Stress Relief: The Presupposition Of Abundance (Part 1)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

In my previous post, I focused on how having an underlying mindset of scarcity can cause millions and millions of us to have much more stress in our lives than we need to have.  Today, I want to highlight the opposite presupposition to scarcity—abundance

The Abundance Mindset 

Adopting the presupposition of abundance means that you view the world in an expansive, plentiful, sufficient way.  It means that whatever you may be lacking you don’t consider scarce.  Rather, you consider almost all of the good, meaningful, and wonderful things in life to always be available to you…regardless of your immediate circumstance. 

A person with an abundance mindset typically sees the world as full of possibility. Just lost your job, there are many others out there.  Can’t find an opening for the exact type of job you lost, or the type of job you want to have, there are an endless number of alternatives for doing something meaningful with your life and earning money accordingly. 

Abundance Role Models 

We all know of people who have demonstrated the benefits of having an abundance mindset.  Thomas Edison is one that comes to mind immediately. Gandhi is another.  Walt Disney, Donald Trump, and Buckminster Fuller are just a few of the more contemporary names that stand out. 

The common element that ties all of these people of great accomplishment together is that whenever things took a downturn in their lives, they didn’t panic.  They didn’t adopt the mindset of scarcity.  Instead, they consistently maintained a mindset of abundance and this empowered them to repeatedly overcome any obstacles that might have been thrown at them. 

Our Default (i.e. Automatic) Mindset Is Scarcity 

For most (but not all) human beings today, our default basic mindset is one of scarcity, not abundance.  Abundance thinking does not usually come to us naturally.  It’s something that must be learned, created, and reinforced over time. 

There are several key reasons why scarcity is our predominant mindset.  One of these is our biology.  We tend to experience our lives from a very narrow reference point—typically our immediate surroundings and our experiential awareness of same.  We do not tend to view our surroundings expansively, and we cannot easily grasp the totality of the world around us.  Hence, we are biologically programmed to both experience and believe in scarcity. 

Similarly, we live in a society that constantly reinforces the mindset of scarcity. The people we live with and work with every day often “come from” the mindset of scarcity.  People may view you as being foolish if you speak about unlimited possibilities.  And most certainly the media reinforces the mindset of scarcity in countless ways, including what it chooses to report to us. 

You Need To Create The Abundance Mindset If You Want To Have It 

What all this means is that the abundance mindset does not easily appear for us.  If you want to gain the benefits of it, you will have to consciously create it.  You will have to constantly remind yourself of the abundance that’s always available to you, or you will slip back into the presupposition of scarcity just as surely as you automatically take your next breath. 

The abundance mindset can be tremendously stress-relieving.  It can reduce fear, hopelessness, the longstanding pain of loss, depression, envy, pettiness, and many other stressful problems. 

And while we typically tend to focus on the stressful aspects of any negative events that happen to us, we generally fail to see the compounding role that our presupposition of scarcity adds to our problems, and how the opposite presupposition of abundance can show us many paths to overcoming our misfortunes. 

In my next and last post for this week on this topic, I will delve more deeply into the difference between the presuppositions of scarcity and abundance.  Is this simply a matter of having two equivalent options, much like the choice whether to call a glass “half empty or half full?”  Or is there something more going on here than what easily meets our eyes?



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