A lot of people do not think abundantly. Sadly, much of the hindrances to abundance are self-imposed. They don’t achieve abundance because they have thoughts, belief systems, and values that counter abundance.
Let’s list some of them.
1. Doubting one’s capability
Many people question their own capability. They say, “I can’t do that. It’s a bit hard for me. I can only do so much.”
Remember our discussion earlier about self-dialogue? The problem here is the fact that you will always be right. So if you tell yourself, “This is as far as I can go,” you will only achieve that much.
Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they are yours. Even if you really have limitations, you can go beyond them if you ardently desire to do so. Learning, education, and seeking the help of others can overcome many personal issues and concerns. Who’s stopping you?
However, if you accept them and live within them, then you are the one limiting yourself. Sometimes, other people limit you. But the biggest limitations are those that you set upon yourself.
Helplessness is the biggest stumbling block to abundance. People tell themselves: “We’re poor. We’re helpless. We can’t do anything about it. We’ll have to accept whatever we have and be happy with it. It’s our destiny.” That’s baloney!
If you’re not happy with your situation, then do something about it. Exert effort to go around or beyond your current reality. Being helpless is letting yourself be bound by certain limits that are set within your environment as if you do not have any power or capability to change anything. This is why many people think that they are victims of their circumstances. Helplessness, strongly matched with the lack of hope, will make you drift through life on survival mode. And that is not the right way to live.
Just think of the taipans we have in our country. Many of them had humble beginnings. They had no capital and not enough education. Do you think they will be where they are today if they were helpless people?
3. Weak belief systems
You will unconsciously and ironically avoid abundance if your belief systems regarding abundance are weak and disempowering.
Great examples of this are deeply entrenched in our culture. Our movies, telenovelas, and even superhero stories usually celebrate the poor. It is as if the wealthy are mostly villains who are power- and money-hungry. Being rich has been associated with problematic lives and unhappy relationships.
Many people say, “Money can’t make you happy.” I dare ask, “Why? Will being poor assure you of happiness?” There are many wealthy people who are happy and there are as many who may be feeling empty. However, there are poor people who are happy and also a good number who lead sad lives. Frankly, no research has ever concluded that there is any correlation here.
Yet, belief systems control the way we behave and if we have the wrong beliefs about abundance, we may even go to the extent of avoiding it. Believing that “money is the root of all evil” will make you avoid it. Believing that “the love of money is the root of all evil” will make you work for wealth that you will eventually use for the right purposes.
Money is such a powerful personality magnifier. A bad person can be made worse by riches, and a good person can be empowered to do greater deeds with wealth.
Money, in the right hands, can make the world a better place for everyone.
4. Lack of effort
My father always told me that nothing substitutes for hard work. He said that big dreams are nothing if you don’t work on them.
Isn’t it odd that many people want to achieve much yet do not exert effort? There are those who say they want to get wealthy, but they stop at “wanting.”
The ordinary Filipino relies on luck. Our culture is beset with that. People think that being abundant is a “destiny.” If it’s for you, it’s for you. This “big kill” mentality has led many to rely on chance rather than dependable daily productivity. This is why people line up for the lotto twice a week instead of executing a worthwhile investment program.
There has to be effort. The price of success is always paid for in advance. And on that counter where success is purchased, there is no such thing as a discount. The amount you get is the amount you are willing to pay for.
If you’re not empowered, if you are not in a position to live the life you want and you’re just dependent on some track—or destiny—that has been there for you, then why exert the effort? You always have to believe that you write your own destiny.
More than just our taipans, many poor people have overcome their challenges and changed their lives. Some would say, “It’s because they got lucky,” or “They had a big break.” For me, the multitudes of those who got lucky never depended on luck; they were ready for the break. They worked for it. So when the break came, they capitalized and seized the day. Many people do not make it because they’re just hoping they will get a break, and when it comes, they aren’t even ready for it. This is why most of those who win the lotto end up where they started at after only a few years. Yes, they were blessed with their break, but not knowing what to do with it just put the opportunity to waste.
Got Big Dreams?
Go for what you want, be excited with it, and work to make it a reality. Don’t let people steal your dreams. People will doubt you, but that’s OK, as long as you don’t doubt yourself. If you doubt yourself the way they do, you’re allowing other people to steal your dream.
There’s this story of a young boy who’s relatively poor who had an exercise in school. The teacher told the class, “Make a drawing of how you and your family are going to be years from now.” Sure enough, some kids drew nice pictures of families in houses with gardens on the beach, or on a trip. This boy, one of the poorest in the class, had a talent for drawing. He drew a beautiful picture of his family in a majestic house—it was palatial, almost like a castle.
The teacher went over the papers that weekend. Come Monday, she gave back the papers to the class. The poor boy’s grade was a C. A number of his classmates got As even if they had inferior drawings.
The teacher said she gave the boy that grade because he drew something unrealistic, even if it was a nice drawing. She said, “The exercise was, ‘Draw your family some years into the future.’ Obviously, with where your family is today, this picture will never become true. You’re simply setting yourself up for disappointment.”
If that child took what his teacher said—hook, line, and sinker—he would have let his teacher steal his dream.
Sometimes, being too realistic means allowing and letting people steal our dream.
After several years, there was a special program in that same school. It was a big day to honor an alumnus who was a huge success in his career. Students stood in awe as a spectacular car entered the compound and parked on a reserved slot for the day’s extraordinary guest. A well-dressed gentleman with a folder in his hands alighted and hugged the teachers who were gathered. It was obvious he was a wealthy and accomplished person.
Then he came face to face with one of the teachers. “Ma’am, I hope you remember me. I was the boy whom you gave a C for this drawing.” He pulled out an old but neatly pressed piece of paper from his folder. It was the drawing of a family in the magnificent house. “I have kept this,” he said. “It was a dream that I held in my heart and the picture that I saw almost every day that I struggled and fought to make my dream come true. I thank you for the C, ma’am. It pushed me more than any A could ever have.”
Then he pulled out several pictures from that same folder. these were no longer drawings. They were real pictures of the house he now lives in with his entire family. the house was almost the same as the drawing that he drew as a young boy.
He’s now one of the world’s most sought-after architects.
When you let other people steal your dreams, you settle. That’s something you shouldn’t want to do. When you settle, you aspire for something lower than what you really want. Don’t do that. Always know what you want and work hard for it.
Create a goal board that translates your goals and what you want to achieve into pictures. Place your goal board where you can see it often. The more accurate the pictures, the better. Our minds react better to visuals, and this will make your journey more exciting. Over time, you will change your goal board and you will go for visual symbolizations of your new Everests.
There was a time I kept a small round sticker at the center of my wristwatch. To me, it represented a very specific goal. Whenever I look at my watch, I get reminded of what I want to achieve. I immediately think about what I need to do to be a step closer to the fulfillment of my goal. This became so effective for me that I moved on to putting stickers in our bathroom mirror, the center of my car’s steering wheel, and on my office desk.
We often get annoyed when someone else constantly reminds us of what we need to do or accomplish. If we do it ourselves for the goals that matter to us, we will be more focused and motivated.
Justification Through Simple Needs
I saw this quote more than once and I have a different take on it: “The wealthiest people are those who do not have much but those who need less.”
For me, there is really nothing wrong with being happy with what you have. I have many friends who live simple lives and are truly happy. But there are those who envy others for what they have and what they have accomplished. That means you’re not truly happy. A simple and content person is naturally happy for the achievement of others. Envious people are just trying to be happy with what they have, but deep inside they want more. Unfortunately, they are not willing to do what it takes to have more.
Strive to get what you like and do not fake being content just because you aren’t willing to do what it takes to have more.
If you want a better house, a nicer car, or a more exciting vacation for your family and loved ones, why don’t you work on it?
Having simple needs can sometimes be a flimsy excuse not to work hard for what you truly want. At the very least, you have to give your all, not just for your material goals but also for all your other priorities.
Why will you settle with simple needs if you can get yourself to optimize on the fruits of your labor? If your needs are indeed less than what you produce or earn, then share your blessings with others.
Furthermore, it will be worthy to mention that extremely wealthy and successful people are seldom fueled by their basic needs. Making a difference in the life of others, changing the way people live their lives, and effectively serving others beyond compare all lead to a great level of success measured by truly meaningful metrics. Money is never an end goal. It simply becomes a number on a scoreboard.
This article is an excerpt from the book, Trailblazing Success: Ignite Your Corporate Career, Business and Influence by Rex Mendoza.
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