I remember this moment like it was yesterday.
I am on the train. It is crowded. People grasp the nearest hand rails so that the train doesn’t fling them into the coffee holding, business suit wearing bodies to their right and left. A woman rustles in her seat as we come to the Belmont station, and those of us who are crowded around her loosen up, ruffling our feathers at the prospect of a soon-to-be empty seat.
As the train slows down and the doors spread wide, the woman gets off the train leaving me and another girl closest to the open seat. We both move towards it and then look up at each other. She has glasses, a brush of red across her lips, and white headphones over her blonde hair.
“Would you like to sit down?”
She beams and picks up her bag. “Awww thank you so much.”
She plops on the seat that is now hers-
And I seethe.
I don’t know what I intended to say originally when we made eye contact, but I know it wasn’t that.
My first thought is:
“There I go again. I could have had a comfortable seat to read in for the next 30 minutes, but I willingly gave it up rather than just doing what any other normal person would have done- sit down in the dang seat first.”
Then I thought:
“It would have made more sense if I had sat since I am going farther than her. EVERYONE gets off at Lake or Monroe and I have 4 or 5 MORE stops after that.”
“Well, I am in a comfortable area where I can press against the wall and hold the hand rail above me in case the train tries to jolt me into my neighbor. I guess it’s not so bad. It could be worse.”
The man beside the girl in my seat moves in his chair, sticking his book into his briefcase. When we get to the Fullerton stop, he slides past me to get off the train.
I am the closest to the seat so I slip in beside her and pick up where I left off in my current book.
I’ve been thinking about this scenario all day. What a perfect metaphor to discuss the difference between a scarcity based mindset and an abundance based mindset.
In my scarcity based mindset, I felt like there was only one opportunity available. This belief made me crabby and ungrateful.
In my abundance based mindset, I took pause. I became grateful for my current placement and took the next opportunity that came my way.
If you’re like me, you grew up buying into a scarcity based mindset in every area of your life: career, romantic relationships, health, friendships, and even, and especially, money. We are conditioned to believe that there is never enough “time”, that “all the good ones are taken”, that “her success means your failure”, and that “money doesn’t grow on trees” (I mean it doesn’t but that’s not the point).
What this Universe-inspired moment showed me on the train is how important it is to live with an abundance mindset.The hardest thing we need to learn as a culture is that there is MORE than enough to go around if we are willing to share AND maintain faith that more is on the way.CONSIDER: How has a scarcity mindset hurt or possibly enabled you in the past? In what areas of your life do you need to choose to see abundance?