03 November 2008

5 Ways to Create Abundance in an Economic Downturn

One of several versions of the painting Image via WikipediaNow, I know its a little early to be thinking of Christmas already, but this evening I was somewhat troubled to hear a national news broadcast trumpeting Christmas Misery ahead for New Zealanders on the back of the decreasing value of the New Zealand Dollar. Apparently we are all doomed to a miserable Christmas because the prices of imported goods are due to rise as our purchasing power diminishes.

Sure, times are tough, the economy is unstable, people are losing their jobs & their homes. Its frightening. However, this kind of foolish media scaremongering really irritates me. It helps the recession take a hold in people's minds by creating a mindset of scarcity and fear. It encourages people to focus on what they don't have, or can't afford rather than encouraging us to be creative with what we do have. It focuses our attention on stuff rather than on people.

Not being able to afford to purchase expensive presents at Christmas time is surely not the most newsworthy aspect of the current economic crisis. In fact, the kind of rampant, foolish consumerism that it represents is part of the cause of our current woes.

Here's a few tips to help you create a mindset of abundance amidst the economic chaos:
  1. Decide what is Important
    Take time to think about the things that you value most. Make a list of the 4 or 5 most important things and focus on keeping them in order. Simplifying your life in this way, paring it back to the essentials, helps you to appreciate what you do have and stop striving for stuff that ultimately has no value to you.

  2. Build Community
    Get to know your neighbours, the other parents at your kids school, your work colleagues. Build a network of people that you can share with when the going gets tough. Knowing that you are part of a community that has got your back can definitely help ease the fears brought on by the current economic instability.

    Check out 5 Ways to Rebuild your Neighbourhood
    for community building ideas.

  3. Be Generous
    At times like this its often our natural reaction to hoard - time, money, possessions. But in tough economic times, generosity is more important than ever. Have you ever noticed how the most generous of people never seem to be without the things that really matter?

    Read more about how generosity creates abundance at Digital Philanthropy

  4. Appreciate Sufficiency
    It sounds trite, but with our busy lifestyles we often forget to be thankful - taking a moment out of each day to be grateful can help you to realise how much you really have and what is important. Appreciating sufficiency - deciding how much is enough - can help the spectre of recession lose its power to make you fearful.

    Read 5 Ways to Help You Say 'Enough' for more inspiration.

  5. Be Proactive
    Don't sit back waiting for this latest economic crisis to make your life difficult. Take positive action now to recession proof your life as much as you are able. Start a vege garden, tackle any consumer debt, work on developing good financial habits, support your local economy, get into the habit of driving your car less . . . be positive and creative as you take stock and prepare for the future.

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