3 Ways to Live a Happier Life
There are many different ways to live life; however, most people’s philosophy of life falls into one of two paths: having a mindset of abundance or of scarcity.
Simply put, scarcity is the state of being scarce or in short supply. When people have a scarcity mindset, they view the world as only a finite amount of resources exist and that they will never have enough. Scarcity focuses on fear, limitations, insecurity, and jealousy.
Eldar Schaeffer SHAFAR, Ph.D. of Princeton University’s Department of Psychology and Public Affairs, spent years researching the impact of scarcity. He noted that people’s brains change when they feel they lack something. Genuine scarcity, as in the case of poverty, is a significant problem. Schaeffer’s work demonstrates that the scarcity mindset uses up mental and emotional resources. This makes it more difficult to engage in planning and problem-solving. It reduces the brain’s ability to access resources and tends to reinforce self-defeating behaviors.
On the other hand, an abundance mindset is one of prosperity. It is the belief that either what one has is just enough or the belief that there is enough in the world to go around. Looking at the world through the lens of abundance opens you to opportunities and possibilities. Possibilities that you might not have seen if you were focusing your energy on things that you do not have or believe that you cannot have.
Abundance is empowering. Developing a mindset of abundance creates an expansive life and creates space for prosperity, happiness, peace, and love.
So how do you shift from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance?
Express gratitude and acknowledge what you have now.
By focusing on gratitude for what you already have, you create space to see opportunities. Take time to acknowledge the things you’re thankful for: a job that pays the bills, good friends, a family who cares for you, physical health, etc.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”~ Melody Beattie
Focus your attention on your dreams and goals.
This line of thinking is sometimes referred to as the Law of Attraction or, in other circles, “Name it and claim it.” Focusing your attention on the things you want in life will keep you moving toward your dreams and goals.
Where your attention goes, so does your mind.
Have you ever bought a new car? Have you been so excited about your bright shiny new toy and all of its unique features, only to begin driving around town and see car after car after car exactly like yours? And you may wonder how did I not notice that before? It is not possible that 50 other people in your community ran out and bought brand new cars on the same day you did. It is a reminder that what we focus our thoughts on is what we find in the world.
This concept is evident on the negative side as well as the positive. For example, imagine you have started to date a new person. Your belief system is that all relationships are doomed to fail. As you enter into this relationship with this belief system with these thoughts, your brain will begin to search for supporting documentation. And soon enough, you will have developed a list of all the reasons why this relationship cannot work for you.
Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.~ Wayne Dyer
Focusing your mental energy on your dreams and goals is not about winning the lottery or waving a magic wand and receiving something you have not earned. It is about thinking, feeling, and acting with intent. It is about creating a focus that leads you in the direction that you want to go in. When you direct your thoughts towards your goals, wishes, and desires, your brain begins to search for opportunities and evidence to support you and move you in that direction.
Learn to live with open hands.
The more that you give, the more that you recognize how much you have. If you already regularly donate to a local charity, faith organization, or 12-Step group, then decide to increase your donation by one dollar. If you are not currently contributing to an organization, choose an organization and contribute whatever amount you can, even if it is only a dollar. Do not hold back your contribution until it’s a more significant amount. This fuels scarcity thinking, give your dollar freely. Give freely of your time.
“If you want love and abundance in your life, give it away.”~ Mark Twain
If you are genuinely in a position where you cannot currently get financially, find an opportunity to give up your time. Help your neighbor mow their lawn. Sweep the sidewalk in front of an older person’s home. Pick up trash on the sidewalk during your daily walk and dispose of it properly.
To Sum It Up
Life isn’t always easy. We often experience unforeseen complications, things that catch us off guard. However, we can remind ourselves that we have choices. We can allow ourselves to spiral out of control, engage in wailing and gnashing of teeth over a situation, or we can accept the reality of the current situation. When we express gratitude for the things that we have now, focus our minds on the direction that we want to go, and give generously along the way, we live in abundance.