instead of defaulting to something else.

    • http://www.makingitrealministries.org/ Laura Naiser

      I do something similar with my kids. When I pick them up from school I ask what was one of their favorite things that happened that day. You’re right about the default being “nothing” and having to gently persist! After they tell me about their favorite, I ask about any challenges. This gives me a chance to help them frame those in ways that emphasize a proactive response, taking responsibility where needed, and learning from these “bad” things. Loved your article.

  • Roger Whitney

    So true Michael. I see myself having an abundance mindset but identify with the same pull to feeling undone. Working to have impact always feels undone.
    What you prescribe is spot on

  • Doug Waterman

    Thanks Michael, a great reminder of my need to focus on the positives and keep everything in perspective.
    I am blessed.
    God’s richest blessings to you and yours too!
    Doug

  • Leah DeCesare

    Love this post! I truly believe that the key to happiness – the “secret of life” – is gratitude! I have a whole chapter on gratitude in my parenting book because it’s KEY! Keeping ourselves thankful is an active process as you point out, it’s something we must be conscious of and make the choice to see the plenty around us instead of what we don’t have. Thanks!

  • http://www.oshsolutions.com Rich Galutia

    Thanks for this great reminder Michael. Having just started a new business at the end of last year, I consciously gave up some of the abundance I had gotten used to. Despite that, I couldn’t agree with you more that having the “right lens” makes all the difference. When I am grateful for all that I have been blessed with, It’s like a waterfall drowning out any thoughts about what I don’t have. When I am spending time in prayer, it is amazing how much more gratitude I have toward God.

  • http://brucercross.com/ Bruce R. Cross

    It has taken a lifetime, but I have migrated from the SCARCITY camp to the ABUNDANCE (as in there God has NO limitations!) camp. Scarcity rears its ugly head to dictate what IS NOT, what one does not have, etc. Abundance invites the possible. Looks like we are reading or have read the same book (Daring Greatly) as I referenced this in my own post this morning. God is good and for that I am grateful!

  • http://vaughandustries.com Ken Vaughan

    This is a great perspective and something most everyone can relate to. We live in an abundant country yet it is easy to become fixated on the next thing we want instead of being truly grateful for what God has provided. In psychology we discussed am entire chapter on the paradox of affluence and how people become almost obsessed with acquiring things. Also there are such abundant choices we get caught up in the dilemma of wanting to ensure we make the right choice for the BEST thing. I love your focus on prayer and learning to give thanks daily as a reminder of what we do have. Thanks.

  • Jade Campbell

    Wow , this reminded me of Julia Cameron’s books The Artist’s way, and the Artist’s way at work.
    She examined her life by journaliing each morning, reflecting on her attitudes, her failures,misdoings,her disappointments and in the process she emptied her mind of all negativity.
    This left her refreshed and ready for the day to appreciate all the beauty and possibilities that day could bring, over time it also brought her peace, forgiveness as those negative emotions disappeared from her life.
    Ex wife of film maker James Cameron, Julia is an accomplished film maker and script writer in her own right.

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Very true. And I am grateful for what I have, and for where I live…

    …because by this time tomorrow, 18,000 children will have starved to death. That’s six million per year. It’s not about scarcity of food, because there’s plenty. McDonald’s outlets in the US will throw away more than enough to have fed them.

    It’s not about scarcity of resources to deliver food, because that exists. Airliners will have carried more people to golfing vacations than the pound-miles the food would have required.

    It’s about an implicit perception that it’s not our problem, and that some people are worth more than others.

    So yes, I am grateful, because there but for the grace of God go I.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/07/eek-mouse.html

    • http://EvaPScott.com/ Eva P. Scott

      Then there’s political reasons people are starving. I know of a situation where the food was ready to go, but the government wouldn’t let it be shipped.

      • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

        Absolutely. Several countries in Africa have used starvation as domestic policy, as did the Soviet Union in the late 20s-early 30s…the extermination of the ‘kulaks’.

  • Sharon

    Wow, Michael, that is so well said! Using your journal template has helped me in this area because it forces me to slow down once a day and think about what I actually DID yesterday, not just what I didn’t do, I always discover I did more than I think! Which sets me up to express that for which I’m thankful. Repeated thanks for your work continuing this basic reminder and challenge.

  • Tammy LeGlue

    This is true. I find that when I am looking at the One who gives more than I ask or imagine, I am grateful for His gifts and practice abundance thinking. When I begin to focus on the gifts themselves without attributing them to the Giver, that is when I begin to slide into scarcity thinking.

  • http://patternsofsuccess.com/ Jason Richardson

    Battling gratitude for the here and now with the desire to do more and become more is such an important topic, and key to growth.

    I think we are all endowed with “divine discontent”, and this is what compels us to continue learning, growing, and developing as a person.

    But it should never eliminate the need for gratitude, the antidote to so many problems. I’ve heard it said, “What you appreciate, appreciates,” and I think that holds true.

    Also love what Oprah said: “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

  • http://www.beforethecross.com/ Mike Mobley

    Thanks for this post and great points on how much abundance we really have.

    What did you use for the tweet quote option in this post? Looks great!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s some custom code we are experimenting with. If it works, we will likely include this in the Get Noticed! Theme™ for WordPress.

      • http://www.beforethecross.com/ Mike Mobley

        Sounds great, really love it!

      • http://onlifeandleadership.com/ Andy McQuaid

        Thanks for the question Mike, and the answer Michael! I use your Get Noticed! Theme, and immediately noticed the quote. I was searching for this answer. I’d love to see it included, as it looks/feels better than some similar plugins.

  • Mary-Beth Goetzke

    Depends on the day and life circumstances! :) But I have been cultivating the practice of writing out three things that I am grateful for each day for about a year. There are some days this is a tough exercise, but just doing it helps.–funny how coffee ends up on those days a lot. :D Also when the “I want more” or “I don’t have”I have a go-to phrase: “Living as a single woman in America is a blessing in and of itself.” This may sound strange to some, but there are few place on the earth I could enjoy the freedoms I have had, including being a Christian but for this country. I am indeed blessed! :)

  • Roger Grunden

    Michael thank you for your compelling comments. Good stuff! I do practice gratitude each morning, and yet it is a struggle to really ‘believe’ it at times. Mostly because my employment has gone to tentative contract type work with time off gaps of a few months in between. So essentially I’m working part time. Not my choice but on the other hand this provides more time (abundance) in which to launch my platform and engage Platform University. So maybe abundance shifts and you have to discern where to invest your energy along with gratitude awareness for new or changing abundance?

  • http://www.life-signatures.com Lawrence Namale

    Great post. I wrote about ‘Thinking Within The Box’ some time back and I identify with what you are sharing. Ultimately, the old admonition of counting our blessings one by one is a gem of wisdom. This is a great post Micheal, thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

    I’ve struggled some with this this summer…as friends were heading to the beach, and we just spent a few days on a family farm. The truth is, we had an amazing time. Our kids absolutely LOVE visiting the farm, and I’m blessed to the moon and back whether I go anywhere or not. Thanks for this wakeup call!

  • Wking

    Peter Diamandis’ book “Abundance, The Future is Better Than You Think” is a terrific resource on this topic. Thanks for the great post Michael.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I have that book but have not read it yet. I am going to add it to my vacation list for next month. Thanks.

  • Kent Faver

    One thing that has helped me lately is to continue to remind myself a very simple truth — the kingdom is within me. If the kingdom is within me, what am I lacking? It’s a good centering statement. Thanks Michael!

  • http://www.makingitrealministries.org/ Laura Naiser

    Beautifully said! I used to be a chronic worrier, until I shifted my focus to gratitude and trust in God to provide what I need. This change in thinking brought about a peace and joy (not always happiness, but certainly joy). That is my foundation for abundance thinking. It allows me to celebrate not only what I have but also the accomplishments and abundance of the others in my life, as well. Thanks for starting my day off with a reminder of why I so often am grateful for you and your insights!

  • http://www.tclong.net/ TC Long, MS, LPC

    I definitely struggle with the scarcity mentality. And it definitely holds me back because of the need to feel like I have security for my family. So instead of branching out and doing work that I feel passionate about or called to do, I stick with the work that is steady, even though I know I don’t like it and that it’s not where I want to be for the rest of my life.

    We use prayer as well to battle our feelings of scarcity. We structure our prayer with Praise & Gratitude first (even if it’s just being thankful for being alive and having air to breathe), then we move into Silence, Intercession and Petitioning.

  • http://personalsuccesstoday.com/ John Richardson

    Great thoughts here, Michael. While we do live in a world of abundance, there are many in the world that are suffering. Some from war, some from hunger and malnutrition, some from neglect. It always bothers me when I hear the news of thousands of people in trouble and yet because of distance, politics, or war, I can’t do anything about it. The numbers soon become overwhelming. As a Christian, I’m called to help, but what can I do when thousands or even millions are hurting? For many of us, the pain of this becomes so great we don’t do anything. Like a million starfish stuck on the beach, we feel guilty and turn our heads and walk away.

    But I love the perspective that Andy Stanley shares. He says this simple quote, “Do for one, what you would do for everyone.”

    While I can’t solve the whole problem, I can make a start. I can focus on one person, one cause, or one solution. When enough of us decide to reach out in this way, the whole world will change.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Amen to that, John!

  • http://www.makingitrealministries.org/ Laura Naiser

    Beautifully said! I used to be a chronic worrier. Then I shifted my focus to expressing gratitude and trust in God. Its amazing how the change in thinking impacted my life. Rather than worry, I now am free to celebrate not only the things in my life but the accomplishments and abundance in the lives of those around me. Thanks for providing me such a great reminder of why I so often am grateful for you and your blog!

  • http://about.me/kjamescody Karen James Cody

    This is an awesome message, Michael! And so right on time! Thanks for the reminder.

  • Mary DeMuth

    I re-did my office, and placed a terrific chair in the corner next to a notebook where I write down what I’m thankful for every day. It’s been such a great habit so far. Thanks for your post.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Good idea, Mary. A gratitude chair. Such an important discipline to develop.

  • http://www.nextstagemediagroup.com/ Pamela Muldoon

    Very nice post, Michael. Thank you for sharing. As always, what you need will show itself to you. I needed to read this today. I appreciate the inspiration!

  • Pat68

    And oftentimes, there’s someone looking at us envying what we have as we’re looking at and envying others. This became clear to me after talking to my cousin one day and she asked me how long I had lived where I lived. At the time, I’d been there 9, almost 10 years. She gave an expression of admiration for me being there that long, whereas I see her as a world traveler because she’s moved and lived in a few different cities and has traveled for vacation. But the way she reacted to me living where I had for so long let me know that she wished she could put down roots like that somewhere. So, what we envy or admire in others, they may see as a liability and vice versa. I was actually surprised to hear your envy, Michael, over others’ vacation pics, as I see you as someone who travels quite a bit. This ties in to your point about our view of scarcity.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      This is so true, Pat. It is all about perspective.

  • Frank Stapleton

    It’s not so much that scarcity prevents you from keeping your goals, but rather keeps you from being happy until you get what you want. Twenty five years ago I asked myself what happiness was – it took a while to figure out but happiness to me is, being able to see the good in all things. It has nothing to
    do with obtaning goals, at least for me.

  • OutnumberedMom

    I immediately thought of One Thousand Gifts, too. I think our society fosters this “perceived scarcity” — we can all reach for the stars; there’s always something more…

  • http://johnrmeese.com/ John R. Meese

    This is a super important perspective switch. Shawn (your son-in-law) and I were just talking about this idea on Monday! Abundance mindset is what it takes to involve others in whatever you’re doing, because scarcity mindset can lead to selfishness and narrow thinking.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I am so thrilled that you and Shawn are in the same mastermind. He is a very special guy.

      • http://johnrmeese.com/ John R. Meese

        Yeah, we first connected online and then ran into each other at a Church picnic in Murfreesboro. We’re pumped to start this mastermind, we’ve already learned a lot from each other!

  • http://davidteems.com David Teems

    The sky this morning in Franklin was as overcast as my thoughts were, and I’m not sure I had much of a defense against them. Then I read your post. Not that the clouds dissipated or birds started singing, but the elevation was there, the change of perception, the nudge for me to take a second look. It’s funny too, just after reading it, Benita comes in with a small stack of her devotionals and starts reading to me as she does most mornings, including a prayer. She began with the first two verses of Psalm 107—Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good . . . Is this some kind of conspiracy? Your words were just the medication I needed this morning. Thanks, Mike.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I love this, David! I usually write about stuff I need to hear. This is no exception. Love to you and Benita.

  • Clark Gaither

    In this season of my life I have made a real conscious effort to stop complaining about anything. I have so much compared to most people in the world. In this country, we all do. No matter how bad I thought I had it in the past, there was always someone worse off just around the corner. Most of the things I complained about were trivial anyway. Whenever I feel like complaining I try to realize that there are a number of people in this world that would switch places with me in a heartbeat. Excellent thought food you dished up today Michael.

  • http://www.thebizofrelationships.com/ Scott

    Michael,

    In a very practical sense, it’s important to expose ourselves to those who are much less fortunate. Being in Afghanistan forced me to be thankful for just the simplicities that I have in the US. We don’t even have to go outside our own borders to realize how privileged some of us are. It’s a sad fact, but sometimes we get very complacent and get this “I need more” mentality when we compare ourselves to our neighbors or colleagues who have achieved more.

    We’re a nation that loves “things”. We should not base success on “things”, but meaningful and fruitful relationships. Focusing on the abundance of people in your life you’ve really connected with is a much better reward. That, to me, is what I pray to continue to receive. Every day I thank God for the relationships He’s brought into my life. Journaling has become a great way to remember why that person is so special and is also a reminder to constantly keep that relationship going. It’s beneficial for both parties.

  • Lael Arrington

    Anne’s book, One Thousand Gifts, was a life changer for me. I had never thought of gratitude as a spiritual discipline and pathway to joy. Thank you, Michael for this timely reminder. Even though we may have experienced real break through, it keeps us focused.

    I just received my new gratitude journal from Amazon right before I read your post. Time to fill a new one with each morning reflecting on so many good gifts. Helps me enter that stream of creativity and generosity and live from it

  • http://www.RisingAbove.com John O’Leary

    Thanks, Michael, this blog was perfectly timed — I am on vacation (taking beach pictures with the family!). Thx for the reminder to stop and be grateful. I too love the work of Brene Brown (Daring Greatly was our Rising Above book club read a few months back). I created a Gratitude Kit (with MP3 reflections and reflection questions for journaling) to encourage the Rising Above community to grow and explore gratitude as it relates to: adversity, friendship, freedom and forgiveness. If you check it out — I’d love your feedback: http://www.risingabove.com/prodcuts J

  • Kristin Kaufman

    Excellent post. Have done these ‘3 things’ for decades. Beautiful.

  • Andrew Tyndale

    Brilliant. I love the following quote from Melody Beattie: Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude Makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

  • http://www.faithdanceart.org Jutta FaithDanceArt

    I have discovered the importance of gratitude and what it does with our brain through Jim Wilder and the Life Model. Practicing appreciation, as it is called there, It even helps us to better perceive God’s presence.
    I also learned from other about the “gratitude jar” where I collect little notes of what I am thankful about. Even though there are days where I completely forget to write a note, it will be quite a feast to read them all at the end of the year.

  • http://www.truenorthquest.com/ Brian Del Turco

    Appreciate this excellent perspective …
    Gratitude is like priming a pump. Surprisingly, as we make the decision to be thankful, it releases a spring of gratitude. And a reflective, grateful heart prepares us to be abundant. “Mysteriously,” as we engage gratitude, we increasingly attract what is good and right for us.

    Love the new podcast format!

  • http://www.chaplainmike.com/ Mike Hansen

    “A thankful heart is a happy heart” to quote a famous CGI vegetable. The list of what to be thankful for can be, literally, endless! While I tend to a scarcity mentality, I push back against that with the powerful tool of gratitude and praise to God as well.

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    I definitely need to focus more on gratitude. It’s amazing how a change in perspective can affect you. The way you described our attitudes was totally me! Time for a mindset shift.

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    So true. I’m an abundance thinker by default but I do sometimes fall into the scarcity trap. Not enough time, not enough done, not enough… etc. Usually those are the times when I simply need a realignment to remind me that I can only do what I can do… I am blessed by all the amazing gifts I’ve been given and that everything really does happen for a reason (I can’t force it).

  • http://www.ariseventures.net Jamaal Thomas

    Love your post! It’s so timely in that I’ve spent the last week sharing quotes and ideas on gratitude with my Arise Ventures members. You mentioned a couple ideas that I didn’t share and for the you have my sincerest gratitude!

    Here’s on of my favorite quotes on gratitude. I use at as a regular reminder to bring my attention in the right direction…

    “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
    ~Melody Beattie~

  • http://www.michellenezat.com/ Michelle Nezat

    Interestingly, I just read something similar about making wise food choices. It’s not about what I can’t have…in fact I even journaled the thought that I don’t think about all the vacation choices I didn’t choose when I’m on vacation…I make the most of the vacation I’m on! Same mindset.

  • http://www.chandlercrawford.com/ Chandler Crawford

    I listened to the podcast which covered this topic some time back and as I was listening to it things became very clear to me that I was riding the line. I would one day wake up and throw every ounce of energy I had into being positive and thinking abundantly, but if one small thing derailed me it was back to scarcity. The podcast really helped clear my head that day, but in the following weeks I’ve felt myself all back into the trap. This was a great reminder today.

    Thanks for all you do, Michael!

  • Rebecca Jo Cannon

    Having lived most of my life on the so called extreme low income or so called American poverty level; God continually shows what He has provided. While being sick in the late 90’s with my sons & 2 dogs in a one room cabin in Montana. We all ate rice cakes & peanut butter with water 3 times a day. During that time we prayed, laughed, & rested. Heard a message on a small radio by Anne Graham Lotz about Heaven. We were all ill. After 3 days a friend showed up because she hadn’t seen us. By this time our fevers had broke. The night before God spoke to me – “I am The Lord God and I will provide.” I told my boys that morning. The friend said I am taking you to this party. Her friend had been house sitting for some wealthy people (by my standards). So there we were in this massive home with a theatre down stairs & eating like kings! My boys were having a time, & getting to watch a good movie on a huge screen with all this good food over flowing. Even now in my troubles, I always tend to look & see the person who has less than me. And those that have more, if I am blessed to meet them, & they share how wonderful! Since that time my sons have served in the Navy & Army & have seen things that are horrendous, sad, evil. WE ARE SO BLESSED TO LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY.

  • http://EvaPScott.com/ Eva P. Scott

    When studying through a prayer course, we were given an assignment to write a Psalm of Thanksgiving.

    http://evapscott.com/abc-psalm-of-thanksgiving/

    The above is what I came up with. It is fun to think of something from A to Z to be thankful for.

  • laura

    This reminds me of the theme in Romans 1. Thank you.

  • David Geller

    All too often our scarcity mentality is a reflection of our focus on the material. We feel like we don’t have enough when our friends and neighbors earn more money, drive nicer cars, take more frequent vacations, or live in nicer homes. We can often move to an abundance mentality if we focus on the blessings of our families, our opportunities to engage in challenging activities that leave us energized, and our ability to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

  • Jean Bailey Robor

    Thanks for sharing. What an eye-opener! Although I’ve truly believed and experienced the benefit of having an attitude of gratitude, I had never considered this “scarcity-mentality” until now. You’ve changed my perception.

  • Kevin

    Just what I needed today! Great reminder. Thank you.

  • Rohan

    Love the post… Right down the alley of a post I shared a couple of days ago!! Love it!!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  • http://www.kingdomthinking.org/ Keith Spanberger

    Hi Michael – I truly consider myself an abundance thinker and try to always promote this in my blog (www.kingdomthinking.org) but I do admit that I loose site of of my thankfulness at times as you mentioned in your post. I know my God has truly blessed me and just tweeted last week “how a thankful heart can’t be a complaining one”. I will be sharing this post will all I know and saving it as something to read on those days I am not being thankful! Thanks Michael and have a blessed day – Keith

  • Jennifer

    I would like to learn to be more thankful.

    • http://www.kingdomthinking.org/ Keith Spanberger

      Michael’s post is such a great starting place but I personally have found that thankfulness is best found while living life from the inside out and not the outside in. Making my life about helping others creates a life of thankfulness also for what we have.

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    An awesome post, Micheal. I practice many of the same disciplines as you do. In the journaling department I am over 3,000 gifts I’m counting through Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare, based on her book One Thousand Gifts, mentioned below by Wayne. This has forced me to look through the lens of gratefulness.

  • http://sixfigurementorssite.com/ Fiona Scott

    Love this post – in an entrepreneurs Facebook group I’m part of – people share 3 things they’re grateful for each day – it gives me more and more ideas of things to be grateful for and it also reinforces the gratitude in myself when I share in the group :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I love that idea of a Facebook group doing this.

  • Philip Rothschild

    Great post Michael. You’ve always exhibited generosity and gratefulness. By the way, love the in line tweet quote box — is that a new shortcode/feature in GNT. I might have missed that one.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Phillip.

      The Tweetable is a short, but it hasn’t made its way into GNT yet. We just came up with it and are testing it.

  • lead2life

    It is great that we are able to choose what we will set our minds on. In Col 3:2 I find that we should set our minds on things which are above and for example in Eph 5:20 I read that we should give thanks to God for everything.
    My struggle is often not with that principle, but with the subject we are thankful for. I understand that it will make me feel better if I focus my mind only on the blessings, gifts and good things. Even in that category I would be more specific what are those things. I am not sure that we should ignore or neglect difficult things where maybe God could use us to make a change. So many times I meet people who are not aware of problems and things they should work on in their lives or elsewhere and neglecting and ignoring the difficult things.

  • http://www.myaspergers.net/ steveborgman

    Too often, I’ve been a scarcity thinker. Like many, I have tended to compare myself to others. But do I compare myself to those who have less than me, or who have not reached my level of “success”? No! For years, I tried to “motivate” myself through this unhealthy form of competition, until one of my coaches pointed out how unhelpful this was. Gratitude, faith, and vision are great antidotes to this diseased way of thinking.

  • Mindi

    I love the focus and power of your words in this post. And, of course, the Brene Brown book recommend. Now I have to decide if I can be content without that book…

  • Denis Smith

    “Whatever we have, do, or get, it’s never enough” This is really bothering me and I seem to be depressed because of it. I should change in the very near future. Thank you.

  • Nathanial Poling

    “We are flawed because we want for so much more, but once we get it we wish for what we once had.” Don Draper on Mad Men

  • Sean Nichols

    Michael I just finished your book Platform, as part of my MBA Program. Great read thanks.

    I found this recent post be very interesting. The closing three points are a routine to live by. Its so easy to get lost thinking about what we are missing and not be grateful for what we have.

    One of the additional things I do each day to practice gratitude is try to help someone else. I think getting outside of my thoughts and world (as they seem so important most days) and helping someone else is a great way to reflect gratitude back into my life.

    Thanks for the post.

  • http://lifechangingstories.me Reid Peterson

    Very thoughtful post, Michael. Many writers leave it at “be Grateful” and move on but as mentioned in your disciplines of gratitude, the experience can be much deeper.

    A thought came up as I read your post: perhaps people express ingratitude because they are doing things that are very different from what they truly want to do. Seems like there’s a strong correlation there. What do you think?

  • Sheri Riley

    I am a recovering scarcity thinker who’s committed to becoming an over achieving abundance thinker.

  • http://www.littlepeople.id.au Chris Little

    It’s also true that seeing the experiences of others subtly reminds us of our finitude – I cannot have everything or experience everything. I could become bitter about this. I could try to ‘gain the whole world.’

    The far better way is humility. The thankfulness you highlight (for which I thank you!) has a deeper foundation of humility.

  • http://unlikelyradical.com/ Mike @ Unlikely Radical

    Thanks so much for this, Michael. I think if more people learn to practice abundance (and it does take *practice*) then we will feel richer, more fulfilled, and generally more in control of our lives.

    And this is coming from someone who has come around to this after years of struggle. As the cartoon Beatles once said: it’s all in the mind.

  • kellyswanson1

    Amen. Very well said. And I think along the same lines – that sometimes we see somebody else succeed and think that our chances just got smaller – jealous of their spotlight because we somehow think they took our space.

  • http://www.chuckjonkman.com Chuck Jonkman

    I totally agree about gratitude Michael! It really is amazing how well it works to minimize what is wrong, or seemingly wrong. Sometimes we just want too much and the simplicity of the little we do have can be refreshing. But I admit, some days it is not so easy to say that.

  • ljtenn

    Seems funny… the times when I feel the most thankful are the times I never see quotes or articles like this …. must mean it’s my reminder that its time for an gratitude adjustment … :)))

  • http://www.thereallowery.com Brian Lowery

    Ouch! I am amazingly guilty of scarcity thinking. My wife actually just commented to me how consumed I am with the “not enough” thinking. Thanks for the zinger and some practical ways I can combat that thought process.

  • Craig Ewoldt

    One of the most helpful posts I have read in a long time. We need to work on this individually, but also as a nation. When have so many people had so much, and yet we still demand more.

  • TheShef

    Gratitude is the perfect foundation for increased blessings and success. What you think about and thank about, you bring about!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Love that!

  • Karim Shamsi-Basha

    Thank you Mike for this…much needed. Growing up in Damascus Syria, and almost losing my life in 1992 when my brain exploded with a ruptured aneurism, I now live with these thoughts on my mind every single day. We should be thankful we just took a breath, then another one, then another! Carpe diam anyone?

  • Hank Martin

    A great post. I had been in the habit of focusing on everything I’m thankful for in the morning and at night, but have recently gotten out of the habit. Thanks for the reminder and chance to get refocused.

    -Hank
    http://www.brktrail.com

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  • Alethea Nash

    I am most definitely a scarcity thinker! Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me a better perspective on how I need to be approaching my day to day! Such a simple list but my heart swelled with anticipation to start fresh tomorrow! I do believe I’ll begin it with a prayer :)

  • Karim Shamsi-Basha

    Thank you so much for reminding all of us that as much as we are thankful, we should be more thankful!

  • James Alexander

    Thank you very much for your your reminder. May I always be grateful.