Over the last little while, my husband Allen and I have developed a deep passion for personal development. One principle that is often discussed as we read books, listen to podcasts, and talk with thought leaders, is the idea of abundance. It is often the second step–coming directly after gratitude–that is cited as the starting point for satisfaction in life. In a fabulous allegory, Oscar Basurto Carbonell, an international lecturer and spiritual teacher, breaks down the idea of abundance through the stories of two men. It goes as follows:
Every person wants to receive unlimited abundance, but very few seem to have access to this benefit. What is the reason and mystery? And in this legend, we asked then, to the one who received plenty and to the one who received little.
The first one said: – I asked to be able to Love because I am Loved. I also asked to always be happy and joyous. And today I have not only the necessary things but I also have abundance and good health for my brothers, friends and loved ones. I also have every morning’s sun, the breeze in the afternoon, the beauty of the flowers, the lullaby of the sea and the distant star, inviting me to dream. I have received more blessings than the sand in the beach.-
Then, the second one said: – I asked and asked and I only received the echo of my words. I am a sailor, owner of a ship. Nevertheless, I said to myself. What is the reason that I should not have two ships? I wished that in the morning, but hours later, I passed by the bay and said: If God is powerful, it is much better that He gives me three ships. While at night time, I wished for half of the ships of the world and I would be their captain. So far, I have seen only my old ship. Maybe God did not listen or maybe He was too busy. I have decided to keep on asking but this time, I will be wiser. Maybe one hundred ships will be enough at this time.-
And the time kept passing and this became folktale and the folktale became a story and the story became legend. And then, these men affirmed: The one who received much said:- I am very rich and blessed because I always have what is just and necessary.-
And the other one said:- I have had only one ship in my life. Maybe God will bless me in the other life and I will have a big fleet of ships. Nevertheless, I still don’t have anything.
Much like the second man, it is easy to become so focused on that which we do not possess, the prayers that have not been answered, the political/social policies that we wish were different, that we fail to recognize the abundance of things that are going right. As we begin to develop an abundant mindset, like the first man, our hearts naturally turn toward those around us, our gaze falls upon the beauties of this world, and we recognize the blessings that fill our lives. We, in turn, can provide generative solutions (answers with power to generate, originate, produce, or reproduce) for our families and communities.
This month I challenge you to focus on that which is going well, to spend time counting your blessings, and to acknowledge the goodness in those around you. My friends, I genuinely believe with all my heart that as we individually take up this challenge, we will see miracles in our own lives, in the lives of those around us, and in the ocean of Big Ocean as a whole.