When people speak of prosperity, they generally mean success, and measure it in terms of financial abundance. There are books, seminars, and training sessions designed to help individuals to be prosperous. Clearly, many are seeking the path to prosperity.

Ironically, when one is seeking prosperity, the message they give to themselves and the universe is that they do not have enough. This is a scarcity mentality, and tends only to manifest more scarcity.

If prosperity is defined in terms of financial abundance, an individual may focus on how he or she can make more money. However, more money does not equate with prosperity. I have known many multi-millionaires who always worried about money: and others, despite their financial wealth, who were not prosperous in the larger sense of the word.

To prosper can also mean to thrive and flourish. The ability to thrive and flourish comes from within. It is an internal quality, not an external accomplishment. The thing that enhances our sense of thriving and flourishing more than anything else is gratitude. If we are focusing on lack, or not having enough, we are not in a state of gratitude.

Think of prosperity in the largest sense of the word. We are prosperous because we have clean water to drink, and food to eat. We are prosperous because we have access to good medical care. Good health, good friends, and strong family relationships are forms of prosperity.

We have a sense of prosperity when we give to others, be it material goods or services, or our time. That we have the health, energy and ability to do so is reason for gratitude. The quality of our relationship to ourselves, our loved ones, and our fellow humans is what really makes prosperity.

This does not mean it is wrong to desire to create financial abundance. However, having that as a primary driver will never bring prosperity in the larger sense. If our desire is to travel our path with integrity, to be kind and helpful to others, and to do what we love, then financial success is likely, and prosperity is guaranteed.
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit www.gwen.ca