The Difference Between Resources and Resourcefulness

We each have our personalised library of excuses for justifying the reasons why we don’t actualise our goals, pursue our innermost passions and perform at our optimum throughout life.

How often have you heard people use a ‘lack of resources’ as their excuse for not investing consistent effort into pursuing their goals?
It’s not an absence of resources that produces failure in the diverse aspects of our lives; it’s generally only our unwillingness to be resourceful that impairs us.
The contrast is the difference between ‘having’ resources and ‘being’ a resourceful individual. It’s about the resourcefulness you have within you. We use resources to accomplish a task, whereas ‘being resourceful’ is more about how creatively we organise ourselves and utilise our resources to achieve an objective or purpose.
It’s helpful to understand that resourcefulness within itself is a resource. Ingenuity is a choice, not a skillset. The natural question we might ask is, “What resources do I already have access to and how can I utilise them more advantageously?”

You Have to Be Willing to Become Resourceful

The measure of satisfaction we derive from life depends mostly on our preparedness to become inventive, intuitive, and resourceful. People who waste time loafing around, waiting for life to provide their satisfaction and fulfilment usually find apathy and boredom instead.
Many people sit on the fence of procrastination, undecided in their ways, waiting for a hero to enter their lives to create a path or deliver a direction in which they can travel.
We must remember that there are no ‘damsels in distress’ when it comes to advancing in life. With a sound mind and spirit of resourcefulness, anyone can rescue themselves and propel their lives onward in whatever direction they aspire.
Some people get stopped in their tracks and break down when hurdles, obstacles and challenges come their way. Victim mentality is just one unhelpful attitude that’s spawned from our 21st-century cotton wrapped society where many people focus more on how they feel about their problems than on the solutions to overcome them.
Hindrances, hurdles and challenges are a necessary prerequisite for our development and personal growth, they teach us how to exercise patience, critical thinking, resilience, resourcefulness, and how to strategise.
In his book, The Art of War, Sun Tzu once said:

“However desperate the situation or circumstances, never despair. When there is everything to fear, be unafraid. When surrounded by threats, fear none of them. When without resources, depend solely on resourcefulness.”

– Sun Tzu
On a personal level, some of my greatest achievements have come not through my independent efforts or acquired resources, but the collaborative efforts of a group of people sharing similar goals and values.
When we agree to cooperate with other people on anything in life, we agree to plunge off a cliff holding hands with everyone, anticipating the resourcefulness of each to ensure that we all land on our feet.
If we seek to achieve more significant outcomes or obtain higher goals in life, increasing our resources is seldom as important as developing ourselves personally and growing in resourcefulness.
The defining determinant for achieving anything in life is never our resources, but rather, how resourceful we are willing to be.
In what ways could you become more innovative and inventive with the understanding, expertise, talents and resources you have?


Kain Ramsay
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As an established teacher of personal and professional growth principles, and a champion of mental well-being, Kain Ramsay is regarded as one of the world’s foremost thought leaders of modern applied psychology.