This week, I found my self re listening to the song THRIVE by Casting Crowns. The lyrics that caught my attention are “It is time for us to more than just survive, we were meant to thrive”. Mention the word thrive and what comes to mind is fullness, joy or happiness. Unfortunately, many times we find ourselves surviving through life instead of thriving.
One may wonder how do I know if I am surviving and not thriving. In most cases people who go through life merely surviving tend to exhibit certain traits some of which include:
i) They tend to choose the path of least resistance. They use terms like “let us just go with the flow” or “it is not good to rock the boat leave things as they are”.
ii) They have stopped dreaming or chasing after their dreams. This is because they have convinced themselves that it is no use remaining hopeful when things never work out the way they should.
iii) They often opt to operate in their comfort zones where things appear certain and there is minimum risk.
However, operating in survival mode is never the end. People often confess that they get a nudge telling them there is more to life than what they are going through. I like to refer to this as the still small voice pointing you to the right trajectory.
In order to thrive in life, one has to discover the purpose or meaning as to why they exist on earth in the first place. Below I share 5 tips which I believe can move one from the survival path to one of thriving where there is hope and life becomes a celebration.
1. Answer the question who Am I?
In order to thrive and live a life of fullness, you have to begin by discovering who you are. In answering this question, you must dig deep and go to the core of your being and find out what your values and beliefs are. What do you stand for?
In Brian Tracy’s book below, although it tackles finding balance in life he has a detailed chapter on how to clarify your values and beliefs.In determining who you are, you also need to discover what are your strengths and weaknesses. Different tests can help with this and several of them are free like this one www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test.
The final point in answering this question will be to determine what is most important to you. Brain Tracy tackles this in detail in the book above. When you go through life with a clear picture of what matters the most to you, you will thrive because everything that you do will be done with your priorities in mind. Making decisions becomes easy and you cease to just go with the flow as is the case when you are merely surviving.
2. Live a life of gratitude and giving
Without a doubt, grateful people are often happy people and tend to thrive in life. In several scriptures we are commanded to “give thanks to the Lord…”. To live with gratitude is therefore to obey a command.
Eckhart Tolle was right when he observed that “acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance”. This literally means if you want more you should first accept that what you have is enough.
In order to thrive, we have to get into the habit of being grateful for what is already before us. Practicing gratitude also calls for living life with an open hand; ready to receive and also to give anytime. Again scripture tells us “it is more blessed to give than to receive”.
In most cases people who are merely surviving go through life looking for what they can take or get. They fail to look for opportunities where they can give and be a blessing. Sometimes all that people need is a smile and someone to show they are interested in how they are doing. These are things that cost nothing but can leave a big impact on the recipient.
3. Have your clear definition of success
Nothing forces one to live in survival mode like not feeling they are successful because they do not know what success looks like for them. Like I often say, “when you do not have your clear definition of what success looks like, you tend to feel unsuccessful every time other people talk about their success”.
In order to feel successful, you need to define your success and then work towards it. When you have defined success for yourself, you will feel fulfilled and will therefore thrive in life. Success can be said to be relative and what others may consider to be success may not make sense to you. However, without a proper definition, when other people mention their success you may feel like you do not conform to that definition and are therefore not successful.
After you have done the work with tip no.1 and discovered who you are, you need to also come up with your definition of success.
4. Live an authentic life
As discussed above, one of the ways of merely surviving is wanting to move with the flow. Many times, people are not being authentic with themselves because they want to fit into the crowd and be accepted. However, because they are living a life that is not true even to themselves, they tend to feel unfulfilled and fail to thrive. Living a life of authenticity may require you to be different but remain true to your values and beliefs.
Living authentically will also require that you receive life as it is presented to you. You need to make a choice to enjoy both the blessings and the misfortunes which unfortunately also do come. You need to live beyond your circumstances and choose to believe that your best days lie ahead of you no matter what you may be going through.
5. Maintain an open mindset & be a life long learner
People who thrive in life tend to have an open mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset. They see change for what it is and move with the cheese. I like what Eric Hoffer said “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists”.
The development of information technology is making it easy for us to be life long learners. There are so many channels from which we are able to sock in new information everyday. When you use social media to your advantage you are able to learn everyday and stay at the top of your industry. Many people have informative webinars, podcasts, blogs and other media helping us to learn and thrive at the same time.
This list could go on and on. However, it is imperative that we take the words of Casting Crowns to heart and remember that indeed we are called to THRIVE and not just survive.
When you discover who you are, are grateful and give more than you receive, define your success, live with authenticity and maintain an open mind-set; you will be able to THRIVE in life.