Plenty: #22 of 28 Big Ideas from the World of Coaching

This article is twenty-third in a multi-part series that adapts and excerpts my entire book, The Coach Within: 28 Big Ideas for Engaging the Power of Your Own Wisdom, Creativity, and Choices* (Everything Goes Media, 2017).


22. Plenty

“Not what we have but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance.”

— Epicurus

“What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.”

— Henry David Thoreau

Welcome to plenty! An ecosystem of enough. A sense of abundance. Everything an overflowing cornucopia.

And, because we’re in the multi-layered world of coaching, you can think of plenty as tool, awareness, and destination. It’s a yin-yang zen combo of enough and more than enough inextricably nestled together.

Let’s look at worlds of plenty we’ve already covered in this course, directly or indirectly:

In an infinite universe, how about even a surface nod to the bounty of one of its representatives — the internet? This omnipresent hyperlinked cyber domain spills forth plenty of information, associations, connections, and ideas. More than enough “stuff” and more than enough ways to get that “stuff.”

It’s not just having easy access to as many blue dangly earrings as your heart desires but as many potential mates, how-to articles, inspiring thoughts, support groups, and healthy zucchini muffin recipes as well. (Our challenge at times is not to over-stuff our lives — this is where the sufficient meaning of plenty is handy.) What about this one, which trips up almost everyone?

  • Plenty of money

Barring true poverty and exceptionally bad temporary circumstances, we all at least know how to have the experience of enough money, whether or not we do it: Save a percentage of our income and live on the rest! (Two of hundreds of quality resources on this one: The Richest Man in Babylon, a personal finance classic told as “ancient” parables, and YNAB — — an easy app that helps you stay on top of your finances in a smart, realistic way that supports how you actually live and what’s important to you.) We’ll get to more than enough of anything in a minute.

One important lesson of plenty is to fill yourself up and get on with it. If a deficit or sense of lack in some area or multiple areas of your life is causing dissatisfactions and driving your behavior in unsavory ways, then those shortages need to be addressed first and head-on. How can you get…have…experience plenty in those areas? Start with appreciating what you have (big idea 23, gratitude, follows this one) in those areas of life and building from there. Have enough right now — see how these concepts all interconnect? — and be with that.

How can you have “more than enough” right now? Here it comes again from big idea 17: Lower the bar! Yes, it’s a mind trick. It’s reframing. But it’s a tool that you can make work for you. Create an artificially low standard that you’re already exceeding and you can mount your campaign for an ideal future of more-than-enough plenty from that full and satisfied perch. This can be especially helpful when we’re talking about such meaty, vital, very human needs like plenty of health, plenty of friends, plenty of support.

Abundance is ours for the taking — first in giving ourselves the experience of it, then in idealizing what we want, taking responsibility for getting it, and using creativity to help us build it, right now, from right where we’re at.


Your Coaching To-Do’s

⎕ Use a walk or meditation to take a silent inventory of where you have a sense of plenty in your life and where you feel lack. Savor the experience of plenty and make a mental note of what that feels like. Will you be able to recreate it/remind yourself of that as needed?

⎕ In your journal, create a page for every area of your life where you noted lack. Start by idealizing for each what plenty in that area would be like. Then, return to right, right now and lower the bar (mind trick, remember?) until you have more than enough of this thing. Now brainstorm from this starting point on ways to move towards your ideal. Next? Set an intention (big 19) and take action (big idea 20) for each.

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