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The #1 motivation of successful people, and why you don’t want it

In Insight and Experience by Julie Ann CairnsLeave a Comment

Do you have real abundance? Are you seeking abundance because you are in fear? Here are three key things to make the shift from scarcity and fear-based thinking, to abundance-based thinking.


What is the #1 motivation for most people who strive for success? It may surprise you…

I’ve met a lot of people over the years in my journey to abundance and I’ve come to learn that there is true success, and then there is something that I call ‘apparent’ success– and the one thing that differentiates the truly successful from the ‘apparently’ successful, is their underlying motivation.

There are lots of people who are striving and working hard to support their families, to advance in their careers, to climb the corporate ladder, or to run their own businesses who are not doing it because they really like what they do, but because they place a high value on security – and because they want to provide for their themselves, their families, their future, and they are afraid of what might go wrong if they don’t work really hard.

Often they sacrifice their time, their health, and even their relationships with the very family they are seeking to provide for, in order to create freedom ‘someday’. That ‘someday’ is always in the future, dangling in front of them like a carrot that is always out of reach… it’s not here and it’s not now. They have trouble enjoying their lives today. Instead they are always chasing, always stressed out, and living for that ‘someday’ when they can slow down and really enjoy their lives.

When you dig into this, what they are motivated by is fear.

Fear can be very motivating! And in a lot of ways that can have its usefulness. You can get a LOT done in the fear mode. You can gain qualifications in fear mode. You can get a job in fear mode. You can get a mortgage in fear mode. You can even get ‘apparent’ success in fear mode. And it’s not surprising that so many of us are living in this state of fear. We may not even realise it…

Every single day we are bombarded with messages designed to stoke our fears about security, scarcity, wars and conflict that increase our sense that there is ‘not enough’…we are bombarded with messages that we need to be better, smarter, more educated, fitter, thinner, whatever, in order to be okay (because somehow we are also ‘not enough’)… and then we are encouraged to appease and cover over our resulting fears and insecurities with material ‘stuff’… by buying something, eating something, drinking something, or distracting ourselves with TV, video games, social media, etc., in order to feel better.

It’s a vicious cycle of fear, followed by numbing that fear…followed by anxiety, cravings, addictions and even depression.

The thing is, there’s a really high price to having the fear switch in our brains stuck in the ‘on’ position all the time. It keeps our adrenal glands pumping non-stop and it leads to all kinds of stress-related conditions like muscle tension, headaches, and even excessive weight gain especially around the abdomen. It can also lead to poor ‘knee-jerk reaction’ type decision making, leading to situations where even though we are crazy busy, we’re just spinning our wheels and not making much progress towards our dreams. So fear is really one of those things that’s most useful in ‘fight or flight’ type crisis situations – when it can really save our butts – but not so great as a constant motivator in our lives.

It can be tough to break out of the fear mode once we’re in it, though, because it can be self-perpetuating. When we are stuck in this fear and consumption mode 24/7, it makes it hard for us to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. It really can hamper our ability to feel simple joy, happiness and peace in our lives.

Is there a better way?

What is real success and abundance, free from fear? What does it look like in practice? How do we choose it? And how can we all collectively change our mindset and choose a better way for the future of our planet?

What I’ve come to learn is that we have to realise three key things in order to make the shift from scarcity and fear-based thinking, to abundance-based thinking.

1.     We realise that abundance is a state of being rather than a state of having

Abundance is not how much we own, or what kind of car we drive, what degrees or other types of social status we have… It’s how we treat others. Are we loving? Are we kind? Do we come from a place of generosity of spirit, deed and word?

2.     We realise that abundance is something we do together

No one is an island. If we want real change for our planet, we have to do it together. Abundance has to become a true social movement, an ethos and a way of living that has deep roots in our social structures and way of collective thinking if we are to head off the dangerous macro-level changes that are taking place on our sparkling blue planet.

3.     We realise that abundance is created when we place a high value on helping others

When we shift our focus away from ‘me me me’ to ‘we we we’ instead, that is when our personal addictions, cravings, and unattainable desires start to drop away. All I can say is trust meon this one. Try it and you’ll see. There’s a special ‘charge’ you get from helping others and no amount of stuff, shoes, cars, manicures, or even thrill-seeking adventures can quite match that special ‘charge’ – but you have to find that out yourself by giving it a go.

Finally, we can sum up these three key realisations into one: Abundance is an internal choice. Choose it today.

About the Author
Julie Ann Cairns

Julie Ann Cairns

Julie Ann Cairns is the author of the top selling Hay House book 'The Abundance Code: How to Bust the 7 Money Myths for a Rich Life Now', and the director and producer of the documentary of the same name, 'The Abundance Code'. Julie Ann's life mission is to empower people to live an abundant life free from false beliefs, to make a shift to the abundance mindset and seek joint solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our planet.

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