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Episode 25 — How Scarcity Is Hurting You

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About this episode

You may claim an inexhaustible allegiance to opportunity and a devotional belief in possibility. Yet a prevalent attitude of scarcity has a way of lurking in the shadows, surreptitiously sliding in among the positive things and exacting a heavy toll. Scarcity is a low grade fever, it is a virus that syphons off energy and makes itself more and more dominant. In this episode we will show you where to look for scarcity that has snuck into your work and life, how to undo it and never let it back in again.

Hosted by Bitesize Bio’s own Dr. Nick Oswald featuring Kenneth Vogt of Vera Claritas.

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This is an automated transcript and may not be 100% accurate.

INTRO (00:08):
This is The Happy Scientist podcast. Each episode is designed to make you more focused, more productive, and more satisfied in the lab. You can find us online at bitesizebio.com/happyscientist. Your hosts are Kenneth Vogt, founder of the executive coaching firm Vera Claritas and Dr. Nick Oswald PhD, bio-scientist and founder of Bitesize Bio.

Nick Oswald (00:38):
Hello and welcome to The Happy Scientist podcast from Bitesize Bio. If you want to become a happier, healthier, and more productive scientist, you are in the right place. I’m Nick Oswald the founder of bitesizebio.com and with me is the driving force of this podcast, Mr. Kenneth Vogt. I have worked with Ken for over seven years now with him as my business mentor and colleague, and I knew that his expertise could help you, which is why he’s here today with me. In these sessions, we will hear mostly from Ken on principles will help shape you for a happier and more successful career and along the way I’ll pitch in with points from my personal experience as a scientist and from working with Ken, today we will be discussing how scarcity is hurting you. So let’s bring in the man himself. Ken, how are you today?

Kenneth Vogt (01:25):
I’m doing great. How are you?

Nick Oswald (01:25):
I’m good. Ken.

Kenneth Vogt (01:28):
It’s funny is, is you’re talking about scarcity there at the beginning. I have this American Baxter dog that is trying to crawl in my lap because this dog lives in scarcity of love. It just he or she just doesn’t ever have enough. There’s just never enough. And that kinda, that kind of sets the tone for where I want to go with this. The notion of scarcity, I think a lot of folks, they don’t think about scarcity very much, especially somebody that has, you know, is doing well enough in the world. You know, you’re, you have a professional job. You’re getting professional salary. You, you work in a in a place that is equipped for the things that you need to do in a way that you could probably couldn’t have done yourself. And you seem to be surrounded by all this abundance.

Kenneth Vogt (02:18):
So what’s this notion of scarcity all about, well, first I want to define it. Scarcity is a fear that there’s not enough to go around or a worry that something you already have will be taken from you or a belief that work and life requires losers for every winner. That last part really might get you there. That was the one where you might go. Ah, I see now, cause you may not be worried about being able to pay your bills and you may not be worried about whether or not that you know, there’s going to be enough to do the, the, the next grant, you know, cause you’ve been funded and all that, but this idea that there have to be losers for every winner may really grab you. So there are some other synonyms for scarcity that might show up for you. Do you ever feel lack or do you ever see limitation or do you have a belief that the world is a zero sum game?

Kenneth Vogt (03:14):
It is it, you know, if something pushes down, something else has to push up, you know, if something pushes out, something has to push in and scarcity can be tremendously damaging to you and direct damaging to your career and damaging every step of everything you do in your work. When it starts to be a philosophy in life, you will find, it impacts your creative process. That is it’ll hurt what you do and it’ll impact the discoveries that you make because it’ll hurt what you see. Because when you think in a zero sum game, you can’t see everything. Once something has been taken off the board, you figure there’s nothing to see there anymore because that’s somebody else already got that it’s already done. So this notion of scarcity, Nick, does this sound familiar to you? Is this anything you’ve ever encountered in your world?

Nick Oswald (04:11):
I was just thinking there that, that it’s almost received wisdom. It’s almost, why would you question that? So ingrained that that’s the idea, you know, in science, you’re competing for grants, which are an a limited resource. You are, you know, you may be competing against other scientists who are studying the same thing. You know, and, you know, for example, you know, big example now at the moment where there are at the time of recording, there are lots of people, different groups, competing to get their COVID vaccine and, be the ones who saved the world and made lots of money in the process,for the company or whoever. You know, that’s a competition and, and there can only, I mean, in the vaccine, there can be more than one winner, but again, we live in the, we, we grew up with the idea that everything is a competition and, and there are winners and losers. So w w w

Kenneth Vogt (05:10):
Yeah, and then, you know, the first to market is a winner, for instance, is another way of looking at things. So like, you know, Pfizer is the winner because their vaccines coming out, first of all, now we feel safe because it comes down to your, your outlook on it. And I want to, I want to point something out here too, that I’m not saying that scarcity is wrong and false, and how silly of you to think that because it is, it does exist. And in fact, there’s something about science that particularly draws you to scarcity. And it is this, that notion of limitation science is all fundamentally, if you just boil it down to what is the most kindergarten explanation of science, it is the things we can measure. Well, limitation is, that’s what measurement, is tells you what the limit of something is. And, and that’s very useful when you, when you find out the limits of things, that’s how you progress in science.

Kenneth Vogt (06:07):
So, you know, it’s not bad to be limited, but is this the thing, the part of this that I really want to key on isn’t the, the traditional use of limitation or the effective use of limitation, but the belief in limitation, that’s, that’s something different. That’s why we, we say you don’t believe in science. That’s a, that’s a silly way to put it because science isn’t about belief. Sciences is about observation and measurement, you know, but when you turn that observation and measurement into a belief, now you’re creating a problem. And that’s why I’m saying there’s two ways. It can, it can impact you. It, if it impacts what you do, you’re necessarily going to be limited in how creative you can be. And if it impacts what you see, Oh my, you know, in science observations, everything. And if you can’t see things, you won’t be able to act on them.

Kenneth Vogt (07:11):
Now, this is, this is a notion that that Nick you and I’ve talked about before with the idea that if you have just decided that something is a certain way, you can’t see other possibilities. When, when somebody tells you there’s a stop sign at the end of the street and not a stoplight. And I know it because I’ve seen it a thousand times, they will have a hard time believing they changed out the stop sign for a stoplight or stop, stop sign for a stoplight because, because they, they have a belief. Now I’ve observed something multiple times. And I can’t see now that isn’t, that is not to say that being certain about things you’ve observed in the past is bad. It obviously simplifies things and makes things move faster. But if you can’t be open to the possibility that your past observations no longer represent the truth, no longer represent physical reality, you’re going to miss things.

Nick Oswald (08:15):
Yeah. So it’s just, it’s about that. That’s one of the themes that we keep coming back to her about the requirement to be open-minded and, and be ready to accept new evidence as it appears, and which is kind of goes against human nature. So you have to be consciously aware of that. You are you know, to, to, to keep in that mindset

Kenneth Vogt (08:36):
Right there, there are, there are some folks who have what some will call the gift, and some will call the curse of photographic memory. And there have been some studies done on folks who have photographic memory and you think, wow, that must be amazing. I wish I had that, but actually those folks have a hard time in life. The reason why is because they can’t differentiate, what’s important in this picture and what’s the value in this picture and everything else. And so we, it’s useful to us to put limitations on things. You look in the mirror and you look at yourself and all I want to see right now is, is my hair in place. I don’t care what else is going on there? I’m not worried about my, I’m not worried about makeup, or I’m not worried about like my barbering right now. I just want it to look at my hair and to be able to see that.

Kenneth Vogt (09:26):
But if, if you have to see everything and you see the reflection of everything around you, at the same time, you won’t be able to focus, or, or if you, if you can, it comes, it comes at a great cost. So, you know, we’re looking at the other side of this thing. Okay. But if I only see my hair, I won’t notice that blotch on my cheek. And I won’t notice that I did a terrible job shaving this morning. And, you know, we have to be able to swing both ways. So the important thing I want to point to here is how do you know when you have a some kind of scarcity deficit going on that’s harmful to you or is not balanced. So I’m going to give you some signals of things that you can see that are causing scarcity for you, and not just the, the, the, the functional scarcity that you, that you use to good effect, but scarcity that it’s getting in your way and scarcity that has to do with your beliefs.

Kenneth Vogt (10:25):
And what’s going on in the background for you that may have nothing to do with what you’re working on right now, or what’s your, what’s your observing right now, but it is still taking a cost in that. And yeah, we’ve all had those, those moments where, you know, grandma’s in the hospital and, Oh, I’m just not paying attention today, you know, or, or my, my, my child is trying to decide what school to go to and that, you know, so, and now I’m distracted by that, that, that, that kind of scarcity is believing that there’s a scarcity of how much I can think about or a scarcity of how much time I have to think about things. So every year, I just want to put this out there. Everything you think has a natural scarcity. I want you to question, I’m not to, I’m not telling you you’re wrong, but I want you to sit to look at this and say to yourself, what if I didn’t believe there’s a scarcity of money?

Kenneth Vogt (11:28):
What if I didn’t believe there was a scarcity of budget? What if I didn’t believe there’s a scarcity of time? What if I didn’t believe there was a scarcity of any resource that you think is valuable? What if I didn’t believe there was a scarcity of, of love of, yeah. So, I mean, this is going to be applied to anything. And what if I didn’t believe there was a scarcity of sour cream, you know, like you just, you just choose. So I want to, I’m going to fire off a bunch of a bunch of signals that scarcity is lurking and things you can look for. Ready, Nick.

Nick Oswald (12:05):
Yes, I’m ready.

Kenneth Vogt (12:08):
Because some of these things, you’re going to hear them go, Oh, I do that all the time. Or that shows up in a lot of places in my world. And it shows up at work and it shows up at home, whatever.

Nick Oswald (12:18):
So here we go. Okay. First off anger angry is like an early warning. Buzzer. You get angry often because you fear that you’re not going to get something where you’re worried that you’re going to lose something. So if you’re engaged in anything and all of a sudden anger pops up and you see that, Oh, that’s cause I’m afraid that there’s something I’m not going to get. There’s therefore a scarcity of that. Or there’s something I’m going to lose, or I might lose that one’s even worse for people is because if you don’t have something, you know, for sure you don’t have it, but if you worry that you’re going to lose it, Oh gosh, that doesn’t even exist in reality. You still have it. But you know, I’m worried that we’re going to lose this grant and you can torment yourself with that. And if you get angry about it, that’s the first signal because that’s, that’s the thing too.

Kenneth Vogt (13:13):
Sometimes these things are in steps. So you can start to peel them off and realize what’s going on. So anger number one, here’s another thing that people do when they believe in scarcity, they hoard information. They figure, I can’t share this because that’s what makes me valuable around here. If other people knew about this, what do they need me for? You know? So, so they don’t share things. And in the scientific world, I got to say, you folks have a leg up there. You often are more willing to share than in other industries, but there’s still, it’s still going on. And it’s for profit businesses going on that where this is, this is intellectual property. So it feels natural to not share things. But, but I want to key on that word hoarding. If you’re holding things to yourself, not for any particular fear that or that some damage will be done, but just on general principles, some of the signs that you’re thinking scarcely, because if you can share information with people, often they can, they can help you move to the next step. They may give you clues. What’s next. You share with them. They share with you and you go, ah, ha, there’s something I didn’t see. Or there’s an opportunity that I wasn’t aware of. So you can take things forward.

Kenneth Vogt (14:37):
Here’s another one. And again, we’re talking about beliefs here. You secretly hope others will fail. We all know that’s a rotten thing to think. But if, if you find yourself doing it, rather than beat yourself up about it, like, wow, that is beneath me as that’s not, that’s not the way my mother taught me. You know? That, that is because you’re worried that competitors are going to cut you out. It’s a scarcity thing. When you start to realize, you know, I can’t really be cut out in many cases. That’s the truth is I’m not saying that that’s always the truth, but when you have these beliefs, you’re going to act on irrational emotions rather than examining the facts. And then you will be, you will be directed by those rational emotions. And we’ve all seen this with people all around us, that they don’t act on data.

Kenneth Vogt (15:33):
They act on their fear about the data they don’t act on, on information. They act about their worry about the information. So if you see your, if you see yourself feeling competitive to, to, to a point where it’s not that you want to win until you want them to lose, that is another sign that you are thinking scarcely, okay, here’s another one. You find yourself flying by the seat of your pants. You’re not properly preparing for things. Why would you do that? Well, it’s because you don’t think you have enough time to prepare, but as the, as the adage that was once spoken by Abraham Lincoln is if you need to chop down a tree and you have six hours spend five hours sharpening your axe, you know that we all know what happens with projects, where we don’t plan. We all, we all know what happens when we don’t get ahead of things.

Kenneth Vogt (16:30):
And it, with the exception of things that you’ve done repetitively or, or are small. So that if there’s any, any loss, because of lack of planning, it’s not that big, a deal that I’m on the big projects. If y’all work on it, it is so critical that you not fly by the seat of your pants. And especially when there’s external pressures. And I think the coronavirus vaccines is a perfect example, that if, if, if any company that’s working on a vaccine is flying by the seat of their pants. They’re not going to make it to market. That’s it won’t work. They have to, they have to get in front of that. And if you find yourself not planning, when you know better, again, this is evidencing. You have some kind of scarcity belief and probably a concerning time. So that’s something to look at.

Kenneth Vogt (17:23):
Here’s another thing you’re fearing change that is you’re having a visceral reaction to change. So change shows up. We have a, we have a no protocol. We have a new project. We have a new edict that came down from on high. And your reaction is to fear that, all right, you are fantasizing that you live in a world that is static, you know, better, nothing alive is static. Can’t be static or it’s not alive. So, wow. I’m talking to biologists and I have to tell you to think about things being alive. But again, we’re human humans do fear change sometimes. And if you find yourself doing that, recognize what’s happening. You’re you’re not seeing the world as it actually is. So remind yourself what the world is actually like and realize that you’ve dealt with change. Many times you’ve passed through it and sometimes change really helped you. So don’t excuse yourself. Saying, well, I don’t feel change all the time. I just fear this change. Yeah. But why, why do you fear that change? It’s something to look at.

Kenneth Vogt (18:31):
Here’s another one. And this, this ties into some episodes we’ve talked about in the past. And I’m thinking about the one about having imposter syndrome, where there’s kind of a flip side of that. And we’ve all met some, some people like this that think they know everything. And if you find you feel like a note, all in an area what’s really going on, you know, it can’t be true. It’s. And even if it’s just, if it’s just centralized to something specific, I realized that many of the folks with whom you this, you are truly are world experts on something. And that’s great, but recognize as you may be the world’s leading expert on whatever, you still don’t know everything about it. You can’t know everything about it. That is part of the natural human limitation that, that everyone has. We need other people’s perspectives.

Kenneth Vogt (19:24):
So if you ever feel like you’re, you know, everything about something, again, that’s a scarcity thing, because now you’ve said, well, this is all there is to know. I therefore, you won’t be willing to see anything outside of that. And you will miss out on an opportunity. You will miss out on valuable new information. If you think, you know, at all, another thing that somebody who’s got a scarcity attitude might do is they’ll be criticizing others all the time. You know, they have this attitude that, you know, if it weren’t for everybody else screwing up, we’d get somewhere. And they’re, their inkling is to find somebody to blame. Well, you can actually go through life. We could have a whole session about this without ever finding fault with anybody and find your life to be quite successful. Well, we’ll we’ll keep it short for, for this episode.

Kenneth Vogt (20:18):
And it just, and notice that if you find yourself drawn to criticizing others, there’s some, there’s some scarcity you’re feeling there that you, you feel like blame has to be placed all the time, instead of saying, okay, this is what we know. And so we don’t know, and let’s move forward from here. And at any given moment, whatever has happened, whatever disaster took place over, somebody screwed something up. The other place you can start from is here. So this is where you start from. And there’s no sense doing there’s no sense. Having a trial before there’s even been a post-mortem and usually even, even when there’s been major failures, there’s still an objective to meet. So the focus on criticizing others is a waste of time in a critical time. So again, it’s a scarcity thing. There’s another one having a sense of entitlement that points to scarcity.

Kenneth Vogt (21:13):
I’m owed something. If we, if we keep that attitude in front of us, it’s, it’s because we’re afraid of losing it. I think that I don’t ever have to work for anything. I, this should just be given to me this, I deserve this respect. I deserve this, this lab time. I deserve this new piece of equipment. You know, you got to making it about deserve, changes, the whole dynamic of everything. And again, it’s a scarcity thing. We think that’s the one thing it, and we, we might think of those things as things, Oh, this is something I should be able to count on. And I’m not saying not to count on things, but you, you count on something and you have gratitude when, when you’re entitled to something, you don’t have gratitude. So, you know, that’ll come up in a little bit. Okay. And finally blaming others for our failures. You know, we talked already about looking for, for somebody to place blame on, but when you are trying to deflect blame, that’s that’s, that is showing some real scarcity that it’s something that you have to get away from. All right. So that’s my, my list of how you might know that you are, you have, that you have lurking scarcity around. What do you think Nick?

Nick Oswald (22:39):
It’s interesting because those are some things that you would not, I would not immediately associate with with scarcity, but I think that the sort of impression I’m getting, is that what you’re talking about as Hmm. It’s of in a way it’s not believing the mines, it’s rather than believing in abundance in a way it’s not believing in the scarce, if you like, because you don’t know whether there’s opponents over the scarcity, you stay in the mind in the mindset of open of being open so that you can work in the best way as you are. So for example, the flying by the seat of your pants one that’s when I resonate with, as you know and interesting that that’s an idea, you know, that would be the, I think I don’t have time to do things, so I rush everything.

Nick Oswald (23:34):
And so I, it’s not so much about believing that I do have time. It’s about not believing that the, I don’t have time if you like, you see what I mean? So it was great. And then I can see that if I, if I move away from that and go, well, I might, I just assume that I have time, then I doesn’t mean that I will, but it means that I’ll work in a better way, which is more means I’m more likely to not be locked in this, the same behavior. Yeah. And it’s interesting because it’s when you point to something like, you know, that’s,that’s,that’s concrete that, that does have a, have a limitation, like say, you know, there’s only, five grants available and you’re going for one of them and you’re stressing out that you won’t get one of them. Well, you can’t then flip it around and see, no, there are, there are more than five grants available. So that’s, you know, I don’t need to feel this, you know, or to be, to be anxious about this, but it’s not so much about that. It’s more about just taking the focus off the scarcity so that you can then do a better job of preparing for the grant and a more, you know, in a way that that suits you better, because you’re not so anxious and, and so on.

Kenneth Vogt (24:49):
Sure. And I I’d like to key in, on that one as a as a specific issue, because I think that is one everybody’s encountering and they, well, they, they look at that and go, okay, it’s just a fact, there’s only five grants available. That’s how it is. And I’m sure there are 25 organizations that are vying for it. So the, you can’t say, Hey, your math is all wrong. No, your math is absolutely right. But the scarcity is that I can’t compete. Not, not when there’s, I only have a one in four chance or one in five chance of getting it. Of course you can, all you have to do is be better than, than four other people or four other organizations. And that can be done. You can, there’s, there’s always a way to find out somebody is going to get the grant.

Kenneth Vogt (25:42):
You know, somebody gets the gold medal in the Olympics. Well, against all odds. Right. But somebody got it. And it happens every single time. So this, this notion of scarcity when you ask those, you know, those top athletes, those top winners, was there ever any doubt in your mind and you will often hear no, I saw it. I knew it. I knew I was standing there with that gold medal. I just knew. And I knew who I was up against. I knew how good they were, but I knew I was better. I knew I had it in me, you know? And that’s not to say that you win every time. It was, obviously you could do everything, right. You could submit the perfect grant. And for whatever reason, somebody has got a different set of standards than yours on, on, on the board. That’s making the grants and you don’t get it. All right. That happens. So this isn’t about perfection here. You get, but you want to present from the best place you can is if you have the attitude, Oh yeah. We don’t have a shot at this. And you phone it in. Well, yeah. What a surprise. We didn’t get that one.

Nick Oswald (26:51):
Yeah. Or if you’re angry or stressed or whatever, or as you said, you’re holding back, you know, you hold back what you know, from other people so that you don’t have it in your collaboration. And so it all sets up, all those kinds of things set up her a circumstance. Good. You’re not working optimally because you’re focused on the outcome and you think it’s going to be, and you’re focusing negatively on the outcome then, but isn’t it just the team just to focus positively on that thing. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve got this. That we’ll definitely get this grant. U

Kenneth Vogt (27:21):
Well, I’m not talking about being PollyAnnish here or just fantasizing that everything goes perfect in the world. That’s not the point. But point of this is that let’s remove scarcity as an attitude and as a belief from the system. And now, now you can play, you know, it’s like, you’re playing poker with professional poker players and you’re a professional poker player. You’re not going to win every hand. That’s not going to happen, but you’re not trying to win every hand. You know, that you realize there’s going to be, there’s going to be some, some misses along the way. You just don’t, you’re not making them failures. You’re not busy looking for somebody to blame you. You know, you’re, you’re separate from all that you realize, okay, he got dealt a better hand than me this time. That’s how it is. But I see that. And I am focused on my present hand.

Kenneth Vogt (28:11):
And in my present hand, isn’t that good? I’m not going to sweat it if I don’t get the grant, you know? But if I’ve got a good hand, I want to play that hand and I want to play it all the way. And that’s what we want to be looking for. So I want to give you some tools to inoculate yourself from scarcity. So you can take that out of the equation and then you can do the best that you can do with what you actually have available. And you know, if you’re a small company and you have less resources than some gigantic competitors, you can, you realize I can’t win every battle here. I shouldn’t take on every battle even, but you start to realize, you know what, there is a particular battle where they’re not paying that much attention, and we really do have the expertise so we can win here.

Kenneth Vogt (28:54):
And it gets clear then. And if you had, and if you strip out any scarcity you have, now you have a far better shot. So I’m going to take some of those things. And we’re going to look at the things that I said were, were signs that scarcity is, is lurking in the background and say, well, what do you do instead? Because in some cases it seems obvious that, well, I just do the opposite. Sometimes you look at it and go, wow, I don’t know what the opposite of that is. So for instance, the opposite of anger, it is not positivity. It is not optimism. It’s a joy, joy is an interesting thing. And and I want to be clear here. I’m talking about the concept of joy. I’m using joy as a label for it. You might use a different label for it, or you might use the word joy to mean to label something that isn’t this, but, well, here’s what, here’s, what I’m talking about.

Kenneth Vogt (29:48):
Joy is that, is that feeling that belief, that everything is good. Even if there are bad things happening, you’re, unimpacted by circumstances, you’re constantly joyful. You’re constantly looking to expand, to grow. You’re constantly looking for for life, right? I would juxtaposition that against happiness. Happiness is something that happens in response to something I’m happy because she said yes to the date. I’m happy because we got the grant. I’m happy because I got a raise and I’ve taken that away. Well, I’m not happy. Whereas with joy, joy is just there. You’re joyful. You’re joyful just because that’s a far more functional attitude, a far more functional belief than living in anger. So you will find scarcity will have a hard time living in the presence of joy. And, and you remember it since it’s not related to circumstances, you don’t have to feel like, well, I shouldn’t be joyful right now because, you know, because my parakeet is sick and you know, my kids are home from school and, you know, no, you can still be joyful, even though there are things that you’re calling negative in your life, it’s fine.

Kenneth Vogt (31:06):
Next thing, if you find yourself hoarding, you can just flip out of that and you know, you know what, I’m going to start sharing and Nick so start looking for ways. I know you’re going to, and you’re going to look at some things like me and I really, really, really want to hold on to this. What, but can I share something else? I mean, go ahead and start out with something that’s more comfortable for you because there may be times when you feel like, Oh, if I, if I share this, I really don’t. I don’t have a place here. Nobody needs me at all. You may have to work your way up to that, but if you can get to the point where where you could freely share things, you’re going to find that feeling of hoarding information being good is it doesn’t feel good anymore.

Kenneth Vogt (31:48):
I was just having a conversation with somebody yesterday, who is, he’s a retired IT worker. And I mean, a senior engineer and you was working for one of the big, one of the big telecom companies. And there was another man that worked there who retired. And at that point, this man realized, you know, I am the only one now who knows how to do this particular task. And it’s a mission critical task because Bob just retired and nobody seems to know that. So he actually went to superiors and said, you have to take me off some projects. And then you need to give me a couple of people to train, because I’m the only one that knows how to do this right now. And if I don’t do it, you know, everything crashes now, he could have been in the of oh boy. I’ve got it made .

Kenneth Vogt (32:41):
I am, I, my job was so safe that, you know, I’m never messing with this, but he realized no, that didn’t work. And you will find that if you are willing to help people along, if you’re willing. And I think I discussed something on Bitesize Bio about that, but about, are you, are you willing to mentor people, even if you’re younger yourself, if you’re you’re newer, are you willing to help the, the, the post-grads you’re going to find out you will be considered more valuable. It isn’t your knowledge. That’s making you valuable there. That information doesn’t make you valuable. It’s the fact that you just keep coming up with information. It’s your creativity. It’s, it’s the fact that you are a fountain of this stuff that is highly valuable. So that’s what you want to go for. So share information and show people how much value you have.

Kenneth Vogt (33:34):
If you’re looking at others and hoping they will fail, obviously stop that. So helping them to succeed and what I’m talking about here well, hope is one thing intend for them to succeed, because then when you intend for them to succeed, you’re going to find ways to help them or, or ways that you could help them will appear. And you’ll realize, Oh, well, you know, I can make their path a little easier by this or that. The other thing, but it’s the change in belief, the shift in attitude that opens your eyes to those things. If you’ll hope people will fail, you won’t see opportunities to help anybody. And, you know, and if you’re, if you’re known as the person who never helps, that is not a good place to be. You want to be the guy, like, I know we can always count on Sally, if we need something to, and she is there for us.

Kenneth Vogt (34:21):
And, and, and if we need somebody to bounce ideas off of, she’s going to be the one to, to, to really help us. So, you know, you want to be that person. Of course, we talked about a bit about the idea of winging it. Well, cut it out, start preparing for things and start building that in don’t don’t make promises that require you not to have time to do the upfront work. So you get, it’s just a matter of getting clear about how long it really takes to do things and acknowledging the truth of it. You know? So, so don’t, don’t shackle yourself there. If you’re, if you’re fearing change, obviously take a new look at that and start embracing change. So when a change comes along, instead of your, your first reaction being like, Oh, what is this going to break? What am I going to lose?

Kenneth Vogt (35:12):
Start looking at it. Like, what is this going to fix? And what am I going to gain from this? And how, how, how can I help make this change a success? It’s just the attitude you bring to it. And it can change how you feel about them. Because the fact is nobody likes the feeling of fear. I mean, maybe you like watching a horror film and all that because that’s, you know, that’s an actually happening to you, but in your real life, you don’t like be afraid. So why, why make yourself be afraid? Why not make yourself be excited or make yourself see opportunity, another thing. And don’t be a know it all be, be excited about the fact that you don’t know everything that there’s more to learn. And if you’ve worked hard to become truly an expert on something, be excited about the fact that, that you’ve just scratched the surface.

Kenneth Vogt (36:03):
That there’s, that there’s more to follow. And remember that you’re, you know, you’re standing on the shoulders of giants who, who had that attitude before you, okay. Cut out, you’re criticizing, start complimenting people. Now, there are some folks out there that it is not their common way to compliment people. It’s just, I don’t know. They just never done it. They never saw any value in it. Well, start looking for ways to compliment people. And I mean, sincerely, I really, you know, it it’s quite possible. You’re the smartest person in the room and everybody else around you is like, man, I wish I could compliment these people, but find something. If somebody is, is diligent, compliment that even if they’re not that smart, even if they’re not that fast, if somebody on the other hand is fast, they get things done quickly compliment that. Even if they’re a little sloppy about it, it, you know, it, it takes all kinds and open your eyes to the fact that your way of doing things is not the only way of doing things.

Kenneth Vogt (37:07):
And it doesn’t ever cost you to competent. That’s the thing that a lot of people have. That’s their scarcity attitude. If I compliment you, that means I’ve acknowledged you do something better than me. I was like, no, that does not mean that at all. You know Serena Williams compliments me on my serve. I, it doesn’t take away from her at all. She can still map me all over the court, you know, but you, and especially for people that are coming up and people that are newer than you are, are they’re, they’re just, they haven’t made it through your level yet. Your compliments mean a great deal to them. And those people will help you after that, they will support you. They will like you. They won’t know why they want to help you. This is, this is just somebody that like helping, you know, and their knee-jerk reaction will be to do the things you ask of them, instead of like, why should I bother with this?

Kenneth Vogt (38:00):
Because you bothered to see them. And people are just aching to be seen. You want to, because I remember you think you’re the only one everybody else is aching to be seen as you are. So compliment people give them that gift. And, and it’s gotta be a one-sided thing. This is not a transaction. You don’t compliment them to get compliments, whether, you know, and that’s true of where, like, I don’t compliment Nick to get a compliment from Nick. I don’t compliment Nick so that I will be compliments for other people. I compliment Nick when Nick, when Nick deserves a compliment. So, you know, that’s, that’s how you want to look at it. Okay. Get rid of your attitude of entitlement. Instead, embrace this notion of gratitude. Think about how much you lose when you just expect things. And, and if, if you be a little people for the fact that, Hey, you didn’t give me what I was owed.

Kenneth Vogt (38:58):
It’s not that hard to say, thank you. And, and you think, well, I’m the boss. They’re supposed to work for me. They’re supposed to do things that doesn’t cost you a thing to thank someone for doing their job for you, that or in any other setting, and actually have gratitude about it. So that, that’s the next part you might think. Well, I, you know, this magnanimous gesture is just someone demonstrating their power. When, when the bus, thanks me knows I had to do it right. But if he actually has gratitude in his heart about that, he’s actually feeling that way. He has a very different experience. Well, the same thing, the same thing will be true for you. So have gratitude, look for opportunities to be grateful to people.

Kenneth Vogt (39:46):
If you are begrudging things to other people, the answer to that is to stop judging them. This notion of stop judging, man, we could have a whole episode about that. But stop making them wrong. Stop looking for their flaws. Not, no, I’m not saying you should be blind to people’s limitations that you want to see that. But looking for flaws is a different, a different attitude that I realized. At some point you might be examining data and you’re looking for flaws in the data. And, but you’re not looking with, with an attitude about it. It’s not an intention you’re just looking to see, is there anything here that’s flawed that I should be thrown out of my dataset. That’s not, you’ve gone. Like, where are the holes? How can I get them? How can I, there it is. I found you, you’re the, you know, and I knew you, you were going to have flaws.

Kenneth Vogt (40:41):
You know, that’s a totally different outlook on things. So just stop judging people about that doesn’t mean stop assessing. It means stop having some kind of indignation about your assessments, just see it as it is, and, and move from where it is. And then finally stop blaming other people, especially for what’s happening for you, except your own responsibility. Remember, this is about you being responsible, not you being at fault. There’s a, it’s a different thing. You don’t feel bad about being responsible. In fact, we often feel good about being responsible and there, there is something really freeing about going. I made a mistake here. This is my error, and I am duty bound to correct it. It that is what responsibility feels like. Recognizing that whatever happens here, the buck stops here and, and I take care of it. And, and that, that will change your outlook on scarcity.

Kenneth Vogt (41:48):
You will no longer be this helpless creature that it all is happening to me. And even when it’s your fault, I got to jettison this, this blame. I got to get rid of it on somebody. You know, that is a very scarce way of looking at the world. So the bottom line with all this is this notion of examining scarcity. It’s not a big, long process. It’s just stop, replace, and move on. You know, it’s, if you find you, you typically go to anger, stop, replace it with joy, move on. You find you fear, change, stop, replace it with embracing change and move on and you can see, and you can find the same. One of these things popping up a hundred times. It’s fine. Each time, stop, replace, move on. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Guess some of these things you mean you may have been doing your whole life or your whole career and, and you may be surrounded by other people are doing it. It may look normal. Well, everybody does that, or everybody does that here. Well, everybody doesn’t have to include you. Then if they’re doing something harmful to themselves, to your operation, you don’t have to join in in that. And, and there’s not a scarcity out there of jobs. Even if you find a place it’s just too toxic to be, find someplace else. So what do you think, Nick?

Nick Oswald (43:15):
Yeah, that’s an interesting one. It’s it’s about I guess it’s about identifying you know, you’ve identified a lot of ways in which we think there are, there’s not enough. And then, and what that causes, you know, basically causes to be angry, selfish, unprepared, scared, and all that. And, and so, and I guess what you’re saying is, rather than focusing on that, there’s only five grants as we discussed . And won’t give you a great chance of getting the grant, but we’ll make you work will make you be more productive, less productive and less happy while you’re doing while you’re doing the submission. And so which could have a deleterious effect on your, on your application as well. And so yeah, identifying all of these ways in which scarcity kind of seeps in and then doing the opposite is basically what you’re talking about, gives you the opposite effect. You become more joyful, more sharing, more prepared, less afraid and so on. So that’s interesting. Yeah. Less judgmental. Yeah.

Kenneth Vogt (44:29):
Wow. Think the world you live in now. And then think if I instead lived in constant joy and gratitude and gratefulness and I’m complimentary of everybody and I’m really happy for them to succeed and I excited about change. Wow, doesn’t that sound like a better place to work.

Nick Oswald (44:49):
And you think that, I think the trap here is that you think that by focusing on that scarcity, you’re protecting yourself somehow. So, so for example, see that, you know, the, I think the grant thing is a great example. There are five grants available, you know, each time you apply for a grant, right? Say, say five different sets of grants that you apply for. And if you, if you do those five different applications and each time you’re focused on the fact that, that you might not get it, then that’s just, you’re just setting yourself up for a life of misery and you don’t give yourself any, any chance of getting it because worrying doesn’t do any good. Right? So it’s about taking a step back, which is about it’s a bit counter-intuitive, but that worry is not doing yourself, doing you any good, that, that you know, the being angry about things is not, do, you know, a frustrated is not doing you any good. It’s not giving yourself any more juice to get what you want. But the rewards of stepping back from that are, are very loud. But again, like a lot of this is it’s, it’s kind of stepping up back against kind of in a way against human nature, start stepping away from human nature and, and stepping away from animal nature, honestly. Okay, fair enough. Yeah. That’s a good way to look at it. And, and also stepping away from what you see others doing. Cause a lot of this is quite common.

Kenneth Vogt (46:19):
Oh, of course. And that’s, that’s something I want to point out here. If you’re in an environment of scarcity where the people around you, your skills, your organization, scarce, that’s the beauty of this is that you can still inoculate yourself from scarcity. You have total control over how you feel about scarcity. And if you have, if you’re in any kind of leadership role, will you have influence over the level of scarcity that’s felt by your organization and whether that’s just about your own team or whether you can, you can inoculate your organization against scarcity, that you can be the guy constantly reminding folks. There’s a better way. You can make a huge impact and you can really change things in your, you know, in your operations, in your organization, in the world. So this is, this is not small stuff. And yet it’s completely available fully to you individually. You don’t need anybody’s permission. You don’t need any budget. You don’t need anything. This is how you choose to believe in things.

Nick Oswald (47:20):
That’s interesting. I, I think that what you’ve laid out, you know, both uncover looking scarcity where the signs are. That’s a really important, because lot of this is about discovering where you’re finding skills, where you are,you’re seeing scarcity and yeah,

Kenneth Vogt (47:37):
That’s what I really want to encourage people to do here. I know you may have showed up here with this and go, man, I really love scarce life. Please examine it. You’re going to be shocked. How many places you find your scarcity lurks? And I still do these exercises myself periodically. Cause you know, I think I’m pretty good about this when it comes to having defeated scarcity. But man, it has a way of wheedling its way back in and showing up in places where it never showed up before. And you know, and it’s pretty easy to beat back. It’s just, it’s like ants getting into your kitchen. Usually. It’s not like they’re out there attacking your kitchen. They’re just opportunists. They’re just looking around like, Oh, there’s food here. Great. You know, and Oh, they came in a new hole this, this time, you know, they, they just happened to be on it. It, they, it, wasn’t like there’s this, this evil cabal of ants attacking your kitchen. And it’s the same thing about scarcity. Scarcity will show up and, and you can find the hole and you can plug it and move on.

Nick Oswald (48:37):
Yeah. So, so those, those points how to uncover lurking scarcity and the list of how to inoculate, yourself from scarcity too. So what to, you know, how to act in the opposite way. Those will be in the show notes so people can use them and you can kind of do a bit of a scarcity audit on yourself and improve things for yourself. So I was just thinking to come back to your dog barking, outside the dog, the dog needs to realize that you love him, that you will be back and then he can relax and stop upsetting himself and messing up your podcast.

Kenneth Vogt (49:12):
That’s right. The cat, apparently can’t learn that. That’s why he is on the front porch right now.

Nick Oswald (49:20):
Okay. That was really great insight, Ken, I think that’s a lot to chew on. It’s almost one of those things it’s so hidden in plain sight. You really need to examine it to do weed out for yourself. Yeah. So I think I’ll be doing a bit of that. So I think that brings us to the end of this episode. And that just leaves me to remind people to to go to bitesizebio.com/thehappyscientist,find this episode, which is number 25. And you can find, if you find the show notes, I give you the outline of what Ken was talking about there. So you can, you can look at it. You can also join us on Facebook, facebook.com/thehappyscientistclub all one word. And in there, we will be putting together some different viewpoints and different ways of examining these concepts that Ken is talking about. And finally, remember if you haven’t already done so to go back and have a look at episodes, one to nine of the podcast where we talk about the foundational principles of human needs, core mindsets and charisma factors, which are referred to in this episode and others. So if you find this episode useful, go back and listen to those episodes. One to nine, to get an understanding of those life-changing concepts. So thank you again, Ken, for another great insight. Hopefully that’s helped a lot of people and we’ll see you again. Next time

Outro (50:49):
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