By Dr. Michelle A. Mitcham, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC, CFM
Why is a business or personal philosophy so important? Are you living your philosophy and walking the talk? Well, as you know, the way we think—our philosophy of life and the world—guides our actions, motivations, beliefs, business plans, workplace productivity, interpersonal relationships, service and even our hearts. How can an individual or a business increase the bottom line? The current organizational leadership research commonly focuses on the triple bottom line, the more comprehensive, abundance-philosophy term, to include people, profit and the planet. There are a plethora of resources available once the mind-set or paradigm shift is focused on abundance. Conversely, scarcity philosophy focuses on what is missing, what we don’t have or what the business is lacking— comparing ourselves and businesses to others, focusing on deficits and limitations. The philosophy of scarcity will paralyze a business, an individual or a relationship. Expanding our thinking and removing limits, barriers and unreasonable expectations are great first steps to embracing the philosophy of the abundance thinker and taking things to the next positive level.
An abundance thinker focuses on possibilities, faith and optimism, while the scarcity thinker focuses on limitations and pessimism. The following quote captures the focus of the philosophy of abundance and the message of this article: “Plant the seeds of abundance and water the garden of your mind.” –Tavia Rahki Smith, BS, MS, MS, RYT
Strategies for Cultivating Abundance Thinking and Possibilities:
A – Adapt to change and be open to possibilities. Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut, a regimented or strict way of doing things. Not being adaptable contributes to limiting the possibilities in our lives and businesses. Talk to a friend, colleague or personal coach to develop strategies for trying new ways of doing things.
B – Be a visionary and dream beyond limits. See the possibilities and know that dreaming doesn’t cost a penny and that you should never be afraid to dream. Sometimes we surround ourselves with scarcity-mind-set people who cannot see our dreams; be careful of this.
U – Unconditional positive regard for others—employees, colleagues, family and business partners. Exemplifying unconditional positive regard for our team members and associates communicates care and respect. This professional disposition and attitude contribute to an atmosphere conducive to possibility and embracing new ideas.
N – Never be overly attached to one idea. Use the creative brainstorming strategy of SCAMPER to think outside of the box for abundant possibilities. To SCAMPER an idea means to Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to other uses, Eliminate or Reverse the idea. This tool opens up possibility thinking.
D – Develop yourself and others. Investing in yourself is critical to your success, retooling, both personally and professionally. Professional and personal development renews our thinking, ideas, self-awareness, goals, motivation, talent, skill sets, relationships and communication skills. Investing in your talent development, as well as others, increases the possibilities for success.
A – Assert yourself and your ideas. Always use your voice. It takes effective communication and courageous conversations. Develop a philosophy of abundance. The difficult dialogue will occur when you decide to change your way of doing or being in any situation. Others may be uncomfortable, but your display of assertiveness in a positive way may very well lead and pave the way for others to walk the talk and be more assertive.
N – Negotiate. Do you look at what’s in the best interest of the team, the business, the family or the relationship? Practicing interest-based negotiation empowers all to focus on win-win outcomes for everyone. Looking at all perspectives opens and expands the possibilities. True interest-based negotiation does not allow for anyone to be stuck in their position.
C – Collaborate and communicate. Working with others and recognizing their talents and contributions are key to any successful personal or professional relationship. Authentic communication and collaboration contribute to innovative ideas and a new vision.
E – Expand your thinking, circle of influence, activities, mindfulness, vision and operational definitions regarding expectations and possibilities. Expand your heart and mind to welcome all the blessings of the philosophy of abundance.