Lessons from a Life: Abundance

Quirky Professor's Lessons on Passion

Lesson #7: Develop Prosperous Habits


A society in which vocation and job are separated for most people gradually creates an economy that is often devoid of spirit, one that frequently fills our pocketbooks at the cost of emptying our souls.Sam Keen


Recently a dear friend sent me a LinkedIn blog post called, “Do What You Love” Is Horrible Advice and asked me to write a rebuttal which I just did, using this quote.  I did not have to write much since the other comments had already done a great job of pointing out how the article promoted the common fear that if you go after your dreams, you will be left without enough money. My response was “I wonder if you have had the experience of finding and following a passion to the ends of the earth. Once you do, you can never go back to a more conventional way of building a career or life.”


Yesterday, a lesson on abundance also came to my inbox from another dear friend who urged me to listen to a commencement speech by Jim Carrey which has many great lessons in it about developing prosperous habits including this, “My father taught me you can fail at something you do not like, so you might as well go for what you love.”


A simple way of looking at the word ‘abundance’ is to think about it as the lack of lack. In regards to work and making career changes this principle can apply to ideas, opportunities, time as well as money. Developing prosperous habits requires you to embrace a positive outlook and seize any challenge as an opportunity placed in front of you. 


We all too often are choosing from a ‘lack’ instead of abundance. In thinking about this practice, I have created four types of habits that I refer to as the 4 M’s of Prosperity: Mind, Management, Mastery and Marketing.


Here are examples that will help you prepare for the activities below that will help you create more abundance:


The Four M’s of Prosperity


1. Mind: Actions that will help you feel more abundant.


  • Volunteer your time to someone less fortunate
  • Spend time developing your dreams
  • Keep a daily gratitude journal


2. Management: Actions that will help you create financial clarity and organization.


  • Get help managing and paying down debt
  • Create a personal spending plan and update it each month
  • Create a business plan to see if your idea has a good Return on Investment


3. Mastery: Actions that will help you develop your natural talents into marketable skills.


  • Go back to school
  • Find a mentor and have them recommend you on how to advance in your field
  • Develop a discipline to practice and hone your craft, like writing daily or doing volunteer work until you are skilled enough to be paid


4. Marketing: Actions that will help you test the feasibility of making money from doing what you love.


  • Test your business idea by creating a focus group of potential clients
  • Send your resume out to as many of your contacts as possible
  •  Create a MeetUp.com group to attract new clients to your freelance business
  • Solicit help from friends to expand your network
  • Get feedback from your boss or your clients
  • Find a person who is good at sales to partner with


Activity #1:  


  • What messages am I telling myself that may create a lack versus an abundance mentality?
  • How can I create a more prosperous attitude?                       


Activity #2:


  • Refer to the 4 M’s and brainstorm a list of ten habits you can adapt to create more prosperity. 
  • Choose 3 ideas from your list and create a plan to implement them in the next day. 

Laurel Donnellan

CEO and Founder, Bright Livelihoods

Laurel’s mission is to help people find their home in the world of work. She has 30 years of experience as a leader, educator and coach and has degrees from Cornell and Columbia.  To request a private half-hour coaching session with Laurel, e-mail us at info@brightlivelihoods.com


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