Choosing Your Neighborhood

Choosing Your Neighborhood

We’ve all heard, “monkey see, monkey do”. This saying refers to a facet of human nature known as reflexivity.

This simply means that the behaviors, attitudes, and choices of the folks with whom we choose to associate tend to rub off on us. This can also apply to the books we read and the media we utilize.

It’s why we, as parents, worry about our children when they begin hanging out with questionable friends. We understand that the chances are high that our children will begin to reflect the actions of their friends.

Fortunately, the flip side of this rule also holds true. The higher quality of company we keep, the greater the ideas that we consume, the more refined we tend to become.

As we look toward our individual futures, it’s a safe bet that most of us would like to move towards greater abundance. This is why it’s critical that we carefully weigh the people and the ideas with which we choose to surround ourselves.

Down the road, our choices will have a measurable impact on who we have become.

The world is filled with givers and takers. We sometimes describe them as the haves and the have nots or the thrivers and the strivers. In a nutshell, there will always be those who contribute to society and those who take from society.

Success coach Dan Sullivan describes the difference between these two groups can be likened to the neighborhoods in which they choose to live. One chooses to live in an abundance neighborhood while the other chooses to live in a scarcity spiral. This scarcity spiral begins with envy.

People who focus on the achievements or wealth of others and get jealous or upset because another person seems to be more successful, put themselves into a destructive mindset. They may feel that the successful person took more than his or her fair share of happiness leaving less for everyone else.

Envy leads to guilt and a sense of shame that we haven’t achieved a comparable level of success. This, in turn, can lead to anger and resentment.

At this point, it’s tempting to believe that our perception of unfairness can be resolved through the forcible redistribution of the other person’s wealth.

This kind of thinking is a good example of a zero-sum mentality in which one person’s gain can only come at the expense of another. It’s also a powerful example of how the scarcity mindset makes us miserable.

Where Does Abundant Living Begin?

To illustrate the scarcity mindset, take a deep breath and ask yourself why no one gets angry about the air you just consumed. The reason is simple, there is still plenty of air for others to breathe and even the breath itself will be recycled naturally. We don’t obsess about someone breathing too much air of our air because there is abundance.

This same principle applies when it comes to other areas of life. Why should we feel that if someone else is happy, that our own happiness has been diminished?

When we catch ourselves drifting into the scarcity mindset, it’s essential that we pull ourselves out of it and choose to move toward abundance.

The road to the neighborhood of abundance starts with gratitude. As we consciously show appreciation of the value of everything and everyone in our lives, we naturally move to the next stages of creativity and cooperation.

This is where we are free to add to the world rather than take away. We feel free to invent, to collaborate, and to produce.

Karl Marx coined the name capitalism because he believed that producers were capitalizing on other people’s needs and wants. In reality, they were simply cooperating with one another.

When we cooperate and exchange with others, it creates an atmosphere of abundance that would be tough to reach all by ourselves. We learn that by doing what we do best and encouraging others to do what they do best, everyone benefits.

The conscious decision to avoid scarcity and to embrace abundance in life may prove to be among the greatest decisions we have to make.


Doug Andrew