Thinking in Abundant-Sum Terms

I have noticed something about myself:

A whole lot of my envy, greed, and fear fires up when I’m thinking in zero-sum terms.

I was envious of one friend because I thought another friend liked him more than me. More affection for someone else could only mean less affection for me.

I had no interest in sharing the incredible spring rolls I’d ordered. There’d be that much less for me to enjoy.

I was afraid to spend money on a trip to see a friend; that would mean way less cash in the bank.

When I’m in the thick of these moments, my thoughts are bossed by this notion: there isn’t enough to go around, so grab, grab, grab, and clutch it tight. And that fosters a real smallness of heart.

But the counter to that, what blows my heart right open, is thinking in abundant-sum terms. Terms that state, This is a world of plenty, and the way to crack open that abundance is to give and to live abundantly.

It can feel like a leap of faith, like it defies basic principles of math and logic. But the world doesn’t abide by mathematical or logical rules.

When I shared the spring rolls, every other plate on the table opened up to me.

When I spent the money on the trip, I got such an absurd wealth of human connection.

And when I can get to the other side of my envy, I see and I feel how love for one soul in no way diminishes love for another soul. It is humbling how abundant the human heart is.

Sure, sometimes I get what seems like the short end of the stick. But more often than not, I’ve been floored by how if I stop thinking and acting in less/scarce/not enough terms, things stop seeming that way.

So here I am standing in this world of plenty. And a big part of my work, as I see it, is to treat it as such.

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