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5 Ways to Stop Enduring and Start Thriving

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5 Ways to Stop Enduring and Start Thriving

We wear our struggles like a badge of honor. We’re a culture of warriors. Included in any good success story are the struggles we’ve had to overcome. We may be sleep-deprived, completely stressed, and perpetually busy, but we’re always able to get it all done.

But, if you can accomplish so much when you’re just enduring, imagine what could happen if you started thriving. Imagine what could happen if you stopped putting yourself through struggles and started feeding yourself a little water and sunshine.

If you want to reach your full potential, it’s time to stop enduring and start thriving. Curious how? Try these five ways.

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1. Cut the obligations.

These days, there are so many things we have to do that we hardly have time for ourselves. But, in actuality, there’s not much we really have to do—just a series of choices. We choose to go to work or we might get fired. We choose to do the dishes or our place will look like a pigpen. And we can choose to drop the stuff that feels like obligations. If we’re just doing it because we’re supposed to and not because we love it, it might be time to drop the dead weight and make choices more in line with the life we want. Because anything in our life we don’t love is stopping us from completely loving our life.

2. Do what comes naturally.

These days, people are so focused on fixing their weaknesses that they forget about their strengths. In our constant quest to round ourselves out, we start to lose our edge. But why make things difficult when you’ve already got a leg up? You can save a lot of time and headache by focusing on what naturally comes easiest to you. Drop the embedded belief that anything worth doing has to be a struggle, and learn how to play to your own strengths. No one is naturally good at everything, but people who thrive constantly put themselves in situations where they’re set up to succeed.

3. Learn how to let people down.

There are just over 7 billion people in this world. Chances are you’re going to disappoint one or two from time to time. Instead of living your life based on what others will think, you’ve got to remember that you’re only responsible for making one of those people happy. We’re inundated with rules, from laws and business policies to dress codes and cultural norms. It’s hard enough keeping it all straight without people’s expectations. So give yourself a free pass to be imperfect and get really good at letting people down. The less afraid you are of saying no to others, the better you’ll be at saying yes to yourself.

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4. Ask for help when you need it.

Slow down there, Superman, or Wonder Woman. You may be perfectly capable of doing, or learning how to do, just about anything. But is that really the best use of your time? Does it light you up? Does it make you thrive? Instead of doing everything under the sun, why not stick to what you’re really good at and ask for help on the rest. Chances are there’s someone out there who would love to help with what you’re needing, and it frees you up more time to spend on what you really love. The strong person is the one who can admit that he or she needs a little bit of help.

5. Keep your eye on the prize.

Enduring is all about struggling. It’s about going from one obstacle to the next. But thriving—that’s about growth. Sure, there are a few aches and growing pains on the way to flourishing, but that’s all par for the course. Instead of getting stuck in the rut of current obstacles, keep your focus on where you’re moving. Remember why you’re doing this in the first place and how you’re progressing toward your goal. We don’t measure magnitude; we measure direction. And, if you’re working towards your goals, you’re growing in the right direction. I think some people call that thriving.

We’re insistent on struggling our way to success without ever tapping into our own arsenal. We’ve got strengths, passions, and skills that we’re ignoring. And, if we keep ignoring them, we’ll keep the game weighted against us.

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So let’s turn this board around. Let’s create a playing field on our own terms. Let’s decide, once and for all, to stop struggling and start thriving.

Because thriving is really about laying a groundwork that inevitably leads to success.

And it’s about time your potential starts to bloom.

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Featured photo credit: Thai Jasmine via flickr.com

More by this author

Mike Iamele

Mike Iamele is a Purpose + Brand Strategist who figures out what makes you naturally successful. Then helps you do it on purpose.

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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