Remembering How to Thrive

Of the many questions raised by the film “Thrive” is “why are we as humans not thriving?” Whether you agree with the film’s answers or not, the questions remains a valid one. Many of us take for granted that our “dream jobs” are unattainable, but what this really means, to me, is that we’ve given up on the idea of spending our lives thriving, and that we’ve settled, instead, for merely surviving.

Indeed, millions are so disadvantaged as to be born into extreme poverty to the point that survival is such an all-encompassing goal that they feel that without assistance, they may never move beyond it into thriving. Many of them may be right. But what about the rest of us, who despite being born into first-world countries and places of relative privilege, still have given up on thriving? What’s our excuse for settling short?

The reason, as far as I can figure, is that we’ve forgotten how to thrive. First-world culture tells us that thriving means making money and being able to buy things. Not so. Thriving, as I see it, means doing those things we feel we were born to do, doing those things which make us feel truly fulfilled and productive inside, those things that produce a feeling of peace and accomplishment, even if we never finish.

Think of the times in your life (if you’ve had any – I imagine most of us have had at least moments) where you’ve felt that sense of thriving. What were you doing? For me there are several answers – making music, writing fun stories (and this blog), planting vegetables, teaching the functions of grammar and logic, cooking a challenging meal, nurturing a relationship with a loved one, even playing a rally good game of chess. While remembering this list a couple nights ago, I decided “I am going to thrive tomorrow.” In the morning I made a list of specific things to thrive while doing. I only did half or so of them, but I still had a much better day than I otherwise would have.

What are you doing when you thrive? Why aren’t you doing it every day? Make the time. You’ll be glad you did.

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