Ep 15: Abundance vs Scarcity Mindset from a Buddhist Lens (Ft Daylon Soh)

Published on Oct 7, 2022

Daylon  00:00

When you’re jealous, it means you come from a place of lack. If you think, “I don’t have enough love, I don’t have enough wealth or I don’t have enough fame,” you need to have this mindset whereby, okay, you’re detached from the outcome of whatever it is, but then you’re still pursuing it. And you have to accept the fact that other people also deserve love, wealth and fame and all these beautiful things and successful things in life. And you’re okay with it, Knowing that if you keep sharing your gifts with the world, you’ll be able to find a way to kind of receive it, provided that you don’t block yourself from receiving it.

Kai Xin  00:40

Hey, friends, this is Kai Xin and you’re listening to the Handful Of Leaves Podcast where we bring you practical Buddha’s wisdom for a happier life. Is an abundance mindset, just another fad out of a self-help textbook? The mindset of abundance is typically associated with getting rich and attracting wealth, and it can seem pretty materialistic and driven by desires of wanting more, or that’s what I thought. But after speaking to Daylon, I realised that that couldn’t be further away from the truth.

Kai Xin  01:18

In this episode, Cheryl and I chat with Daylon to uncover what an abundance mindset is, and what it isn’t. This mindset embodies kindness, generosity, and sympathetic joy, which is very much aligned with the Buddha’s values. Daylon shared many personal stories that really put into perspective how we can practise the mindset of abundance in real life. Stay till the end, to hear his story about how he got out of a depressive period in his life when he felt stuck and only had $10 left in his bank account.  We also explored how we can find opportunities and rise up even when we don’t feel enough, or don’t have enough, or sometimes, even just not believe we deserve more. Cheryl literally had a mindset shift during the recording, turning her from a skeptic to a believer.  Now let’s dive right in!

Kai Xin  02:14

 Hello, good to see you. Daylon. Hi. Hello. Today we’re going to talk about the topic of abundance. But before we get into that, can you just give our audience a quick introduction of yourself?

Daylon  02:28

I’m Daylon, I run an education company called Curious Core, and we specialise in helping mid-career professionals to transition into the future of user experience design and product management. We also do corporate training for companies like GIC as well as Maxis in the same view as well, we call them tech light skills. My interest is in education as well as in gaming, and I sometimes find myself reading that’s why we call our company curious core because I really very much enjoy the process of learning and growing. And that’s what our company is about.

Kai Xin  03:14

Nice, that makes two of us. And I think three of us. All of us are curious people. And we are going to have a lot of curious questions today because you were the one who suggested the topic of abundance. Could you share a little bit more about why this topic? And how has it shaped you to become who you are today?

Daylon  03:32

Yeah, I think this topic is really important in many hidden ways because when I help mid-career professionals to transition, we realise that it’s not just about their technical skills, it’s also about their self-confidence, and beliefs, whether they believe that they have embraced this new identity and whether they believe that they can make it in terms of that transition, and a lot of them do not have that belief, right, and they don’t actually see it. I do realise that mindset becomes a limiting factor in the transition process.

Daylon  04:14

In business, as well as in professional careers, we also see that cascading as well. When you have a business owner who does not believe that they deserve the success that they have or deserve the wealth that they have, then they will almost most easily lose that wealth as well without that mindset of abundance. Or they will gain it in a very difficult way. Whereby it’s very, very painful, you know, they break a lot of relationships as they are kind of gaining it. So I think is this such an important topic because it has changed and shaped my thinking and my life in so many ways, whereby I hope all listeners today will be able to leave the audio conversation with Insights and the ability to gain what they want in life with ease and grace.

Cheryl  05:05

To help us get a little bit more understanding of where we are right now, whether we have the abundance mindset, and how has it shown up in your life, we will be using a couple of icebreaker questions for all of us here to just see and you know, use as a ruler and see where we are. So the first question for all of us here: Do you constantly find yourself focusing on what you don’t have, instead of what you have?

Kai Xin  05:33

I used to always focus on what I don’t have, I guess living in a very competitive society. It starts from school, and like, why are my friends getting ahead of me? And why do I study so hard, but I still can’t get an A grade? So it feels very effortful and tiring. Over the years, with the help of Buddhist teachings, I have learnt to control what I can and don’t control what I can’t. And I think just shifting to the cup half full rather than empty philosophy. It’s been a journey. How about you Daylon?

Daylon  06:04

Yeah, I think that’s great. Because I also do tend to focus a lot on what I don’t have, especially when I’m younger, like I will see like, “Oh, my friend has this computer that can play all the computer games. And it’s like, all upgraded, and they have like the latest PlayStation.”  I’ll compare that I don’t have the latest PlayStation and I also want to get the latest PlayStation. So it becomes like trying to acquire a lot of material possession. And even after acquiring it, sometimes I realised Oh, actually, it just feels joyful for a while. And after that, I don’t feel as good anymore. So these days, I try not to focus on what don’t have, I try to focus on what I have and be appreciative of it.

Cheryl  06:51

Yeah, I think that makes it, something common for the three of us. I also used to have this feeling of like, and it’s pervasive, it’s everywhere. From comparing who has more friends, you know, when you’re in secondary school and seeing the size of your cliques to now you know, what projects you’re doing at work, who has the coolest project? So I think what really changed for me was during COVID, where there’s literally very, very few things that we could control. And that was when I was forced to start thinking, What can we really control and what we can’t, and from there, help us to be a little bit saner as well and, and find some happiness.

Daylon  07:29

If you only focus on what you don’t have, you will never feel enough. Without that feeling of being enough, you always feel like there’s a sense of lack. And since we’re talking about an abundance mindset here, right? If you’re always and constantly in a state whereby you feel like you’re lacking, then if I put you in a country that has multiple opportunities and resources and wonderful infrastructure, you will still complain, you will still feel like there’s a lot of things that’s not enough. And I think that’s Singapore, by the way, right? Kind of known as a country full of complainers.

Kai Xin  08:11

Yeah, I totally agree. And I think it also can dull our minds, it becomes so depressing. Like, that’s the only thing that we are thinking about, and it’s not very constructive, isn’t it? So just now we talk a lot about comparing these external aspects of our life, but it does manifest internally as feeling not good enough. And I do observe it is the core of a lot of problems. That sense of not being good enough. And perhaps today we can learn from you how to get past it.

Daylon  08:40

Sure, I’m sure we can learn from each other as well.

Cheryl  08:42

I just to link it a bit as well. Do you guys feel like you’re not good enough, like personally and how to evolve?

Daylon  08:52

I thought I didn’t have this problem. Initially, I thought  I was always like, quite good at what I’m doing. And professionally as person, I’ve seen myself growing professionally as well like doing better than most of my peers quite early in my 20s. So I always thought like, hey, actually, I don’t feel inferior to other people in any way. But then I realised that there was still that thinking in other aspects of my life that I wasn’t really aware of. And this was made apparent to me when I went for coaching sessions. I engaged a life coach, and I realised that I had this sense of lack or the sense of like, not loving myself enough. So I think one thing that the coach suggested to me is like, maybe you can put in your calendar every day to remind yourself that I am enough. So that’s what I did.

Kai Xin  10:00

I have had a similar experience. Also, I learned this from going through a therapy course and coincidentally, the advice was also to remind yourself that you’re good enough, but not on a calendar on a mirror so that you see every day, and with your reflection.

Kai Xin  10:17

 I was just reflecting on the question. And I feel like I picked up this sense of lack in primary school, especially because I was a bench player. So I played basketball but was always a bench player. And I think just you know, those silly mistakes make me overly apologetic, as I felt a need to compensate. And it just gets worse. Moving to secondary school, being roped into the basketball team again, and becoming a recreational or team player instead, so, I think I always feel not as good because everyone is like, a lot better, or I felt very average. I didn’t realise until I went through like the therapy course that this is the underlying problem. And it shows up in little things. Like when people were to praise me, I would deflect the praise, and not really receive them with grace, or acknowledge that, yeah, there are some parts of me that are good. So I guess I’m still learning how to shift that perception.

Cheryl  11:21

I really love what both of you are sharing. And I find a lot of similarities. I think I used to get a lot of sense of superiority. When I was doing sports, that was all throughout my primary school, I was training badminton, and pretty decent in it. But when I moved to Singapore, around 15, or 16, I moved into a very elite school called Methodist Girls School, where basically my classmates had parents who were in government, top lawyers with like, 30 Ferraris or something. And then that was when the whole sense of inferiority came up. I was like, Oh, my God, I am so poor, I have no idea what YouTube is, all the cool stuff that generally people who are richer, were buying at that time. All I had was 2nd generation phones and things like that. So then that sense of superiority turned into a sense of inferiority. And somehow, it got stuck very deeply, because I was bullied as well. So that inferiority, combined with a sense of, you know, being ostracised, hit really deep and permeated all the way to adulthood as well. I think through Buddhism and time, I realise that it’s not about feeling good or bad enough, you’re just like that due to causes and conditions and accepting that and still finding room to improve every day. It’s an attitude that is helpful, to me, at this point.

Daylon  12:37

Yeah. So I think like the first icebreaker question you asked, it connects to the feeling of lack, right, which is related to the topic we’re covering today. And then the other question you mentioned is about how much you love yourself, how much you care about yourself, and how much you find yourself worthy. And both of these questions connect very nicely to what we’re talking about today, which is abundance.

Kai Xin  13:03

Yeah. And maybe you can share a little bit about the difference between feeling a sense of lack, or some people will call it scarcity and feeling a sense of abundance, like, how do you know which one? Which side of the coin are you’re at?

Daylon  13:17

I think a simple way to understand the difference between a scarcity mindset and an abundance mindset is whether it is conditional. A lot of times when we talk about scarcity is very conditional, whereas abundance is more unconditional. For example, if you have this scarcity mindset, which is usually passed down from generation to generation, such as, “if I work hard, I will earn more money. ” It sounds like good advice. But actually, if you dig deeper into it, it means that for any money that you earn, you will always have to work hard for it. You will never get money easily. And it sounds very weird, right when I say maybe you can get money easily. Because it doesn’t mean it has to be illegal, or through any nefarious means. But it’s true. There are actually people who have great business ideas, and they earn money actually very easily. So connecting working hard to earning money, I wouldn’t say it’s the most abundant mindset. In fact, I will classify it as a more scarcity mindset because it’s conditional in that sense. With an abundant mindset on the opposite end, whereby if I am sharing my talents and adding value to the world, I’m being paid in multiples. So this is not conditional, right? This is like if I am someone who has talents and everyone has talents that they are sharing with the world. They will be able to be rewarded in multiples in this case. So, one, you have this feeling of restriction, I must work very hard, depending on how much energy I can give. So if I work very hard, then I get the money, then that other is like a feeling of expansion whereby, oh, okay, I’m really going to receive it because of my gifts and my talents. And I have abundant gifts, and I have abundant talents that I’m able to express in this world. So it’s a very different mindset shift.

See also  Contentment Drives Ambition

Kai Xin  15:29

Could you elaborate a little bit more about the unconditional part? So you’ve explained the conditional pay, maybe some examples?

Daylon  15:38

So like what I mentioned earlier, like, if we tie something to a condition, then it becomes very (transactional)- if I do this, then I will get this. Whereas if I’m naturally in an abundant mindset, there are no conditions in the abundant mindset. It is more of a fact whereby it has already happened, or it is happening, or it’s about to happen. And it’s a feeling of expansion, whereby, you know, the pie is not smaller, because we have to divide it, but the pie gets bigger, and everyone has more share of the pie. So this is like, very, quite different in this in this sense.

Kai Xin  16:21

How do you think that would show up in a day-to-day setting? Because I can also understand that some people might have this cognitive dissonance, okay, if it’s already there, then what do I work for?

Daylon  16:37

So you still have to work for it. Like, I’m not saying that you don’t have to put in the energy, right, you don’t have to set an intention. Those are definitely still important. But the idea of an abundance mindset is to make sure that you don’t block yourself, and you don’t cause any friction, whereby you can receive opportunities where you’re able to allow your gifts to express themselves fully and then receive the opportunities.

Daylon  17:06

 Just like what you said earlier Kaixin, you mentioned when someone praises you, you will reject the praise like is nothing, right? You were trying to write off the praise. So that itself is somewhat of a scarcity mindset whereby you are not receiving the gift that is being given to you, which is praise. You do that often enough, you start believing that you’re not worthy, right? You do that often enough that people stop telling you that you’re good, right? But if you say and you accept the praise with grace, you say, “Oh, thank you so much. I think you did well over there as well, thank you so much. You know this is not my only effort. This is also like me trying to, I’m really trying my best over here.” If you receive it with grace, it also gives people the opportunity that acknowledgement that says it’s okay to praise Kaixin, right, it’s okay to tell her that she’s good. Rather than a signal to the person, like, “Please don’t praise me ever again, because I don’t deserve it.”

Kai Xin  18:14

I think there needs to be a little bit of clarification here because it’s a fine line between the intention when praise is received, and then you have the humility to acknowledge it, and still let other people also take the credit and not just have it for yourself, versus thinking that you don’t even deserve it. So yeah, I think it’s for listeners to look inwards to see what is the mental energy and mental state. Going back to what you were saying that the energy or the state is very expansive. I think people can feel that radiation, rather than be limited by the resources that they have on hand. That is, thanks for bringing back that example.

Cheryl  18:55

I’m just very curious, is this an either-or case, right? You either have an abundance mindset, or you have a scarcity mindset, or is it a situation where both can coexist and you can succeed as well?

Daylon  19:07

Um, I haven’t actually seen it being situational. I think generally if someone has a scarcity, mindset, their actions, their behaviour, and the things they say their thoughts tend to be more on the side of scarcity, tend to be more restrictive. Either this restrictiveness could come from self-imposed, restrictedness or actual constraints in the situation. Yeah, so I haven’t seen a hybrid or in-between, it’s either you have it or you don’t have it. Maybe there is a chance whereby someone is still trying to correct it right. So maybe they catch themselves like okay, like this scarcity mindset is not really fully abandoned, let me correct myself a little bit. So once you’re on the other side, right, I think you tend to think, oh, what can I do to collaborate with this person? What can I do to ensure a win-win partnership? What can I do to, you know, accept this love with grace?

Cheryl  20:20

Because when you see no limits, you’re constantly finding opportunities, by scarcity, all you see are boundaries, and you’re just stuck and trying to try to find the best space for yourself within the limited constraints.

Daylon  20:32

Yeah, absolutely. I think there are so many self imposed limits that we put on ourselves. And some of it could be conscious, and some of it could be unconscious. We learned a lot about these conditions from our parents. So if they believe that, you have to have a good job, and then you’ll be successful in life, or you can only be a doctor or lawyer, then you’ll be successful in life, then we tend to follow that narrative. Because since young, they’ve been telling us that don’t go and be a road sweeper, you know, don’t lie, or you must study hard. Or if you don’t study hard, you will be a road sweeper, you will be a pilot, that kind of thing.

Cheryl  21:19

And I think it’s way more than just coming from parents, it’s actually our cultural conditioning, and especially the competitiveness of society as well. I remember in high school, or just generally studying, when you have notes, you have the best answer or you have a website that has good resources, you kind of want to hide it from everybody else, and make sure nobody else does better than you.

Daylon  21:40

That is scarcity because you believe that if you help others to win, you can’t win. And I think it’s also like how the school system is designed. It’s about force ranking the first, second and third.  There is no, like everyone does well, where everyone gets a distinction or anything like that. And even when I was teaching at the Polytechnic, they will force a bell curve to rate the students. So you can never have more than, say, 20% of people getting ‘A’ in a class, even though they might be doing well as well.  But because of the forced bell curve, you can’t tell everyone, he actually did very well. So I think this is what we call a zero-sum game – for me to win, you have to lose. And actually, that’s not how the world operates. The world doesn’t necessarily operate in zero-sum conditions.

Cheryl  22:40

Is having an abundance mindset, the same as chasing for abundance, which means, you know, like, wanting more, wanting the next opportunity, wanting the next property? And if so, wouldn’t an abundance mindset be an unhealthy mindset? Because it seems like there’ll be no end to the meet the chase?

Daylon  23:01

Yeah, I think that’s such a wonderful question. I believe both of you would probably be more well-versed in Buddhism than I do. But I think in Buddhism, we speak about this idea of desire and attachment. Because we are attached to the outcome, or we have a certain expectation of something, therefore, there will be that disappointment. And having that desire and attachment is actually like a bottomless pit. This is true, I agree. Like if you constantly have that is kind of like never enough. And there’s that constant pursuit of, of material possession. I think if you want more love, wealth and fame, I do believe that you can’t hate or be jealous of others, who have love, wealth and fame. Because when you’re kind of like jealous, it means as you come from that place of lack. If you think, I don’t have enough love, I don’t have enough wealth, or I don’t have enough fame.

Daylon  24:00

 I think (one should be) holding on to the idea that in life, I could potentially lose all of these material things and be okay with it as well, and be open to receiving more of it so that I can use it as a force of good. What I’m trying to say is that you need to have this mindset whereby, okay, you’re detached from the outcome of whatever it is, but then you’re still pursuing it. And you have to accept the fact that okay, other people also deserve love, wealth and fame and all these beautiful things and successful things in life. And you’re okay with it. Knowing that if you keep working with it, if you keep sharing your gifts with the world, you’ll be able to find a way to kind of receive it provided that you don’t block yourself from receiving it.

Kai Xin  24:52

So it does sound to me like it is a misconception to say an abundance mindset means we always have to be chasing. It’s actually because you are content with what you already have, there is no more greed right, or wanting, which is the bottomless pit like you’ve mentioned. And yeah, it ties very nicely to Buddhism. In fact, if we already enjoy what we have, then we also grow, because it can be very unhealthy if we see other people as enemies, and then we don’t necessarily feed our virtue of generosity or grow our own wisdom of even like renunciation. It’s not just about, you know, giving material wealth, but it’s also the mindstate, am I less stingy, when it comes to interacting with other people or even, you know, sharing materials? Do I want other people to be successful? There’s also another concept called sympathetic joy means when you see other people succeed, you actually feel happy for them. And I think that is an abundance mindset in itself, where there’s nothing to lose, and you’re happy, not at the expense of others, vice-versa.

Daylon  26:01

Yeah, I definitely believe in what you just mentioned in the later part. I think a lot of why we feel like we don’t want to give or we tend to be a bit more protective of our own resources and what we have is maybe because of that ego, and it’s back to conditioning again. So I think it’s very important to understand that control is an illusion, and the need for control comes from our ego, to manage things and to plan things our way. But the truth and the reality is, life doesn’t go our way. Life actually has its own plans, and it’s how we kind of surf together with what life gives. The water analogy is kind of like a wave, right? You have to kind of move along with it. It’s kind of like having this dance together with life. And you can’t actually control how the outcomes.

Kai Xin  27:04

I’m wondering because we keep mentioning that our society is quite competitive. How realistic would it be for us to cultivate this quality? You have been in multiple MNCs before? I’m pretty sure it’s quite competitive, sometimes even political, how has this abundance mindset helped you? And then how can you inspire our listeners to say, hey, actually, it’s possible?

Daylon  27:29

I think it’s always easy for me to say, hey, looking, looking back and saying, oh, okay, after going through all these things, is actually pretty easy. But that’s also not the truth. I think it’s, it’s a practice, just like mindfulness. You have to be consciously practising mindfulness,  Mindful eating, mindful, walking, you know, or even meditation. So all these things are like a muscle. The same thing comes to an abundance mindset as well, you must treat it as a muscle that you need, to practice. You need to kind of think, Oh, if I’m reflecting in my journal, Or if I’m reflecting on the interaction I had with someone, is that actually the best interaction I can have?  Is that is that interaction with kind intention, right, is that an interaction with an abundant mindset? And just really asking yourself and challenging yourself? So the short answer is, it’s not easy, Because it’s so easy to default, to shrink your world, so easy to be protective of yourself. Very, very easy, very, very difficult to feel a sense of expansion.

Daylon  28:47

Because when you expand, there’s always that risk, you’re taking opportunities or taking risks. So I don’t blame people, when they want to protect themselves, they want to do the same things that they used to do, they want to defer to what they are familiar with. So it’s important to actually practice, to stretch yourself to be mindful of the quality of your interaction. And as you do that, over time, you will realise that this muscle gets stronger. And as this muscle gets stronger, it becomes easier for you to just show up, be present and be abundant in terms of that mindset. And if you get into any conflict of is anyone around you tries to drag you into a conflict, you’ll feel like you don’t even want to go to the conflict because you’re in this state whereby, wow, this is just like, I’m, I’m just so expansive. I’m so joyful and joyfully abundant, and  I don’t even want to be bothered by this small issue. It’s like if someone knocked on my shoulder, I don’t even want to be like bothered, I don’t even want to change my state because someone knocked on my shoulder, I don’t want to be like, thinking about that. I don’t want to like get too particular I buy my friend lunch, you know, or dinner, and then my friend didn’t buy back lunch.

See also  Are you living life like a hungry ghost?

Cheryl  30:16

And you write in a little notebook.

Daylon  30:21

I don’t even want to think about that, because I want to be in this state of abundance, because I believe that, you know, like, this is for good. Whatever happens, happens, and it’s fine. And everyone is, you know, trying their best in their life and doing what they can. So you have this mindset of abundance, and it then has sort of a cascading effect, to how you feel compassionate towards the rest of the world and your interactions with other people as well.

Daylon  30:51

Your goal is not to become Mother Teresa,  it’s not like you to become a saint, the goal for you is to get stronger in this muscle of abundance. And as you get stronger, you’ll start to see more results in your life, you start to feel that your quality of interactions with people is better, and you start to feel like when someone offers you an opportunity, you won’t start to doubt, hey, is this person trying to, you know, cheat me or something like that? You don’t start to think about the negative stuff. But I also say, with this caution,  it doesn’t mean you throw your critical thinking mind and your logical mind window, we still need to actually retain that. Because that is how we function as human beings with higher-order thinking. So being abundant doesn’t mean that you destroy your logic and your critical thinking like out the window, and you don’t check and stuff like that.

Cheryl  31:48

I really like what you’re sharing. I think what stood out to me, as I was listening to you was really on the idea of understanding the kind intentions (we can have) and also reflecting on the quality of interactions that we’re having with the people around us everyday. And I was just tying it back to you know, even this podcast, even chatting to you, I would say probably a scarcity mindset, when it shows up, it will be one where you know, as a podcaster, I will be thinking “how can I look the best? How can I appear the smartest in the room?” Then, when we’re thinking about (having an) abundance mindset, it changes the whole dynamic? How can I offer everyone here a space to share to add value to this conversation? And I think that will really shift the conversation into something that is so much more relaxed and much more wholesome as well.

Daylon  32:47

I love that. And I think that’s an important distinction around me versus we. If you live in this idea of a me centred universe, it’s all about me, it’s very ego-driven.  Whereas you live in a we-centred universe, you stop focusing on yourself too much, because I think that feeling of entitlement, that feeling of being a complainer, It’s that feeling of, “oh, I’m a victim, I’m, I deserve better.” Those are actually not very healthy mindsets, I would say.

Kai Xin  33:21

And I’m also just reflecting on our conversation and how we’ve got connected Daylon. Many years ago,  we we caught up, and then I remember, many meals, we talked just very casually, not really expecting anything in return from that connection. And many years later, you know, helping each other in our career-referring businesses, I thought there was just something really beautiful.  When I asked whether it’s realistic, I think it’s in the sense that, perhaps some people might think, people might take advantage of us if we are overly generous, or we have this mindset. And we don’t stand for ourselves. But I don’t think it’s true. In fact, when we collaborate, we synergize, we have more resources to share and to create better things than as we are alone. So I thought that was really beautiful, real life example.

Daylon  34:11

Yeah, I know. It’s definitely I mean, theory, it sounds very nice. And I know it’s very difficult to put it into practice. But like I say, No, it’s about little stretches,  Like this, shifting your mindset bit by bit, you know,  what’s the next level, I can take this to. If, let’s say for example, let’s go back to the example my my friend didn’t buy me dinner.  Instead of just mulling over it and getting upset with your friend that didn’t buy you dinner back, what’s the next best intention that you can bring to it? Maybe you can think about oh, you know, like maybe my friend is busy, or maybe like you might be actually dealing with something in their business and all that. So now you’re introducing compassion. Now you’re introducing empathy, that’s a really stretch really?

Kai Xin  35:01

Yeah, I fully agree. And, again, it’s a lot more healthy. I just wanted to read this quote that I found from an article talking about abundance. So it says, our inner abundance radiates a sense of worth value and ease of having something to give the world and enjoying doing so. So it’s very unconditional, we’re just there to give, not expecting anything in return. And then Jack Kornfield, which is the author, later went on to say, without abundance, we can be in the midst of riches and feel like a hungry ghost.

Kai Xin  35:38

I found that to be so powerful is like what you said at the very beginning, we are living in very well-developed countries, and we have a lot of resources, but yet it is always that sense of not-enoughness. And yeah, I just thought, there are so many different ways that it manifests in our lives. I’m also thinking to bring it further in terms of how we can keep this actionable, you know, day-to-day practice, perhaps I can start first having some thoughts and ideas, drawing reference from the Buddha, you know, when he was trying to seek the truth, if he worked to have that limiting belief, and to just stop at the teacher who taught him whatever he could, and then he has already kind of been on the level of the greatest teacher back then.  And if he had that scarcity mindset, he would have stopped and said, Okay, I’ve hit a roadblock. That’s it. I such as ended, but because he believed in something more, and he has this abundance mindset, I believe, he then went to uncharted territory and paved his way to enlightenment, and the future generations, like us, have so much to benefit because of his perseverance. So I think the abundance mindset manifests itself in a form of generosity, perseverance, and a lot of, you know, just the act of sharing and being in the moment, I am wondering, how does it manifest for you in day-to-day life?

Daylon  37:10

I think I should also share a personal story to help, so it doesn’t feel like I’m preaching to everyone over here.  I actually have been in situations where I feel a great sense of scarcity. These are situations whereby I am almost in a state of depression. There was once when I was 24, and this was me starting my first business. I had $10 in my bank account, and it just reflected back to me that I will not have enough for lunch tomorrow. That was how bad it was. And it served as a constant reminder that, okay, I should really, really not just be more prudent in how I spend my resources. But also, what happened after that was that I managed to get a client to pay earlier. From that, I was able to kind of get back from that downfall itself. Another situation where I almost fell into a depression, was when I chose to quit. After I quit, I couldn’t find a high-paying job. Because I couldn’t find a high-paying job and still had rent obligations, I still had sort of this lifestyle to maintain, I just fell into this state of depression, whereby I live in such a great environment.  I was renting a condominium in Marina Bay.  I just was really, really not happy with my life at that point in time. I had a great career, but I choose to give it up because it didn’t align with me. And I know it’s not my path from that sort of lack state. I really felt a great sense of lack, but thankfully, what I did in order to force myself out of that state was to do two things.

Daylon  39:07

Number one was questioning some of the things that I had beliefs about. And the question was, hey, do I believe this is going to be a state, this state of a thing is going to last for the rest of my life?  I didn’t believe it. I believe I have some sense of control over my life, and I believe I have some sense of control over my life, so there’s something I can do about it. And actually, with those two beliefs, I was able to kind of manage myself out of that depressed, depression episode. And another thing I did was to force myself to give to charity at that point in time because I felt so much lack at that point that I really felt like I need to do something counterintuitive. Intuitively I felt, I need to do something so I just forced myself. I gave to charity and by doing so, even though I don’t seem to have enough, it helped me get back that and cultivate that sense of actually I do have enough, I’m able to give. And if I look at it, I am resourceful. I have the means and the ability to actually find the necessary resources to give back. And it’s just a matter of time away, reverse this situation. So the mindset of giving, I believe, is like the practice,  It’s like, something that you do consistently and constantly. And now I put all my charity giving, like on the auto deduction, it really just forces me to and remind myself that I, I always have enough to give to others. As I am receiving success, wealth, opportunities, and love, I always have enough to give back to society always have enough to give to others. So that then becomes a sort of like a practice in this case.

Kai Xin  41:00

 It’s so beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story. And I suppose if materially, there really isn’t enough to give, we still can give words of kindness, words of affirmation, encouragement.

Daylon  41:13

or even a smile. Like, even if we don’t have anything in the world, the least we can do is to give a smile.

Kai Xin  41:20

Yeah, that’s so true. And a smile can really change people’s life or even save lives. So I guess this very nicely sums up the episode where we talk about the abundance mindset to how it shows up in different aspects of our lives and giving it’s a very big part of it. And sometimes when we compare ourselves with the scarcity mindset, it says a lot on the conditional, Very material things, even when it comes to giving ultimate like, oh, do I materially have enough things to give? But I think through the conversation, I realised there’s so much more. And it’s all about bits and pieces step by step. Of course, it’s not a leap, we give away every single thing and let people step over us. But it’s really, more realistically, how do we look for opportunities and not block ourselves from them because of our limiting beliefs? And how do we constantly pave the way to uncharted territories? Yeah, so that’s, that’s really beautiful.

Daylon  42:21

I think great questions are gifts as well, someone wants to tell me the quality of questions we ask in life, determines the quality of our life. So I’ll leave every listener with a question. And I hope there’s something you think about. So with regard to an abundance mindset, my question is, where do you prefer to spend your energy? And in which state do you want to fill your days?

Daylon  42:51

 Because if you prefer to spend your energy thinking about things that constrain you and limit you, and you prefer to be in a state whereby you feel trapped, then that is the energy and the state of your life, and it does spill over to the rest of the aspects of your life. So I always say that if you want to hold greater wealth and greater success, you do need to have a bigger cup to receive it. And this mindset is essentially having a bigger cup.

Kai Xin  43:21

Very nice. Thank you so much for leaving us with that question. And I hope all listeners would carry on daddy’s having a bigger cup to fill. Thank you.

Daylon  43:33

Thank you. Thank you so much, David. You’re very welcome. And thanks for the opportunity to share.

Kai Xin  43:39

I hope you find this episode useful. And you’re able to distinguish between what is a scarcity mindset and what is an abundance mindset. And catch yourself in your day-to-day interaction whenever discussing the mindset pops up. And I hope you can gradually allow yourself to receive with grace and also to be more generous and to rejoice in other people’s success and make this world a much better place. Till the next episode. I wish you stay happy and wise.

More about Daylon Soh 

Daylon is a corporate executive turned education entrepreneur who runs a training institute, based in Singapore & Malaysia, focused on helping professionals and businesses grow their careers and business with User Experience (UX) Design and Product Management.

Daylon is a Buddhist by faith and has been a pescatarian since 2016.

More about Daylon and his work: 



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