Ignoring Lack to Create Abundance

August 23rd, 2011 by Steve Pavlina

I’ve been enjoying an abundant year because I focus much more attention on abundance, appreciation, and gratitude than I do on lack, scarcity, and poverty. Some people would say that this mindset is the result of abundance; I recognize the mindset/heartset as the cause of it.

When I did the opposite and paid more attention to what was lacking in my life, I experienced a variety of scarcity-based experiences — sinking deeper into debt each year, being kicked out of my apartment due to lack of rent money, not being able to afford what I wanted, feeling stressed whenever my car broke down, always buying the cheapest items and having them break easily, etc. That place of being was compelling enough to capture my attention for a while, but after a number of years there, I got bored with it and decided to try out the abundance mindset to see what that’s like.

I would often read books or listen to audio programs that went on and on about the abundance mindset, but I figured that was easy for them to say because they were already living it. What if you’re not living it? Usually their recommendation was to start wherever you are, and some would insist that abundance is a mindset you can create regardless of your starting position. I didn’t really buy into that notion at the time, but mainly because I was desperate to try something new, I opted to give it an earnest effort for at least a few days to see if it made any difference. It’s not like what I was doing before that was working, so I figured it couldn’t hurt, and it might help lead me into new territory where a solution could be found.

I began by focusing on feeling grateful for what I did have, like being able to enjoy running along the beach or watching a sunset. I turned my attention away from lack as much as possible. I did my best to ignore my debt, my unpaid bills, and my creditors for a while. Obviously that created some consequences, and I further dealt with those consequences by largely ignoring them as well.

This is really a key point that I don’t want you to just overlook. It wasn’t just that I began to focus on abundance thinking. I also did my very best to ignore anything in my life that suggested lack or scarcity. I stopped looking at my bills. I stopped answering the phone since most of the calls were from creditors. I ignored my debt and stopped making credit card payments altogether. That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But when I paid attention to those things, they would just bring me down and make me start thinking about what wasn’t working.

This shift of attention soon created external shifts in my reality. I became more creative, released a new product, and started making a lot more money. A year later I was debt free, partly from going bankrupt, which was a good thing because it wiped out most of my debt, and then I paid off the rest mostly in one fell swoop with an advance I received for a game I licensed to a publisher.

I continued to expand upon this mindset of abundance over time. I imagined enjoying time abundance too. I imagined being more generous, first with my money, but then I felt even better about being generous with my time and creativity. I donated thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to non-profits. I wrote articles for free and hosted discussion forums for free. I didn’t do these things to get any particular result. I did them because I just felt motivated to do them. When I held onto that abundance vibe, I didn’t have to push myself to contribute anything. It just flowed out of me without really trying.

I’ve since created a massive body of creative work and gave it away to the public domain, and I continue to add to that collection each month. This month I started doing microloans as well and encouraged others to join our team, which has been making new loans every day.

I never would have done these things if I was focused on lack. The vibe of lack didn’t make me feel particularly generous; it merely made me project generosity as something other people should do more of, or something I should get around to “in the future” (which of course means never).

There is value in having experiences across the spectrum of scarcity to abundance. I’m glad for the experience of scarcity since it helps me understand and appreciate abundance more deeply. For example, I enjoyed my recent trip to Paris that much more because I know what it was like to not being able to afford such a trip and having it seem like an impossibility. Every day I spent in Paris, I felt grateful to be there. I didn’t take anything for granted.

Through personal testing I came to see that overall I prefer the abundance vibe to the scarcity vibe. Abundance is a better fit for who I am.

I neither require nor expect others to make the same choice I did. Lots of people find growth lessons in the scarcity vibe, and I have no doubt they’ll continue to explore it. I’ve tested that vibe and that mindset enough to know that it isn’t such a good fit for me. I’m happier and more fulfilled on the abundance side. But I wouldn’t be so sure of this if I hadn’t had those scarcity experiences first.

Many times when I write about abundance, there are people who will take issue with it. It’s interesting to see how they project a boatload of assumptions onto me and then argue with their own assumptions. Some seem to think that abundance is wrong. Others want me to pay more attention to poverty.

I pay little attention to poverty, scarcity, and lack, not just in myself but in others as well. My focus is on abundance, gratitude, generosity, appreciation, etc. If you believe that what I’m doing is not enough, it’s because you feel what you’re doing isn’t enough. If you’re in resonance with scarcity, then “not enough” is something you’ll see wherever you look.

When you view one side of the spectrum through the lens of the other, your perceptions are greatly distorted. Just as scarcity may look upon abundance as greedy, excessive, selfish, elitist, narcissistic, etc., so can abundance look upon scarcity as lazy, wimpy, foolish, childish, stupid, etc. But these perspectives aren’t helpful to us… again, because they’re distorted.

You can only understand the options available to you when you experience them from the inside. And yes, this does mean that you can’t really understand an option until you’ve experienced it to some degree. From the outside looking in, you can get curious, but you can’t really gain much insight.

You’re free to do as I’ve done and test different mindsets/vibes to learn which set of experiences you prefer. You have laid out before you a whole spectrum of possibilities to explore.

Try to avoid the mistake of judging or condemning someone else’s position on this spectrum. Don’t expect others to change their mindset just because you have issues. If you feel resistance towards what others are experiencing, look to your dissatisfaction with your own vibe. Then remember that you have the power to make the shifts you desire, if you’re willing to embrace those shifts fully and completely instead of resisting them.

I’m quite pleased with my choices thus far, even as I continue to explore new points along the spectrum of possibilities. I’m fully aware that some people object to my choices and would prefer to see me focus more attention on problems like poverty. From the perspective of scarcity, they want me to change what they’re unwilling to. They want me to join them in their feelings of being not enough. From within the lens of scarcity, this may seem like a reasonable request, but from the perspective of abundance, it’s a rather silly thing to do.

The response to such requests is predictable if you understand how both mindsets work. Scarcity criticizes abundance for being not enough. Abundance finds scarcity’s request silly and so enjoys amusement at the entertainment value of it; additionally abundance is appreciative of the reminder of the contrast between scarcity and abundance. Scarcity doesn’t get its request satisfied and hence validates its experience of not enoughness; it can continue to live in its world where abundance is greedy and unresponsive to its needs. Abundance ends the interaction feeling appreciative; scarcity leaves feeling frustrated. This is a perfectly congruent outcome from all perspectives. Each vibe creates the experience that harmonizes with it.

A few people have been amusing me lately, which I’m grateful for, and I in turn have been doing my part to frustrate them.

If you desire to shift from scarcity to abundance, how do you do that? There are many techniques that I’ve shared in the past, so I won’t rehash that same content here. A good place to start is to watch the Creating Abundance videos. I actually apply this to an even greater extent today than I did when I created those videos in 2009. Now I’m spending much more time each day doing this kind of vibrational work because I find it extremely powerful.

This morning I woke up at 3:30 and then spent a good 2 hours imagining different aspects of my life as I want them to be and getting a clear lock onto the vibes that are consistent with my desires — the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes I believe I’d be experiencing if all my desires were physically real right now.

Then throughout each day, I do my best to hold onto these new vibes as much as possible. When I catch myself slipping into a vibe I wouldn’t likely experience on the side of my new desires, such as frustration or worry, I stop whatever I’m doing, take a deep breath, and reload the vibe I desire. Or if I’m tired and can’t do this very well, I just take a break to distract myself.

I continue to practice this because I find it very effective. Not only do I attract and enjoy more of what I want, but my new vibes also become increasingly repulsive to those whose vibes are incompatible, while becoming more attractive to those with compatible vibes and desires — people with whom I can enjoy co-creating abundantly.

If you’re in resonance with scarcity, it’s normal to be frustrated and annoyed by my posts on abundance. You wouldn’t want to be amused or inspired by them, as that could be a symptom of a developing abundance vibe. Even curiosity can be risky. :)


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