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5 Ways to Stop Enduring and Start Thriving

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

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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