Move From Surviving to Thriving

Posted on by leapforward

At last spring and nearly summer have arrived. For a while it felt the air might never warm and the trees might not bud. But they have … and just as the earth wakes up with longer days and warmer weather, so do we.

In this Leap Forward Coaching newsletter we discuss how to Flourish and Thrive … which seems just a little easier to do when the weather is warm and the air fresh. This is the season for getting outdoors, reconnecting with friends and family, and trying new things … all ways to thrive in your own life.


Melanie Ott

Inspirational Thought

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive … and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

Surviving is Important. Thriving is Elegant.

Seize Your Life

What does it mean to thrive and flourish, anyway? Both words refer to continuous progress and growth. “Thrive” derives from an old Norse word, “thrifa,” meaning to seize or grasp. “Thriving” has become a cultural buzzword, as we often hear the question, “Are you just surviving … or are you thriving?” The history of the word makes sense, in this context, allowing us to rephrase the question: are you just surviving in your own life, letting life happen to you … or are you seizing your life, living actively, purposefully, and courageously?

People Are Like Plants …

Thriving versus surviving is like the difference between sticking a plant on a shelf, watering it occasionally, and hoping for the best — and placing it near a window, regularly watering it, periodically adding some plant food to the soil, and pruning it when necessary. While it’s possible for the plant to grow under the former conditions, and it probably will survive, treated so, it’s much more likely to flourish under the latter conditions. One way doesn’t require much more effort than the other — just a little more intentionality.

“Thriving is Elegant”

“Surviving is necessary. Thriving is elegant,” says a lovely quote by Maya Angelou. The grace, the elegance of thriving comes from its intentionality. Thriving is an energized state of being, instead of simply going through the motions day after day, purposeful living creates an atmosphere that allows your body and soul to flourish. Practice this elegance in your day-to-day life, allowing your soul to thrive.

What If You’re Not Thriving?

If you’re at a place in your life where you feel like you’re barely surviving, being told to thrive can be more frustrating than encouraging. In these moments, take a step back and reflect. My colleague uses rainbows and storm clouds as a metaphor of good times and bad. She asks her clients, “How have your rainbows been this week versus your clouds?” Just taking time to reflect on the balance of life’s positive and negative events helps put things in perspective. It’s not all bad and this too will pass.

Think back to the plant analogy — in spring and summer, plants grow and blossom. It’s important to remember, however, that this is all part of a cycle. Just as plants experience fall and winter — with leaves falling off the trees, forming musty piles, and blowing away — so our lives have periods of darkness when it can feel impossible to flourish. The warmth and light of spring and summer will come, and so will your time to thrive.

Tips to Flourish and Thrive

Mae West once said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Here are some practical tips to help you flourish, thrive, and create your best possible life.

  • Be active, not reactive. It’s been said that thriving is a state of mind; people who thrive impact and overcome their environment, while survivors do only what they must to stay afloat. Instead of letting life happen to you and viewing life’s pitfalls as problems and things to beamoan, think instead of possibilities and opportunities. Learn to embrace challenge and grow stronger because of it.
  • Live in the moment. Just like Jason Mraz sings in his popular song Living in the Moment, don’t spend your time worrying about tomorrow when most of what you worry about will never happen. Make the most of today, valuing time as one of your greatest resources. Be grateful for all that is good in the present.
  • Don’t worry be happy. How you think impacts your life. Research overwhelming suggests that positive thinking leads to greater happiness and fulfillment. People who are happy have higher quality relationships, are more successful in their careers, and live healthier, longer lives.
  • Cultivate physical wellness. Making physical health a priority can help you in body, mind, and spirit. Good choices in diet and exercise, simple changes to your lifestyle — like resolving to add vegetables with every meal, replacing sodas with water, and including exercise in your everyday routine — can help you truly thrive.
  • Move from mediocrity to passion. Ask yourself, “What gets you excited in your daily life?” If the answer is “not much,” you probably aren’t thriving. Thriving rarely happens in a lukewarm environment and people can’t flourish without passion. Make time for activities and experiences that stir your soul and light a fire in your belly.
  • Create a vision for your life, and let it guide you. Given all possibilities, what would your ideal life be? Working toward your own vision of your future will inspire you to action and passion, pushing you to reach your highest potential and greater joy.
  • Focus on the Future …

    At Leap Forward Coaching we have a process that will help you to flourish and thrive, personally and professionally. We will guide you on a purposeful path of self-care, help you pursue happiness, practice gratitude, and implement other changes that will help you move from surviving to thriving.

    Complimentary Coaching Meeting

    If I have piqued your curiosity about the value of coaching for you or someone you know, please contact me for a complimentary coaching meeting to explore what coaching can do for you. Explore what coaching can do for you!

    © 2013, Leap Forward Coaching

    This entry was posted in Archive Newsletter, Discover Your Strengths, Dreams For Success, Focus on the Future, Mindfulness, Planning For Success, Prescription for Health, Resilience, Self Care, Thrive, Zen Habits. Bookmark the permalink.