What is "Prosperity" Thinking and how do I think that way?
The Google dictionary definition of prosperity is “the state of being prosperous.” Synonyms listed with the definition include profitability, wealth, affluence, opulence, luxury, good life, milk and honey, (good) fortune, ease, abundance, comfort, safety, well-being, e.g. “she deserves all the prosperity of the which he now enjoys.”
While definitions and many in society use “prosperity” as a reference to wealth and financial gain. There is a related school of thought that expands the prosperity framework to not just be financially “prosperous,” but to include a way of being, called “prosperity thinking or mindset.” This is talking about the ability to see your entire life through a prosperity lens in your mindset. This is significant because research has shown that the vast majority of human thoughts are negative, which is the opposite of prosperity thinking. There is a variety of research showing that negative thinking is more natural to humans, which would mean prosperity/positive thinking and thinking are not natural to humans.
– 80% of human thoughts per day are negative (2)
– our attitudes are more influenced by bad news than by good (3)
– in the English dictionary, 62% are negative emotion words vs. only 32% positive words (4)
– 75-98% of mental and physical illnesses come from our mental life! (1)
In my years of studying, learning, and working in personal growth and development, psychology, counseling, and coaching, there are a few concepts that rise to the top to help you shift your thinking toward a more prosperous mind. The value of this is not only positive for your state of mind and your inner well-being, but it affects you physically and affects the rest of your life (actions and attraction). Some may feel that the topic of positive psychology feels “spongy,” “optimistic thinking,” or unrealistic, however, when people find themselves surrounded by negativity, depressed, stuck, and constantly fighting the “funks,” these practices Simple can change your life.
While simple on the one hand, these are multifaceted “practices” to develop and master in your life. There are books that delve into the subject, but for the sake of introduction, here are three components that I have found to be key to developing and growing your prosperous mind.
1. Growth or fixed thought. To have a prosperous mind, you must have GROWTH THINKING vs. FIXED THOUGHT. This concept is most commonly taught in academia and education, yet it is the foundation of learning and a central way of thinking, learning, and growing that applies to all of our lives. Mindsetworks is a site that explains the origin of this concept. Stanford professor Dr. Carol Dweck studied thousands of children and coined the terms “fixed” and “growth” mindsets to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. When students were encouraged to think about growth (“learning is my goal,” “effort makes me stronger”), their scores and results improved. In contrast, those who have fixed thinking, focus on their limitations and can even fall victim to the skills and talents they think they have or do not have without any control to improve. This is a great YouTube to explain how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75GFzikmRY0
2. Abundance vs. Shortage. To have a prosperity mindset, look at what IS POSSIBLE vs. what is NOT POSSIBLE. Abundance says that there is enough and there is much, trust that all that is has perfection. It creates satisfaction and trust of acceptance to see the value and benefit of what is. Scarcity focuses on what we do not have and what is not enough. It creates fear of lack and panic to take or receive because there won’t be enough or I won’t have enough. Due to our natural negative human wiring, it is natural to view the world and life from a sacristy perspective. For example, two children are sharing and they think, if I don’t get the toy I want now, I might not get it. As an adult, if you don’t get the job you apply for, scarcity worries you, I won’t get a job, or I’ll do poorly. The difference is an abundance mindset, which has similarities or overlaps with a growth mindset that sees it differently. Abundance knows that sometime I will have time with the toy. Abundance knows that if I keep trying I will get the right job at the right time. To me, abundance vs. scarcity is about trust vs. fear.
3. Detachment vs. attached file. Lastly, detachment is the ability to let something go and if it is meant to be, it will come back. Attachment is a way of seeing, thinking and doing something. Usually attachment is getting attached my way. I have a preconceived idea of how it has to go and look and if it doesn’t happen that way, I see it as a failure. Detachment sets goals and has visions, but is open to how things can evolve or develop. That doesn’t mean drifting off course or ten directions, it just means being flexible to possibilities and opportunities as they present themselves and being open enough to recognize them even if they weren’t what you expected. For example, you really want a job at Apple, but you don’t get it. He has the opportunity to volunteer at the high school and help with the technology club, which would be an opportunity to do something related to his goal and make connections that would help him achieve his goal in the future. Often even better opportunities present themselves than we can imagine. It’s about your attitude.
Prosperity Thinking = Growth Mindset + Prosperity Perspective + Detachment (what can I learn and how can I grow + what is possible and what can I do + open to what happens with no rules, limits or demands on how that evolves).
A good way to assess your mindset is to write down your goals and then 5 thoughts about your goals. Put them through the filter and make sure they have a growth mindset, have a prosperity perspective, and let go of attachments. If the thoughts are more fixed, few and attached, make a T chart and write the positive perspective on the other side. You can start to train your thinking and change the way you believe, think and respond to the world. The benefits will not only bring more joy and energy into your life, but the impact you will have on others will also be noticeable and significant.
1. There is brain research on how our thinking affects our behavior, in fact Dr. Leaf, a leader in human brain research says: “You are what you think: 75-98% of mental and physical illnesses come from our mental life!” https://drleaf.com/blog/you-are-what-you-think-75-98-of-mental-and-physical-illnesses-come-from-our-thought-life/
2. “In 2005, the National Science Foundation published an article about research on human thoughts per day. The average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are negative.” exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before and about 80% of them are negative.” By Faith, Hope & Psychology “80% of thoughts are negative… 95% are repetitive”
3. & 4. “Paul Rozin and Edward Royzman demonstrated in their research that the negative outlook is more contagious than the positive outlook. A study by John Cacioppo and colleagues showed that our attitudes are more influenced by bad news than bad news.” good. Other researchers looked at language to study negativity bias. For example, there are more negative emotional words (62 percent) than positive words (32 percent) in the English dictionary.” (Psychology Today, “Are We Hardwired to be Positive or Negative”)