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).

Luch bushes and sand - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #4161005

Photo courtesy of ©

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? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Joe Abraham

    Thanks Michael for this wonderful post! 

    I like to be an abundance thinker because I find life and vitality only in such people. I think there are more scarcity thinkers than abundance thinkers. 

    Scarcity thinking limits our world. It magnifies scarcity and doesn’t try to see beyond it. But abundance thinking has a way of seeing beyond the present reality into something that’s better and beautiful. One of my favorite Bible characters, Abraham, was an abundance thinker. 

  • John Richardson

    Interesting way to look at thinking, Michael. I’ve never considered this distinction before. I would say in most cases I’m an abundance thinker. I was brought up that way. My dad, who went through the depression, was so different than many of his generation. He almost always had an abundance attitude. Yet it is easy to get the scarcity mindset if you are around people who are that way.

    Do you have more information or a book you could recommend on the subject? I would like to follow up on this.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, I don’t have a book to recommend on this, John. Frankly, I want to research it some more and develop a talk around it. Thanks.

      • Brad Saunders

        I’m just reading Seth Godin’s Linchpin in which he devotes a significant amount of space to “giving gifts.” Not necessarily physical gifts, but gifts of time, energy, and creativity without expecting anything in return. They are gifts given for the encouragement and enrichment of  a friend, a colleague, a company. Michael’s definition of an abundance thinker immediately reminded me of Godin’s “gift giving” concept. You may want to check out Linchpin – lots of good stuff there.

        • Michael Hyatt

          Great suggestion, Brad. I had forgotten about that.

        • Caleb McNary

          You read my mind Brad, I read Linchpin a month ago and have been dwelling on the idea of gift giving, without expectation of reciprocity, but knowing full well that it will come back eventually in some form.

        • Theresa Ip Froehlich

          Brad, Thank you for bringing this book to our attention. Indeed, when we give to others, someday the gifts will come back our way even though we give without expectations of getting.

        • Jmhardy97


          good take away from the book. We all can learn from the model of finding and sharing our natural gifts with others.


        • Robert Ewoldt

          Good thoughts, Brad.

        • Uma Maheswaran S

          Seth Godin’s Linchpin is an indispensable read for every reader.

      • Dan Baker

        I love it. As you develop your talk I think an important distinction is between “content of one’s thought life” and an individual’s “thought processes”.  Different people process differently, internal, external, outloud, in groups.  I wonder if these “processes” open up some insights to the causes of abundance vs scarcity thinkers….

      • Steven Cribbs

        I haven’t read the book yet; but, I did hear an interview with the author this morning that really intrigued me and sounds like it lines up well with the abundant thinker. 

        The book is Leadership Is Dead: How Influence Is Reviving It

        An excerpt from Amazon’s product description of the book: “You must break down your walls of self-preservation and sacrifice your security
        for the sake of others. Only then does the escalating paradox of personal
        generosity come into play: The more you give, the more you receive.”

        • Jmhardy97


          I have read this book and it is very good. I would suggest you get it.


          • Steven Cribbs

            Thanks for the recommendation Jim! I have put the book on my wish list; hopefully, I will be able to get it soon.

          • Daniel Decker

            Steven… it is a great book. Resources and info at

          • Steven Cribbs

            Thanks Daniel. Looking into the web site now…

      • Dale Thompson

        John Maxwell has a wonderful book on attitude.  He illustrates it with aeronautical terms.  It literally set me on the course to a better life.  Also, Chuck Swindoll has a book Laughter, I think, that it has been recently re-released under a new title.  It also had a great impact on me.  In it Chuck speaks of success being linked more to attitude than to talent, or wealth, or position.  It was also very helpful.

        • Uma Maheswaran S

          Chuck is a great author on attitude. I love his podcats specially . (the speeches at the seminary to the students)

    • Michael Hyatt

      I just thought of two books, John. Today, We Are Rich by Tim Sanders and God Wants You to Be Rich: The Theology of Economics. Don’t be put off my the second book’s title. It is written by an economist at New York University.

      • Jmhardy97

        I just read Today, We are Rich by Tim Sanders. He shares some great lessons that he learned growing up. It is a very meaningful, yet very fast read.


      • Daniel Decker

        Tim Sander’s book is a great resource on abundance thinking… in fact just about everything Tim writes are speaks on has an abundance mentality.

    • Anita Palmer

      I’m reading The Go-Giver ( that applies this abundance thinking to business building. It might help…

      • Daniel Decker

        Great book!

    • Jean-Paul

      Would you consider Norman Vincent Peales’ “The Power of Positive Thinking ” as an option? Changed the way I look at life. Scripture also holds a key: Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

      • Plikakis

        I second that.  “The Power of Positive Thinking” has some great ideas. It all boils down to the root of a person’s belief-system. Are you fear or faith-based?  A person who is fear-based is negative and has a scarcity mentality. They try to control their circumstances and others to prevent loss. People of real faith are positive,  generous, confident, and trusting. They see trials as opportunities to grow. They make it a priority to help and encourage others. It all follows the universal principle of reaping and sowing. Thanks for the postive thoughts, Michael. 

      • Uma Maheswaran S

        That is one of the great classics.

    • Jmhardy97

      I to believe my grandfather helped me be an abundance thinker through being a role model.


    • Uma Maheswaran S

      Agreed John! That’s the difference attitude can bring in our lives.

  • Marcclarke

    Hey Michael,

    Great first read for me this morning! I’m a firm believer in what you are saying and while i consider myself an abundant thinker I have picked up some scarcity traits. My Father would say thoughts of lack and limitation and we can’t have that! Thanks again!

    • Michael Hyatt

      It is good to recognize these traits when they crop up in our own thinking. I have caught myself being a scarcity thinker a few times this last week. (I mostly just write to preach to myself!)

  • Larry Yarborough, Jr.

    How can one continue to be an abundance thinker and stop getting burned by those who have take advantage of or take for granted one’s generosity?

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great question. What do you think?

      • Larry Yarborough, Jr.

        I think I need to find a balance between generosity and accountability.

        • Dylan Dodson

          Good question. This could possibly be a big struggle for some.

    • Caleb McNary

      This is the age-old question. Tim Keller, via Jonathan Edwards’ “Charity and Its Fruits,”  has some great thoughts on this if you are interested in doing some digging. Part of being generous is being burned, unfortunately. I think this is where the abundance mind-set comes in, especially #7, embracing risk.

      • Larry Yarborough, Jr.

        Thanks Caleb. Will do the digging. Wonder about the tension between personality bent, leadership style and management necessities.

        • Caleb McNary

          Keller references it and expounds on it in one of his free podcasts through iTunes, but I can’t recall the title of it right now. I will do some digging of my own and get back to you if I can find it.

        • Robert Ewoldt

          I also liked the thought about embracing risk. Most people in the world are
          risk-averse; abundance thinkers embrace necessary risk.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Larry, I think this is a thought that often comes up. I would say just continue on… There will always be people who will burn you or take it for granted. You’ve already blessed them and that’s all you can really do.

    • Uma Maheswaran S

      That’s insightful thought Larry

  • Robert Ewoldt

    I think all of us are likely scarcity thinkers by default.  We can make a conscious choice, however, to be abundance thinkers.  There are days when I let myself be a scarcity thinker, and other days when I resolve to be an abundance thinker.  When I’m a scarcity thinker, it’s a matter of laziness (most of the time).

  • Jason Fountain

    Michael, great post! I love this idea of abundance vs scarcity. In fact, I think this goes to the heart of what you often write about concerning content on our websites, etc. I have often lived with the scarcity mindset that if I give away my best content, then what will be left? This is precisely the wrong way to move forward. There is not a scarcity of information or ideas – there is plenty out there for everybody.

    It really is just a mindset and it really is just a way of living life intentionally. I recently wrote a post about Beating the Monday Blues where I address this idea of mindset ( Although we can’t control all circumstances in our lives, we can choose our responses (fear vs love, excellence vs mediocrity, what’s right vs what’s wrong, joy vs sadness, abundance vs scarcity). Good stuff!

    • Michael Hyatt

      You are right-on, Jason, when you say, “Although we can’t control all circumstances in our lives, we can choose our responses.”

    • Jmhardy97


      Thank you for sharing your post. I really liked it.


      • Jason Fountain

        Thank you for the kind words!

  • Chris Cornwell

    I am slowly moving from scarcity to abundance. Trying to at least. In the New Testament, Paul praised Philemon because “the saints are refreshed by him.” He was an abundance thinker and everyone left his presence energized, pumped, and ready go another mile. Most scarcity thinkers to even know, much less think about, the impact that they are leaving on other people and how it affects their relationships. For me, my leadership.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Chris, that’s a great example with Paul and Philemon.

      • Chris Cornwell

        Thanks Joe!

    • Jmhardy97

      Great example Chris, I wrote that in my Journal for use later.


      • Chris Cornwell

        Thanks Jim!

  • Sue

    Firstly, I love that your inspiration and clarity on topics come to you while running:)  I think that is an inherent quality of an abundance thinker- doing something positive for yourself yields more positivity. Just wanted to say that I LOVE this blog and the piles and piles of helpful and interesting information.  I think you have succinctly categorized every aspect of my life and offer ways to enhance it.  Nice to meet you!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Wow. Thanks for your kind words!

  • Anonymous

    On the money, Michael. Generosity comes from the pervading feeling that there is more than enough. Selfishness comes from the feeling that there’s not. The illusion of scarcity scares a lot of people into doing things they shouldn’t—like stealing and hurting others. The difference between these two attitudes is exactly as you stated it: success and failure.

  • Deb Ingino

    What a great reminder to focus and model abundance thinking.  When I am in that mode,  not only do I gain and grow but the folks I come into contact with seem to be energized and it provides a potent atmosphere for action.
    Thanks for the reminder!

  • Dennis McCaskill

    I was a number 2 leader. Been in the process of converting to a number 1 leader. It has to do with who you hang around with. Great post mate.

    • Michael Hyatt

      So true. If we hang out with abundance thinkers, it affects us positively.

      • Robert Ewoldt

        1 Corinthians 15:33 – Bad company corrupts good character.

    • Dylan Dodson

      Very true, we often are more influenced by those around us than we realize.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Great reminder to watch who we spend our time with.

  • Raymond Schwedhelm

    One of the beauties of cyber space is connection. We can draw close to those with a positive frame of mind. Encouragement fuels success. And, Michael, you are a real encourager. I believe your passion is to inspire others to be creative in achieving their full potential. Your blog, and so many others (like “” and “”) provide insight and strength for daily living. Thank you for being a great example of the very best in corporate America.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words.

    • Jmhardy97

      Raymond. Thank you for sharing these posts. Very good.


  • Jonathan Rogers

    This is a great reminder, Michael. I try to steer my kids towards abundance thinking…we’ve always said, “If you share your gum, I’ll make sure you have plenty of gum.” But the truth is, it has been very hard to convince the kids that there’s always more where that came from, whatever “that” happens to be. Perhaps because I can be a bit of a scarcity thinker myself. 

    The challenge, really, whether in parenting or business, is to conserve and steward particular resources (which aren’t infinite) without losing sight of the fact that, in the big picture, it is abundance, not scarcity that carries the day. This is a big part of the reason why tithing is such an important discipline.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I agree on tithing. It is training in abundance.

      Whenever we have experienced a financial loss, either Gail or I will say to each other, “No worries. There’s more where that came from.”

  • David Barry DeLozier

    Well said.  I especially like the “default to trust” vs. “default to suspicion.”  Curious: how much of this mindset do you think comes pre-installed? I’ve seen strains of optimism in families and threads of pessimism seemingly passed from generation to generation.  I just looked up the Webster definition for pessimism: 2nd meaning: the doctrine that the existing world is the worst of all possible worlds, that all things naturally tend to evil.  Whoa.  All I have to do is look outside at the beautiful sky and the great old trees nearby to disprove that.  I’m not articulate enough to address how these perspectives influence the world at large, but my world? The abundance mentality filters every thought. 

    • Michael Hyatt

      I think it probably varies from person to person. Certainly natural disposition, family influence, life circumstances, etc. play a role. The good news is that we can choose a different path. This is one of the things that makes us human.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      And, it’s not necessarily that it comes “pre-installed,” but it’s something
      that is taught by parents.

  • Jeff Kusner

    a true measure of success for the “abundant thinker” is the positive impact he can have on the success of others!

  • Anonymous

    Wonderfully stimulating post Michael. Thank you.

    I think that how we think is they key, rather than what we think. How we think is related to our ability to make good judgements about ‘what to think’.

    Thinkers who believe (judge) that the best way to think is to think failure – are exercising poor judgement. And of course, they typically experience what we might call poorer quality results.

    Thinkers who believe (judge) that the best way to think it to think success – are exercising better judgement And of course, they typically experience much more success.

    The really interesting thing to me, is that we have choice – through conscious choice we can put ourselves into a perspective of good judgement.

    It’s an acquired skill. Some of us with supportive and positive success thinking parents have been taught how to this and it’s natural. Others with failure thinking parents and role models have often not even recognised it as an option.

    We can now measure a person’s natural ability to make good judgement in various thinking dimensions. As soon as we measure something, we become aware of it, and as we are hard wired to create value, it starts to improve.

    So for me at least, these two ways of thinking determine success or failure, and also open up the opportunity for doing great work with people who want to move towards the success thinking, thereby achieving more success in their lives.

    Thanks so much again for the post, and for the good judgement you always exercise in choosing what to write about and how to write about it :-)

    kindest regards,

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words, Paul. Also, thanks for making this important distinction. How we think is critical!

      • Anonymous

        My pleasure Michael. Your is the only blog I habitually read; in a world of information, your blog stands out. There’s a very good reason as to why it stands out. Thanks again.

    • David Barry DeLozier

      Well said. I especially like your comments on supportive parents vs. failure thinking parents.  I read something years ago when our children were little about the correlation between courage and encouragement.  I greatly admire courage, and I see the relationship in my own children’s  response to encouragement. 

      • Anonymous

        Thanks David. Great example. I knew there was a reason we called those early years ‘formative’ years. 

        I realised that one of the things is formed, is our deep internal value structure – our rules about the ‘best way’ to think, which is really how to make value judgements.. As with any foundational structure, we build on top of it..

        The beautiful thing is, we always retain free-will, even if we first need educating of the fact we still have it!  :-)

      • Steven Cribbs

        You are s pot on with the correlation between courage and encouragement.  The more we receive encouragement, the more we tend to act in courage.  And the flip-side is true as well – the less encouragement we receive, the less we will tend to act in courage.

        Such an important thing to remember as we raise children and influence those around us!

      • Robert Ewoldt

        I think parents have a BIG impact on whether their kids turn out as
        abundance people or scarcity people.

  • Aysegul Birlik Tacir

    thanks Mıchael for your great sharing..

    honestly I am a lıttle of both…but the most important for me is not avoiding  risks…
    and still trying to get on this..  and sure to be optimistic for the future, too

  • Rob

    I needed to see and hear loud and clear Proverbs 23:7 this morning. Thank you!

  • Sarah Taylor Kovac

    Thank you for this great post! A clenched fist can’t hold much.

    • Michael Hyatt

      An open hand and a clenched fist are two vivid pictures of this distinction.

  • Terri

    Funny I was thinking something similar this morning. One point I would like to add is your physical health contributes (at least in my case) to what type of thinker I am. When I exercise, eat well and get rest I am much more of a abundance thinker. When I don’t take care of myself I get very negative and definitely exhibit the scarcity thinking mentality. Thank You for the post.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree. Exercise gives you more energy—and abundance.

    • Steven Cribbs

      Life seems to be a package deal – taking better care of each individual area in life brings a positive effect to each of the other areas in life.

    • Joe Lalonde

      I’ve noticed that too Terri. It’s harder to give when you haven’t given to yourself.

    • Jeff Randleman

      I agree completely.  Taking care of your physical self is a step in taking care of your mental and emotional and spiritual self.

  • Dennis

    Thanks for another great post. I am moving from a scarcity thinker to and abundance thinker. The most difficult step has been understanding that scarcity thinking is not the only way. Being brought up in a home with an alcoholic I thought scarcity thinking was the norm. I could not understand why friends complained about how I left them feeling drained. Instead of examining my own actions I found others who were scarcity thinkers in order to create a situation where I was comfortable; empty but comfortable.

    For me change began when I started wondering why a number of the people I read about in the Bible were different from the people in my inner circle. God answered by introducing me to a Christian who was an abundance thinker. This brother helped me see that there was a different way of thinking. Soon I found others, including you Michael. With examples of abundance thinkers I began to want to change and am making those changes one step at a time.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I think you have hit on an important point, Dennis. We become like those we are around. The best way to become more abundant in our thinking is by hanging out with abundance thinkers.

  • Francarona

    It goes back to the principle of sowing and reaping. If you sow generously you will reap generously.

  • Tim Stewart

    On most occasions when I read your blog I like to think I’m the ‘good guy’ being described. I got it all together – look at how good I am. But today as I read this morning, God used it to open my eyes to areas in which He is working on me. Thanks for sharing your insights & for God to use your writing and gifts to minister to others.

  • Anonymous

    I’m about to leave to speak at a funeral of a man who embodied an abundance mentality.  It’s been amazing over the past few days to see the number of lives that Roger has touched.  He reminds me so much of Barnabas in the book of Acts:  a man known for his generosity, his encouragement, and the fact that he basically went everywhere talking about Jesus.

  • Mark Martin

    Thank you.  What a challenging thought!

  • Shawn Wells

    Thanks for a great post this morning. I believe that scarcity is a safe default. We aren’t necessarily vulnerable in this mind set. We can be an arm chair qb and live an “I told you so” life. Proving to everybody else why they’re wrong and we’re right. On the surface this seems like such an easy way to live. What I’ve found is, as I continue moving from scarcity to abundance (thanks for giving them both names) it is so much more freeing to live abundance. The people that want to be around you are a different group of people. And as iron sharpens iron, abundance encourages abundance. Thanks for being to man God wants you to be. Thanks for being a bright light in a dark world.

  • Blair

    Great post!  I really like how you broke down the characteristic patterns of thinking for both types of people.  It gives much better clarity to how we can start (or continue) shifting in the right direction. 
    I find it extremely hard when I am hiking long trails to continue if I don’t focus on how much better things will be when I get to my destination and I believe this is why we need abundance thinkers today.  When life gets us down, we know that the best is yet to come and trust that those around us will help us to get there.  In return, we help them get to their destination.  As the cliche goes, we “pay it forward”.  Opposed to that, scarcity thinkers drag us down as we have nothing to look forward to in the future and find ourself struggling to keep hiking.
    As a Christian, it seems like we are taught to think like the abundance thinkers.  We know that God provides everything and his resources are limitless, so we should have no reason to worry about running out (and therefore no reason to hoard).  We also know that the best is yet to come. 

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think God is the ultimate example of abundance. He has given us a rich universe with lavish resources.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Blair, good thoughts. Sometimes, people say that Christians are held back
      by the rules and restrictions of Christianity, but I agree with you…
      that’s not so.

      • Dylan Dodson

        Those that think Christians are held back have not experienced how faithful Jesus is, and how much he pushes us when we let him!

        • Robert Ewoldt

          Good thought.

  • Samuel Stone

    Thanks for the article.  As I was working out this morning, my mind was occupied by how to respond to a situation I am facing, in which a few people have dealt with me with scarcity mentality.  I struggle hard to find an abundance mentality response, and I noticed that your mind can be affected by the people around you.  It’s always a blessing to have some friends with abundance mentality and keep your mind fed by theirs.

  • Melanie Bolke

    My friend and business partner shared this theory with me a few years ago.  She is one of the most generous people I know and guess what? Opportunity seems to follow her everywhere! 

    Another friend of mine is the opposite, just like Charlie.  Just recently after a job he interviewed for fell through, he called me and said, “I knew from the moment I walked in to the room that they wanted me to trip me up.”  Really? Who has time for that?

    It’s true that there is both a little Robert and a little Charlie in all of us.  Thanks for the great reminder today of which one we should aspire to be!

  • Rob T

    I bet most people are in the middle somewhere, so this list gives us a great place to shoot for!

    • Joe Lalonde

      Rob, that’s true. A lot of us fall in between the two. I was reading it and I was mentally checking off in my mind my characteristics and seen a lot of cross-over.

      • Jeff Randleman

        I was as well…

  • Chris Jeub

    I am such an abundance thinker. I read your article, Michael, and I am reminded of an ironic weakness I have wrestled with. I would bet most abundance thinkers will identify.

    See, some associates I must deal with are scarcity thinkers. As an abundance thinker, I annoy them. Nothing intentional, I just aggravate our relationship. Like Charlie’s friends rolling their eyes about Charlie, I have some Charlies that roll their eyes about me. Here’s where it becomes a problem: When I downplay my abundance thinking to accommodate for their scarcity thinking.

    I suppose I should just keep being the jolly guy, hoping someday my scarcity friends will come around. Man, I wish they would come around and see life more optimistically (which is closer to reality). It becomes my problem when I adapt my optimism to accommodate for their pessimism.

    Am I making sense? I hope so. No matter, your article got me thinking, and it is nicely timed to help me sort some things out and apply to some relationship issues I have right now. God bless you, Michael!

    • Michael Hyatt

      This sounds cruel, but you need new friends. If they refuse to change after an honest effort on your part, you have to move on.

  • Brock Patterson

    The abundance thinker sees the challenge as “how much can I help or improve the situation or person,” and not like the scarcity thinker sees it as “what can I benefit from this situation or person.”

    Thanks for making me think more today.

  • Brian Owen

    Great post Michael.  I particularly resonated with your point about embracing risk vs. avoiding risk.  I found myself stuck for years in a role that didn’t fit me, primarily because I was too fearful to take some calcualated risks and too comfortable in my rut.  Taking some big, but well thought out risks led to enormous change in my life and in the lives of those around me.  Change for the better. 

  • Eric

    I really enjoyed this mornings post. I kind of hits you square in the face and makes you to choose sides. I always strive to be the good guy but at times I get off track but it doesn’t take long to get back up. In any case, it helps us to evaluate who we are who we are becoming.

  • LindaSandmann

    How can I give more than is expected?  Such a great question to keep in front of myself as I make any decision or plan – Thanks for the encouraging post -

  • Pkjaya2003

    Thanks for this wonderful post…
    Yes…i choose to be an abundance thinker.

  • Barbara @

    Agreeing with your ‘truth’ – a little of both.  Or, shades on a spectrum.  Influenced by context (or the day) and possibly developmental – where we grow or mature in one direction or the other.  Thanks, Michael.

  • Brett

    I catch myself using ‘scarcity thinking’ language too often. I try to catch it when it starts bubbling up and take note where it’s coming from, cut it off at the pass, and rephrase.  It helps me to change my state, to use a Robbins-ism.

    When people ask the normal ‘How’s it going?’  I often say, ‘Good enough.’  Recently, I’ve been trying to change that up.  ‘Good enough’ is way too limiting!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Dave Ramsey always answers, “Better than I deserve.” I’ve always liked that. It combats thinking your entitled.

      • Jeff Randleman

        I like that!

      • Robert Ewoldt

        I like that sentiment, too.

  • elaine @ peace for the journey

    So much of the way we respond to life is shaped by our experience. I grew up with two parents on the opposite extremes of this spectrum, so I imagine myself to be somewhere in the middle.


    • Joe Lalonde

      Elaine, I agree with you. If you look at yourself, you will probably see a lot of characteristics that you gained from your parents.

  • Amy Lynn Andrews

    So true. I’m wrestling with this whole idea, particularly as it pertains to retirement. We are trying to decide if we want to save for retirement the way everyone says we should. I keep asking myself how saving for retirement meshes with not worrying about tomorrow (Matthew 6) and stories like the manna (Exodus 16). I’m not saying saving retirement is wrong, but I do wonder how much it falls under the category of scarcity thinking. Great post.

    • Jeff Randleman

      You’ve just touched on something that I’ve been struggling with for months now.  I can see our American (general) lack of faith as partly a result of the fact that we have so many safty nets that we don’t need to trust God to provide.  Retirement.  Insurance.  Savings.  Is it wrong to have those?  Not necessarily.  But is it right?  Not necessarily that either.  Like I said, I’m still struggling… 

    • Jeff Randleman

      By the way, I like your blog.  Click, click… subscribed!

  • Caleb McNary

    Great articulation to something that we all probably were thinking, but never named. I thought that #3 was especially important, “Defaulting to trust.” The message that we get from the corporate world is that you have to be suspicious and self serving to get ahead. It is good to hear that other people think this is not true. Thanks for the clarity.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I wish I had a great suggestion. I don’t.

  • Dylan Dodson

    Relying on your faith can help anyone become more of an “abundance” thinker it seems!

  • fmckinnon

    Great post, Mike … more than anything, it inspires me to be the “abundance thinker”.  I think, for the most part, I am … but when I read this line, it inspired me to do better:  ” I always leave his presence energized, feeling great about being me.”

  • Cynthia Herron

    I once had someone ask me, “Don’t you ever get tired of smiling?”

    I’m guessing that means I’m an “abundance thinker.” I have to admit, I’ve always had a Pollyanna personality, preferring to see the glass as “half-full” vs. “half-empty.”

    Almost losing a child tends to cement one’s views on what’s really important in life and what’s not. 

  • Gina Burgess

    This reminds me of Norman Vincent Peale’s “Power of Positive Thinking”. Abundant life comes from abundant thinking which puts you into a wonderful cycle of powerful progress. I suffer from chronic depression (a family thing) so I must work at the direction my thoughts pursue. When you work at something, you produce benefit from the work. Interesting that a person doesn’t have to work at scarce thinking–it just happens.

    I have not thought about the thought processes in this way, Mike. Thanks :) 

  • Tk Beyond

    Good post… for myself, I vacillate between abundance & scarcity thinking (thanks for not calling it cup half full/empty, btw!) based on where my focus is… on my self or the Lord. When I’m focused on self, that’s pretty much as far as it goes… can go. When focused on the Lord, things (myself, etc.) are in right priority & my perspective towards others is much better.
    When things are right in my heart, they’re more likely to be moving in the right direction in my mind.

  • Jeremy Statton

    I have a friend who will often asking me if I am giving other people life or if I am giving then death. Its the same concept you present. When others interact with me, what do they walk away with?

    • Joe Lalonde

      That’s a pretty heavy question that your friend asks.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      That’s an interesting way to think about it, Jeremy… giving life or giving
      death. I like it, though; there are some people that you just long to be
      around, because they give you life when you talk to them; and others that
      you avoid like the plague, because they’re just “wet blankets.”

    • Dylan Dodson

      Making it so black and white makes even more apparent how much we can affect people.

  • GEM

    Hello Michael

    I used to have more characteristics of the scarcity thinker than the abundance thinker until I read Deepak Chopra’s “The Book of Secrets” followed by Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” and just recently “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. I have been on this spiritual path of self discovery for about 6 months now and have often found out things about myself that I didn’t like. I am changing  however by following the principles laid down by the abundance thinker theory…..that we create our lives with our thoughts…. which is the common thread between the above mentioned books. Old habits die hard however (or is that my ego defiantly clinging on) and I still find myself slipping into the negative but I know I am a better person than I was 6 months ago. I feel calmer, not as fearful of the future and took a leap of faith and packed in my well paid job, moved out of my flat and back home (arrgh! Big risk!) to follow my heart and concentrate on my writing.  So I’ll let you know in another 6 months time if my new way of thinking will help my career (I have a very good feeling it will) ;)

    Take Care


  • Jim Seybert

    My friend Howard refers to this as “and-or-but-thinking.”

    There are people who add “and” to the end of their statements, and there are people who add “but” to the end of their statements.

    The “and” people are adding something, while the “but” people are subtracting.

    Example: You are asked to comment on the taste of soup. It lacks flavor. Do you say:

    “This is good, and it might be better with some salt.”
    “This is good, but it needs salt.”

    The first adds something – a solution. It moves the dialog forward. The second criticizes and offers nothing. Qualifying the comment with a “but” negates the earlier compliment.

    “Can you stop what you’re doing and come to this meeting?”
    “I’d like to, but I’m busy” or “I’d like to, and if I weren’t busy, I would.”
    Subtle difference. Maybe semantics. Speaks to the type of mindset a person has.

    Training my mind to intentionally limit the use of “but” in my vocabulary has been one of the most difficult and rewarding exercises in my personal development process. I still catch myself wanting to be a “but”person and am proud of myself when I’m not.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Jim, that’s a great way to put things. I normally use BUT, now I think I will try to use AND more often.

      • Jeff Randleman

        Me too.  I’ve never noticed that I do that until now.  Looks like I have some changing to do…

        • Jim Seybert

          As Howard puts it – “adding ‘but’ in a sentence makes everything you said before it a lie.”

          Think about it – 

          “I don’t want to hurt your feelings BUT . . . . ”   Quite often the end of the sentence does exactly what we said we didn’t want to do.

          It took a long time before the habit was broken, and I still slip. MUCH more difficult than it was to quit smoking. 

          When I do, I almost always stop and “fix” what I’ve said. 

          • Jeff Randleman

            I’m in the same boat.  I just pray that I can remember to catch myself when I do say “but”.

        • Joe Lalonde

          Jeff, I pray that you have success in this. I think it can be a life changing change.

          • Jeff Randleman


    • Jacques

      This is actually essential in brainstorming-sessions: once people are allowed to use ‘but’, in response to suggestions by others, the session goes south – always have them use ‘and’. I didn’t realize it applies to normal conversation as well – thanks for that eye-opener!

  • Mary DeMuth

    This really blessed me, Michael. Thank you. I’ve battled “realism” for years, but as I read your description of abundance thinkers, I realized I fell much more under that list. It was God’s encouragement for me to day.

  • Ricky Lewis

    WOW you hit this right on the head. I am in the middle of dealing with some family that fits this bill. I agree that we all are a little of both and so I also hope to be more of an abundance thinker.  I also hope that my family members can some day be open to seeing their leaning toward scarcity thinkers and change their perspective.

    Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    You are so right about Robert.  I have never met anyone so genuinely excited about other people’s success.  He gives and gives and gives – with no concern about it may benefit him.  He is a walking, breathing example of the Law of the Harvest.

  • Greg Felty

    Really appreciated this post this morning.  So true how the abundance thinker is a joy to be around, while the scarcity thinker is the opposite…leaving one (as you said) drained and diminished.  We followers of Jesus, of all people, ought to be abundance thinkers!

    Along with that challenge to be an abundance thinker, we are pressed with the challenge to love ALL unconditionally, including the scarcity thinker.  Ahhhh… much to think about, Michael.

    Thanks again for this great post!

  • Tony Alicea

    The beauty of an abundance thinker is that many times their mentality is contagious. When I surround myself with abundance thinkers, they challenge me to imitate their character. 

  • Shannon Milholland

    This is such a valuable insight.  Living a life of abundance towards others is a choice.  Makes me think of the scripture, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously
    will also reap generously.” (2 Cor. 9:6)  I want to live my life giving away to others and sowing goodness into the fertile ground of their lives. 

  • Brandon Morrell

    This post reminds me of great men and women of faith… and then those we know that never get the bigger picture. “It rains on the just and the unjust.” That’s a part of life. 

    “But when I look about, and I think these things all out. All of the goods days, outweigh the bad days, I can’t complain.”  

    Thanks Michael, for challenging us to be self-less thinkers. 

  • Manningp

    I too am a little of both.  I love to be an abundent thinker but it does not fit all the time as you well know.  Some think I share way too much, others think well what a bitch she can be.  I hate the air suckers of the world and hope no one person thinks of me that way.
    love you

  • Kevin Mackesy

    This is good.  Of course I notice aspects of both in my own life, like you said.  My youth pastor when I was in high school called the two types of people “life-sustainers” and “life-drainers.”  It’s cheesy, but I never forgot it and it goes along perfectly with this post. 

    I just found your blog within the last few weeks and have been mining it for nuggets every day since.  I’ve gotten a few chest fulls so far…thanks!

  • Ruthie Dean

    Scarcity thinking= not trusting God. I just had an arguement with my husband this morning because I was anxious about where the money could possibly come from for seminary. Seminary = God’s calling. Why am I so afraid? Abundance thinking comes down to learning to be content, knowing God is in control, and remembering His promise to provide. I hate associating with scarcity thinkers, so I disguise myself well as an abundance thinker (picking up the checks, great attitude, etc.)…great post!

  • Nadia 1

    I have to admit I am a little bit of both…while I am more positive than negative it does seep in there sometimes. This article made me think about the people in my life that are more like the scarcity thinkers. For my own well being I have had to distance myself from them because they are too emotionally draining to be around.

  • Larry Andrews

    It would be SOOOO NICE to have an Actual abundance thinker IN MY Life on a Regular basis! I know of not ONE.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Larry, sorry to hear that. Start looking and expanding your circle of influence. Purposely seek out an abundance thinker. If there’s no one local that you can find, start devouring books that are written by abundance thinkers or associate with them online.

    • Jeff Randleman

      I agree with Joe.  Find one ASAP!

    • Robert Ewoldt

      While it might not be a physical friend, if you subscribe to Michael’s blog,
      you’ll have a virtual abudance-thinking friend in your life every day :)

      • Dylan Dodson

        Agreed! There are many abundance thinkers we can find via the Internet!

  • Dsrtrosy

    I am always a little hesitant about the ideas of “success” and “failure”. Who is defining those terms? What do they mean to the writer? I was pleasantly surprised to see that you defined them very openly and in a way that people who are not interested in monetary success could relate to.

    I do have to
    say, though, that I’m not completely sure of the #5 item on scarcity
    thinkers. “Getting by with less” is actually a characteristic of many
    successful, generous people. I think what you really meant was more along the line
    of stinginess–giving less to try to accomplish the same ends. 

  • Maureen Van Ness

    Wow, I have been discouraged and frustrated lately, but reading this I see I have been “scarcity thinking.”  Wrote down the abundance thinking points, will take a paradigm shift and “think abundantly” through different eyes. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    I was able to participate in the G5 Leadership “Good Boss/Bad Boss” session led by Bob Sutton. He highlighted that the most notable characteristic of a “good boss” is that people are energized by their encounters. I am striving to keep the focus on abundance. (BTW – the G5 experience came through the offer made through your site. Thank you for contributing to our abundance!)

  • Michael Dobishinsky


       Everything you said was great. We just have to practice these qualities on a daily basis.

    ~Michael D.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Michael, it looks like you have a great phonics blog! I’ll have to try some
      of these stories with my small children.

  • Steven Cribbs

    I listened to a Catalyst interview this morning that goes right along with this… The basic thought is that as you think and lead in  a way that gives yourself away (i.e. not hoarding knowledge, opportunities, etc.) and builds others up, your influence increases.

    I have definitely seen this in my world – those that are building others up, investing in others and making it more than just about themselves are the people that everyone wants to be around, listen to and imitate.

    • Jeff Randleman

      True!  I know that describes the people I like being around…

  • Amy

    Wonderful and challenging post!

  • Anita Palmer

    Interesting that I was just considering attending a workshop on “abundance and prosperity” that examine attitudes toward money, time and relationships ( But I don’t have the time and money for it… :) Oy! I’ve got a long way to go to be an abundance thinker, but as a follower of an infinitely loving God, I’m determined to put scarcity behind me! Thanks for the post, Michael!

  • Shari

    I am alittle of both, so true! Reviewing these is a way to self evaluate ourselves, and recalibrate our attitude, or perspective on our future.

  • Daniel Decker

    Great list Mike. I think the abundance vs scarcity thinking has a lot to do with faith. It stems from belief, in ourselves… in others… and in God. Practically speaking, I see it as a question to ask ourselves daily… are we trying to GIVE or are we trying to GET? The more we give (not just in a materialistic way), the more we receive. It’s the basic principle of the Golden Rule (be nice to others and they will be more likely to be nice in return). Perspective changes everything.

    • Jeff Randleman

      Great thoughts.  I agree, wholehartedly.

  • Anonymous

    I live with someone who is certainly a scarcity thinker. I struggle with trying to show God’s love to this person.  But it wears on me.  Sometimes I think I should give up on him because it is bad for me.  But then I think  about how God loves me and that I would not be showing God’s love.  Caught in a quandary.

  • Beck Gambill

    Really challenging post! I would say I started out more on the side of scarcity thinking and have grown to be more of an abundance thinker, although my personality naturally is buoyant and open. As I read, not only was I personally challenged, but people immediately came to mind on both ends of the spectrum. I felt convicted to pray for those in my life that are scarcity thinkers that the abundance of Jesus would transform their hearts and minds. 

  • http://lifeallin.ent Jacob Musselman

    When I move toward scarcity thinking, I notice two things that happen. First, I keep people away. Scarcity puts me at odds with everyone else, so if you get that means I don’t. Therefore, it’s best to keep you away. The second thing that happens: I keep more junk in my life. Scarcity makes me hold on to everything, even the junk.

    Thanks for the reminder to view God and life as more than enough.

    • Jeff Randleman

      It sounds like you could be describing me!!

  • Laura

    Wow! I see both ways of thinking actively taking a roll in my life. I tend to be a very optimistic thinker. I like to believe the best in people and tend to think there is abundance for all. As I have gotten older I realize that there are people out there that do not like optimistic and abundance thinkers. I have found that many people that I have come across try to do as little as possible to get by in life. I see it every day in the work I do as a nurse practitioner. So many of our patients families feel that they deserve whatever they can get.  (I work in a children’s hospital in which the majority of the care is covered by medicaid). It becomes draining at times because  I see the cycle repeating from the older to younger generation. I see scarcity thinking happening right now as we approach the “deadline” of  August 2nd. No one wants to be the one to “give in”. No one feels that they should be the one to lose funding or be taxed. And yet, I see our society becoming more and more “me, myself and I focused”. I don’t see neighbors helping neighbors they way they use to even when I was a kid 30 years ago. I believe there is a life of abundance out there for all of us but first we need to become better givers than receivers.

  • @kylereed

    As someone who is young and looking to find others to follow and learn from this has a huge impact on myself and others looking for mentoring.

    I have been around both leaders and have been in a position where I have been given access to learn from leaders and they have opened up themselves and their network to me. They always leave an impact on me and I am later able to share that with others. The impact starts by them being generous and it spreads.

    Where as the others I try and avoid at all cost to the point of telling others to avoid. It is that whole idea of what is done in private may not be seen now but will come out in the light. I am a big believer in that.

    I try and be someone who is a resourcer and helps others. That is my motive for building a blog, a community, ideas, and a platform. i want to equip people with resources. That is what pushes me forward. 

  • Jonathan

    I am most definitely an abundance thinker. I think that both thinkers have difficulty dealing with the other type thinker, perhaps less so the abundant. However, after a while even the abundant can be worn down by the scarcity thinker.

    • Jeff Randleman


  • Joe Lalonde

    I can see a lot of both types of thinkers in my personality. I grew up with a lot of fear… Fear that someone is watching me, waiting for me to fail; that someone wants to hurt me; take what I have; etc… Sadly, I can see this has affected a lot of areas of my life. In my conversations, I am open but very guarded, watching for someone to make the negative movement.

    I’m working towards becoming more of an abundance thinker. It’s been tough but I think I’m doing better. I’m starting to see others as people who want to help; are not out for themselves; care about others; etc… It’s a long road but I’ve taken the first steps towards changing.

    • Jeff Randleman

      I grew up in much the same environment.  And my thinking reverts to that when my mind isn’t fresh and rested.

      • Joe Lalonde

        It’s an important reminder to constantly renew our mind.

  • Sundi Jo Graham

    I’ve been teaching an online Bible Study for the 4:8 Principle with my friend @jenniferowhite. This fits perfectly as to what we’ve been discussing with our thoughts. I think you’re right that we do a little bit of both. Leading this study has made me more aware of my thinking and striving harder to keep joyful thoughts, both in my personal and professional life. 

    • Jeff Randleman

      That sounds like it would be a great study! 

      • Sundi Jo Graham

        Yes. It’s been great. I’ll be happy to add you to the Facebook group if you want to join and catch up. 

        • Jeff Randleman

          By all means, do so.  I “know” Jennifer, so I’m already sure it will be good. 

          By “know”, I work with her a bit reviewing books for New Leaf, and we have some mutual good friends in the Branson area, where I used to live.

          Looking forward to it!

          • Sundi Jo Graham

            Jennifer’s one cool chick! 

            Who all do you know in Branson? That’s where I live. 

            Here’s the link: If that doesn’t work, friend me on Facebook and I’ll add you:

          • Jeff Randleman

            I lived in Kimberling City, and moved from there to pursue a ministry opportunity a coupple of years ago.  There are several people that I know, both from my church and from Woodlan Hills.

            Thanks for the link.  Request sent.

  • ThatGuyKC

    This is so great! I’ve met Robert’s and Charlie’s before. Obviously I prefer to associate with the former.
    Thank you for the reminder to be an abundant thinker. I want to be genuine and encouraging w/ everyone.

  • Dale Thompson

    Do you feel we are either one or the other?  As I went through your list I saw some positives pts. that I consider part of my core personality.  I love to share.  I default to hope.  But there are people I distrust though I will and do help them and ask God to give me his heart towards them.  I try not to fear anything or anyone, but I do have trouble laying some cares at the cross.  I love the song by The Perrys, “I Rest My Case at the Cross”.

    • Michael Hyatt

      As I mentioned in the last paragraph, I think we are all a little of both.

  • Brent Deffenbacher

    Thank you for today’s post. Really rocking my world (in a good way). 

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great! It’s my pleasure.

  • Brian D. Shelton

    “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Shakespeare

    Michael, the power of thoughts and words are often underestimated. Awareness is the first step toward attaining an abundance mentality. Thank you for sharing.

  • Andy Liversidge

    A great post Michael. I think also that I may be a ‘bit of both’ but in honesty, I must admit to erring on the side of scarcity. I’m now inspired to rectify this! Thank you!

  • FemmeFuel

    Michael–thank you for imparting #2 and #5 of “abundance thinkers” everyday on this blog. I have learned so much because you are so generous with your time, wisdom and advice.

    This generosity has instilled trust and confidence in your readers, and from a personal perspective, that is exactly why I felt no hesitation in ordering your e-books. I think people in sales should take note!


    • Michael Hyatt

      Ah, shucks. ;-) Seriously, thanks for the encouragement.

  • Jeff Randleman

    Why is it that your posts seem to hit me in the gut every time I read one?

    I know I tend to be some of each.  And I think I’ve identified when and how it switches.  I tend to land most often on the more positive side.  Unless I’m tired.  Then it swings to the other end of the spectrum.  For example, this summer, I spent four nights in June sleeping in my own bed.  The rest I spent at summer camp, and at the hospital, watching my dad fade away.  I lost both my dad and step-dad on the same day.  Two weeks of camp, two deaths, and July isn’t a whole lot better:  two more camps and a mission trip to the southwest.

    Short story…. I’m tired.  Physically, emotionally, mentally.  I’m tired.  And I catch myself being more of the scarcity type of thinker when I’m like this. 

    And so, I’ve scheduled some time off, both for myself as a personal retreat in September, and for my family all together two weeks after my summer ends.  I need to rejuvenate myself, so that my thinnking becomes more of the abundance variety.

    Thanks for the kick.  I kinda needed it….

    • Michael Hyatt

      Congratulations, you are normal. I think when we are tired, it is difficult to be an abundance thinker. That is why I place such a high priority on taking care of myself. I’m glad you have some time scheduled.

      • Jeff Randleman

        It’s been a rough summer.  Thanks for the encouragement!

        • Anonymous

          Very sorry to hear about the loss of your dad and step-dad this summer.  Praying for you.

          • Jeff Randleman

            Very much appreciated!

  • Godsend

    Scarcity vs abundance thinking.
    I see those living in the scarcity world as being unable or unwilling to take risk. As Alan Hirsch has recently written in “The Faith of Leap” we become risk averse. How can good flow into a life that is unable to take risks? And really when lice afraid it’s not that we choose not to take risks but it becomes impossible for us to take risks. Henri Nouwen described the difference as that between two houses, living in the house of fear or the house of love.

    As I sit on the precipice these days between sending out more resumes, nail down the sure work here vs leave for France for two months and explore moving back there with ‘only’ the promise of God this post sparks some good thought.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Love that title, “The Faith of Leap”!

  • MonicaWrightMcMahon

    I think our environment (at home, office, church) has a significant impact on each of us as individuals. If you have not been properly introduced to the good things that life has to offer, your reality is vastly different from those that have.  We all need to have standards for every aspect of our lives in order to achieve and maintain a healthy balance.

  • Anonymous

    I loved this!  Haven’t always been the “abundance thinker”.  Now that it is laid out so plainly I will be that thinker more often.  Thought life is so crucial.  I want to be a productive Christain not a destructive one.  Thank you!

  • Dawn Herring

    You certainly give us food for thought here! Our mindset is often the maker or breaker of our success. I love the lists you posted to give us a clear inside view of each mindset to find where we stand. 
    I will be linking this post in next week’s edition of Refresh Journal, for a fresh perspective in all of life’s dimensions. You can check out recent editions or sign up for Refresh Journal here: 
    I enjoy your posts; thanks for the inspiration to have a more balanced view on life and business in our mindset. 

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    JournalWriter Freelance
    Host of #JournalChat Live and Links Edition on Twitter

  • Will H.

    Definitely just hit me in the gut. My boss and several other members of a church staff I am posted this today and I also get it in my RSS feed. It was something that I needed to read.

    We must all work at being energizing rather than the opposite.

    Thanks for this!

  • Susan Alexander


    I’m new here.  Found your blog via @SeanPlatt:disqus.

    What an interesting post.  Thanks.  What you’ve written seems to align closely with the work of psychologist Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset.  She believes there are 2 kinds of mindsets: fixed and growth.  The fixed mindset is similar to your scarcity thinker, and the growth mindset is similar to your abundance thinker.

    I wrote this post about Dweck and her work:

     I’m interested to know your take on it.

    Thanks. Look forward to reading more of your blog.


    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Susan. I am not familiar with Dweck’s work. I’ll have to look her up.

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  • Romelle

    It is very rough being an abundance thinker but married to a scarcity thinker. He would argue that my abundance would lead to this scarcity. I can’t live the freedom I feel because he can’t go there with me. It’s a real problem right now.

  • Jim M.

    Great article.  This ties directly to goal setting and life planning.  It can get interesting when you have two people, whether they be business partners or spouses, who have differing viewpoints.  I choose abundance and success!  Keep up the great work Michael!  Hardly a day goes by without me recommending your blog to someone.

  • Jmhardy97

    Great post. I wonder how many abundance thinkers are servant leaders. I bet there is a positive relationship.


  • Carol

    I love this thinking! It’s so true. I have found that if you fall in a hole, the best way to get out is by doing something for someone else. I have been trying to get a small home business off the ground and it’s hard going. Instead of sitting at home being miserable because people are not banging my door down , i decided to go and volunteer at a community group where the need is great. Im really enjoying it. It is so much better to give than to receive! I know my business will get going but i don’t ever want to stop being a blessing to others. I have been blessed so much!

  • David McKee

    Thank you for this post.  It seems particularly appropriate for me, right now, as I face some big decisions and take on some larger risks and challenges.  I have struggled with scarcity thinking, maybe not to “Charlie’s” degree, but it can still be debilitating, all the same.  Thank you for giving us something important to reflect on about ourselves!

  • Matt Lossau

    Ouch. There are too few characteristics in the abundance thinking group that describe me, and too many in the scarcity thinking group.

  • Krissi

    Ouch! This is a life lesson of which we need to remind ourselves regularly. Thanks for the reminder, I am challenged to work on being an abundant-minded person.

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  • Tim Blankenship

    Reminded that it takes constant awareness to be an abundance thinker!

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  • Geoff Talbot

    Hmmm another great blog.

    In answer to the question in the title, I can be both. Sometimes I think scarce, sometimes I dream abundant. Aren’t we all tempted to grab a hold of the scarcity banner and shake it until we die?

    I think we have a choice to make? But I also think we need healing in areas where we have learned to accept disappointment.

    God’s storehouse never runs dry, that is the truth of it.

    How do we get this knowledge from our heads to our hearts?

    Geoff Talbot

  • Geoff Talbot

    Hmmm another great blog.

    In answer to the question in the title, I can be both. Sometimes I think scarce, sometimes I dream abundant. Aren’t we all tempted to grab a hold of the scarcity banner and shake it until we die?

    I think we have a choice to make? But I also think we need healing in areas where we have learned to accept disappointment.

    God’s storehouse never runs dry, that is the truth of it.

    How do we get this knowledge from our heads to our hearts?

  • Helen Gullett

    This post open my eyes for sure. I really like the terms: abundance thinker and scarcity thinker.
    I always felt intimidated when I was around the scarcity thinkers and always felt encouraged when I was around the abundance thinkers.

    I should repost this on my blogs! :)

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  • Cassandra

    Your character traits of the thinkers reminds me of the book “Who Moved My Cheese”.  I use this book at the beginning of every shchool year to get my students to recognize their own character traits as they compare the traits of the mice and little men.  Each year we have to identify the learning styles of each of our students and I have found it is also helpful to know the personality type of each. Like with most things in life the better informed you are the better job you can do.

  • W. Mark Thompson

    Love this post. Gotta share it.
    Can be applied to every area of life… including (but not limited to because I have an abundance thought process) business & politics.


  • tattood1

    I am a scarcity thinker.  I hate that.  Now, how do I change it?

  • Bill Teal

    The more you give away the more comes back to you. My motto: Every meal is a banquet, every day a holiday, and I am on vacation all the time! Life is good, God is in His Heaven, He saved me and has given me Salvation and His Everlasting Care. Why should I be discouraged? He has my life in His Hands, and will keep me till the end. May He be praised now and forever!

  • Matthew Snyder

    I don’t remember where reading it – it might’ve been Jack Frost – but the same concept of this thinking, but as an “orphan mentality” and a “sonship mentality” instead, especially in terms of our relationship with God. 

    It’s a whole mind-renewing process, but the more I dwell on who I am in relation to God – particularly as a SON – the more I find myself thinking with an “abundance mentality”.

    Loved this. Keep sharing, sir.

  • Roxana Nunez

    I believe every day I move closer to abundance and further away from scarcity.  I do know that there are moments when I fail, and yet, they do not discourage me from keeping on and working harder, for there are great things coming all the time.

    I also am aware of people around me that do not subscribe to my theory, and I share my insight with them in the hope that they also come to an abundance mindset.  Not everyone listens and that is ok with me.  They will listen when they are ready.  

    Today I had such an example, when a friend called me on the phone and mentioned her resentment against someone who did a terrible thing over 10 years ago.  She is still bitter.  She asked me if I would be and I said no.  She asked me why and I answered “because it is in the past, you can’t change it.  It is also hurting you, not them.  In the end you forgive in order to liberate yourself from the pain”.  Do I think she is ready?  I don’t know.  I still hold to my belief and hope that some day she will be able to let it go, for her own sake.

  • TNeal

    When I’m tired, I slip into scarcity thinking although the last few years my wife and God have done a great job of turning my thinking around. After a few years of always finding food on the table and enough money in the bank, I figure it’s time to stop worrying about the finances and to start picking up the check at the restaurant.

  • Curt Beavers

    Loved it!

    Just a quick question..I too love to listen to books when I run…how do you or what app do you use to stop and take notes while running like you mentioned in this post?

  • Viktor

    Dear Mr Hyatt,
    I am writing from Slovakia, Eastern Europe. I highly admire your hard work and I so greatful for your blog posts. I am reading them over 3 years now. God used you in my life to grow me and shape me in a tremendous way. Thank you.
    I wanted to react to this blog post, because it is close to the way I think too. However I am not sure how to handle this topic, which also goes together with attitudes, positivism, negativism and which people should we be around. Myself want to understand this question, because in my country with all the history behind I just think it is more complex issue and a lot of factors comes together in a person. I understand you can work on your behavior and attiutude, but I am just not sure you can start up with a clean page. I believe some things are part of our unconsciousness what we can’t control. I could write a lot more, but nobody is going to read it then.
    Thank you again for helping me to grow!

  • Jo-Anne Russell

    You are absolutely right. Most people are a mix of the two. As the old saying goes, “Negativity breeds negativity.” I for one am a strong believer in that saying. Yes, maybe things can always get worse, but they can also get better. Fate has a way of following your attitude and delivering your path based on it. I for one, will be focusing on the positive and hopefully fate will come through.

  • Cindy Rhudy

    This is good, Michael! I used to be a “scarcity thinker”. At the root of scarcity thinking is fear. We behave what we really believe, and so if we believe we will fail, or be rejected, etc. then that is what we expect to happen. A person who functions in scarcity thinking has great difficulty accepting when things to go well, and even if they experience some success. I know this, because remember, I was one!

    What changed for me was when I realized I was living small in the light of a Great God! If I truly believed God is who he says he is, and will do what he says he will do, then I had to reevaluate my faith! I decided to live out my faith, and now I’m a part of things I never dreamed of! 

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  • Amoalf

    I will be showing your comments to my classroom soon and as a class we are going to respond your thoughts on the two types of thinkers. I posted this as a test to make sure I could post from the school.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Very cool. Thanks for doing that!

  • Ashleyscwalls

    I am an abundant thinker that lives in a reasonable place of “yes”!

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  • Joe Wickman

    Thanks so much for this post.
    As a pastor I’ve found it essential to force myself to exercise the discipline of “abundance thinking”, even when surrounded by “scartity thinking”. Several years ago, in a period of my life that I can only attribute to God’s hand shaping me, I was appointed a church of 8, yes 8, people. (long story) Most of these 8 were so entrenched in “scarticy thinking” that my arrival was jarring. I refused to allow myself to be pulled into the realm of “nothing is possible, even with God” and persisted in this crazy idea that He had a plan for the church to grow.Not everyone was pleased with my attitude, and many on the BOA even tried to hammer me back into compliance with the “code of poverty” that had long reigned in the church. Opportunities to discourage me and draw me into their thinking were never missed. Once, while at a board meeting, I was asked, “Pastor what do you DO with all your money?”, as if it was any business of theirs. Well, the truth of the matter is that I was working 50 hours/week at my DAY job, as well as 25 hours/ week as their pastor. For that the church paid me a whopping $100 /week, plus $25 for travel expenses. So I’m making a whopping $5 / hour. On top of that my family of 4 did not even have health insurance for several years during that time. During that time, we our family also accounted for a significant percentage of the church’s budget. For some, however, the fact that I was gainfully employed and not starving (though nearly) was too much to bear. I was to give an accounting of every penny.Through it all, God was good, and He forced me to train my mind to think in terms of abundance. In 4 years of leadership I had to say goodbye to some, but got to welcome 50 others. Soon our first converts arrived, an alcoholic and his family. God used the new believers to reshape everyone’s thinking. While I have since been appointed as a staff member at a church of over 1,000, I will always remember the sensation of standing up every week and preaching light into darkness, hope into hopelessness.

    I have often thought of writing a book on the effects of “the poverty mentality” and how it keeps people stuck in the status quo. This enduring principle will, God-willing, serve me well for years to come.

    Thanks for listening,

    — Joe

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  • Dr. Jason Cabler

    Great post!  I think we all can tend to vacillate between the two mindsets at times.  I’ve worked hard over the years to foster the abundance mindset as much as possible because I see great benefits from it.  

    The scarcity mindset seems to only serve to keep you where you are or even set you back in life, not being able to reach the full potential that God wishes for you.  

    More people need to come to the realization that God wants superabundance for us, but we have to do what it takes to make it available, and it starts with our mindset.

    I came across this post today after checking SEO results for a 2 part series I just published that you may find interesting.

    “Scarcity Never Works”-

    “Infinite Abundance for You”-

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  • Bs

    Two types of thinkers, are you kidding me? This article is ridiculous and I know a multitude of people that do not fit into these rigid categories.

    This is not a matter of being slightly one way or the other, there are just completely different types of mindsets out there.

    Seriously, wtf.

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  • GinaParris

    Not only do I love these insights, but I’m fascinated that you noted them while you were running! How did you remember all 16 items after your run? (I’m feeling memory scarcity!)

  • Tanya

    In the world of education, we call these mindsets. Growth mindset or fixed mindset. Carol Dweck has a book out on it.