I read somewhere that for most of us, our first thought of the day is one of scarcity. Is your first thought “I didn’t get enough sleep last night?” Or “I’ll never get everything done on my list today”? I confess to having had both of these thoughts before my feet even hit the floor. I’m realizing how this perception that we don’t have enough – of things like time and energy – sets us up to be dissatisfied all day.
If I believe that today I will have to go without – without sufficient energy, or sleep, or satisfaction – I begin my day frustrated and irritable. I look for evidence that my fears are accurate, and each tiny struggle or disappointment fuels my sense of injustice and dissatisfaction.
I can recognize this tendency to think negatively in those first waking moments, and I can counteract it with some deliberate choices.
When I’m disciplined I take the time to write in my gratitude journal before going to sleep. This helps me to keep track of the little things that went right each day, things that are easy to forget when annoying items clamor for my attention. Now when I wake up I try to read over what I wrote the night before to remind myself that things always seem to work out in a way that is perfect for everyone.
For years I’ve been teaching that we find evidence of whatever we’re looking for. Because there are millions of events that happen in the world each day, your ego mind will focus on the ones that validate the perspective that you’re holding, and ignore the events that seem to contradict your viewpoint.
Knowing this, I try to pay attention to my perspective, noticing if I’m looking for evidence that life is pretty great, or that it’s pretty tiresome. Because my perspective will be validated, of that I’m sure!
And boy is it easy to slip back into scarcity thinking!! We are inundated with messages about scarcity, since it is scarcity thinking that motivates us to buy more products. You know, so that we can get more time, youth, health, sex appeal, etc – all the things that we’ve been told are in short supply.
I’m writing about this topic because the goal of this blog is to help the reader feel better. At the end of the day I believe that this is why we pursue anything – because we believe that it will make us feel better in some way. And I’ve noticed a direct correlation between scarcity thinking and unhappiness.
So the more that I can move away from scarcity thinking, the more I move towards happiness. I invite you to notice this pattern in your own life, and let me know what you observe.