“I survived” is becoming a very common phrase in life and in business that we keep on hearing more and more every day. But think about it, if you think you are having to “survive” something, is it not more of an ordeal for you? Is the situation not causing you stress. Stress enough that it is preventing you from thriving? If you are in that situation, introspect and ask yourself what are the things that are making you “survive” rather than thrive? Now when I say “thrive”, I do not mean you have to be the best of the best in every situation, in every place. What I mean is that you should feel motivated and energized to do your best and be your best. That what you do should make you content. You do not have to be the best in what you do, but at least you can go to sleep at the end of each day knowing that you try your best to be the best, and that way you feel happy, content and you thrive. If, after introspecting, you see that there is something under your control to change from “surviving” to thriving, then you will feel immensely powerful, and you will know what to do. Yes, often the situation will be beyond your control. In those cases, do not keep “surviving”. It might be fun to say that you “survived” something for so long and came out of it bruised but alive, and people might even praise you for that, but ask yourself, do you really need to be in a work, in a business, in a relationship, in an institution that bruises you? You deserve better.
Let me end this rather preachy blogpost by giving an example from my life. I went to two boarding schools, one in junior and junior-high, and another for high-school. In the first one, I survived. I barely scraped by, and because of various reasons beyond my control, I could not extract myself from the situation. At the end I emerged alive, but with a lot of bruises, psychologically. And it is only now, after years of therapy, and being on depression and anxiety medication, that I can understand the extent of the psychological bruises of “survival”.
In the next school, the high school, I thrived. I absolutely found my footing. I loved what I was studying. I felt encouraged and respected to follow the career I wanted to choose. I loved that no one told me and my parents that I wasn’t good enough for anything. I thrived, I scored well, and I loved the experience, the compassion and the kindness. That set me on course for life. Survival didn’t. It is never enough.
So never just survive, thrive. You deserve it!