In recent posts I’ve talked about the benefits of having an abundance mindset in everything you do. But did you know that there are some serious side effects of an abundance mindset? I didn’t until recently, but they are real, and they can be deadly.

Today we are going to examine some of these down sides and look at ways to deal with them productively so that we can move forward confidently, positively, and abundantly.

When you have an abundance mindset, it can be hard to determine the best opportunity forward.

Abundance means that you see opportunity in everything. Which is fantastic… most of the time. But what happens when you are standing at the intersection of millions of different roads, and no one is telling you which route to take?

Time to get a little personal here…

I had the fortune of being the baby of 3 kids in my family. It was awesome always having older siblings to hang out with, but it also enabled me to grow up a bit … passive … in the decision making area.

When we were picking out where to eat on family night out, my voice was never the loudest. When choosing which board game to play, I didn’t want to debate the game – I just wanted to win whatever was decided.

The funny thing is about “normal” American life, is that mindset can carry you through life incredibly well. School tells you exactly how to succeed, it’s just up to you to do it. Check.

Companies tell you exactly what they want before they will hire you. Get it done and you get a great job out of college. Check.

Your boss tells you exactly what they want for you to “exceed expectations” and get a good raise. Check.

That’s not to say I sat by and let all these things happen to me passively, but I always knew the course ahead. It was just about getting myself from where I was standing to the next level in the race.

But what happens when you get into uncharted territories? When you look all around you and all you see are your peers riddled with debt, lazy at their jobs, and more attached to their material possessions than their own life and health?

The road to FI can be a lonely one, and when you get to the place where you are pretty much alone in your situation, it’s up to you to chart the path forward. That’s when you truly face the test.

Should I stay or should I go?

Aside from living the normal corporate American life, I’ve helped my wife grow her blog to a full time income. It’s gotten to where my day job work is totally optional.

When you get closer to the FI number, you start to consider what you are retiring to, not just what you are escaping from. And that’s when the scariness of an abundance mindset really starts to show its face.

Should I start my own blog? Should I become a missionary? Should I just stay home and homeschool my kids? Should I make a Youtube channel to help others follow the path I have been on?

When you lift your head above your corporate desktop and look at the vast world outside your cubicle, it can be a humbling experience.

That recognition that up until this point in your life you have simply fast-tracked your way through other people’s objectives. Helped achieve everyone’s dreams but your own, because you’ve never stopped long enough to understand what your dreams really are.

It’s a solemn feeling – embrace it, understand it, and conquer it. Here’s how.

When you are faced with an impossible number of options, you need to start asking yourself some questions

Put your thinking cap on, because this exercise isn’t going to be easy. In order to make tough decisions, you have to be able to answer tough questions. Here they come

On your deathbed, how do you want to be remembered?

Having just turned 30, I’m beginning to realize my mortality. And with the recent passing of my final grandparent, it’s important that we think big picture about life and not just the current project we are working on.

Habit #2 from Stephen Covey is to begin with the end in mind. Are the actions we take today leading us up achieve our long term goals? Are we helping make the world a better place, and will we be remembered well for our efforts?

I asked that question the other day, and I realized there were a few changes I needed to make in my life. But it’s much better to be asking these questions in your twenties or thirties (or even forties!) instead of on our deathbed.

Once you’ve identified any gap in  your current life, it’s time to move on to question #2.

What is the activity that puts me most in the zone – where I can focus on the task and let hours pass without even noticing?

Entering a state of flow is such a surreal experience. In flow, you can completely block out the distractions and work on your craft. It could be when you are on the field, at the computer writing, or in conversation with someone.

When you are faced with an abundance of options, you want to make sure that anything you decide to retire to is going to increase the amount of time you can spend in your own state of flow. That is the quickest way to ensure you find fulfillment in your retirement.

What can you do to make the greatest impact on the world?

When making money becomes less of a priority, you are able to think more generally about what your future focus will be.

Whether that be focusing on your children’s development, investing your time to your community or church, or continuing to grow as an entrepreneur to provide jobs and donations to charity – where can you move the needle the furthest?

I am growing passionate about helping educate my generation about money habits and to help a million people achieve financial independence. What is your mission?

Once you answer the hard questions, you need to think long and hard about where the next path forward is

These questions help calibrate your thinking. They remind you what is important, where you leverage your talents the best, and where the world needs you most.

Once you have laid out the pieces of this puzzle we call life, it’s up to you to determine how to put them back together. For each of us, the puzzle comes together in different forms.

Having an abundance of options is a blessing and a curse

After living life by someone else’s orders, it can be a startling realization to take charge of your future decisions. Ward off the fear, steel your jaw, and walk into the unknown with confidence, positivity, and abundance, and you will come out the other side a champion.