Are You Living a Life of Abundance or Scarcity? Why You Shouldn’t Be Working So Hard for the Life You Want

by John Cummings on April 11, 2011

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Is it possible that everything that you need to live a full and fulfilled life is right under your nose?   If  you are exhausted at the end of every day and you think you spend too much time working to have what you have, it’s time to ask yourself a simple question:  Do you want too much?  Or are you just working too hard to get it?  Let me tell you a little story.

Many thousands of years ago, people finally realized that they could domesticate animals and plant wheat.  It was then that they stopped spending every waking moment in a desperate search for food.   It was then that they had time to think, and plan and strategize and flourish.  If you’re stuck in Papua New Guinea, this will only help if you have internet access but this article is really for the rest of us, who live in the modern world and are still wasting way too much time hunting and gathering.

This article came to be thanks to my son’s discussion with me recently about what he was learning in a human geography class regarding how people stopped being nomadic, and settled down into villages, so long ago.  Up until that point, no one had enough time to consider WHY they were constantly in search of food and vegetables.

For a moment, let’s imagine the predicament of the nomad and the offer to help him solve his problem. (spoken in a documentary movie voice:) As the nomadic tribe follows the migrating herd of wildebeest across the savannah, a time management specialist approaches, cautiously . . .


“Hey, there, busy tribesman, do you have a minute to talk about domesticating animals and farming?  I think I can save you so much time.”


“Oh, that sounds great. But I’m just too busy right now. Maybe next time. After all, this herd isn’t going to wait for US!”

My analogy might sound bizarre but almost everyone reading this article does this every day in their work life. We manage our days so inefficiently and yet, when someone offers help, or a plan to reduce the amount of time we waste, our response is pretty much the same: “you know you’re right, but I’m too busy now to listen to your solution. Maybe next time.” The problem is when help is offered again “next time”, you’re still on that mouse wheel because you never stopped to figure out why you’re too busy.

The reason is more modernly referred to as the difference between thinking with scarcity and thinking with abundance. Even if you don’t have a lot of money or time, if you believe that abundance is not only possible, but right around the corner, you don’t panic. You plan. You conceive. You move forward. On the other hand, if you’re convinced you’re going to starve or end up under a freeway, you do panic. You make bad decisions. You fail to plan. You stay on a treadmill for weeks, months, years. Maybe for your whole life. Please stop. Really. Stop.

Back to our nomad story. So, one day, just out of a great alignment of circumstances, the tribe stays in one place long enough to realize that some of the animals they hunt, can be kept and bred for the benefit of the tribe, without chasing them. So the nomads stay a while. And just that little bit of time not traveling gives rise to more calm thought. “Hey, look what happened where I left these seeds.” Plants grew and the tribe realized they didn’t need to go anywhere because they had meat AND veggies right where they were staying.

Shortly, the tribes people had so much spare time, they began to discuss their water problem and their housing issue, and began to build settlements near clean water, where they bred livestock and grew plants. Each improvement to their system gave birth to more time to think and conceive, a better way to doing what they were already doing.

What are you wasting time on? Maybe you’re a realtor and wondering why someone in your market is just killing it, even in a bad economy. Maybe you’re a salesperson or a consultant or a web marketer, and you just don’t have enough hours in a day to figure out why your competition is crushing it, and you’re not hitting your numbers. Those people aren’t smarter than you. They just figured out how to do what you’re doing, in less time. Maybe in half as much time.

Here’s the secret. No one is going to hand you an extra hour or two in any given day for you to refine your system, your process or your pitch. You need to stop for an hour or two and let some of the herd run away. You might get hungry or thirsty. But when you’re done brainstorming for that hour or two, you’ll find that you may be running after too many kinds of meat, traveling too far to get them or just ignoring a simpler solution that eluded you because you were “too busy” to stop and look at why you were too busy.

I have a way to find that extra hour or two. If you would like more information, please download my free eBook on the right hand side of this page. It’s just a real quick read but it’s the introduction to a comprehensive book that I’m releasing this summer called “Killing Your Time Vampires” as part of my Barefoot and Rich System.

I’m not hunting, fishing or gathering in this photo.    But I was making money while I was paddle boarding in Miami (not Papua New Guinea) because of what I’ve learned about time management, productivity and outsourcing.

Living the Four Hour Work Week in South Beach Miami

Are you spending too much time to make the money you make? Send me an email ( I would like to help! Until then, I’ll be at the beach most days. I’m looking forward to seeing you there soon . . .

(see more photos of the Barefoot and Rich life at  It’s not about money.  It’s about time. :)

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