It’s Time To Ditch The Abundance Mindset — It Paves The Way to Inequality

We need collective growth, not just personal.

Jessica Wildfire

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Photo by Federica Cristina Zanella on Unsplash

I used to be a big fan of books like Angela Duckworth’s Grit and Carol Dweck’s Mindset. And of course, who can forget Stephen Covey’s classic The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People? Now they feel like antiques.

Here’s why:

Until recently, teachers like me still clung to the hope that our students could succeed out there in the big bad world, even if it was riddled with unfairness, if they could cultivate the right mindset. The paint has pealed on that hope, revealing the cold steel truth. Not only is the world getting less fair, but the super rich are engineering it that way. They’re funneling all kinds of dark money into voter restriction bills, because they don’t want to give up their gigantic tax breaks and subsidies — which we pay for. After all, dudes like Elon Musk would go bankrupt without them.

Every single time these elites trot out words like “habits” and “leadership,” it’s a goddam lie. They know it.

So do we.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with making money. We all need it to live, and to pursue the lives we want. There’s nothing wrong with hustling, or talking about your hustle. The problem is when we use the language of hustle and grit to applaud ourselves, while justifying our neglect toward wider social issues — and judging other people for what they lack. It’s when we become dismissive of other people’s struggles and suffering. It’s when we refuse to take accountability for our own actions and attitudes, or act offended when we’re challenged to examine our unconscious biases.

Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening.

Self-improvement has been hijacked.

There used to be a point in time when grit and persistence could get you somewhere in life, depending on your circumstances.

That time is ending.

You don’t have to dig very deep for evidence. Most of us already know it’s nearly impossible to survive in developed countries like America without a second job or a side hustle. We’ve accepted that as a given. We’ve even started calling people…

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