1. "Think Upward Thoughts"- As a teenager, I once attended a goal-setting workshop. In it, they shared with us an explanation about how the brain will take a goal we've set and then notice things that will help us achieve that goal. I don't recall the science behind it, and so someone who is a neurologist may refute this claim. However, it appears to me through anecdotal evidence that as we focus on something we are more likely to be successful at it. In The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, puts it this way, "When you want something, the whole universe will conspire together to help you get it." In either case, thinking upwards thoughts and reminding myself about thriving every day this month, has indeed helped me to be more successful at it.
2. "God Wants Me to Thrive"- This concept helps me through the particularly rough times when it appears that the universe isn't trying to help me but in fact may be conspiring against me. During those times when things aren't going right, I remind myself that God put me on this earth to learn and to experience joy. Throughout history, incredible people have set examples of how to do more than just survive in adverse situations. Knowing this, I can look for the good in the situation and be determined to find joy and make lemonade out of lemons.
3. ""Thrive With Passion"- Whatever you choose to do in life, attack it with passion and vivaciousness. When we are doing something we really believe in we are able to work at it with all our heart and soul. In our family many of us feel great passion for music. Others love learning languages or helping families work together. Some of you might find great joy in the daily rearing of your children as they grow into capable, compassionate, and contributing adults. Some of you might feel great satisfaction from creating beautiful quilts or cooking a delicious meal. Some of you might enjoy exercising and inspiring others to be healthy and fit. Whatever it is that fans the flames of motivation in your heart, embrace it and derive great joy from doing it well.
4."Compassion is a Key to Thriving"- Laurent reminded us that when we take the time to dig another person out of their troubles, we find a place to bury our own. Showing compassion to others in need can help us focus our attention away from ourselves and put things in perspective as we find ways to ease someone else' burden. Compassion is a key to righting wrongs and improving the lives of those around us.
5. "Thrive Your Own Way"- Maya Angelou says to thrive with some style. What a beautiful world this is because we are each unique and have our own style. Thankfully we do not have to try to be exactly like everyone else. Our differences and personal style create variety in the world. Accentuating our own style and pizazz allows us to be free to thrive and find joy.
6. "We Are Connected"- Whether it's roots or branches, or reaching out to friends and neighbors, we are all connected in some way that helps us thrive and find joy. We were not placed on this earth to live in isolation, but to link arms and make the journey back together. Some days you will be stronger and lift me up, and on other days it might be my turn to take your hand and raise you from the ground. Together, though, we can travel through this journey in life and encourage each other when we are discouraged or feeling despair. Together we are more than we are individually.
7. "Drops of Awesomeness"- I loved the analogy of the drops of awesomeness in my bucket. This little image reminded me that I can celebrate when I do something well, and not to beat myself up when I don't. I remember that each day is fresh with no mistakes in it and so this is my opportunity to fill my bucket with as many drops of awesomeness as I can. At the end of the day I can look back at my bucket, feeling satisfaction in the fantastic things I accomplished, and determination to learn from the mistakes and try again tomorrow.
8. "Breathe and Believe"- Another aspect of thriving I discovered this month is to be able to stop and breathe when necessary, and then continue on believing in the dream I have for myself. Sometimes I have to stop listening to the negative voices around me trying to discourage me from moving. That's when I have to block out the opposition, take a deep breath, and then continue on in my path toward what I want to achieve and accomplish. These are coping skills that help me thrive when events appear to be contrary to my goal. Just breathe, and then believe.
9. "Learn Something Every Day"- My grandfather used to tell me as a child that we should learn something every day. One of the things I did not expect from my thirty day thrive challenge, was that I would be taught or reminded of some little lesson each day. When I started, I did not know what I would post during the next month. In fact, I'm not sure I even thought about the fact that I had started a thirty day posting process until I got into it. I found myself waking up in the morning wondering "What will I learn today?" I was curious just how God would teach me something or what song or comment from a friend would cause my brain to begin thinking and contemplating. Sometimes the lesson was discovered as I looked back over the day, reviewing the events and pondering the thoughts and feelings I experienced in the last twenty four hours. Having experienced this, I am eager to continue this process. By asking "What can I learn today?" I feel I can tap into a previously unexplored well of inspiration and knowledge. Though I most likely won't continue writing about it online, I do want to write about it in my journal or talk about it with family members. I look forward to seeing God's hand in my life guiding me and teaching me.
10. "The Lord is My Strength"- This brings me to the last truth that really is the core of all of the others. Throughout this month, I keep coming back to my faith in God and my belief that He will help me and guide me in my journey on earth. I believe in a loving Heavenly Father who desires the best for me and has created a plan of happiness for me. I also believe that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be my Savior and provide the way for that happiness and to return to live with Him once more. Through the Atonement of Christ and because of His grace, I can find the strength to overcome my weaknesses and continue on when my mortal body and mind may not be able to do so. Through His redeeming love, I can repent and only keep the drops of awesomeness in my bucket of life. Through His teaching, He left a pattern and guidebook that if I follow, I will find joy. He loves me and believes in me, and is the only voice of truth that tells me who I really am and where I need to go. When I think about it, I am truly amazed at His love and care for me, and want to show my love for Him by following Him and doing as He would do if He were living in my house and walking in the shoes of my life. One of my favorite scriptures says, "The Lord is my strength and my song". As a musician, I love the imagery of this statement. The Lord is my strength. He lifts me when I am down and provides the means for me to continue when I otherwise couldn't. He is also my song, which for me is a symbol of rejoicing and beauty. He is the music in my life and I am truly grateful for Him.
Thrive on. Continue with the challenge. As Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Each of us can do a little better than we have been doing. We can be a little more kind. We can be a little more merciful. We can be a little more forgiving. We can put behind us our weaknesses of the past, and go forth with new energy and increased resolution to improve the world about us, in our homes, in our places of employment, in our social activities.We have work to do, you and I, so very much of it. Let us roll up our sleeves and get at it, with a new commitment, putting our trust in the Lord." (April 1995)