Some time ago I read a book called Abundance, by Peter Diamandis. In it, he argued that because of technology things would get better and that we are living in a world of abundance, or abundant opportunity.
Reading it at the time I thought this idea that we are surrounded by abundance was dangerous. We understand the energy challenges we’re facing, with dwindling fish stocks, wildlife, forests, clean water, and the list goes on.
So thinking that we have an abundance of these things basically tells people that it’s okay to take what they want.
However, living with the thought of scarcity can be even worse.
The belief that a resource is scarce sends the value up (think demand and supply curves) but also people wanting the item.
Take for example the whole Popeyes chicken sandwich, which was scarce for some reason, driving up demand. There were reports of people trying to sell the sandwich for up to US$100.
That is crazy.
But as a cognitive bias, scarcity places a load on our minds and affects our cognitive functioning.
Someone who thinks that time is scarce focus more on the ticking clock and lead to less creative solutions. It causes overwhelm that causes delays that then delay other tasks.
Someone who thinks that money is scarce decreases their problem-solving capability, whereas high-income people are unaffected.
I see this affecting me constantly, where I do not believe that there is enough time in the day to get things done.
It’s more than likely that there are too many things to do, and I need to focus on the important stuff.
Time is abundant, and I need to move away from that scarcity mindset.