I recently read an article by John C. Maxwell titled, “Escape from Scarcity.”* It was a reminder of how easily so many of us can be sucked into a mindset of scarcity. Indeed so much of our language and cultural norms are built on the idea of winners and losers, abundance or scarcity. We are encouraged to pace ourselves, conserve our energy, and take care of ourselves and our family above all.
We often hoard not only our financial assets but our assistance and support, our ideas, our praise for others, and our encouragement. As people looking to retire or retired, what are our mindsets and attitudes? Are we looking forward to sharing more, expanding in our retirement years – or have we been infected with the affliction of “take-care-of- myself-first-itis”? Are we looking to have the freedom to give in new and different ways until our last breath? Our mindset regarding abundance or scarcity will impact how we experience our retirement years more than we can imagine.
Giving, contributing, and expanding opens the channels of giving AND of receiving in profound ways. In recent months, I experienced the impact of these choices. I had been in the midst of developing my online business and doing defined volunteer work at my church. Then duel crises/opportunities confronted the congregation and staff. The long-needed sale of our property happened quickly and we had to move out in a month. AND two of the four staff members quit their jobs abruptly.
I decided to set aside my focus on business building and spend virtually full time volunteering to do what needed to be done at the church. For nearly three months, I poured out my love and energy out of my passion for the mission of this unique congregation. Two things came out of that giving. I was told repeatedly that I saved the sanity of the two remaining staff members, that they couldn’t have made the move successfully without me, etc. – high psychic payoff! And after the immediate crisis was over, I was offered a stipend to continue working in some specific areas as we are building what is, in practical terms, a new church. Being part of the staff during this exciting and critical time is a validation of my contributions and skills – more psychic payoff!
I have learned again through this experience that by giving what I have, the abundance of the universe fills me up again in various ways. And I would have missed all that if I had held back and said that I was too busy, I needed to focus on my own work, the younger people should do it, etc.
John Maxwell ends his article this way, “You would never deny a bucketful to a child building a sand castle because you can refill that bucket again and again. That’s how the abundance mindset works. You give away praise, recognition, ideas, knowledge and money because you know there’s plenty to go around. What you give away will come back to you a thousand times over. I guarantee it.”
*Success Magazine, May 2017