During the summer of 2015, I spent a few weeks on the back of a Harley-Davidson traveling through the sweeping hills of Tuscany, Italy, with a group of doctors, dentists and other professionals raising money for Learning Curves, nonprofit dental adventure tours charity. The scenery was stunning and the people warm, open and full of life. The fountains, in particular, intrigued me, especially those in Siena. Even more awe-inspiring than their beautiful architecture are the actual mechanics of the Siena fountains. During the Middle Ages, the Tuscans built a complicated system of underground tunnels and hydraulics to bring water from deep below the hillside city up to the surface.

As I explored the fountains, two things came to mind: First, it took an immense amount of ingenuity and effort for the Tuscans to build the network of tunnels and hydraulics, as well as artistry to design the masterpieces that adorned them. Second, the flow of water from these fountains brings life and energy to the surrounding region — much like what we need to do to learn to live productive, abundant lives.

Living a life full of abundance — wealthy, healthy, and fulfilled — doesn’t just happen, but requires focused, consistent effort to develop skills, knowledge, and abilities. We need to be selective and determined on how we spend our time, talents, resources and energy — and who we choose to spend time with and how we spend time with them. When you walk in a room, are you like the fountain, bringing life and energy, or a drain that sucks the energy away with pessimism or neediness? In your professional life, do you add creativity, ingenuity and productivity or do you suffocate ideas with inactivity or skepticism? Whatever you decide you are, after an honest reflection, consider how you can consistently focus on increasing the positive flow that will add more abundance to your life and the lives of those around you.

What we become is the product of the people we surround ourselves with, the books we read, the music we listen to, etc. Back to the fountain analogy: What we take in over the years goes into our waterways, so be sure you’re flowing with pure, clear water rather than waste and rubbish. Surround yourself with quality people, be open to new ideas and “aha” moments that provide clarity, confidence and the opportunity to develop even greater capabilities.

As I share the top ideas in my books and presentations with others, I love seeing the lightbulb go on as they hear things they didn’t even know they needed to hear. Sharing these experiences and insights I’ve gained through the years is like “pure water” that I’ve been able to “bring up through the tunnels” and share at the public fountain, whatever kind of fountain it might be.

Take a careful look at what you’re adding to your life, whom you’re spending time with, and how you develop the habits that will help you reach a life of abundance. Clear out any negative habits that might be holding you back, causing you to lose water through the drain. This will put you on the fast track to an abundant life — springing forth with ideas, energy and success that can help you and others along the way.

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