Survive, strive or thrive?

For years now I’ve been conscious that I want to thrive in all areas of my life – not just survive. As an adoptive parent (any parent that is) there is a tendency to just feel satisfied at getting to the end of the day in one piece. Sometimes that is quite an achievement in itself! But as I’ve been thinking about this theme more this week another thought has occurred to me. Once you get to a place where you feel you are surviving we can then tend to go straight to striving to keep things good. Surviving is hard work but striving is too. I know for myself and many of my friends we spend a lot of our time striving to spin all the plates and hold everything together for our children, our work, our marriages and ourselves! 

So what is the difference between striving and thriving? When I think about plants or trees thriving it seems to be effortless for them. As long as they are rooted in the right place, have the right sort and amount of food and water, be true to what they are then they grow – they thrive.

The term used for a child who struggles to grow is failure to thrive. That is such a powerful phrase. I wonder what areas in my life there’s a failure to thrive? In my work I know that when I’m doing what I love, what I’m good at and what people want it just seems to flow – there’s no striving just thriving. When I try to force things or do things in ways that are not congruent with my values then it’s hard work feels like striving not thriving. With my children when I am in a good place emotionally our times together seem to flow – there’s fun and laughter, and a connection between us that is lovely.

There’s a song I’ve been listening to for a few weeks now and part of the chorus is very inspiring to me:

We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

For those out there who are struggling to survive each day at the moment I’d say hang in there. For those who are surviving but find themselves striving each day I say take courage that when you can get yourself grounded and look after yourself then you will find times of thriving. And for those who are thriving then live in that moment. The part I love about the chorus above is that for me it’s time to do just more than survive and definitely more than strive – it’s time to actually thrive!

Click the picture below to hear the song …..

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