Thrive: grow or develop well or vigorously
These are new times for us. Waters we have never had to walk through before. Within a few weeks we have gone from having the freedom to come and go and plan, pretty much however we wanted to, to isolating ourselves in our homes to keep as safe as we can and to protect others.
When things are new, it is easy to fall into a trap of fear of the unknown, but I truly believe that there are many ways we can choose to thrive.
Here are some tips on how to thrive.
This was my word of the year a few years back because honestly, “it is all in the perspective”.
How we feel, how we act, our emotions, our thoughts, and how we show up most often begins with our perspective.
When my kids were younger we lived in cottage country, or “God’s country” as we called it. We had a house across the road from cottages on one of the largest lakes in this beautiful area. It was so easy for the kids to feel the lack of all the play toys and income those who lived on the lake enjoyed.
I would often remind them that they will always know someone with more than us, and someone with less than us. The comparison trail is not one I wanted them to get used to going down.
As well, a few years later I was working in a bakery/coffee shop, and was reminded again that how we respond comes from our perspective and thoughts. There would be times I would have to deal with a customer that seemed to be having a bad day, and was taking it out on others, and sometimes that meant me. My boss at the time reminded me that we never know what that person has just come from. They could have just been diagnosed with cancer, had a care accident on the way, or lost a family member recently. Keeping the perspective helped me to always approach them with love and grace.
Our perspective is so important to thriving.
Here are some perspectives that would be good to keep during days of uncertainty:
* Time is relative. It feels like it is taking forever before we can return to normal, but in perspective, it is not much time at all. A few months in our lifetime is not something to stress over.
* Remember how often you said you didn’t have enough time to do what you dreamed of doing? Well now you have the time to do some of those things that you keep putting on the back burner. I had someone say to me the other day, “We have always said we don’t have enough time and if we are not careful, the time will pass and we will be back into our commitments and wish we had not wasted so much time.” It’s all in the perspective.
* We have been gifted with time. The exception to this are those working on the front lines to keep everyone safe and healthy. I cannot express my gratitude and appreciation for those giving their time and energy sacrificially for others during these times. That alone should help us to have a great perspective in time. However, most of us have been given the gift of more time. Cancellations mean we have more time and the question is, what will do with it? We can look at it as a gift or we can waste it.
It’s all in the perspective.
* This should have been mentioned first because really, gratitude is perspective.
Living a life of gratitude profoundly changes your outlook on life.
* Did you know that _______ and gratitude cannot be present at the same time? Fill in the blank with whatever you struggle with. You cannot be in a state of gratitude and be anxious at the same time. Try it. It doesn’t work. You can’t be angry and be in a state of gratitude. You can’t be comparing yourself to others and be in a state of gratitude.
*Gratitude changes our thoughts and helps us be present and aware of all that we have been given and who we were made to be. It changes how we show up in our lives for ourselves, and for others.
*If you want to thrive, practice gratitude vigorously. Recognize that word? It was in the definition of thrive … thrive means to develop well or vigorously. Gratitude consistently and intentionally and you will find that you will thrive.
Set Your Intention Every Morning
* If we do not plan how we want to show up for our day, then we will simply react instead of being proactive and living in a way the reflects our best version
* Take some time every morning and look at what you need to do that day, time block the time to do it, and set your intentions for the day.
* Use a reminder on your cell phone to show up in the way you set out to. If you are going into a meeting at 2pm and you want to be present and listening to those you are leading because you are noticing they don’t feel a part of the team, then set your alarm with the word you want to use and have it go off 5 minutes before you enter the meeting. This helps stop those last-minute distractions from helping you forget what you set intentionally in the morning. Do you respond to a loved one in a specific way? For example, how do you want to respond to your husband, kids, family, friends, etc. when you walk through the door after work? Set your alarm with the word you want to be present as when you arrive. This is one of my favourite “intention” reminders and I use it often.
Who Do You Want to Be?
This too will pass.
The time will pass and we will get through the crisis we are walking through right now.
The question is, who do you want to be at the end of it all?
We get to choose how we respond and if we will use this time and experience to grow and learn, or live in fear. The fear comes from what we think we cannot do or control.
Truth is, we didn’t have the control before. We never had the control.
What we can control, is who we choose to be and whether we will use these times to grow, love, and serve.
I don’t want to get to the end of this crisis, have all the time commitments begin again, and realize that I wasted the time gifted.
I want to choose gratitude and growth. I want to be stronger and love better.
Let’s choose to show up as the best version of ourselves and live that fearlessly.