Surviving or Thriving?

Surviving is all well and good, if the only other option available to you is perishing.  Survival is the least that you want to achieve.  But it is absolutely the least.  Do you think we were put here to merely scrape by, for our whole lives?  Everywhere else in nature, things are busy thriving.  Why not us?

The annoying thing about survival is that it takes up all your time and energy, leaving precious little left to devote to attempting to thrive.  In fact, in the event that you break the chains that bind you to mere survival, in an attempt to thrive, you can find that, ironically, it can threaten your very survival.  While you attempt to grow and prosper, you can find your savings and resources steadily depleting.  It’s difficult to make the leap from surviving to thriving.  But how is it possible to go from a big chance to finally thrive, back to barely scratching out a living and struggling to survive?  How can that be how it pans out, even some of the time, let alone most of the time?  Something is wrong with that.  Something is wrong with us.

Who wants to scrape by from month to month, watching their meagre, dwindling finances like a hawk?  Who, on the other hand, wants to be in a dead end job, working hard for people who don’t care about you, just to make ends meet?  What kind of existence is it, if you run a business, to become completely exhausted serving just one customer, so that you dread the second, or have nothing left in the tank to even attempt to give them good service and value for money?

Thriving is our natural state.  It’s what we desire to do.  It frustrates us when, to survive, we must forsake the opportunity to thrive.  Not enough time.  Not enough money.  Not enough room.  They all throw you straight back into the brutal survival battle.  Yet, if you could find a way to break free and survive for long enough, until your true passions and skills began to be recognised, you would be sure to thrive.  How could you not?  Doing what you love most, what you do best and which lights the fire of your passion seems like a breeze, compared to the slog of incessantly turning up and grinding through day after day in an occupation that affords you the ability to barely get by and just break even.  Hunkering down in an effort to try to just survive can begin to be a threat to your very survival.

If you set your sights on merely surviving, that seems to be all you ever manage to accomplish.  Thriving takes something broader, by way of vision.  It takes courage.  It feels risky.  It is risky.  You never know how your brilliance and awesomeness will be received and whether or not it will actually lead to your thriving and prospering.  That has nothing to do with how capable and hard working you are and everything to do with how insulated and isolated we have become from each other.  Shouldn’t we be helping each other to thrive, at every opportunity, instead of keeping our heads down, pre-occupied with only just surviving?  How on earth did we organise human affairs in such a faulty way?

The thing about thriving is that my thriving doesn’t need to be at the expense of somebody else.  Nobody else need be forced into survival mode for me to flourish and prosper.  We can all thrive.  The more we all do, the more we all do, in fact.

It seems odd that so many people, in the world, seem to see others finding their own ways of thriving as some kind of threat to their own ability to thrive.  It doesn’t work that way.  There is no need to prevent another from thriving, so that you might.  Yet, that seems to be the basis of competition and the underpinnings of our economy.  We start from the premise that to win, others must lose.  There is no model in which, I do well, flourishing in what I do, and so do you and, logically, so does everybody else.  It’s not part of our intellectual axioms, is it?  We just don’t imagine that it’s possible.  It’s not only possible, it’s probable, but we all have to commit to thriving, in the first instance.  While somebody, somewhere, thinks like a predator, the whole thing is at risk, plunging us all into a visceral fight to the death, for survival, without hope of growth.  Doesn’t make sense, does it?

So what will you choose?  Will you be content with survival, or is there more than that possible?  Wouldn’t it be far better, happier, healthier and beneficial, not to mention a general improvement to mankind as a whole, if you were to thrive?  So what will you do about that?

I hope you find a way to do much more than merely surviving and that you discover a way to thrive.  I hope we all do.


About tropicaltheartist

You can find out more about me here: There aren’t many people that exist in that conjunction of art, design, science and engineering, but this is where I live. I am an artist, a musician, a designer, a creator, a scientist, a technologist, an innovator and an engineer and I have a genuine, deep passion for each field. Most importantly, I am able to see the connections and similarities between each field of intellectual endeavour and apply the lessons I learn in one discipline to my other disciplines. To me, they are all part of the same continuum of creativity. I write about what I know, through my blogs, in the hope that something I write will resonate with a reader and help them enjoy their own creative life more fully. I am, in summary, a highly creative individual, but with the ability to get things done efficiently. Not all of these skills are valued by the world at large, but I am who I am and this is me. The opinions stated here are my own and not necessarily the opinion or position of my employer.
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