I am often asked why I use the word Thrive. What do I mean by it?
When my book, Courage to Thrive, was being translated for publication in Japan, there were many discussions about the title and the word thrive. There is no word for thrive in Japanese, so they asked me if I really meant success. No.
Success is a destination, a measurement of accomplishment, thriving is the journey to get there. What we are talking about here is the ability to enjoy life.
Thriving means to grow vigorously. Two tomato plants in different conditions will have different experiences. One plant placed in the shade, without much water, in dry clay soil will survive, but barely. The other planted in rich loamy soil in the direct sunlight with grow vigorously, producing abundant fruit and foliage.
We need to plant ourselves in the best opportunities for personal growth. These conditions are not a mystery, however, the specificity with which we incorporate them is predicated on our unique lives and personalities. Good nutrition, sleeping well, exercise, meditation or mindfulness practice, being productive at something we enjoy, and having richly rewarding relationships all have the effect of making us appreciate the blessings of life.
However, in the absence of some of these conditions, we can still choose to focus in the moment on the beautiful, the wondrous, and the spiritual. Thriving is an attitude.
Many people will say, “I cannot thrive because of my hurts.” Traumas, poverty, and other unhappy conditions can severely hamper a person’s ability to enjoy life. And yet, there are countless stories of persons achieving triumph in the face of adversity. Each of us is looking for the key to inspire ourselves to find the courage to be a thriver instead of merely surviving.
Henry David Thoreau described “the mass of men leaving lives of quiet desperation.” So true then, and so true today. Yuck, who really wants to live their lives in quiet or not so quiet desperation? Offering an alternative option is Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, describing his mother’s side of the family as “the kind of people whose personal goal appears to be harvesting as much joy as possible from life.”
Thriving is more than just a word, it is an action. We simply must take action in order to change. Won’t you join me in an adventure of a lifetime to learn how to truly Thrive despite the challenges in your life?