12/08/2015 11:35 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

5 Ways to Stop Surviving and Start Thriving


My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

-- Maya Angelou

Thrive is defined as: To grow or develop successfully, to flourish or succeed; while survive means to remain alive, to continue to live, to continue to exist.

Surviving differs a bit from thriving, doesn't it? To survive is the least one can do. It's just getting by, simply existing. No one wants that. It's so minimal, so basic, without meaning; lacking substance.

While there may be seasons in life to focus on just survival, to fully live, you must thrive!

Here Are 5 Things to Do Every Day to Ensure You Thrive

1. Create art, even if you're not an artist! We all have something to give to the world, whether it's art in the traditional sense of paint on canvas, words on paper, or something more... art comes in many forms. There is something you long to do or are naturally drawn to and can't help but do. It is this very thing that is your art. Art could be decorating your home, socializing​, planning events​, cooking meals, gardening, even working on cars... you have an art, and in order to thrive, you must acknowledge that art and you must create!

​2. ​Create beauty in thought and deed as well as creating beautiful surroundings. Surrounding ourselves with beauty makes life magnificent, enjoying the natural beauty in nature inspires us to ​bring that beauty indoors. It brings peace and serenity, and when we are surrounded by beauty it's hard not to be affected positively, emotionally and mentally. Beautiful surroundings create beautiful thoughts.

​3. ​Love boldly as if this is your last day to love those around you. Do something special, make others feel important, a self-sacrificing love will always be best for the world. Don't be afraid to get your heart broken, to love like there is no tomorrow. Not taking your loved ones for granted is one of the best things you can ever do for someone you care about.

​4. ​Play more! It sounds easy; but is it really easy to set aside time just for fun when your to-do list is calling, when deadlines loom, and your phone keeps you alert to the fact that you have a very busy day ahead? While it may not be easy to do and you may be full of guilt, play is essential to your health and well-being. Get outside, play catch in the park with some friends, chase your kids around, go dancing, watch a comedy act. Laugh, have fun, and play!

​5. ​Create margin, you've heard this before... you need margin! But what does it mean? It means to create space in your day for the unexpected and space just to breathe. How often do we know a meeting will take a full sixty minutes but we insist on scheduling a 10-minute call ​immediately ​afterward ​knowing we're never going to get out of the meeting on time?

Our schedules are too full and because of it our health and relationships are suffering. Creating margin means knowing that​ if​ a meeting is scheduled for 60 minutes​, you block off 90 minutes on your calendar​;: allowing travel time, time to catch up with colleagues, and time to not rush. It means creating white space on your calendar where nothing is scheduled and you have 15 minutes to think, to do nothing but contemplate the day, ​your work, life. It means not being rushed 24/7, it means giving yourself time to breathe throughout the day.

Finding a bit of time​ ​each day to incorporate these simple ideas will not only help you clear your head and tackle your to-do list, but it will rejuvenate you, ease your stress, and create a sense of meaning for your life.

If you're tired of living on autopilot, tired of just surviving -- it's time to regain control of your life, it's time to thrive!

Image: jill111


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