“I Can’t Afford It . . .”

How often do you and I hear, or even use, that well-worn phrase?

Sometimes it’s a response that comes when you and I are offering services or products to other people. But sometimes it’s a response that we make, although not always out loud.

And, when operating as a consultant I’ve had this one from a large corporation – “We think you’ve come up with a great solution that would solve all our problems – but we can’t afford it”. That company no longer exists.

And they weren’t the only company, organisation, or even nation, that has made this mistake.

You see – “I/We can’t afford it” is the signature phrase of the ‘scarcity paradigm’.

It’s that thinking framework that says that money, time or any other resource that’s needed to solve a problem or promote growth is finite and limited or in short supply.

There isn’t ‘enough’ of it to ‘go round’ or even just to resolve a particular issue.

So because ‘we can’t afford it’ nothing gets done and, the thing is, that more often than not the situation that we ‘can’t afford’ to resolve gets worse – even terminal.

So what’s the alternative?

Well there are other paradigms, two in particular, one on the ‘light side’ and one on the ‘dark side’.

On the ‘dark side’ there’s what I call the ‘denial paradigm’.

Those who subscribe to this one will either: do nothing and hope everything will be work out ‘somehow’, or, just ‘borrow’ whatever they need from someone else.

Those in the denial paradigm will just ‘take’ whatever they need with no real consideration of repaying it or giving it back – and remember it’s not always money – how many times have you or I had our time ‘stolen’ by the demands of someone else?

An interesting aspect on this one also is the behavior often exhibited by people who win a lot of money or achieve ‘celebrity’ status in some way.

They throw it all away, they get rid of it – because they fundamentally believe in the scarcity paradigm, they believe that it’s ‘bad’ to have or be what they’ve achieved – ‘money is the root of all evil’ and all that.

I call this the ‘denial’ paradigm because people who hold to this framework of thought deny the existence of the ‘light side’ paradigm – the ‘abundance paradigm’.

The abundance paradigm holds that resources are unlimited, that there is more than enough to ‘go round’.

The term ‘go round’ is actually key to this framework of thinking because the paradigm is based on the idea of giving to receive.

But not in a way that says “I’ll give you this if you’ll give me that” (that’s scarcity thinking), but just “I’ll give you this”.

Like the puzzle where there is one empty place in the square and you move the pieces around to make words or patterns, that ‘empty square’ from where you’ve just given will soon be filled by something else.

Resources circulate, and what you and I need will eventually come to us – but not necessarily in the way we expect!

But only if you and I clear a space or empty our cup by ‘giving’ someone else what they need first.

But there’s a problem.

Society, the media, politicians and the education system in most countries don’t subscribe to this framework.

That’s clear because if they did there would be far fewer ‘problems’ in the World – and in time there might not be any.

“You can’t just give stuff away!”

Oh yes we can, and in fact it’s a fundamental premise of most (if not all) faiths (although perhaps not of all religions).

This is my gift to you this week.

Give – clear a space – empty the cup

And it will be filled – in abundance

But be clear on what you need, be specific in your mind as to what you want, your vision of what you want to be, do and have or you’ll end up with something slightly, or even completely, different!

Your cup will be filled but what it is filled with does depend on what you ‘ask’ for.

If you’re not clear in the first place you may not get quite what you want. It may take a few iterations of the process before you reach your goal.

I’m off to clarify and define what it really is that I want to be do and have.

You too?