In Garrett B. Gunderson’s book “Killing Sacred Cows – Overcoming The Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity”, he breaks the book down into 9 financial myths that are spread throughout our society and furthered by our schools, financial advisors, and our families and friends that cause us to believe that thinking outside the myths is “too good to be true” or at worse “risky.”
Myth #1 “The Finite Pie” explains the mindset that most people have regarding our resources among many other things. Gunderson explains how the majority of people operate under the idea that we have a finite number of resources as opposed to what we actually have, an infinite amount. The key objective in this chapter, at least as I see it, is to explain the difference between the “scarcity” and “abundance” mindset. I literally felt my paradigm shift while reading it. He lists 9 ways of thinking to help you determine if you possess a scarcity mindset.
To be honest, after doing some self evaluations when reading through these, I possess too many of them to feel comfortable leaving my mindset where it is. With the scarcity mindset, you believe that with every asset or opportunity that someone acquires, that it’s one lost for you. You can see how this mindset would breed jealousy and hatred for others and their good fortunes instead of being happy for others. Using that same mindset, you would hoard everything because one more asset or opportunity for you is one you haven’t lost to someone else. You begin to see everyone as a competitor and turn everything into a competition.
Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The main difference between scarcity and abundance is that scarcity is limited and abundance is limitless, as Gunderson describes. He makes an excellent point when he describes how valuing material things in themselves as opposed to their worth to others leads to the scarcity mindset and when you think like that then the only way to increase your wealth is to hoard things. With that same thought, losing things even in an agreeable trade would lead you to believe that you reduced your wealth. He claims that this type of thinking is illogical. The value is in the people… NOT the things.
“More gold has been mined from the thoughts of men than has ever been taken from the earth.” – Napolean Hill
He poses a great question in this chapter: “If I have a book and you have $20, and we mutually decide to exchange my book for your $20, what was the book worth to you? What was the book worth to me?”
Most people would answer that the book was worth $20 to both. As he explains, that is incorrect. “We only give up something in an exchange when we value what we’re receiving more than we value what we’re giving up.” Therefore, the book was worth less than $20 to me, and more than $20 to you. “The value is not in the things – it is in the minds of people.” Gunderson claims that when people understand this simple fact, then we begin to seek how we can add value to others’ lives.
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” – Pericles
My favorite point that Gunderson makes in this section is the difference between quality of life and quantity of stuff. He states that “Our quality of life is closely tied to our level of financial freedom.” He defines financial freedom as “the choice that money will no longer be the primary factor in our decision-making process.” He goes on to say that “this doesn’t mean that it’s not a factor – it’s just not the main factor.”
“People who are operating in abundance know that by serving the wants and needs of others, and thus creating happiness in the lives of others, they actually bring more happiness to themselves. The goal is to serve others, not to exploit or dominate them.”
Gunderson then lists several ways to know if you are of the “abundance mindset”:
So which mindset do you have? Do you have one of scarcity or abundance? If it’s one of scarcity, are you ready and willing to change?
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