People tend to operate from two basic mindsets: scarcity or abundance.
To the scarcity-minded individual, life feels like a constant uphill struggle. Every inch of conquered ground has to be clawed and scratched at. Every piece of pie you get is one less slice for me.
To the abundance-minded individual, life feels the exact opposite. There is plenty of pie to go around. Not only is there enough pie for everyone to have a slice, there is enough for everyone to open their own pie shop or Hostess factory.
Unfortunately, the prevailing mindset seems to be that of scarcity. Or so it seems in western culture. So how do we transition from a scarcity mentality to that of abundance?
By learning to and becoming comfortable with giving things away. By cultivating generosity the same way you would cultivate a garden. In gardening, you prepare the soil, plow the furrows, plant the seeds, monitor the water flow, and pull the weeds. You follow an initial procedure and follow up with a regular maintenance routine. And in time, you reap the harvest.
I am a huge believer in the karmic nature of the universe. There is an ebb and flow to energy. What goes out must come back. Where most of us go wrong is we focus on what we see or want coming to us—on what we can get. But we have the system backwards. Something has to go out before it can come back. We have to give before we can receive.
Some of you are probably saying, “Yah, easy for you to say. I have hardly anything. I am barely scraping by as it is. How can I give?”
So start small. If all you can give is even a few coins to a panhandler, then start there. Or donate a tiny bit of your time to a worthy cause. With time, your capacity to give with expand and flourish.
One of my favorite things to do is to refer potential clients to other graphic designer friends. Sure I’d like the money from the gig—who wouldn’t—but not every project is a good fit for my style, skill set, or schedule. So I gladly pass it along.
And the pies just keep on coming.