Surviving vs Thriving – Can you spot the difference?
We hear the buzz word ‘thrive’ all over media outlets these days but can you spot the difference in your own life between when you are thriving and just surviving? There is one medical organization that has been embracing the buzz word ‘thrive’ for the last two or three years and every time I hear or see their commercials it definitely gives me goose bumps. The power behind thriving can move obstacles and challenges like giant earth movers clearing debris in a disaster area – quickly, efficiently and with great results.
What prevents us from moving from survival mode into truly thriving? There are organizations and individuals that are excelling at what they are doing even in this challenging economic time. So how do they it? What motivates them to continuously move forward and stepping into or staying in action?
Before answering, let’s take a look an example of what it means to be just surviving vs thriving in an area of our lives that we all can relate to … our physical wellness:
Physical Wellness – I’ve focused on the topic of health and the overall benefits of what it means to embrace a healthy fuel plan (remember fuel plan holds a positive perspective versus the term diet) and I am pretty sure there isn’t a more disputed topic in the health industry than “the perfect fuel plan”. We know based on our high school health classes our bodies are designed and outfitted with a few systems that run on auto pilot – like our breathing, our hearts pumping and internal organs doing their ‘jobs’. It would seem then our bodies are designed for surviving since it remove toxins, repairs cellular damage, replenishes tissue and can even take garbage and make something useful out of it.
A great example of this I found when reading thru one of the many websites was given with our livers. We know one of the main functions of our liver is to detox alcohol but this doesn’t mean you can overindulge daily with the consumption of alcohol but if you choose to then your body will do it’s best to survive but it inhibits our body’s ability to thrive. The choice of moderation or limited consumption of alcohol empowers your body to thrive versus just getting by and surviving.
It is important to remember that no one is perfectly aligned or 100% happy in all areas of their lives and striving to achieve the level of happiness you desire is all part of life and our journey through it. Our challenge is actually being able to understand the difference and acknowledging when we are merely just getting by or surviving rather than embracing life fully and enjoying the journey or thriving.
Being able to move from surviving into thriving is dependent upon retraining our thoughts and decision making processes from being mediocre to passionate. Whenever anyone asks how I am, my automatic response is “I’m great thanks!” and a few people have called me out on my response since they find it hard to believe that I can be great 100% of the time. I try to explain that this is my perspective of my whole life and not just what might be happening at this particular moment. We have the ability to choose our perspective with regard to our experiences. Yes, things happen that seem to be out of our control that don’t feel very good or provide us with a warm and fuzzy feeling. It is okay to have bad days and challenging times but moving through those times becomes easier when you are able to acknowledge that they are challenging and ask the question of yourself – how can I move through this quickly while continuing to thrive? Instead of falling into survival mode even for just one day; this isn’t about positive thinking but more about opening your mind to excellence – from just surviving to thriving.
Becoming aware of potential survival mode triggers is important. They won’t be the same for everyone but knowing what does push you into a place of inaction or survival will support you in your pursuit of thriving. You can begin by identifying five key elements or situations that can have a potentially negative impact you and your ability to remain passionate about life and your life’s journey.
When you can admit and realize all your decisions in life, both consciously and unconsciously, have lead you to all your experiences, no matter if they were positive or negative, then you can stay in the position of thriving instead of just surviving. There is an amazing amount of personal power in our ability to remain in action as it provides us with the sense of we are in control of our lives. When we are empowered we embrace the belief that you are the sole supporting reason for achieving the life you seek and excellence you deserve.
So what actions can you be proactively taking to ensure you are continuing to thrive in life? Here are a few examples:
- Take smart common sense risks and step out of your comfort zone.
- Begin to better prioritize your relationships – both with yourself and others
- Change your environment to a more productive and encouraging one
- Begin to work on understanding your emotions, emotional triggers and limiting beliefs
- Model the excellence you want and expect in your life
- Improve your fuel plan to support your physical body’s ability to thrive
- Try something new and embrace an element of play in your day
Spotting the difference between surviving and thriving is ultimately based on your ability to be honest with yourself regarding where you are and where you desire to be. Your desire is based on your ability to be in action while making decisions that allow you to take corrective measures in life to stay on your path of achieving excellence and feeling empowered. Your empowerment begins within and is not dependent upon external influences or experiences.