In today’s competitive world, the meaning of abundance has lost its value. In a rush to be number one – to be the only one, the exclusive – we have attracted scarcity into our lives.
I was raised in a culture where a scarcity mindset was prevalent. Hence, jealousies, competitions, and comparisons reigned. My first encounter with the abundance mentality was with an event organizer.
I had to hold an event. She was on a holiday and not available, so she referred me to someone else. I was in awe. She was introducing me to her competitor! Apparently, it seemed a foolish action, but she was sowing seeds to reap later, especially at a time when she would be in desperate need. She was from a different culture, which surprisingly was far greater in such abundance than mine.
I thought I should study her behaviour. What led her to act this way? Did she choose the abundance mindset first or did her surroundings change and empower her to choose this mindset with ease and less anxiety of scarcity? This was a hard question to answer.
Abundance Mindset – At the Heart of Islam
For me, the most satisfactory answers come by diving into the realm of the divine and extracting pearls from that ocean. So I researched and was surprised to know that the abundance mindset is at the heart of Islam. In fact, the first few verses of Surah Baqarah cleared my vision:
“…And spend out of what We have provided for them.” (Al-Baqarah 2:3)
This was enough for me to understand the importance of spending, even when you have a tight budget and limited resources.
I learnt that for attracting abundance, you need to spend first from whatever you already have. My understanding earlier regarding this was limited to only monetary spending, but then I realized money as a currency is a much later invention. Anything can be a provision, as long as it is in my possession. This encompasses everything from food supplies to good counselling, knowledge, appreciation, affection, influence, fame, power, and other skills and abilities. Even sharing information can suffice and serve as a guiding light for a person in need, such as the recommendation which the event planner gave me.
When you encounter significant transitions in your life, such as migration or loss of a job – or, on a global level, a sudden economic inflation – it is human nature to become anxious about the future. In an attempt to gain stability and security, one tends to hoard and shrink. However, Islam has an entirely different approach towards such situations. It calls for spending in the way of Allah (swt) as the most valued action for overcoming trials and tribulations. As an abundance principle, spend from your most constrained resource for the sake of Allah (swt). Abundance in that very resource will welcome you with open arms.
Scarcity Mindset – A Form of Negativity
In developing countries, where there are meagre resources, competition seems the only solution. You think that if you do not grab that opportunity, someone else will, and you will be left with none. The concept of collaboration and sharing becomes alien, because all you believe in is scarcity. You will hide and withhold knowledge in an attempt to become the only source. You will hoard money, so as to save for a rainy day.
This means that you, in the first place, are expecting such days and thus attracting them to your life. You will withhold appreciation, because you believe that if you appreciate others, they will be more successful than you are. You will withhold gratitude, because if you are going to acknowledge others, this will take the spotlight away from you. You may even betray your family and friends by paying a deaf ear to their needs, in the belief that you do not have enough to share.
In essence, you are a victim of crab mentality, wherein you have to pull others down in order to reach the top. This is called a scarcity mindset. Interestingly, you will notice that people exhibiting these behaviours are always victims of scarcity in their lives. This mindset extends beyond individual level – entire nations fall into this pit of darkness.
Abundance Mindset – A Source of Rizq and Barakah
In contrast, an abundance mindset means that there are limitless opportunities available in business and life. In fact, our belief system emphasizes that our Rizq is pre-written. No one can steal from another’s set of provisions, no matter how much they try. Interestingly, our religious knowledge also guides us to the different ways of expanding our Rizq such as:
- Making sincere Dua to Allah (swt) for abundance, while having a strong will and desire to have it;
- Spending whatever resources we have for the sake of Allah (swt).
The abundance mindset is a form of Barakah. For example, if you share your time with others for a noble cause, will you add an extra year to your life? Indeed, there can be no empirical evidence to measure the abundance of time in your life, but Barakah is an unseen abundance granted to us by Allah (swt). Your time, despite being limited, will become more productive with this grace of Allah (swt).
When you represent the abundance mindset, you affirm and acknowledge that Allah (swt) is the Exclusive. He is the One, the Only Provider, and He is the Only Source of wealth, knowledge, power and fame. If you want abundance in your life, consciously affirm the Asma-ul-Husna (the beautiful names of Allah [swt]). When your eyes will frequently read them, when your hands will write them, and when your ears will keep on hearing them, then your surroundings will give you continuous reminders and fill you with positivity, thereby exuding abundance in your life.
When an abundance mindset is adopted collectively, you will see some groups flourishing extraordinarily even with lesser resources. Their consistent practise of this mindset will create ripples one after another until a nation rises to exude never-ending and uninterrupted abundance. Patience and perseverance is the key to this change.
Abundance Mindset – Challenges
However, an abundance mindset comes with its own set of challenges. It is possible that you embrace this mentality but out of the many people you encounter, some may belong to the scarcity mindset. You will initially feel used. If you observe their lives, you will notice negativity in the form of comparisons, competitions, and pulling each other down. They attract scarcity more than anyone and are stuck in its vicious cycle.
Does this mean that you should not interact with such people? I would suggest if you are spiritually grounded and immersed well in positivity such that their negativity does not bother you, then you can inspire them to adopt abundance in their lives too. However, if you fear that they will pull you in their drama, you should limit your interaction and just change course, because their negativity will make you lose your path of abundance and you will start attracting scarcity into your own life.
Actions depend upon time and space, and a believer cannot be fooled twice. Avoid such people and be on a conscious lookout for those who believe in abundance and sharing. Grow your circle. Only light can remove darkness so keep shining.
Our minds are magical. You will attract into your life whatever you believe in: scarcity or abundance. The choice is yours!