I just finished reading Making the Impossible Possible and discovered that the title was not just hype. It was the story about the cleanup of one of the most dangerous places in North America, The Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant.
The cleanup project was accomplished 60 YEARS ahead of schedule and for 1/6th the cost. How did it happen? That is the subject of the book and the conclusion is that these results happened because those involved with the project took an “abundance approach” to change.
Essentially the abundance approach is a way of approaching any situation and looking for the best possible outcome for that situation and focusing your attention on that. Usually this means focusing on how this situation can be used to help ALL those involved not just the person who solves the problem
It is such a simple concept.
Now that I am aware of it I can think of so many examples of the abundance approach being used to create extraordinary results.
Here are some off the top of my head:
Wayne Dyer used to say that if you are feeling down and depressed go out and find someone in need and help them. You can’t be depressed when you are helping someone else. There is plenty of science to back this up. Helping others is what the abundance approach is all about.
In the book Conscious Capitalism, Raj Sisodia showed how companies that focus on having a net positive effect (abundance approach) in the world vs those that are simply focused on making money for shareholders outperform the market 15 to 1 with higher revenues and profitability
I just heard a story today about a psychologist who noticed when he was focused on the rate of growth of his business that the quality of the work that he did with his clients went down and he also ended up with less business. When he instead decided to focus simply on using his skills to help his clients his business not only did better but his clients benefited more.
Finally there is this story about the founder of Chobani Yogurt, Hamdi Ulukaya who just gave away 10% of his $5 billion dollar company to employees through a employee ownership program. This was not simply an act of generosity but companies that are employee owned tend to outperform the competition.
So try the abundance approach yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed and overworked take a minute and notice what you are focusing on. More than likely it will be on how much you have to do and what you want to accomplish.
Try changing your focus and ask yourself how you can use these activities to help someone else. You could also ask, “What is great about this?”. This is a great question because it gets your brain focused on the best in the situation. If you truly look for the good in the situation you will be surprised about the abundance you already have.