#BlogElul 28 – Give



The other day I was listening to one of my favourite podcasters, Michael Hyatt. He was talking about the two different ways of thinking about the world – the scarcity model and the abundance model.

The scarcity model is often evinced by people who have gone through hardship, or even more so, by the children of people who have gone through hardship. They act as if they might be stripped of everything they have at any moment. They tend to expect the worst, to be suspicious of everyone’s motives and generally don’t seem to be very happy in their lives.

The abundance model is one in which there is expectation that things will turn out well, that there is enough good in the world for everyone, and that the world is not a zero-sum game. I think that last point is the most important – if you have more, there is not necessarily less for me. We can both have lots and lots of whatever good thing it is we are looking at. If we are competitors, that’s OK – there are seven billion people in the world, and nobody can possibly serve all of them to their satisfaction. While some niches are quite crowded, if you have a superior product and market it well, you will succeed without destroying everyone else. There is room to be generous in life.

I can see these two models of life everywhere I go. I met a woman at a meeting who was very successful, nice-looking, and kept telling us all about the important people she hangs out with. I was very impressed with her prowess and hoped I could learn from her, but she rebuffed me. She told me that she was afraid I would try to steal her customers from her if she shared her connections with me.

I was very surprised, because I have mostly been blessed with very generous friends and colleagues – people who find joy in making connections for others, in sharing their knowledge and networks. These are the people who know that there is an abundance in the world, that they can make a living and have a good life while being generous and open. They are not doormats, but they will not be mistrustful for no reason. Generosity is the road to a joyful life.

I know which model I want to emulate. How about you?

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