20 Jul Get Rich In Time
I recently read a book titled, Scarcity – Why Having Too Little Means So Much. It is a research book that demonstrates how the lack of something affects our decisions and choices in the present and how those choices determine our future. It was interesting to read about the “games” or experiments the authors conducted by making one group “rich”and the other “poor” in something as simple as blueberries or as critical as time to complete a specific task. The key takeaway is that a scarcity mindset traps us in tunnel vision. While it might help us get through today, it can trap us right where we are now, preventing us from seeing outside the tunnel and what’s possible.
The feeling of having too little can positively focus people to use what they have to the fullest. (Think of a parent or grandparent who grew up in the depression and smoothens out the used Christmas wrapping or saves pieces of string or wire for a future use.) Yet, too little also causes people to be overly focused on present needs while neglecting to foresee the adverse affect their decisions about time or resources today will have on their future. These present choices by responsible people often keep someone with a scarcity mindset stuck if not cause them to move backwards, falling farther into poverty or scarcity in general.
Although I work with CEO’s and business leaders who are charged with growing people and an organization, a scarcity mindset is not unusual to find. When one is pressed for time or has a lack of resources, he or she feels the need to focus on urgencies of the present. This is a genuine need especially when a large, prospective customer is on the hook or a bank loan comes due or is up for renewal. Tremendous present focus is required at times. The real issue arises when leaders choose to remain in the present swirl and not extract themselves or reach out to others (i.e. a coach or advisor group) to pull them out of the whirlpool. It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex by daily stress and become paralyzed in the present, unable to look outward and forward. Stepping out of the business of today is seen as a “luxury” of time some leaders feel they simply cannot afford. It’s easy to be lured into believing the here and now needs us – all of us and our full attention.
A mindset of scarcity – in any situation of life or business- can trap us right where we are with little or no growth. Do you think of yourself as an effective leader? Take a look at the wake you leave behind you and how it is directing others. Could it be that you are the cause of a scarcity mindset in your organization?
If we want to grow and have more or better results, we need to use more than just the present realm. Taking our time and talents to the future is where we find our north star, our ultimate goal, our purpose, our compass point that will direct the organization’s present choices and decisions. If we do not break out of today to plan for that future, we can never truly be present to enjoy important things – time with family/ friends, time to identify and attract new leaders and grow current associates into the leaders we need them to be.
In one way, the realms of time afford us all – “rich or poor”- the same opportunities. It is up to each of us to choose our mindset. We must stop thinking of time in terms of scarcity, and see time is in abundance. The real, urgent necessity is to set aside time now to make a plan for the future. It is only when we have this future roadmap in hand, that we can identify fruitful opportunities. When we are clear about our future, we feel abundantly rich and in sync to reap the wondrous rewards of being present to new opportunities and are generous with time spent with family and friends.
Think you cannot afford the luxury of setting aside time to plan? You can’t afford not to. Choose to see time in abundance and watch a wealth of opportunities unfold.