Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Difference Between Surviving and Thriving

I was taught growing up to survive.  By this I mean I was shown the skills needed to get by and make it in the world.  Very valuable skills of which I am very thankful to have.  They've allowed me to support myself, put a roof over my head and ensure that I do not go hungry.

I cannot help but appreciate this mindset.  There is something utterly simplistic with being happy to survive.

And yet, I remain hungry for more.  I do not want to just get by or just survive.  I want to dominate, I want to be the best, I want to thrive.

The difference between these mindsets are relatively straightforward.  Surviving is doing what is necessary to live.  Thriving is not being satisfied just surviving, but reaching above this to make continual progress.

A thriving mindset is defined by continually challenging oneself.  To be a better person.  To be a better spouse, parent, child and friend, being more understanding, more supportive or just being there more.  Challenging yourself to have a better career, being more fulfilled, being more rewarded or just being happier.  Challenging yourself individually to constantly question who you are and whether this is in line with who you want to be.

The important corollary is that seeking to dominate in every aspect of your life will require trade-offs.  Do you stay late at work to finish the big project (career) or leave to catch your son's soccer game (family)? A thriving mindset requires priorities.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to continually improve aspects of your life, it is just important to be aware of what is most important to you.

I think everyone has the potential in them to be better.  Wanting to do so is the first step, doing the little things necessary to get there is what thriving is all about.

Photo: aussiegall

1 comment:

  1. This is a really good read, I enjoyed it. Pretty much sums up the one of the key differences humans and animals, at least the way I see it.