10 Essential Lessons for Life: The Abundance Mentality
Our lesson today is based on the law of abundance. Generosity has been such a beautiful part of our lives. This has created a true “bucket filler” mentality. On this fabulous road trip, time and time again someone has helped us out at a time we most needed it. And we, in turn, have had the opportunity to help others. So, first off, what does it mean to be a “bucket filler”?
Once again, I give you a series of insights that will hopefully motivate and inspire you with your own family. These core lessons and values are the foundation of our family. We will continue to grow throughout our lifetime, and there is no way we can teach our children everything. Yet these lessons are the pinnacle of what we believe in. It’s not just us parents teaching our children, either. The first five lessons are what we’ve imparted to our daughters. The last five are the valuable lessons they’ve taught us. If you missed the first three lessons, here you go:
Lessons in Parenting
Once again, I give you a series of insights that will hopefully motivate and inspire you with your own family. These core lessons and values are the foundation of our family. We will continue to grow throughout our lifetime, and there is no way we can teach our children everything. Yet these lessons are the pinnacle of what we believe in. It’s not just us parents teaching our children, either.
The first five lessons are what we’ve imparted to our daughters. The last five are the valuable lessons they’ve taught us.
If you missed the first three lessons, here you go:
Lesson #4: Be A Bucket Filler
The more you give, the more you receive. When you have a generous heart and seek the good in people, you tend to have a more abundant life and see more good in others. We have a book the girls really resonated with, called “Have You Filled A Bucket Today?”
Although I don’t think this is the coolest children’s book in the world, the kids love it and very easily grasped the concept. We all walk around with invisible buckets. You can fill a bucket by being kind to one another and showing love and support. A bucket is emptied, however, by fighting and taking from others.
The more full our buckets, the more open we are to helping and having patience for others. And ironically, the more we help and invest in others, the more likely they are to, in turn, fill our buckets.
By teaching this early on, we have been able to be completely honest with our girls. Some days are more demanding than others. On those days of bickering, whining, tantrums and messes, we are completely up-front with our children. I will let them know they’ve depleted our buckets and they are not getting special privileges that take up more of our patience and energy. It’s a balance between give and take. It’s a finite bucket, so make sure you aren’t so depleted there is nothing left. And if that’s the case, take a break and shut it down!
Full Buckets, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose
Over and over again, Nathan and I have sat back in awe of our good fortune. Not a monetary fortune, but the right people coming by at the right time. For example, we had a tire blow out on our trailer. At the exact moment Nathan and I stood there realizing we had nothing to change out the tire with, a man pulls over to the side with five 3-ton jacks and an air compressor. He popped over, changed our tire, and within fifteen minutes of pulling over to the side we were back on the road with a new spare.
Every time we’ve had an issue on the side of the road, at least one good samaritan has stepped up to help us out. When we went to San Diego, some new friends mailed us some free extra passes to the San Diego Children’s Museum (which is awesome, by the way). We finally decided to take the plunge and try out “boondocking” (camping with no water, sewer or electric hookups – basically normal camping in an RV, not “glamping” where you have all the amenities). Another full-time family generously allowed us to “mooch-dock” off of their generator and show us the ropes. We had an awesome experience and made some great friends in the process.
We’ve had our own opportunities to give and support others. We pay for people’s groceries and hand out granola bars to homeless. Nathan and I have had countless conversations with people interested in our vagabond lifestyle and coached them on whether it’s a fit for them and how to take the plunge. We’ve had our buckets filled, and we’ve filled the buckets for many others.
It All Goes Back To Abundance
So what does the law of abundance really say, and how does that tie in with being a bucket filler? The law of abundance is this:
Abundance is a beautiful thing – we get out of life what we put in to it. The biggest sabotage of abundance is not scarcity, but the scarcity mentality. It’s not that you don’t have anything to give, it’s simply the limitation in your own mind.
What’s Your Perspective?
Scarcity mentality says: “I can’t afford to treat someone to dinner. It’s hard enough to get through just fixing food for my own family.”
Scarcity mentality says: “What I know is secret – I can’t share my ideas with you because you might steal them and actually do something with it.”
Living in fear of being robbed is scarcity mentality. If your things were taken, what would that do for you? Note that I said FOR, not TO. It’s not about what you lose, it’s about how you perceive it. What IF your things were taken? What IF your phone was stolen? Horrible inconvenience, yes. End of the world? No. Maybe it means you have to get a new phone, jump through hoops, and it be a royal pain in the butt. However, maybe it forced you into realizing just how often your head was down lost in your phone.
Maybe you start to notice what’s going on around you more. You are more intentional about showing up on time and being where you say you’re going to be, knowing no one has a way to get ahold of you. Not having a phone on you allows you to be completely present. You don’t need the five hundred pictures you would have taken of your oh so adorable children. Instead, dive in and enjoy simply being with them.
If you perceive the world is taking from you, it is. You may be fearful of rejection, being taking advantage of, criticism or losing security. If you live in fear, your bucket is already empty. You are looking to fill a bucket with a hole in it.
Teach Your Children Abundance Early On
Teach your children how to give and love. Help them explore how to live from an abundance mentality. Recognize that filling someone else’s bucket doesn’t mean emptying your own. Show your children how to become a good steward of their own resources and energy. Allow them to fully give.
And finally, what is the number one way to instill these principles in your children? Let the actions in your own life guide them.
Your challenge this week. Pick someone every day to give to. No agenda, no reciprocity, no reason. Give randomly and generously just because. Share in the comments how this affected you.