To Thrive Or To Survive? That Is The Question

By Robert Clark, February 14, 2017

Life offers many challenges.  The way we view these challenges is essential to our well-being. Some people face seemingly insurmountable odds with ease and grace, thriving in the face of trial. Others are bewildered at the easiest tasks, feeling overwhelmed at the slightest breeze of difficulty. What explains the difference in these people? Is it that successful people have learned how to thrive rather than survive? Here are some simple strategies derived from positive psychology that can help you increase your ability to thrive.


Start Accounting For The Good Things Happening Around You

Every day offers us good experiences. If we begin to think on these good things, our perspective will start shifting toward thriving. When your daughter smiles, take a minute to savor the sweetness that she is expressing.  Laugh at your dog leaping in the yard.  As your coworker offers you part of her doughnut, consider the gesture of kindness. If we open our eyes to what is beautiful, delightful and pleasing, our focus will change toward thriving. There are many good things happening around us everyday. We can choose to set our eyes to thrive and start seeing the things we may be missing.

Even in the midst of difficulty, there are good things happening. All people experience difficult times. Keeping perspective in difficult times is an essential skill for well-being. When we face difficulty it is important to continue our discipline of accounting for the good things. We are not denying the pain of what is difficult, yet we are maintaining a realistic perspective. Difficulty is temporary and there are also good things to remember in the face of adversity.


Start Making Good Things Happen For Others

We have all heard of the power of random acts of kindness. Some may think it is hokey, yet consider how you feel when you help others. Practice holding the door open for a stranger and smile as you go through the day. Take the time to verbally encourage others. It is important to be honest in your encouragement. If you tell your coworker you appreciate the hard work he is doing, make sure you mean it. People around you may be struggling more than you realize. You could impact someone’s day and you get to feel better too.


Choose Your Perspective

These are two simple strategies to start thriving.   Anyone can do it!  I bet you will be surprised by the joy that results from seeing how green the grass is today. You may feel inspired by your coworkers’ generosity and bring a smile to someone else. Even in dark times, we can keep our focus positive. Positive focus will actually assist us in accessing our mental and emotional resources during hard times. As it is said, a cheerful heart is good medicine! We can work to increase our well-being, and that will help others as well as ourselves thrive.