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John Maxwell Team

John Maxwell Team Certified Member

Priscilla Archangel is a John Maxwell Team Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker.

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    An Abundance Mindset

    In Peter Diamandis’ book, Abundance, he tells the story of the discovery of aluminum. According to the tale, around 2,000 years ago, a goldsmith brought an unusual dinner plate to the court of the Emperor Tiberius. It was made from a shiny, lightweight, bright new metal that was the color of silver. The goldsmith said that he had used a secret formula to extract this new metal from clay. Tiberius was very interested in it because he had a massive amount of gold and silver as a result of his many conquests across Europe. He believed that if this goldsmith helped others to extract this rare new metal from mere clay, it could substantially decrease the value of his fortune. Rather than risk that happening, he had the goldsmith beheaded.

    Aluminum did not reappear until around 1825 when once again, a complex process for extracting the metal was discovered. Since then, technology has improved the process so much that the price has been drastically reduced and it is easily available. You see, aluminum itself isn’t rare; it’s the third most plentiful element on earth and represents 8.3% of the weight of the world. There’s an abundance of aluminum, but it was initially scarce due to the difficulty in accessing it.


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    Abundance Vs. Scarcity

    The Emperor Tiberius had a scarcity mindset. He feared loss of position and power from this precious new metal that he knew little about. Individuals with a scarcity mindset focus on lack and insufficiency and therefore make decisions based on what’s best for themselves, even at the expense of others.

    Had he known the abundance of aluminum as compared to gold (all the gold that has ever been mined would only fill about one-third of the Washington Monument), he might have made a different decision, and somehow harnessed the power of aluminum for his benefit. Individuals with an abundance mindset focus on having an extremely plentiful supply, more than enough to go around.

    This mindset of abundance versus scarcity plays out in other ways in our lives. As we face challenges and opportunities in our work, our mindset will dictate the approach we take and impact the results we achieve. It will dictate whether we are inclusive in our approach to problems in a way that invites cross-functional perspectives, and solicits inputs from others who may not normally be involved in particular issues. Abundance thinking invites new ideas and possibilities. It provides a foundation for innovation and creativity based on a positive outlook for the future; and is the basis for solving many of the difficulties we face today. This mindset drives our behaviors.


    A modern day example of behaviors that support an abundance mindset is WeWork, a four year old company that provides co-working office space, primarily targeted at startups and younger companies who want (and need) heavy interaction. They lease large blocks of office space and subdivide it into smaller parcels; then charge monthly memberships to businesses who want to work, network and share ideas in a collaborative environment. All office services are provided and planned activities enable them to pitch ideas, gain business from one another, and share advice. The founders, Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, each grew up in communal living (in Israel and Eugene, OR respectively) and thus saw the value of a shared and collaborative environment.

    With 31 locations, 15,000+ members and estimated gross earnings of $150 million this year, they have a current valuation of $1.5 billion, with plans to grow 3 to 4 times that size over the next year. In short, there’s a heavy demand (and a waiting list) for this type of working environment. And the companies that rent this space recognize that collaborating and sharing increases their value.

    Your Abundance

    As we consider our U.S. Thanksgiving celebrations over the past week, hopefully this has been a time of reflecting on the abundance in our lives. It also provides an opportunity to enhance our perspective on where we exhibit abundance or scarcity in our mindset and behaviors. It’s not simply about accumulation of financial reserves, friends, or material goods. It’s the way we approach life and behave.

    Abundance is driven by a mindset of considering future possibilities.

           Scarcity is driven by mindset of complacency with the current state.

    Abundance suggests sharing because there will always be enough to go around.

           Scarcity suggests hoarding what you have.

    Abundance mindsets look for creative opportunities to integrate with the work of others.

           Scarcity mindsets believe there is little opportunity for improvement on their work.

    Abundance thinkers focus on adding value to others first, and thus add value to themselves.

           Scarcity thinkers focus on promoting oneself first, and thus overlook the value of others.

    So be abundant in your mindset.



    Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler.

    Read the story of WeWork in Forbes Magazine here.

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    Pull Those Weeds

    One of the things I enjoy about the spring and summer months is driving down the street of my neighborhood and seeing the beautifully landscaped lawns.Just the right placement of bushes, trees, flowers, ground cover, mulch, pavers, and other lawn décor to complement the homes, sets a pleasant environment as I pass by.As often as possible, I also like to go walking in the neighborhood.This gets me closer to nature as I look at the various landscaping designs, but it often provides a surprise as well.

    As I approach on foot what appears to be a wonderfully manicured lawn, I begin to see that what originally appeared to be a plant is instead a weed! In fact there are weeds growing in the flowerbeds, around the bushes and in the lawn.I’m appalled that the homeowners have let their lawn become so marred by these unsightly weeds.Surely they see them! Why don’t they make it a priority to pull them?How long could it take to simply spray weed killer on them?

    As I’m finishing my walk, still shaking my head about several of the lawns that need care and attention, I approach my own home.Hmm…what’s that plant sticking up in the middle of my nicely shaped bushes?Oh my! It’s a weed! Let me pull it!Twenty minutes later, I’m still pulling weeds because once I pull the first one I see another, and another and another. I find myself walking around bushes that I don’t typically get close to, and there are all sorts of small, medium and large weeds growing.I couldn’t see them from the street or from the car as I drove into the garage.I might have just pulled some a week ago, but with recent rains they’ve had more than enough time to grow again.I sadly realize that my lawn looks just as bad as my neighbors’ lawns that I criticized.

    My husband is always trying (unsuccessfully) to figure out how to permanently stop the weeds from growing. We alternate between removing them ourselves and paying someone to do it; between pulling them by hand and spraying them with weed killer. There’s never a break, we have to constantly stay on top of this chore or they’ll get out of hand.

    As I’m pulling weeds I’m reminded how much they are like life. You can get all dressed up in your finest clothes, and from a distance your hair, makeup and nails may look just perfect.People might look at you in awe as a result of something that you’ve accomplished, but if you’re not pulling your weeds, you may not want people to get too close to you.They might see your heavy makeup trying to cover the flaws in your complexion, your slip hanging, the missing button on your jacket, and the run in your stockings; signs of trouble in your life. They might see that your smile is plastered on your strained face; signs of trouble in your spirit.You may look great from afar, but if others get too close they might see that you’ve failed to keep the weeds out of your life.

    Weeds are pesky little things…

    ….They’re little negative actions that left unchecked begin to grow into regular bad habits.An occasional curse word under your breath when you’re rea­lly upset, turns into a convenient expression to use frequently.

    ….They’re the little white lie you told your boss, your stockholders, or the press, and then you had to keep lying to cover up the first lie; and now your character is shattered.

    ….They’re the things you neglect to do because you’re tired, like spending time with God, or respecting your spouse’s needs.You don’t notice the difference at first, but after a while you realize that your attitude has changed, and not for the better.

    ….They’re the foods you eat because they taste sooo good, even though you know they’re not good for you, and they exacerbate your health problems….but you haven’t learned to control your appetite, physically or emotionally.

    ….They’re the unnecessary cluttered papers and dust in the corners of your home or office that resemble the cluttered people in the corners of your life.They cause you to lose focus on God’s purpose.

    I planted a vegetable garden last summer for the first time in my life.It was just a small 4X4′ raised box, but I found that I had to go out almost every day and “tend” my garden.I had to pull weeds; “harvest” the ripe tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers, pull any dead leaves, make sure the rabbits and squirrels weren’t getting into it, and of course keep it well watered.It only took about 10 minutes, but it was a peaceful time, and that small commitment of time enabled my garden to grow bountiful fruit.

    In the same way, as I properly tend my life, keep an eye out for the weeds when they’re little and remove them quickly, the positive gifts from God will have room to develop and grow in my life. A wonderful array of His Fruit will be on display for all to see God’s glory in me.

    Copyright 2011 Priscilla Archangel

    Photo courtesy of IStockPhoto

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