Growing up, my mom was not able to give us financial stability. This resulted in me developing a scarcity mindset. In his Psychology Today article, The Scarcity Mindset, Dr. Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. said “Scarcity orients the mind automatically and powerfully toward unfulfilled needs.” Since there was never enough money to pay all the bills, to fix the car, to buy new clothes, I saw the world as not having enough money. My mom did not have a stable job and when she did have a job, it was not well paying. I saw the reason for our family not having money as a result of my mom not having a stable, well paying job and my goal became to get a job that paid well and that I didn’t have to worry about losing.
In my mind, this would mean I could have a “good” life and be happy. My true dream was to get a 4 year college degree so that I could get a job at a state agency or a large company with a good reputation, where I could work until retirement. I looked forward to getting up every morning, putting on my dressy clothes and going to work in a large office building down town. Just writing this now makes me sad because in reality this was such a small goal, a small dream. I don’t find it inspiring or uplifting.
The positive effect of my scarcity mindset was that it motivated me to go to college and make good grades. I accomplished the four year degree and was blessed to receive a federal job right out of college! It was a great feeling and I was proud of these accomplishments. This job paid well and has given me more experience than I could have ever imagined.
I had accomplished my goal, I had my dream life… or what I had dreamed of as a child. I had stability, a great husband and a “good” income. I was still in my 20s and had surpassed all of my goals. So why was I miserable in my job? I had more financial stability than I ever anticipated and I got to dress up every day and go to work in a big office building. Why did I feel like I wanted to scream when I sat in my cubicle? Because I was not fulfilled in my job which was nearly the biggest part of my life, where I spent most of my time. I was doing a job just to earn a paycheck and that just was not good enough for me. The agency where I worked had a noble mission but I was not working in my strengths and did not have a big enough impact. God had given me gifts and experiences that needed to be shared with others to better the world. God had put me in a job that allowed me to gain the experience and confidence to make a difference and I needed to explore other ways to utilize my gifts.
For true happiness in your life you must search your soul for what is important to you, what makes you happy, why these things are important to you and why those things make you happy. You must design the life of your dreams and set goals to move you closer to those dreams. Your dream life is entirely possible and within your reach. For more insights on life design subscribe to my email list at lifehopes.com.