What started off as a typical day with me doing a nursery run for my daughter on a Wednesday afternoon, turned into an emotional roller coaster of helplessness, vulnerability, followed by immense gratitude and fulfilment. As I went to pick her up from the nursery, she was particularly cranky for some odd reason. Not wanting to make the drive back home an absolute nightmare, I enticed her with her favorite meal – paratha (flatbread) and karak (local tea). Drove to our favorite paratha place and as I was perfecting my parallel parking, I realized I forgot to get my wallet from home. With the smell of paratha in my mind and a tantrum throwing toddler in the backseat, I started hunting for loose change in my car, not wanting to give up hope. To my surprise, I found 13 AED which is apparently enough for the affordable place I was stepping into.
Off we went, excitedly waiting for our meal. I can’t tell you how much my daughter and I devoured every bite of that yummy paratha, because I knew that’s all we had. As she gulped the last crumbs of the bread and I asked for the bill, she started screaming for more paratha. No matter how much I tried distracting her or explaining to her that we can’t have more, she wouldn’t budge. At that moment, the sheer helplessness of my position engulfed me. Although I knew this was a temporary situation, the feeling of not being able to provide food for my child because I did not have enough cash was limiting and debilitating. This pushed me to do something I’d never do otherwise, asking them to bring one more paratha for which I will pay later. They didn’t see anything wrong with that and my daughter got what she wanted. All this while, I was left feeling weak, exposed and vulnerable. My issue was not that I had to swallow my pride to ask them for food when I didn’t have money to pay for it. On the contrary, it was the humbling realization of how much I have and how blessed I am. It was a series of what ifs…what if I was actually not able to provide food for my child, what if I didn’t have enough to offer her a comfortable life. There are countless people out there who go through this struggle on a daily basis. My heart reached out to people who watch their kids go to bed on an empty stomach. Parents who can’t protect their children from cold because they cannot afford warm clothes. Children whose soft, tender feet have been hardened by walking barefoot for way too long.
And at that point, everything else in life felt so trivial. All the other worries and daily stresses seemed so petty. Nothing came close to the blessed, liberating feeling that I am able to provide for whatever my family needs, whenever they need. Don’t we all have so much to be thankful and grateful for? That house that you can’t seem to stand anymore has been providing you with shelter and comfort for years. That career you want to write-off because you were passed off for promotion is the one that got you where you are now. And those precious relationships that you take for granted every single day are all you’ve got. So cherish them, nurture them, and most importantly value them. When you live a life of abundance, it breeds positivity, it fosters gratitude and fulfillment and it leads you to share and multiply all that positive energy you have. Abundance sets you free. Instead of approaching things with a deficit mindset of I don’t have this, what if I had that, or if only I get that – try practicing appreciation for all the beautiful things you do have. And trust me, we all have a lot to be thankful for.
Here are three simple steps you can take to craft a life of abundance:
1. I. Am. Enough
The starting point of cultivating a mindset of abundance is the belief that I am enough, what I have is enough. I know what I am and what I’m not and both are okay. When you are confidently vulnerable, you are comfortable in your own skin, confident about your strengths and you learn to make peace with your needs. When you are here, you are open, humble, confident, trust is high and communication is fluid. As you start living this way, you invite others to do the same. You invite transparency and vulnerability. And yes, this works at work too 😉
2. Give. Share. Multiply.
Just like happiness, abundance is incredibly contagious. When you comprehend the concept of abundance and understand that there is so much you have to offer others that even if you spend your entire life doing so, you will still not be done. And here I’m not only referring to your material wealth and possessions, but what you have to offer as a person. Being there for loved ones when they need you, offering a word of career advice to colleagues, sharing your bright and creative ideas with others and spreading your positivity and energy to make someone’s day.
3. Be inclusive of other’s goals and needs.
Yes, life is not all about you. You got that right. Either being dependent on others for your needs or operating independently in the illusion of productivity, doesn’t get you much far. Instead, when you operate from ‘interdependence’ and take into account others’ objectives, needs and what they bring to the table, you succeed collectively. The outcome is rich and meaningful because both parties have a stake and their input is taken into account. How many times at work you’ve led projects taking into consideration everyone’s input and contribution, elevating others and witnessed how brilliant and complete the output was. It’s the same in life. It’s easier to go at something alone and get it done ‘your’ way but it is far more fulfilling to take people along who matter and have their voices heard and understood.
About the Author:
Samia helps millennials to know who they are, and achieve what they are capable of. She is the founder of Direction Dose – Career and Startup coaching for millennials. She’s an ICF certified career coach, NLP Practitioner, writer and speaker, based in Dubai. Having over 9 years of experience at Procter & Gamble in brand management and coaching; Samia knows what it takes for Gen Y to excel and succeed in their careers and startups.