What does a thriving life mean to you ?

Over the last few months we have been working on a new Positive Psychology project about what it means to thrive.  Martin Seligman, the famous Positive Psychologist has just written a book on a similar theme called Flourish.  Overall its an interesting topic for us all to explore but thriving and flourishing is such a subjective area that we honestly don’t feel that it can be boxed in and quantified like Martin Seligman attempts.  I walked past a sign yesterday which said pilates is the route to happiness.  I’m sure this is true for some but for others hours spent working on their pelvic floor would be pure hell.
Having said that the Breathe London team have put together some positive statements  around thriving.  Let us know what you think

Feeling secure and confident

I feel secure, confident and loved.  Whilst I know that my family and community partly shaped my destiny, the knowledge of where I have come from has helped me develop independent views and instil trust in my own judgement.  I know how to occasionally challenge my beliefs so that I don’t get set in my ways.

I feel grounded but understand that things change quickly and I need to be flexible.   Being grounded doesn’t make me heavy. I move with a light purposeful stride.

When I look back at my life I cherish the achievements and good times.  Although I have faced many challenges and some painful times, these experiences have also taught me how to lead a full and vibrant life.

Feeling energised

I have a good awareness of the things in life that increase or deplete my energy.   This includes what I eat, how I exercise, how I move as well as how I connect to people and how I choose to think.  In particular I understand the relationship between my thoughts, emotions and how my body feels.  I know that my emotions, energy and thoughts are influenced by my environment and I’m confident that I can modify my environment to help me perform well.

I know when to push hard and when to kick back and rest. I feel at my best when I’m playing to my strengths but I also understand that my striving has an impact on those around me.  I’ve found the right balance in my life between having fun, being playful and where I get meaning from.

Cultivating positive intent

My experiences have taught me that it’s easier to move towards my goals through hard work combined with kindness and compassion for others.  I realise that in striving to achieve my own goals it’s important to share the effort with people who have similar passions.    I feel like I am part of something bigger than just myself.

I’ve brought into balance my own needs whilst also enabling those around me to fulfil their potential.  I am grateful for the things that I have achieved in my life and the kindness of others.

I’m confident in expressing my views but get the most out of conversations when listening to the wisdom of others.  I know the difference between dialogue and debate.  I’m good at picking up emotional signals from other people and the environment.  I know that my moods affect the way I think and I’m able to solve problems by listening to what my heart and head are telling me and blending the information.

Having a sense of direction

My dreams about the future are positive.  I’ve identified goals which balance my need for financial security alongside optimising my health and the wellbeing of those I love.

As I move toward my goals I have the presence of mind to appreciate the joy and pleasures of the journey.  Sometimes my goals are clearly defined and at others they are vague.  Whichever is the case, I feel confident that I am moving in the right direction.  Sometimes I push myself hard but am secure and confident enough to know when to pull back and enjoy letting others reach the summit first.  I reappraise my goals often and know that you don’t have to climb all the highest peaks.

I’m confident that either I can learn new skills to help me move towards my goals or I can count on close friends to help me.

Being focused

Making the most of my time means that I can focus on detail whilst remaining alert to the big picture and the possibility of wonderful new experiences.  Being present to experience brings richness and colour to my life.

I understand that joy is an essential part of life. I savour new experiences but don’t grasp them.  I’ve learnt to enjoy and then let go.  I occasionally examine my habits and routines to check whether they still bring me meaning and joy.  When life gets too complex I go back to basics and stop investing in things I no longer value.

Andy Roberts manages the Breathe London team.  He has a masters degree in Positive Psychology and is an accredited emotional intelligence coach and yoga teacher.
Martin Seligman has also just published a book called Thrive.  You can read a review on the book at http://www.thehappinessinstitute.com/blog/article.aspx?c=3&a=2909

Posted on July 24, 2011, in Coaching, Meditation etc. and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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