Scarcity vs. abundance

Utility is a term used by economists to describe whatever we find favourable and desirable. Utility can be translated loosely to goodness, for simplicity.

The scarcity mindset subscribes universally to the law of diminishing returns. This means that once we utilize a particular amount of goodness, there is lesser of it to go around. People with this mindset assume that most innovative ideas and discoveries are already behind us. They are quickly bored because they have already seen what there is to see, and nothing piques their interest. They are stingy, because once they part with some of their goodness there is lesser of it for themselves.

The abundance mindset believes in the opposite – that goodness is self-perpetuating. The disciples of this school believe that since we’ve witnessed so many exciting innovations, there is a lot more to come. They are not easily bored because are always falling into a moment expecting wonder. They are generous, because they believe that generosity is rewarding.

What makes these mindsets interesting is that they are both self-fulfilling prophesies – you get exactly what you wish for.

The people who believe in the scarcity mindset will not bother putting in the effort required to innovate, and they receive feedback that confirms their beliefs and reinforces them. The same is true of people with the abundance mindset – they are the only ones who are crazy enough to innovate, and eventually succeed. They expect wonder at every moment, are fooled a few times, but are left wonder-struck at other times.

The abundance mindset promises accomplishment at the risk of delusion. The scarcity mindset guarantees failure at the risk of despair.

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