By Ray R. Hooper, utahvalley360.com
Practiced abundance is the ultimate prosperity generator
I would reason that most people believe that abundance is a word to describe great wealth or a plentiful amount of something. These meanings are correct and accurate, but I want to discuss the meaning I attach to the word and why it is so vital in creating and maintaining true wealth and prosperity.
I view abundance as fullness, recognizing that life is full of wealth, resources and opportunities and when a person is living a life in abundance, they do not worry whether there will be a shortage of those things. Instead, that person lives to help others reach their potential and at the same time starts to recognize his own. Abundance is not something you acquire, rather it is something you become present to and aligned with.
One of the fundamental distinctions that my firm teaches to individuals is that living a life where the fear of “not enough” becomes the overriding factor in decision-making produces limited financial rewards. We call this mindset “scarcity.” When a person hears me teach this principle, it seems like just common sense and almost too simple. The challenge is that they have been raised from birth to make decisions, especially financial ones, this way.
The next conversation I have with them is about the financial impact of abundance. Abundance is about making choices based on the benefit that a choice has for someone other than just you. In fact, the benefit of blessing another life becomes the primary factor in the decision. Some people have a difficult time understanding how this type of thinking can improve their financial situation, so let me give an example.
When I used to meet with people before I really understood and applied this principal, my overriding thought as I met with them was how my relationship with them would benefit me, financially or otherwise. I thought this way because I wanted more money or I wanted to be happier and more fulfilled, or sometimes I couldn’t see the benefit, and the relationship would not further itself. Life and people were there to serve me.
It was pretty lame.
Everyone has been guilty of this, some more than others. Many times this type of thinking produces immediate benefits. You can accumulate wealth by thinking this way. However, what I have found is that I could not sustain the wealth or the relationship long term.
I then learned and started applying the principal of abundance. My overriding concern when I met with someone started to become focused more and more about what I could do to create the maximum value possible to bless his or her life. This change in thinking did not happen overnight and took a lot of practice at catching myself caught up in scarcity.
What started to happen was simply amazing, and life changed for me. Prosperity became easy, relationships were transformed, and I started enjoying life on a level I had not experienced before. I started to see the direct relationship between how much abundance was in my life and how much success and happiness I was experiencing. I truly discovered the secret of living a powerful life was in giving my talents and abilities away with little if any thought to how I would benefit from the giving. Teaching this principal of prosperity to others has become the foundation and mission of Engenuity.
I have been in the financial arena for eight years and have worked with many gifted advisors and institutions. In that time, I have heard many amazing ways to create wealth. I have been exposed to all kinds of products and techniques all claiming to produce superior returns. Many of those claims have come to pass and people have generated great wealth by following the recommendations of advisors, family and friends. In that eight years, though, I have never experienced the type of true prosperity that follows when a person understands and truly lives a life full and rich with abundance.
Prosperity is just the natural fruit of this applied behavior.
Practiced abundance is a lifelong pursuit and becomes easier and easier as it is used. It is like anything in life — repetition is key. There will probably never come a time when you are always in abundance and never in scarcity. The trick is to notice when the scarcity monster is rearing its ugly head and still make the abundant choice.
The abundant choice is usually not the easy one, but it is always the most prosperous one. UV
Ray Hooper is a founding partner in the Provo firm Engenuity, which he helped form to teach individuals how to make principle-based economic decisions. Most of his clients are entrepreneurs in Utah Valley. Ray has been advising entrepreneurs for eight years. He lives in Mapleton with his wife and four children.