“There are 3 types of people in life: victims, survivors and thrivers. Victims allow bad experiences to define their life. Survivors do just enough to “make it” from day to day. But Thrivers realize they have a purpose and they care to believe in a dream and pursue it in spite of what has happened to them. Life happens from you! Dare to thrive. BE GREAT!”
– Pervis Taylor
Which Type of Person Do You Want To Be?
Victim? Survivor? Thriver?
Most of us have a little of all these types in us. In some situations, we act like a victim. In others, we act like a survivor. And, probably less than we’d truly want, we act like a Thriver.
So what are the key action steps to live more and more like a Thriver?
Five Keys to Thriving
1. Do what you love.
If you can’t completely do what you love, yet, do things that will help you move toward doing what you love.
If you can’t be the writer (or whatever) you aspire to be, yet, write every day for an hour. Take courses. Join a writing group. Volunteer to write for your parents’ group, or a community newsletter or your church.
See these smaller actions as steps toward doing what you truly love.
Doing so will help you love what you do!
2. Create clear, compelling visions of specific results you want to create
Often, the goals we start with are too big and conceptual, or too small and process-focused.
Creating power comes from focusing big, fuzzy concepts into clear, compelling visions of specific results.
“A new car” is a concept.” “A red, Tesla Roadster, with navy interior,” is more of a vision.
By adding more details and success criteria, you increase the power of your vision.
Say your goal is “be a writer.”
Good start but still a concept, too general to get you into action. Get more specific.
What kind of writer? Fiction. Non-fiction. Poetry. Would you do it full time? Would you focus on books, essays, articles, screenplays or …? Career? Or hobby? How would you measure success?
The more specific (to a point) that you make your vision the more motivating power it will have. And easier to act on.
Also frame goals as nouns (things) not just processes (verbs).
For example, “jog every day for 5 miles” is a process, an action. It’s about work. Ugh!
“A sub-40 minute time in the 6 mile race,” is a thing, a noun, a result. Yay!
A vision of finishing a 6-mile race in 38 minutes—and feeling great—is way more motivating than the injunction to “jog 5 miles every day.”
Results goals have far more power than just process goals.
3. Get on good terms with reality
“Reality is not your enemy” is the mantra my mentor, Robert Fritz, drummed into me during the nine years I trained and worked with him.
Reality is the way things are, observed and described as accurately and objectively as we can.
Many of our victim feelings come from us judging reality – from judging ourselves, others and the world.
If you can get past such judgments and just describe things as you see them – without filters, biases, and habitual judging – it’ll be easier to take things as they are and as they come.
When you do, your world and your life will get a lot easier. You’ll thrive more easily.
4. Be easy with the gap between your vision and your reality.
Too often, when faced with that gap, we jump to a “Yeah, but…” conclusion about the things we want.
Yeah, I want what I envision, but… [“I don’t know how to do it,” “I don’t have enough time (or energy or money or support), or “It’s too hard, too complex…]
The “Yeah…” generates motivational energy. Then the “but” negates it. If you try to do things in a “yeah, but…” structure, you’ll soon run out of steam and quit.
Better to adopt a “yes, and…” structure. The gap between vision and reality generates creative tension that energizes you and leads to action.
“Yes, I want that AND this is my reality. What can I do to get started?”
5. Work the learning curve
Most people get the learning curve wrong. They think the steep part it the hard part.
But it’s not.
The long, flat part is the hard part.
It is where you expend most of your time, energy and resources, without creating much in the way of results.
Think of the learning curve as a hockey stick lying on its side, with blade upturned. The first 80% of time and effort you put in (the flat part) only generates 20% of your results.
But the last 20% of time and effort (the steep part) generates 80% of your results.
So a key to thriving is to accept the slog across the flat part of the curve, and stay on it until it steepens—and results come quicker, and with less effort and stress.
Hang on as the curve takes off. Ride it like a surfer rides a wave.