Abundance: Philosophy, Principles and Beliefs – TMA 004
Your financial life should have come with the instructions: “For best results, abundance thinking required!” Your financial results are a direct product of your way of thinking about money. While it’s tempting to jump right into strategies and products and investments, you’ll never outperform your mindset. You are your greatest investment, therefore exponential results are created by an abundance mindset.
In the famous Indian fable of the Blind Men and the Elephant, six blind men described an elephant from their perspective. One said it was like a rope, and another said the elephant was like a tree. A third said it was like a spear. The fourth, a snake. The fifth, a fan. And finally, the sixth man said it was like a wall.
Each man had touched a different part of the elephant, and his experience shaped his understanding.
Their limited thinking is evident to us. But all too often, we, just like each blind man, are unaware of our own finite mindset.
Our mindset is intangible and tucked away out of sight, so it’s easy to think it doesn’t require your attention.
You can be unaware of it, ignore it, pretend it’s something different, or choose it.
Regardless of your level of consciousness around your mindset and beliefs, your mental programming is driving your life.
How We Learn
If you want different results than you see today, it’s not enough to change your actions. You need to expand your mindset.
In the elephant story, each man was beholden to his perspective. They each believed that their own experience was the full interpretation, and it led them to severe errors of judgment. Not one was willing to learn from each other to broaden his understanding.
When it comes to our understanding of the world, we’re each like the blind men.
Of all of the available facts in the world, each of us knows some of them. None of us know them all. The limited set of facts we have and our interpretation of them form our unique map. Of the 7 billion people in the world, all of them have a map, and none of them look like yours.
This is your belief system. Unless you’re willing to expand your map, nothing new exists for you.
When we come into a conversation with people who see differently, it’s important to recognize that if we both had the same map, we’d think the same way.
When we each defend our own interpretation of the facts, it leads to conflict.
The only way you can learn something new is to be willing to step off of your map and onto someone else’s.
It’s not about who’s right, but about learning what else is possible.
We Don’t Know Everything
Here at The Money Advantage, we don’t claim to be all-knowing gurus with all the answers.
In our life and work, we’ve seen a specific way of thinking about money that produces the healthiest, most vibrant lives.
We’d like to invite you into our understanding about money.
What We Do Know is This
Let’s have a candid discussion about the foundational principles and beliefs that lead to a life of abundance and prosperity.
We’re laying a foundation of prosperous thinking in your money decisions to empower you to live prosperously.
We want to turn the tide of frustration, misinformation, and disillusionment that causes many people to feel that the best they can expect is to close their eyes, grit their teeth, hang on for the ride and hope everything works out. Having no control and no certainty for the future is debilitating.
It’s even more tragic that many believe that’s all the better it can get.
Since money is so central to our well-being in every other area of our life, we owe it to ourselves to get this right.
Your mindset determines not only how you see something, but whether you see it at all, and what you choose to do about it.
Scarcity: Limiting Beliefs and Where They Come From
Scarcity is a world with limits driven by fear, doubt, greed, and worry. It’s the belief system that wealth is the result of getting lucky or exploiting someone else.
Scarcity dominates the typical financial thinking of the day.
We don’t learn much, if anything at all, in school about how to make money. The media perpetuates destructive myths and ideas about money.
The majority of people do not have a healthy view or experience of money. Parents who don’t understand money aren’t able to pass on financial wisdom to their children. Their mindset influences everything they communicate.
As a result, we accept beliefs during our formative childhood years like:
- Money doesn’t grow on trees
- We can’t afford that
- Rich people are ruthless
- You have to spend money to make money
- It’s not spiritual to be wealthy
- It’s noble to be poor
Beneath all of these statements, there’s a scarcity mindset, rooted in fear, that money is in limited supply. That there’s not enough to go around. That you can have it, or I can, but we both can’t. That to be wealthy means you were greedy and took from someone else.
Worrying about money can pervade our thoughts.
We use it as a measurement of self-worth. Because we connect our value to our money, we end up using it as a comparison tool, making us feel superior or inferior to others.
A host of negative emotions come along with this mindset. Feeling guilty for spending or having money. You permit yourself to make poor decisions. Dismissing your struggles, thinking that everyone loses money, and that’s just the way it is.
All of this, while showing a facade that money isn’t significant, exposes a belief that money is of utmost importance.
Consider an Empowering View of Money
A perspective of abundance, grounded in faith, is that there’s more than enough. It’s a belief in a world without limits.
It’s secure and confident. It finds possibility because it believes that nothing is impossible.
It asks what is possible because it believes that nothing is impossible.
Because an abundance mindset focuses on developing the ability to produce and create wealth, it attracts wealth.
From this perspective, people are not the way to get more money, but rather money is a tool to serve more people.
John Butcher, the creator of Lifebook and 12 Category Smart Millionaire, in an opening to one of his interviews, discusses this empowering view of money:
We all know deep down that we need money to lead a good life, but we are so incredibly confused and bewildered by it, and in some cases, we are even afraid of it.
What if you were taught at a very young age that money is not the root of all evil, but rather money is a symbol of human productivity and human achievement. What money represents is all the good things that people create for each other, and that it is absolutely worthy of your respect and admiration.
What if you had been taught at a young age that the love of money is really the love of the human mind, the love of production, of progress and of freedom. What if you had been taught that wealth and prosperity are literally what eliminate poverty and human suffering in this world and that making money equals not some kind of a spiritual defect, but can actually be the highest form of contribution when you get it right. ~ John Butcher
Abundance Principles That Lead to Creating More Money
Dollars Follow Value
Money, in and of itself, has no value at all. It is just printed paper. The US dollar is a fiat currency, meaning that there’s no asset of tangible value backing it.
There was an exchange of equal value. I valued the flour more than the sugar, and sugar was only an acceptable means of payment if you valued the sugar more than the flour.
Money serves as an intermediary that makes transactions easier. After all, it is more transportable than sugar, flour, or goats.
The value transaction comes first. The money is a certificate that value was exchanged, a thank you note. The cause is the value. The payment is an after-effect, the result.
Therefore, if you want more money, focus on increasing the value you provide. When you truly serve people, the money will find you.
People Have Intrinsic Value; Money Does Not
But looking even deeper, we see that even the flour and the sugar are of no value at all unless there is a person who desires it.
The only thing that matters is people. When value is exchanged between two people, payment is a result. If you can figure out how to meet the needs of people, financial payment is the result.
For example, a homeowner with a leaky roof needs a roof replacement. He will pay a roofer for his services because he values having a warm, dry house. The value has to happen before the payment.
The key is to see the person, find the need, and meet the need.
There’s always a person’s needs and the exchange of value behind every financial transaction.
To get more money, increase the value you provide or the number of people you serve.
Wealth is limitless because we each have infinite opportunities to solve problems for other people.
In this way, we come to value others and ourselves. We are better able to meet needs when we’ve increased our ability to see them in the first place and developed our skillset to provide solutions.
Principles First, Strategies Second
A principle is a timeless, universal law that cannot be broken. It’s like gravity. It’s unchangeable and permanent. You can’t break it, but if you don’t honor it, it will break you. It applies across various disciplines and in every area of our life.
It’s the answer to how the world works and it takes tremendous humility to approach and learn.
A strategy is a technique, a process for doing something.
Our minds can much more easily comprehend strategies because we are finite. We can follow a recipe or directions without understanding how something works.
Strategies constantly change. A strategy that worked 20 years ago might not be as effective, or work at all, today.
Strategies also depend. They may work in one situation, but not apply at all in another.
A strategy is only beneficial if you have a solid foundation of principles to base decisions on.
Empowerment comes from understanding the principle, not memorizing, mastering, or executing a strategy.
A Strategy Is Not a Principle
However, people often treat a strategy like a principle, failing to recognize that a strategy is just a technique in a much larger game.
One example is the commitment to paying off all your debt and only paying cash. In the race to becoming debt-free, people give up control of their capital to the banks and financial institutions and build little to no savings for themselves. This puts them in a vulnerable position. They could be one month away from making their last mortgage payment, and lose the house because they couldn’t afford the final payment.
Instead of overcommitment to the strategy of paying off debt, think like a steward and ask what is the best use of these dollars. Paying off debt may or may not make sense in your situation. It may be more valuable to build a cushion for emergencies or to use your capital to earn cash flow and interest.
When you overcommit to strategies, you miss the greatest opportunities that lie right in your blind spot.
Always keep your eyes open to find and follow the principles.
Reaching Your Full Potential Requires Full Responsibility
You can’t have an entitlement mindset. Nothing is owed you.
But you can create anything. You’ve created the life you have at this time.
If it’s not what you want it to be, how can you discover ways to serve more greatly?
The 7 Principles of Prosperity
The Principles of Prosperity, distilled by Kim Butler from timeless financial wisdom, help us stay aligned with what’s most important.
- Think – Think from a prosperous mindset. How can I create more, and how can I serve more people with more value?
- See – See the big picture. Your house payment, car loans, taxes, saving for kids’ college, vacation purchase, are all connected. Every decision impacts the other areas.
- Measure – measure cost and opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is what you didn’t get to do because you used your money for something else.
- Flow – Identify tools to create cash flow, today and in the future.
- Control – Don’t put your money where it has restrictions and limitations, where you can’t access it or have to pay a penalty to use it, or where it can be only used for one thing.
- Move – Money is meant to be able to move, like a river, through assets, not just to them.
- Multiply – Get your money to multiply, not just adding incrementally. When money is moving through assets and doing more than one job at a time, the velocity of money allows you to multiply its effectiveness.
Live the Principles of Abundance to Create Wealth
In conclusion, discovering the principles of abundance is a refreshing departure from the status quo limitations and finite thinking about money.
Wealth is not something you find, but something you create.
Financial freedom is not only possible, but it’s achievable with the right knowledge, tools, and skill set.
The more empowered you are, the more you have the potential to create.
You’re on a journey to create a fantastic life, not just one of grit and struggle.
It’s what you create when you discover and live your purpose.
What strategies will we use to accomplish that?
It depends on your mindset and your personal economy.
The Podcast Has More
If you liked this article, you’ll love the podcast. More topics in the podcast include:
- The surprising truth that your “investment” in the stock market never actually goes to the company you “invested in,” and how it’s more accurate to call it speculation on the stock price, instead of investing.
- The relationship between paying off your house and having more financial control.
- A soulful discussion of the 7 Principles of Prosperity, and how they serve as a plumb line to measure the purpose of every economic decision you make.
Get part of the first chapter of my Wealth Acceleration curriculum, Firm Foundation, to help you think through your mindset, You’ll get 19 other wealth principles and wisdom on how to apply them in your life here.
We’d love to hear your thoughts! How did you resonate with this discussion? What questions do you have? What do you notice about your money belief system? How have you received permission to think differently? Please share your comments below.
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