Want to know the secret behind great achievers? It comes down to mindset. For Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures... I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.”

And while there are different ways to categorize mindsets (e.g., fixed vs. growth), when it comes to leading a life of significance, we like to think there are two kinds of people: Takers and Makers:

  • Takers are those who take, grab, and consume what they can to meet their own needs. Takers operate with a scarcity mindset.
  • Makers are those who give and make things happen. Makers cause progress and foster success in others. Makers envelop an abundance mindset.

In his classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective, Steven Covey explains the concepts of abundance and scarcity beautifully:

People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit—even with those who help in the production. They also have a hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.

The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth or security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in the sharing of prestige, recognition, profits, and decision-making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

The good news is that if you find yourself deeply rooted in a Scarcity Mentality (which most people are), you can make a “paradigm shift” to an Abundance Mentality by changing your thoughts and mindset:

Scarcity Paradigm

  1. Defense
  2. Escape loss
  3. Safety
  4. Maintain
  5. Fear
  6. Tight
  7. Gifts are contained
  8. Reactive
  9. Paralyzed
  10. Narrow/closed
  11. Stagnation
  12. Win-lose

Abundance Paradigm

  1. Offense
  2. Pursue the vision
  3. Risk
  4. Create
  5. Faith
  6. Generous
  7. Gifts are released
  8. Proactive
  9. Dynamic
  10. Wide/open
  11. Multiplication
  12. Win-win

So, when reading over these points... I feel it's very hard to do a complete 180... but maybe instead try to shift slowly or say to yourself, "I can be better in this area"... finding one maybe two things where you can "shift" to the other Paradigm.

To a Better You,

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