I have vivid memories of my grandfather saying, “Enough is as good as a feast.”
At the end of meals, after special outings, or the closing of a vacation, I’d hear him repeat that phrase implying a mix of gratitude and the subtle message that we, as children, were not to ask for more. I'm sure his reinforcement came from growing up in the Great Depression when things were scarce. He shared his resources and provided experiences, yet unintentionally created boundaries of constraint.
We had enough, we should not consider asking for extra. Such a question was selfish.
Work culture operates in this tension too. Many work places strive for big visions and goals, yet deal with limiting ideas of scarcity. Not enough time in the day, not enough clients in the pipeline, too few qualified candidates or not enough space for your brilliant idea in a saturated marketplace.
Team goals and individual aspirations get squashed by the perception that you lack what you need and it would be foolish to think things could improve.
Or maybe things feel manageable – like there is enough to get by. Your day-to-day operations are running smoothly. You’re meeting your quarterly goals and profits remain in the green. Yet, things feel safe and stagnant. No one on your team has taken a significant risk in months.
Is that truly abundant thinking?
I asked several individuals what living abundantly meant to them at work and in their lives.
Here are some responses:
“Living abundantly is a personal reminder that there is enough for everyone. That I can get what I want or need by helping others get what they want and need. That the challenges we face usually have a win-win solution available and everyone involved can walk away feeling satisfied.”
“Abundance means to me that there is enough to go around so you can have what you need, and so can everyone else. When I act in an abundant way, I’m not limiting the solution to just the answers I can imagine, or the perspectives I have, or the care I can provide. What I have in no way takes away from what everyone else has. It’s the opposite of scarcity and limits and fear.”
This is dreaming of more. Creating more together than we can do separately. Knocking down self-imposed limits.
What would happen if we could shift our leaders’, our teams’, and our employees’ thinking from not enough to there’s plenty to share? Thinking there’s plenty of time, plenty of business, plenty of ideas, plenty of arenas to succeed? Thinking that your success will not limit my success?
In this season of gratitude, I challenge you to think how can you adjust the dial from scarcity to abundance in your workplace. How would your dreams, goals, and team accomplishments change when you start looking for ways to erase limitations?
The only way to find out is to try.
Go ahead. Dream of more.