People are designed to thrive.
Yeah, I know, maybe you think you aren’t. I’m sure you can point to a thousand examples of where you should be doing better but instead you’re falling short, stuck, not flourishing the way “everyone else” is.
But that’s only because you’re keeping count. When you begin looking for all the ways you are thriving rather than all the ways you aren’t, you’ll see it.
The really cool thing about thriving is that you aren’t responsible for it. You don’t have to make thriving happen because thriving is your nature.
My husband and I are blown away with all the things our 4-year-old daughter Willow knows that we didn’t teach her. She’ll be carrying on some elaborate conversation with herself and we look at each other and say, “Did you teach her that? I didn’t teach her that.”
We didn’t have to teach her everything she knows. We could spend our entire lives doing nothing but teaching her things and 30 years from now she’d only know a fraction of what she’s already picked up on her own.
She is designed to thrive. It’s no one’s responsibility — we only have to stop looking at the things she doesn’t know and start looking at the things she does know to see how much she’s naturally, instinctively thriving. It’s hardwired. It’s part of her design.
Thriving is what you notice when you stop looking for instances where it’s not happening.
Thriving is also what happens when you stop trying to make it happen. Thriving often happens despite all your effort, not because of it.
Willow knows incredible amounts of stuff despite our overt teaching, not because of it. I’d be willing to bet that the flash cards and explicit instruction often slow her learning down as much as they facilitate it. If it’s not fun, natural, or necessary, she knows better.
She intuitively tunes out because she’s still young enough to know that learning isn’t her job in life. She’s already seen that learning is largely covered.
So you nag, nag, nag your partner to change, and sometimes he actually does. Except he changed despite your nagging, not because of it. Because thriving is his nature.
Or you push, push, push your employees and micromanage them to death, and sometimes they excel in their work. Despite your pushing, no doubt, not because of it. Because thriving is their default setting.
Or you plan, goal-set, vision your future to the point where there’s room for nothing except what you pre-decided will happen, and you often get what you want. Despite your narrowing, not because of it. Because you are designed to thrive, moving toward what you want.
This is the dirty little secret of any decent life coach. She knows that her clients are designed to thrive and so she simply rides the wave.
My clients come to me with “problems” that there is no way I could solve. They come with painful thoughts I could never erase. Luckily, I don’t have to solve their problems or erase their pain.
All I ever have to do is remember that they come equipped with everything they need, and then and I help them see it, too. I remind them that any time they are experiencing anything less than ease and peace in life, they are simply caught up in fleeting, transitory thought. And even then, there’s nothing to do. All thought passes on its own, revealing their innate ability to thrive.
The energy behind life takes care of much more than we give it credit for. Let it.
But if you have a hard time stepping aside, that’s okay too. You’ll still be moved along with the current of life despite your effort, but rarely because of it.