Portfolio of Hope

photo of drinking glass beside lemons

Life is hard, there’s no getting away from that fact. You could be the richest person alive but, simply because you’re here, alive, means that you’re going to have to endure a lot, and it will, more likely than not, be a struggle (unless you’re an AI robot, or a sociopath- same difference?- in which case, you have nothing to worry about. Except for the fact that you’re a robot, or a sociopath. So actually, yeah, you probably should be worried).

This ‘struggle’ that we are all, collectively, made to endure in life, simply as a rite of passage for our aliveness, it is the very nature of life. Wherever there is finite time, (for which, in life, time is obviously finite, no one lives forever, no matter how much we try to squash that thought to the back of our minds), there is loss. And, wherever there is loss, the struggle that we feel will be inevitable…

A struggle that sees us being forced to face our own mortality, as well as, perhaps even more challengingly, the mortality of all those whom we love, it’s an indescribably hard thing, but, a thing which we will all go through. It’s the one thing that connects us all- grief. We could be at opposite ends of the political spectrum, coming from vastly different backgrounds but, our limited time on earth is what unites us all… For, life isn’t infinite, our time here is limited and, one day, it will run out. Our loved ones will die and we will have to deal with that. We will have to learn to navigate a world which they’re no longer a part of, this being something that no amount of money can excuse us from. You could be the richest person in the world but, ultimately, money will not save you, for, money cannot buy time. It cannot buy life. It cannot release you from the inevitable struggle that constitutes our existence…

Now, in reading this, and in recognising our limited time here on earth, it can be very easy to adopt a scarcity mindset. Time is, after all, incredibly and, undeniably, scarce. In doing this though, in adopting a scarcity mindset, you are, perhaps unknowingly, throwing away what little time you do have here on something that you cannot control anyway- mortality.

A ‘motto’ of sorts which I am trying to live my life by as of late is to;

As a massive overthinker, worrier, all of the above, I know that this is much easier said than done. I still worry about things that are out of my control, (I’m neurodivergent, it sort of comes with the job title), but, in trying to resist actioning those worries, I waste less time pursuing things that inevitably waste my time. Less time is spent(/wasted) engaging in completely pointless endeavours (‘completely pointless’ because, when I’m trying to control something that I have absolutley no influence over/that I absolutely cannot control, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this is futile and just will not work).

A very basic (i.e., tragically boring) and yes, unfortunately REAL example… On Friday night I’m going to a comedy gig with my sister. Exciting. Well, you’d think it would be, wouldn’t you… I’ve spent the past two days, however, worrying about whether we will be able to get an Uber when it finishes (first world problems, I know. Like I said, tragic). Instead of feeling excited in anticipation for the event, I’ve just been feeling anxious which I know, rationally, is ridiculous. If we can’t get an Uber after the show, then worrying about it will not change anything. No amount of manifesting a cab in the world will work. The availability of an Uber is out of my control. To spend hours and hours worrying about it then, it’s pointless because it will not, it cannot, change anything. It just ruins the fun.

Now, unfortunately, I’m not quite ‘there’ in terms of being able to adopt a ‘what will be will be’, very ‘blasé’ attitude about things. It would be lovely to be able to just turn up on Friday, enjoy the show and try to hail a cab when it finishes, not giving the plausibility of us being unable to hail a cab a second thought, just dealing with that situation when (or rather, if) it happens. Like I said though, I’m not quite at that stage just yet. So, what I have been doing is, instead of worrying about us not being able to get an Uber, I’ve put a ‘contingency plan’ in place (in my head, I’m not that tragic-yet), of what we will do in the event that this does come into fruition, in the event that we indeed cannot get an Uber. What we will do, I have determined, is either walk back, or phone my Dad to pick us up from the arena. Now, neither of these things particularly require any effort and, more importantly, neither of them MATTER, like, at all…

In thinking about these things, as I have demonstrated above, you come to realise just how irrational your thoughts really are. This isn’t to trivialise your anxieties, I know first-hand how difficult and all-consuming anxiety can be, but, it’s just to say that, in asking yourself, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’, and stopping for a moment to consider the answer(s) to that question, you come to realise that, actually, the chances that something ‘bad’ will happen are incredibly slim and, even if something ‘bad’ were to happen, you can’t control it anyway, so there’s no point spending so much time whittling and worrying about it…*

*Maybe I am more of a ‘what will be will be’ sort of person after all.*

Doing so- spending all your time worrying about the uncontrollable- it ultimately just feeds into, and sustains, the ‘scarcity’ mindset, a mindset which sees one adopting a very negative worldview characterised by pessimism and feelings of ‘the whole world is against me.’ This is obviously not the mindset you want to be carrying with you in life, in fact, it is the polar opposite to what you should be carrying with you- an ‘abundance’ mindset, which sees you adopting a positive, optimistic attitude towards life, being of the realisation that there is enough joy for us all to access.

With such little time here on earth, we all need to try to implement the abundance mindset into our lives, as we embrace a more positive attitude.

Whilst the fact that life is finite is unchangeable, it is uncontrollable, something as simple as a shift in our mindset, from one of scarcity, to one of abundance, has the potential to in fact prolong what time we do have, as an Oregon State University study shows…

*It’s important to note that the outcome of the above study does in fact work in both ways… Being of an abundance mindset is great because, in believing that there is enough for everyone, this positive energy is realised in ‘real life’, as the world around us becomes a seemingly more positive place to be. Being of a scarcity mindset though, in projecting our negative energy out into the world, the world is more likely to become a more negative place to be, the ‘law of attraction’ very much coming into play.

So, how can you adopt an ‘abundance’ mindset into your own life? The best way is through thinking about, and being grateful for, all of the things which you already have in your life, rather than all of the things which you lack. The latter- thinking about all of the things which you don’t have- is the nature of a scarcity mindset, which you are trying to stay away from at all costs (too negative).

One simple trick to shifting your mindset, is to just change your use of language. Don’t worry, I’m not proposing you become fluent in French, literally just changing one word can make a massive difference to your attitude towards life. An example- instead of saying I ‘have’ to all the time, start saying I ‘get’ to (as I say in this post)…

‘I get to walk my dogs this morning.’

‘I get to see one of my favourite comedians live with my sister.’

By just changing one word; ‘have’ to ‘get’, you’re encouraged to express greater gratitude, to look for the good in life, to be more positive.

Even the seemingly ‘bad’ things that happen to you, if you stop for a moment and consider them, you will realise that, even in those things there are positives to be found, life lessons to be learnt…

Been made redundant from your job? Yes, this is difficult, and I have no doubt that you will have all sorts of anxities surrounding losing your source of income, perhaps losing your sense of purpose in life, even, but, try not to dwell on those anxieties… Easier said than done, I know but, with a positive, abundance mindset, try to focus on the positives (because, there will be some). Can you use the time you have gained, time that you would otherwise never have had if you were working, to do a ‘life audit’, to assess where you’re currently at in life and where you want to be, and to determine what steps you need to take in order to get there? Maybe you’ll decide to go back to school- to college or university to qualify for that job role that you’ve always wanted to do but never felt ‘good enough’ for. Maybe you’ll decide not to go back to work, to pursue your ‘passion project’, to try to turn your hobby into a career. Whatever you may or may not decide to do during this time, the fact is that you have the time to think about these things, things which you otherwise wouldn’t have thought about if you were still working/if you hadn’t been made redundant…

And so, you see? Even those things which can feel like ‘the end of the world’, even those things have positives to be found in them. It’s all about shifting your mindset, and being open to the possibility for change, being open to the possibility that, whilst yes, it might go wrong, it also, might not. But, in being so quick to think about the negatives, all of the things that could go wrong, you close yourself off to the positives, to all of the things that could go right…

That ‘thing’ which you’ve spent so much time procrastinating over doing, whatever it may be, you could do it tomorrow and it might change the whole course of your life, opening doors for you that you didn’t even know were there, making you realise the potential that you didn’t even know you had, making you so glad that you didn’t give up.

You have so many options, so much potential for change, the potential to change your whole life if you want to, if only you change your mindset to…

A half full glass, instead of a half empty glass.

An optimistic outlook, instead of a pessimistic outlook.

An abundance mindset, instead of a scarcity mindset…

As I said at the beginning of this post, the world can be an incredibly hard place to be. It is characterised by struggle and loss, heartache and pain but, there is also so much goodness to be found in it. Sometimes, you just need to look a little bit harder to find it but, it is there, I promise you. It’s always been there, for everyone to access. There is enough goodness and positivity and joy in the world
for us all,

and, that’s on having an abundance mindset.

Anxiety making way for excitement making way for hope

in abundance.

2 responses to “How To Adopt An Abundance Mindset Towards Life…”

  1. Thanks for sharing. I related a lot. I’m in one of the scenarios you mentioned and a difficulty of the abundance mindset is a sense of being lost at the same time as feeling overwhelming urgency to sort things out. But, I do feel that an appreciative approach might help to ease that pressure to find a way through.

    I wondered if it would be possible to share this post on my blog with a link and credit to your blog? I share stories connected with sensitivity, anxiety and work life.

  2. Thank you for your comment. Sorry to read that you can relate, it’s a tricky situation to be in. But also good to recognise that you’re not alone in those feelings.

    Of course you can share. I’ve taken a look at your blog and I love what you do so would be more than happy for it to feature on your blog!

    Thanks again for your comment, it means a lot to know that my writing is reaching people who relate.
    L x

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