Thrive: To grow or develop well or vigorously, to prosper or flourish (per Google’s dictionary).
I want my children to thrive. You want your children to thrive. Heck, we want children in general to thrive.
Which raises the question: What does thriving look like?
We could focus on the outside: Solid grades. Strong performances. Winning awards and receiving recognition.
Sure, these might be signs of thriving. Or maybe not. (Sometimes they are markers of quiet desperation.)
Instead, let’s look at less glittering (though, I’m finding, more accurate) indicators:
The ability to pick yourself back up after a fall (literally or figuratively) and take another step. Standing up for yourself when it feels easy AND tough. Not taking personally or internalizing the hurtful words or actions of another (and maybe even being able to keep in mind that hurting people hurt others). Dreaming about what excites you and going after it, stumbling baby step by stumbling baby step. Making an effort (however big or small) to take care of yourself (physically, mentally, emotionally) — every day. Knowing that in the biggest scheme of things, you are enough and doing okay (sure, we all have things to learn, though fundamentally as a human, there are no Fs at life). Believing that you have the power to effect change in your life — and actively taking steps to tweak what doesn’t work so well for you and build on what does. And reminding yourself of all of these things when old stories creep in that say otherwise. Because those stories are BS.
This sort of inner resiliency, self-efficacy — thriving: It can move mountains.
It’s not a “you have it or you don’t” sort of thing. Thriving is something our kids can learn to do (and ditto for us) — as many times as needed. It’s a muscle that can be built and (re)strengthened. And we can always improve upon the skills that help build the muscle.
A question for today: What’s one thing you’ve done, are doing, or will do today to help build the muscle of thriving for yourself? (And yes, as a bonus, you doing it models it for your kid — WHICH IS HUGE IN HELPING THEM LEARN TO THRIVE.)
Here? Breakfast included a brownish-greenish superfood smoothie to get in some fruits and vegetables at the start of the day to help our bodies grow and thrive. While I can’t say the kids were excited about it (though I enjoyed it), they know the routine and the why behind it (what you eat impacts how you feel, and when you feel crappy it’s hard to show up in life). So they humored their mom and chugged it down with only a few complaints. Then we moved into our day. And before bed? They’ll see me make tomorrow’s smoothie (because making it the night before ensures it’s ready to go, erasing the chance of talking myself out of making it in the morning due to “we’re running late!!” — it’s already done). Because I want all of us to thrive. And the more we practice and use the muscle, the more likely we’ll thrive more often than not.
So back to you: What’s your one thing for today?