When it comes to most resources in life, like time, money, happiness or love, we either believe we have it, or we don’t. At any given point of time, our attitude hinges on either of these mindsets – the lack of something or its abundance. And we want you to embrace the latter. Because neuroplasticity says, that we can increase our neural growth by changing our thoughts, which in turn helps us achieve more, and grow.
What is abundant thinking? It is about focusing on what we have and seeing the possibilities than the limitations. Says preacher Charles Spurgeon, “It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” A valid point, as 40% of our happiness comes from our choosing to appreciate what we have, despite being naturally predisposed to zero in on the negativity.
How does this positive attitude influence our relationship with money?
- It caps emotional spending. Many of us are guilty of seeking retail therapy when we feel low. Studies have shown that people in a negative frame of mind are more impulsive and tend to spend more money shopping. This gives them a sense of control. But what if we built that same handle over our emotions? We all seek happiness, and when we don’t feel it, we fill the void with emotional spending. The antidote: make a gratitude list for what’s going well. That’ll shift your attention to the joy that is present.
- It changes our money scripts. If you believe you can never have enough, abundant thinking will help you shift to a healthier outlook. The next time you think “I can never have a strong financial future” or “My friends are more successful than me,” stop there. Reframe to “I have control over my financial future” or “My finances are growing.” Called Cognitive Behavior Therapy, this practice helps us rewire our brain to change our thoughts. The new thoughts help us see more opportunity and potential, which then shape our actions. You won’t be pinching pennies out of fear of losing money. Instead, you’ll be open to taking steps like asking for a bigger salary or making an investment.
- It refocuses us on what matters. If we are caught up in the loop of fluid spending or vigilant saving, we lose focus on other important things like health, relationships, personal growth, etc. This automatically causes insecurity, and a feeling of being unfulfilled. The solution: as motivational speaker Wayne Dyer says, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Which other aspects of your life offers you security? Or if you focus on enhancing your personal relationships, how does that change your intensity towards money?
Since these practices are mindset based and less tangible, you might feel they aren’t impactful. But as Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck says, mindsets decide how we embrace challenges, regulate emotions, deal with failure, and craft our path to success. It’s an abundant mindset which sets us up for growth. Not a fixed or limited one. Where would you like it to take you?