Gratitude Is the Key to Life’s Abundance
Abundance… “Abundance is everywhere! Cooperative tools and exponential technologies are reshaping our globe and the world we live in. You no longer have to sit on the sidelines and wait for the future to happen. You are now empowered to get involved to change the world. If you’re sick of the doom and gloom and ready to get in the game of making the world a better place to live, Abundance by Peter H. Diamandis and Steve Kotler is a great place to start to catch the vision.”
The ideas, data, and statistics presented in this book have opened my eyes to the ill-perceived concept of scarcity. Also, they have affected many thought-provoking shifts in how I previously looked at the world.
Quotes cited from “Abundance” follow this format: (Part Number.Chapter Number.Subtitle).
1. Technology is a resource-liberating mechanism. It can make the once scarce now abundant. The point is this: When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. Yet the threat of scarcity still dominates our worldview. (1.1.The Lesson of Aluminum)
Comment: It amazes me how the politicians and radical left still uses the “scarcity” issue to promote their causes when “scarcity” is seldom the reason for their agendas.
2. Fact one: Currently humanity uses 30 percent more of our planet’s natural resources than we can replace. Fact two: If everyone on this planet wanted to live with the lifestyle of the average European, we would need three planets’ worth of resources to pull it off. Fact three: If everyone on this planet wished to live like an average North American, then we’d need five planets to pull it off. (1.1.The Lesson of Aluminum)
Comment: I have to admit, Americans do waste an excessive amount of resources. Maybe it’s time for a reckoning with Mother Nature?
Standard of Living
3. Humanity is now entering a period of radical transformation in which technology has the potential to significantly raise the basic standards of living for every man, woman, and child on the planet. Within a generation, we will be able to provide goods and services, once reserved for the wealthy few, to any and all who need them. Or desire them. Abundance for all is actually within our grasp. (1.1.The Possibility of Abundance)
Comment: I believe this statement is true and has been for quite some time on some levels and issues. However, it is “those” individuals in power who covertly subdue these opportunities to maintain control; at least to some extent.
Life of Possibility
4. Abundance is not about providing everyone on this planet with a life of luxury–rather it’s about providing all with a life of possibility. (1.2.A Practical Definition)
Comment: Possibilities… without government interference and its obsessive nature to control the populous, who knows what opportunities have been squandered.
Creativity and Curiosity
5. Teaching kids how to nourish their creativity and curiosity, while still providing a sound foundation in critical thinking, literacy, and math, is the best way to prepare them for a future of increasingly rapid technological change. (1.2.Reading, Writing, and Ready)
Comment: I currently believe, as a teacher, that creativity is the single most important skill that should be taught to students.
Illusions of Reality
6. Kahneman describes the illusion of validity as “the sense that you understand somebody and can predict how they will behave,” but it’s since been expanded to “a tendency for people to view their beliefs as reality.” (1.3.Daniel Kahneman)
Comment: I believe this observation… I have read and studied it in some books… most predominantly through Stephen R. Covey‘s works on human relationships.
Money and Happiness
7. What the data shows is that one’s emotional satisfaction moves in lockstep with one’s income–as income rises, well-being rises–but only to a point. Before the average American earns $75,000 a year, there is a direct correlation between money and happiness. Above that number, the correlation disappears. This tells us something interesting: that in the United States, the freedom to flourish–to truly enjoy a life of possibility–costs roughly $75,000 a year in 2008 dollars. (6.19.The Pursuit of Happiness)
Comment: Hmm… I wonder what that number is for the year 2014? Moreover, how much does it increase on average each year?
Optimism vs. Pessimism
8. Human beings are designed to be local optimists and global pessimists and this is an even bigger problem for abundance. (1.3.Cognitive Biases)
Comment: As I reflect on this statement, I do see the truth of it. Personally, I feel the world is coming apart at the seams, but feel everything is relatively stable in my immediate surroundings.
9. About twenty years ago, Oxford University evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar discovered another problem with our local and linear perspectives. Dunbar was interested the number of active interpersonal relationships that the human brain could process at one time. After examining global and historical trends, he found that people tend to self-organize in groups of 150. This explains why the US military, through a long period of trial and error, concluded that 150 is the optimal size for a functional fighting unit. Similarly, when Dunbar examined the traffic patterns from social media sites such as Facebook, he found that while people may have thousands of “friends,” they actually interact with only 150 of them. Putting it all together, he realized that humans evolved in groups of 150, and this number–now known as Dunbar’s number–is the upper limit to how many interpersonal relationships our brains can process. (1.3.Dunbar’s Number)
Comment: Wow! I have a hard enough time managing interpersonal relationships with just my immediate family. Additionally, I can’t imagine interacting with 150 individuals collectively.
10. Culture is the ability to store, exchange, and improve ideas. This vast cooperative system has always been one of abundance’s largest engines. (1.4.Cumulative Progress)
Comment: Moreover, it not only “takes a village,” it takes a number of villages for capitalism to flourish.