Thriving Is a Choice

Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 in Self-Care, Self-Leadership, Stress Management, Thrive Strategies | 0 comments

Thriving Is a Choice

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to lead a THRIVING life to-day (you’ll see why at the end).   I know from my own ‘in the trenches’ experience that you don’t just happen upon a THRIVING life, you have to work at it.  You have to make a conscious decision to make choices that help enhance your ability to THRIVE, every day in every way.   And it won’t always be easy – sometimes it seems that everything is working to take you in exactly the opposite direction and you feel you’ll be lucky if you can just survive.  But that isn’t good enough.

People have told me that I don’t understand just how tough it is for them to do more than just survive but I don’t accept that.  Yes, there have been days when I thought I’d be lucky to just survive and hadn’t a clue what choice could possible help me THRIVE, however where there’s a will there’s a way.

I’ve even had people suggest that I’ve never faced anything as difficult as they’re facing and while there’s always a possibility that that may be true, I’ve had my fair (?) share of challenges.  After all I was married to a farmer who had to not only compete with the weather, international prices  and buying retail while selling wholesale, but our own government and those of other countries, who on a turn of a dime could pass legislation that turned our potential for a profitable crop into a disaster.  All this while raising four children and working as a professional in research.

I’ve had to travel away from home and family for extended periods, deal with work and family conflicts on an ongoing basis and after all that was still ‘pink-slipped’ from a job I loved.  I’ve worked as a national seminar leader and received a phone message while in an airport distant from home that the company had declared bankruptcy – while they still owed me several thousands of US dollars from my last two weeks on the road!  In fact it was after this last experience that I decided that I wanted to help people take charge of their own life and not let others control them and their future.

Fortunately my husband supported me completely in my choice and in fact helped me in the early stages of  clarifying what was important for a person who wanted to THRIVE.  He too had chosen to not follow the normal ‘expected’ route to success and had left the world of research after completing his work for a PhD.  He chose farming because it was what he really wanted to do, he knew he wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.  And as frustrating as it was, he loved it.  It was wonderful having someone who understood the concepts I was talking about and who I could bounce ideas off of to get another perspective.

Which is why, eight years ago today when he died from esophageal cancer it rocked my world, and not in a nice way.  I lost a husband, a friend, a soul-mate and a co-creator.  My children lost a much loved father.   And the world lost a wonderful kind human being.  So for a while even I found it extremely difficult to think about THRIVING.

But life goes on – to prove the point the day after he died was beautiful sunny spring morning – the kind of day he loved.  And I knew he wouldn’t want me to withdraw from the world and settle for just surviving – he wanted me to THRIVE,  he had told me that I was stronger than I knew and could do it without him (although there where many days back then when I truly doubted he knew what he was talking about).  He wanted the best for me and for our family even after he was no longer going to be with us.  And he had told me that he didn’t regret his decision to farm, his only real regret was that he wouldn’t be around for the important events still to come for our family – the birthdays, the weddings,  the grandchildren.  You see, he knew what was important – his family and the people close to him.  He knew that life isn’t about collecting things – it’s about designing your own path so you’re happy and THRIVING in spite of what the rest of the worlds tries to do to you.

So in-spite of the fact that there have been numerous ‘down’ moments over the last 8 years I still believe that THRIVING is a choice we each have before us, the only one that makes any sense – we just have to not quit but go for it with every thing we’ve got!

Only you can make the choice – so, starting to-day, why not make every decision with an eye to enhancing your THRIVE-ABILITY.    And if you aren’t sure of where to start, you can either send for my free “Thrive-Ability Starter Kit” or, if you’d like some personal help, sign up for  a 1-on-1 “Finding Your Thrive-Ability Enhancement Factors Breakthrough Session”.

What ever you do – don’t just survive – THRIVE!  After-all, if I can do it, so can you!

Till the next time :-)

Karen Switzer-Howse

Canada’s Premier Thrive Synergy Strategist


©Karen Switzer-Howse 2012

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