The first of the Prosperity Thinker’s 7 Principles of Prosperity is “THINK.” While THINK can apply to the many ways you interact with money, first and foremost, we believe it’s important to be intentional about HOW you think about money. By this, we mean to have a Prosperity Mindset—to think from a mindset of Abundance and Prosperity rather than from a paradigm of poverty and scarcity.
“As a man thinketh, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
Your thoughts provide the blueprint, if you will, for the life you are building, just as a physical blueprint predicts what a house under construction will look like when finished. Steven Covey would describe this as “beginning with the end in mind” in his seven habits. Napoleon Hill, based on interviews with the world’s wealthy, says we “think and grow rich” through our desires, faith, imagination, the power of our brain and subconscious mind. Bob Proctor discusses the creative and magnetic qualities of our thoughts with the Law of Attraction.
Regardless of what they call it, our great thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and spiritual texts agree: our thinking determines our reality. But what do we mean when we say to “THINK” from a Prosperity Mindset?
The Building Blocks of a Prosperity Mindset
First of all, thinking from Abundance means thinking—believing—that wealth, success, and prosperity are possible for you. As Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad says, “If you want to change who you are, begin by changing the size of your dream. Even if you are broke, it does not cost you anything to dream of being rich. Many poor people are poor because they have given up on dreaming.”
But thinking Abundantly isn’t just about yourself—nor is it just about money. A prosperous Mindset also embraces the idea that there is enough for ALL. Think about it…how can you be secure in what you have, when you’re too focused on what others have?
In The Soul of Money, author and Hunger Project fundraiser Lynne Twist reveals how we tend to automatically think from scarcity:
“… for many of us, the first waking thought of the day is ‘I didn’t get enough sleep.’ The next one is ‘I don’t have enough time.’ Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of…. We live with scarcity as an underlying assumption.”
Twist encourages us to embrace sufficiency, showing that our thoughts limit us from discovering there is “enough.” Especially, if we all think from a sufficiency paradigm. Nor can we believe that money is a pie with limited pieces.
How You Think Determines How You Act
Thinking from a Prosperity Mindset also determines how we handle our money. The Parable of the Talents (generally interpreted through a “spiritualized” lens), has much to say about investing. In this story, a wealthy man leaves for an extended trip, entrusting three different servants with his assets. The first two double what they have through wise investments, but the third is fearful and buries the money: “Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.”
But the master was furious. “That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.”—The Message
And in the end, the small amount originally given to the third scarcity-minded servant was now given to the one who had earned the most!
Scarcity and Fear Go Hand in Hand
A scarcity mindset leads us to handle our money fearfully, timidly, and ineffectively. It leads you to cling tightly to every dollar, thinking that you are keeping it safe. But in reality, your tight hold eliminates growth, prevents profits, and even takes opportunity out of your hands.
Thinking abundantly increases the flow of your money by allowing you to use it in multiple ways, not simply “bury it” or lock it up to slowly accumulate interest.
This chart demonstrates some of the differences between Prosperity Thinking and Poverty Thinking.
How do you THINK? Is your mindset aligned with Prosperity and Abundance? And how does your thinking show up in your actions and your financial strategies? To learn more about a Prosperity Mindset and how to cultivate yours for wealth, read our post “How to Cultivate Prosperity Beyond Money.” This post is chock full of our best resources about Prosperity Thinking.