Thriving vs. Surviving

Thriving vs. Surviving

Freedom and happiness are found in flexibility and the ease with which you deal with change. With practice, your mind becomes flexible and pliable and you will have more clarity about your direction in life. Flexible, adaptable species survive and thrive while those that are inflexible become extinct …

If you were asked: “Are you Thriving or Just Surviving? ” How would you answer? We hear the buzz word “thrive ” all the time, but do you know the difference? The power behind thriving can move obstacles and challenges and with great results. What is keeping you from moving from survival mode into truly thriving? Physical wellness and the sense of well being is a good place to start. And yoga is a perfect tool for thriving.

No one is perfectly aligned or 100 percent happy in all areas of life. Striving to achieve the level of happiness you desire is all part of life and the journey through it. Being with ourselves as we are on the yoga mat helps us to understand the difference between thrive and survive by acknowledging our weaknesses and our strengths. It helps us notice when we are merely getting by rather than embracing life fully and enjoying the journey and thriving.

Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization. Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fulfill the next one, and so on. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs includes five motivational needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs five stage pyramid

The deficiency, or basic needs, are said to motivate people when they are unmet and the need to fulfill such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. One must satisfy lower level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. Once these needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization. This is mirrored in our practice on the mat as we must build our strength day by day, practice to practice.

Being able to move from surviving into thriving is dependent on retraining our thoughts and decision-making processes from being mediocre to passionate. We have the ability to choose our perspective with regard to our experiences. Yes, things happen and we have challenging times, but moving through those times becomes easier when you’re able to acknowledge that they are challenging and ask the question of yourself: How can I move through this quickly while continuing to thrive?

Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization. Unfortunately, progress is often disrupted by failure to meet lower level needs.

Here are a few tips for Thriving:

  • Take smart, common-sense risks and step out of your comfort zone.
  • Begin to better prioritize your relationships, both with yourself and others.
  • Change your environment to a more productive and encouraging one.
  • Begin to work on understanding your emotions, emotional triggers and limiting beliefs.
  • Model the excellence you want and expect in your life.
  • Improve your fuel plan to support your physical body’s ability to thrive.
  • Try something new and embrace an element of play in your day.

Spotting the difference between surviving and thriving is ultimately based on our ability to be honest about where we are and where we want to be and staying true to our path. What have you found that helps you move from surviving back to thriving? Maybe, like me, yoga can be part of your answer, and we’ll build our strength day by day, practice to practice.