When you’re facing challenging times, how do you get yourself back on track and better still take your life to a better place than you’ve been before? The answer I believe, evidenced by times in my life, is to not settle for surviving as your personal strategy choice but aim to thrive.
To reflect on the meaning of today’s blog just ask yourself this question:
Are you happy to just survive or do you want your life to prosper and thrive?
What started to become clear to me the moment my mind was able to come to terms with my visual impairment, was that for too long all I had been doing was trying to survive. I was achieving exactly what I set out to do. No more and no less. The distinction between survive and thrive is a valuable one that I best start with.
To survive (dictionary definition):
- To remain alive or in existence;
- To carry on despite hardships or trauma;
- To remain functional or usable.
To thrive (dictionary definition):
- To make steady progress; prosper;
- To grow vigorously; flourish.
Maybe you feel that life has gotten off track. Perhaps you feel that something is missing in your life and you just don’t know what it is. Maybe you have experienced losing something important, that initially the consequences have been debilitating, and you feel like your future now offers you nothing. That was how I felt recovering from my 3rd eye operation and coming to terms with my right eye being of no use to me any longer.
You need to dig deep and ask yourself these questions:
Is there any hope? Are there any answers to your problems? Is there any way to get excited about life again? What is it you can do that will make you feel as you’re contributing something significant to the world?
At first you’ll probably hit a wall of negativity. Your inner voice will remind you how bad things are, and try and persuade you that things can’t get any better. You must refuse to accept this, and keep asking the questions. Slowly you will begin to hear within your mind positive thoughts begin to surface.
You’re not looking for what you can do to maintain the status quo alone.
All living creatures do whatever they can to survive. Lions hunt and kill for survival, you work long hours often doing a job you hate to survive. Surviving is about having a sense of constraint in what you do. It is about a underlying feeling of obligation and hopelessness and worse still struggle.
To live a brilliant life you need to make it your priority to thrive in this world.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style. Maya Angelou
Surviving is about keeping your head above water and not the freedom and happiness to set your sails to reach wonderful destinations. Thriving is about having meaning in everything you do, striving to make something out of your life. .
Maybe as things have proven tough, you’ve got really good at convincing yourself that you’re happy and doing well just keeping your head above water. I know how it feels to just live to survive – trust me – you’re not alone in living like that, but I can tell you for certain… setting your sights higher, living to thrive will bring you so much more. After all, nobody is truly happy just clinging on and surviving.
Change your perspective. Shift from being a survivor to being a thriver. Shift your perspective from just looking at the next thing to get done, and look at the bigger picture.
As Albert Einstein said, “Crisis is the greatest blessing for people and nations, because crisis brings on progress… It’s in crisis that inventive discoveries and great strategies rise. He who overcomes a crisis overcomes himself without being ‘Overcome.’” We are meant to be the creators of our lives. Anything we can dream about, we can create. We’re not made to merely survive – we’re made to thrive.
Today is the day for you to thrive and not just survive.