How much abundance we have in our lives, and how much we have to be grateful for! Yet, that very abundance can become a challenge. The fact that you have so many choices has the potential to create problems. Consider three areas where abundance might develop into a negative quality.
Abundance and time
Having so many options means that you invest more hours in making a decision on what to purchase. In the "old days," the corner store normally supplied under 1,000 products. Now, Wal-Mart SuperCenters carry more than 130,000 items.
To replace an appliance today, you might check Consumer Reports, do research on the Internet, and/or visit several of the big appliance stores.
After all, they may have a better deal in one place, or they may have some different merchandise. How else can you know you are getting the best price for the best quality?
Searching for the best price is not a negative in itself, but it can become a negative when you spend so much time trying to save $2, or $25, or $100, depending on the product, that you consume hours of your time.
Abundance and energy
The technology that was supposed to provide you with more leisure time has, instead, become an energy drain for many of us.
Rather than freeing you for more leisurely pursuits, you have to divert your energy into assimilating new processes as electronic features are added every few months to cameras, telephones, and computers. Often that learning process is riddled with frustration.
Constantly updating, whether technology, clothing, toys, sports equipment, or a clever new kitchen utensil, can lead to an accumulation of items that you no longer use, but are reluctant to discard because they are in working order. Then spaces become cluttered.
The more that collects, the more difficult it becomes to bring order to the situation. Decisions are postponed about what to do with those no-longer-used items.
When you walk into a cluttered environment, you can feel your energy drain away and can become paralyzed in trying to maintain an order in your space and in your life.
Even though the accumulated items may be out of sight, they still zap your energy. You know you have to eventually do something about them.
Abundance and stress
The abundance available to us can cause an over-spending when we feel we need to have the latest items, and credit is available. It is also easy to succumb to impulse buying without having the funds.
Americans carry 1.2 billion credit cards and have an average of more than $8,000 in debt. This, in turn, creates pressure as you try to figure out how to meet monthly bills.
Add this pressure to the stress of knowing decisions weren't made, or the stress of worrying about forgetting something because it was buried in the clutter.
How can we keep the blessing of abundance from becoming negative factor? Start by asking yourself these questions when considering buying something:
• Are you using the resources you already have?
• Are you purchasing something because you really need it?
• Will it make things easier for you (factor in learning curves)?
• If it is a replacement, can you donate or recycle the older item?
It is truly a joy and a blessing to live in a society where you have so much. Choose carefully as you add more into your life and your surroundings. How will these additions affect you and your family?
The best gift ideas for any occasion may include:
• More time to spend with others.
• More energy for activities.
• Less stress in your life.
Ahwatukee Foothills resident Denise Landers is the author of "Destination: Organization, A Week by Week Journey." She helps businesses and individuals accomplish more with productive office systems. Reach her at (602) 412-3876 or firstname.lastname@example.org.