Dr. Wall Says

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Will you thrive or not?

To Thrive or Not

Is the best you can say about your life that you’re making it work, getting by or worse, surviving your day? There is so much more to expect of your time on this earth.  So when I see people not taking advantages of the opportunities they are afforded to make the most of their life, it pisses me off!

I want to THRIVE!  I want to live a great story and feel alive! I want to look at my life as an old lady and know that I did the most with what I was given, that I don’t feel like I wasted time or energy on things that didn’t really matter, and you do too!

Getting by, making do, or surviving* are simply not okay, and I don’t understand why so many people take for granted that this is all they can expect of life.

I’m sure some people will read this and think that I am some privileged elitist who is talking without any knowledge of hardship or real world problems – to which I answer, “you know nothing about my life, nor I about yours.” But I do know a lot about human beings, resilience, motivation, growth and potential. I know a ton about the human brain and our capacity for achievement and happiness. I have worked and talked to people whose circumstances are awful, and I have seen them thrive**.

What’s your excuse?

Maybe you just didn’t realize that you were not thriving, getting by seemed like the best you could do. You probably haven’t even stopped to ask yourself if you were satisfied or fulfilled in a really long time. That’s fine, there’s always a point before insight where we are unaware, but you are reading this now, and the insight is yours to grab and run with.

So ask yourself: are you thriving? If the answer is no, what will you do about it?

A working definition

According to the dictionary: to thrive means to grow or develop well or vigorously. It means to flourish and prosper (often in the presence of hardship or resistance). That’s a great start, but that particular definition says nothing about how you will thrive, and what you need to do to flourish and prosper.  So then figure out what thriving means to you; what would have to change or happen in your life to feel like you are flourishing, growing and prospering?

When I think about thriving, I’m not talking about being happy all the time, or living a charmed and peaceful life. I am not picturing myself  day in day out just following my heart, acting out desires over duty. Although prospering may be easier with financial freedom, thriving doesn’t mean being wealthy either.

For me thriving means that most days I wake up and I look forward to some part of my day. I will thrive when I have crafted an everyday that includes activities, people and circumstances that  directly contribute to my sense of fulfillment.

Thriving means that I take the time to focus on myself and my needs, and I do my best (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) to meet them. Thriving means that I don’t live my life dreaming about tomorrow and what I would do if the stars aligned, but that I try to figure out how to live well today with whatever circumstances I have.

I thrive when I am challenged intellectually by the things that I do and the people I surround myself with. I thrive when I get to interact with others, but also get long periods of quiet isolation. I thrive when I know that I excel and am recognized for excelling. I thrive when I surround myself with people who love and challenge me; people who are smarter, kinder, wiser, calmer, more driven and who show me other possibilities of what life can be.

Thriving isn’t something you do everyday, it is the sum total of how you live your life. Some days are awful from start to finish. Some days you’ll be bored out of your mind. Those are, however, the exceptions not the rules. Most days there is at least one really great moment. Most days you find a way to be excited about your life, and that… that ladies and gentlemen sounds like THRIVING to me.

Making do and doing great

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.
– George Bernard Shaw

So assume for a second that you only have one chance at this thing called life. How do you want to live it? How do you honor this incredible opportunity you’ve been given to be alive, and make something great of the time you have on this earth? How do you live a great story? How will you THRIVE?

Want to know how close you are to living an amazing story, one where you thrive? Take the QUIZ and see how close you are to thriving.

* Clearly here I am not talking about people who literally are barely surviving. Although I have met a few people in those conditions who somehow manage to feel that given their circumstances their lives are, relatively speaking, great.

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Hi! I'm Dr. Alessandra Wall

I help smart driven women and forward-thinking companies bridge the gap & build real conversations.

Here on the ‘Dr. Wall Says’, I share tools, tips, and insights about speaking up, getting heard and how women can take up space and thrive in the 21st century.

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