I was listening to a podcast earlier and someone said the word “Thrive.” Immediately the word survive popped into my head. My next thought was that many people think my way of eating is surviving but in reality, I'm thriving on this diet. Then I started thinking, how many other aspects of life can we apply this to. This is relevant to marriages, friendships, kids, family, work, and many other things.
As I scroll through my social media feeds, I see the highlight reel of everyone's life. I see countless selfies and captions such as “Work hard, play hard.” I see people living for the weekend. There are people doing the bare minimum. This post is not to put anyone down but it's meant for you to question what your goals are. I'm not talking about running a 5k or climbing a mountain. That's actually the easy part. I'm talking about pushing yourself to newer and higher expectations. So often, I see people posting gym selfies and they look just as soft as they did a year ago. If your goal is to burn off calories so you can go out and drink twelve beers later on, then be honest with yourself. It's ok to do that. Just don't post about killing it in the gym because that's not your true intention. I may post a gym selfie, but my intentions are not to get big. My goal is to incorporate weights so I can get stronger.
In that same respect, I like my job. I really enjoy what I do for a living but do I want to be doing the same exact job 10 years from now, making the same money? Absolutely not. Everyday is a step towards another goal.
As a society, we've become lazy. I spent the last three days in Atlanta, GA at cheer competition. I got to watch my 9 and 5 year old daughters compete against some of the toughest cheer teams in the nation. Yes, it was difficult. The traffic was horrible. Doing hair and makeup is a chore. And yes, I do hair and makeup. Then there’s the fact that we have to entertain our two other boys that don't want to be there. On top of that, there's the financial aspect to it that would make anyone cringe. It's a completely insane thing to want to do but the reward is well worth it. Seeing your children thrive in that environment is priceless, not just as a team but as a person.
Parents hate to be bothered. They don't want to drive a kid to practice more than once a week. They don't want games to be out of town or for them to last too long. As soon as the kids says they don't like something, they pull them out. I'm not saying to make kids do something they don't want to do, but at least give it a good try. My son went through three different sports before we found out that he loves swimming but we made sure that he gave all those other sports a good try before we pulled him out. It's no wonder why people quit things so easily. As kids we're taught that it's ok to do something for a little while with little intensity. And if it bothers you, it's ok to quit.
I'm going to use me as an example right now. I hate the water. I'm not too scared of it but I absolutely hate the thought of jumping in open water and swimming a mile. Why do I do it? Because I said I'd do it. Because I like the way I feel afterwards. I've been there and the feeling of not following through on something I said I'd do, it's a horrible feeling. It doesn't go away.
We need to get out of this rut of trying to make everything as comfortable as possible. We're letting relationships suffer. We're letting ourselves down. Most of all, we're raising the generation to wander aimlessly. Most parents have a dream of their kids going to college and landing their dream job. What happens after that? What happened to building those soft skills in our kids? - the skills that you can't write down on a resume because they're deep down inside of you – the skills that can only be seen by knowing that person and witnessing these character traits. Those skills don't come from doing the bare minimum. The don't come from a textbook or a classroom. They come from hard work, experience and forward progression.
Don't just survive, THRIVE!