Abundance is one of those often-used buzzwords bandied about in the self-help industry. The fellow with the fleet of Lamborghinis and shelves full of books in his garage comes to mind. If a person is seeking how to increase one’s wealth and plenty, there is an abundance of gurus on the Web selling plans and holding seminars from which to choose. This blog is not one of those places. Today, this space is reserved for my personal ponderings and reflections about the concept of abundance.
Abundance is a squishy word that depends upon circumstance and context. For instance, a person in a war-torn nation feels blessed with abundance if she is able to live in relative peace and raise her family without mayhem and death. A corn farmer has a record-breaking crop harvest. A worker enjoys a well-paying job that also provides insurance and a pension.
These scenarios are variable. The war-weary citizen the Middle East feels content that her family is alive; while the citizen in Austria enjoys a beautiful estate and overflowing bank accounts. The corn farmer may derive satisfaction from his harvest; while the pastor of the mega-church enjoys his fleet of private jets. The laborer feels secure with his fulfilling career; while the CEO relaxes at one of her villas in the Bahamas.
Where do we fit on the spectrum of scarcity to abundance? Perhaps we have stumbled across an unexpected boon such as a new job offer or a betterment of personal physical health. Our inner reactions to attaining these improvements is one of happiness about our new prosperity. We experience feelings of expansion and security. Life has been good to us. Perhaps you imagine that the world is your oyster with no holds barred.
“Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.”–Epicurus
Another manifestation of abundance can be seen if we are surrounded with a loving circle of family and friends. One feels especially blessed and deserving in such a situation. There is no price tag to label such joy.
Regardless of the type of abundance we consider, we feel the lack of abundance when we run into delays and obstacles to our plans. When the job market is volatile and the nation’s economy is unstable we rightfully feel the pangs of insecurity. What had earlier seemed like a sure thing has turned out to be a house built on sand. We find ourselves in doubt and doing a lot of second-guessing. Our self-confidence is shaken. Instead of the warmth of abundance, there is cold emptiness of lack in the pit of the stomach.
In my own life, I’ve known stretches of poverty as well as times of relative plenty–in real terms. By my own, subjective standards, I define abundance as the presence of good health, a sturdy home, some friends, and reasonable peace of mind. I feel blessed with enough to not only keep alive but to thrive on Earth.
Although I do not own a fleet of Lamborghinis, nor store my books in the garage, there is the feeling of overflowing plenty. By my reckoning, I have more than enough to fulfill the definition of personal abundance. I hope that every person on Earth can experience a life of abundance.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Danish businessman and former CEO of the Lego Group, Jorgen Vig Knudstorp. “Many creative people are finding that creativity doesn’t grow in abundance, it grows from scarcity–the more Lego bricks you have doesn’t mean you’re going to be more creative; you can be very creative with very few Lego bricks.”