In the first part of this article, I discussed what it means to thrive and three tips for striving. Here are more tips to help you move beyond just surviving to truly flourishing in all your endeavours.
- Have a strong Desire to learn: A successful life is all about continuous learning. Henry Adams, an American Historian said: “They know enough who knows how to learn”. Successful people have an insatiable thirst for knowledge; they are always learning, as such, they are always growing. For a lot of people, learning stopped when they got out of School. To move beyond survivorship to thriving, you must make definite, conscious effort to learn new things. Read new books regularly, take short courses in the field of your work/relationship or just for general learning, attend seminars and workshops. Stagnancy is recipe for mediocrity. To thrive, you must constantly grow. The capacity to continue to learn births the passion to explore new areas, expands your knowledge and skills and creates a lifetime of opportunities for growth and success.
- Get Close to God: So many things, important and germane to life, are beyond the control of humans; essentially managing them would require connection to a power greater than life. Having a personal relationship with Jesus is a tremendous way to get close to God. There is a comforting assurance in knowing that you are intimately connected to God and He cares about you and is in control of everything that concerns you. This gives you a deep-seated peace, regardless of the challenges you are facing, that everything will ultimately turn out well. This assurance provides the peace, serenity and focus that you need to thrive.
- Seek Balance: The dictionary meaning of balance is ”an even distribution of weight enabling something or someone to remain upright and steady”. It connotes stability of mind and feeling, leading to peace. Man is a tripartite being and to thrive, you need to achieve balance between the spirit, the soul and the body; the physical, the intellect and the emotions. To achieve balance for thriving therefore, you should nourish your spirit, keep fit physically, mentally and emotionally. Have a time of daily personal devotion everyday or at least three times a week, engage in spiritual exercises like praying and fasting as regularly as you can. As much as possible, integrate physical exercise into your day either by riding a bike to work (where distance and the environment permits), using the staircase instead of the elevator, parking your car a considerable distance away from your office to enable you do some walking to and from your car. Socialize.! Just as a plant will wither and die without adequate sunlight, an isolated lifestyle impairs thriving and growth. Nurture your relationships; spend quality time with family and friends, work out time on a regular basis for visiting and any other form of social activity that suits you. Focus on eating healthy; replace junk foods with healthy alternatives. Strive for intellectual balance by seeking to know more about things/issues outside the scope of your discipline or vocation. Take time on a regular basis for personal reflection, like Socrates said: “The unexamined life is not worth living”. As much as possible, don’t mix work and pleasure; when at work, give it your full attention and when work is over, switch off it. Avoid taking work home or working on weekends, holidays/vacations. Work when it’s time for work and rest/relax or engage in other activities when out of the office.
- Be proactive: Richard Nolan said: “Being proactive means relying on your own choices instead of luck and circumstances.” The role of proactivity in thriving cannot be overemphasized. Being proactive means “creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.” When you operate in survival mode, you are more or less a victim. When you become proactive, you switch from being at the receiving end, to being in control. To develop proactivity, focus on the solution rather than the problem. Be an active participant in whatever you are involved in and be assertive. Think. Yes, think; on important issues, determine what outcomes you desire and work with this in mind. Knowing what you want to achieve would make it easier for you to make choices to see it happen.
- Good Association: There is a popular adage that “Show me your friends and I can tell who you are”. The people you associate closely with have a significant impact on your live. If you desire to thrive, you must associate with ‘growing’ people, who also have a positive outlook to life. Dissociate from toxic people.
In conclusion, may I say that thriving is not merely about material success, thriving happens when there is a purpose to life, a vitality to live, a connection with significant others in your life and a strong desire to celebrate life regardless of your pay check or social status. I hope that some of these suggestions will help you as you aspire to thrive. It is never too late to reinvent yourself. Let me close with this quote by Maya Angelou, one of the writers who inspire me; “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.”