Two Types of Thinkers: Which Are You?

Over the years, I have noticed that there are two kinds of thinking. One kind leads to success, joy, and fulfillment. The other leads to failure, fear, and discontent. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV).

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My friend, Robert Smith, is a great example of the first. He is one of the most generous people I know. He always greets me with a big smile, a hug, and an encouraging word. I always leave his presence energized, feeling great about being me.

And I have noticed that he is like this with everyone. He treats employees, vendors, booking agents, publishers, and everyone else as if they were his best customers. He routinely invests in their success. It comes back to him in a thousand ways.

Robert is my best example of an abundance thinker.

One of my former clients, Charlie (not his real name), is just the opposite. He exhibits a hoarding mentality. He never picks up the check, even if he asks you to lunch. He constantly complains—about everything. I haven’t seen him in years, but when I did, I always left his presence drained and diminished.

It turns out that he, too, was like this with everyone. His employees—and even family members—rolled their eyes when you mentioned his name. They lived in constant fear that their livelihood and well-being were at risk. Interestingly, the success he craved seemed to elude him.

Charlie is my best example of a scarcity thinker.

The question is this: Which type of thinker are you? Maybe it’s time to do some honest self-evaluation. Better yet, ask those closest to you.

As I was running this morning, I noted eight characteristics of abundance thinkers:

  1. They believe there is always more where that came from.
  2. They are happy to share their knowledge, contacts, and compassion with others.
  3. They default to trust and build rapport easily.
  4. They welcome competition, believing it makes the pie bigger and them better.
  5. They ask themselves, How can I give more than is expected?
  6. They are optimistic about the future, believing the best is yet to come.
  7. They think big, embracing risk.
  8. They are thankful and confident.

I also noted eight characteristics of scarcity thinkers:

  1. They believe there will never be enough.
  2. They are stingy with their knowledge, contacts, and compassion.
  3. They default to suspicion and find it difficult to build rapport.
  4. They resent competition, believing it makes the pie smaller and them weaker.
  5. They ask themselves, How can I get by with less than is expected?
  6. They are pessimistic about the future, believing that tough times are ahead.
  7. They think small, avoiding risk.
  8. They are entitled and fearful.

The truth is that, for most of us, we are not either/or. We are a little of both. I certainly want to grow as an abundance thinker. Reviewing these characteristics has given me some clarity. How about you?

Question: How do you see these two ways of thinking impacting your world? Share your answer on , , or .

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