Hayfield at sunset

Rethinking Abundance
Story 67

By Kirsten Cutler

Abundance is not a word we use or think about frequently, but it’s a powerful one. If you're like me, at first thought, you define abundance as plenty of those things that bring you contentment. If there's plenty of everything, there's no need for unhappiness or conflict, right? The problem is, there never seems to be enough.

Many experts agree that it’s not so much abundance itself but the recognition of it that is powerful. Author Dr. Stephen R. Covey wrote about an “abundance mentality” in his internationally bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit 4, which is focused on the practice of creating win-win situations, taps into what he calls the abundance mentality, or believing there is plenty. 

Journal with ocean view

Research shows our personal perspective on abundance affects well-being pretty powerfully when taken to the next step – gratitude. In one of his studies, Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis, found that people who kept gratitude journals for three weeks reported a host of physical benefits including lower blood pressure and better sleep. Socially, people reported being more helpful, generous, and compassionate.

When living our day-to-day lives, it’s not easy to identify abundance. At times, we all experience a scarcity of money, time, energy, health, or a host of other things. It’s simply easier to focus on what we don’t have.

In the book of I Corinthians, chapter 13, Paul writes about three gifts that abide. They remain, they stay, without fading. “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Maybe it’s faith in the power of your choices, in a higher power, or in the companionship of your loved one. Maybe it’s hope for the breakthrough, the job opportunity, or the better day that’s coming. Maybe it’s the steadfast love that you forgot is always there. What if we recognized the gifts that are always abundant?