(This article first appeared in the National Women's Council Quarterly Newsletter LIFT)
The Oxford Dictionary description of Thrive (of a child, animal, or plant) is to grow or develop well or vigorously. So, to thrive is in a way to be renewed and grow. Isn’t this true for us at any transition point in our lives whether subtle or abrupt? Think of how our cells regenerate in our body and depending on the type of cell can take anywhere from 10 hours to 2 years; imagine the possibilities if even our bodies are constantly regenerating. We are constantly left with new options, new life and continuous regeneration. Remember this the next time you feel stuck.
What if we could see our way through to the point where we want to grow? What if we could exceed even that highest point we can envision? Isn’t it true that we do not know what we do not know? Each day provides a new day of learning, I am thrilled when I can say, “Oh, I didn’t know that and now I do!” What if we could see our future?
The idea of vision is, of course, not a new one. It is a powerful tool used to train athletes at the highest level seeking gold at the Olympics. It is a training tool for astronauts here on Earth training for the hazardous environment of space. Race car drivers use it to run races long before their tires ever hit the track. They race it and can see it in their minds.
What if we could do the same thing for our lives? Could we reach our own gold on the podium that represents our dreams? In a word, yes. So, how can we see what right now we do not? Below I have outlined a sure-proof way to create and materialize your vision. Write to us to tell us how it works for you.
How to Create in order to Thrive
Every day provides a host of road-blocks for us to create the things we want. Some of the top excuses for not getting to the creation of a vision is, “I’m too busy, maybe later.” I’m here to tell you there is no later, there is only now. I do empathize, there are many things to do, and many commitments to live up to. But if we cannot do what is the very essence of who we are, then what are we left with? I can tell you that you will feel exhausted, you will feel overwhelmed, and you will not be nourishing and re-energizing your body and soul with what it needs. What you need is the thing that gives you energy – that is the thing that will make up your vision. Yet, we still are busy so how can it be done?
The noise comes from every angle, with each person averaging five mobile devices each with its own information stream, threatens to deafen us to the things that really matter. We as women wear many hats in the home, the office and the community. We are committed to many things. So, how do we break through the noise to create what some might say is our true purpose in life?
One of my professors in college at Texas Christian University once said, something that has enabled me to Thrive to this day, is that 90% of doing something is thinking about it. If you reflect on all the moments where you feel something can’t be done, overwhelmed, you can’t figure it out, there are just so many options or perhaps you can’t think of a single option to getting something done, the idea of stepping back to think is a refreshing one! So, to create, the first thing is to stop everything and do nothing. Get quiet.
The second step is to write ideas down as they come to you. Journaling is a powerful tool to creation. Ideas can strike at the most amazing, and seemingly inconvenient times, so put notes in your phone, on napkins, on notepads, and keep journaling and scribe those ideas as they come. If not captured, an idea can be lost, so write it down.
The mind loves to explore and to learn and so does the body with its many senses. If you notice that you are in your mind yet you are trying to paint, a more creative and emotional process, then simply shift your state by listening to music, or looking at pictures. You can also shift to a physical state in order to open your mind to creation by taking your shoes off and walking in a patch of grass. Simply the act of shifting your state will open you up to new ideas and the ability to create. Your state can include physical, emotional and intellectual. If you feel stuck, try shifting your state.
As an author, I know that staring at a blank screen can be terribly intimidating so I know this feeling well. In order to write a book, not only have I spent 90% of my time thinking about it; at some point well before I have the entire book in my mind, I start. As I write, more comes to me. Do not be afraid to start. You can always edit!
I have many friends who are so capable and yet they do not thrive. They are exhausted, defeated and you guessed it, busy. If only for a moment they would stop, get quiet, journal then re-start in forming a vision for them, I predict it would forever shift their life into a new and better gear towards the things they wish for but cannot see a way.
How do you thrive? What vision do you have? Have you created a vision yet? Just start.