The Difference Between Thriving and Surviving

People will ask me, “How are you doing”. Often times my response is, “surviving”. Which is mainly a joke, but sometimes I think I am telling the truth of what I am feeling. All I am doing is surviving, just trying to get to that new phase of life.Not really taking time to enjoy the moment I have been given right now or even attempting to make my dreams come alive. Just trying to get through this test, project, or quiz. As I thought about my response more and more I realized that I want to be more than just a surviver I want to thrive. I don’t want to just live I want to live with purpose and joy. I want to be more.
A lot of us think that life is made up of big moments that define the satisfaction , intricate meaning,  and divine purpose of our existence. Yet I think life is not really full of big grandiose moments of importance, but small moments that make all the difference. The hug from a friend, sipping on your favorite vanilla soy latte on a cold winter day, watching the sunset late in the evening, or cheering for your favorite football team on a Sunday afternoon. This is what life is made up of. Peak moments that may just look like aspects of an ordinary day, yet as years pass you realize those were the moments. The moments that changed your quality of life and at the time you had no idea.
It is not easy always taking the little things into our perspective. Yet that is all I think it takes…. some perspective. When we look at our lives with gratitude and thanksgiving for the small moments our perspective shifts for the better. We realize that life is grand in the small details of living.
You see we have a choice in the way that we live our lives. Be the thermostat or be the thermometer. You can be the one who sets the room temperature or the one who adjusts to whatever the room temperature already is. The choice is up to you. You can let the negativity surrounding us become us. Or you can cool in spite of the rising temperature around us. Negativity is all around you. If you focus your eyes on it that will be what you see. If you choose to focus on the good in our life and be grateful for that those will become what our eyes see.
Changing your mindset will change your mind, which will change your thoughts, which will change your actions.You have only been giving a limited time here. Don’t ever take one second of your life for granted. You will begin to look at life with excitement rather than dread. You will begin to see that joy and purpose can be found in the tiniest details that happen throughout your day.And that my friends is what makes the difference between thriving and surviving.
Tips for beginning to thrive
1.) Focus 
What you set your mind on will become your reality. Channel your thoughts on the small joys of today. Have tunnel vision on what the good things are in your life and shut out the bad. I am not saying suppress the bad things in your life, because they do need to be dealt with. But do not let the bad things going on around you become your focus. Instead focus on all the good.
“We should never let reality interfere with our dreams. Reality can’t see what we can see”. -Simon Sinek 
2.) Speak Truth
Even if it is tempting to joke in a depreciating way resist it. Speak truth about you life. If you say you are going to fail a test you are more than likely going to fail it because of the self-fulfilling prophesy. Believe in yourself enough to talk about yourself in a truthful and positive like.
“Wisdom is found only in truth”. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 
3.) Approach life with a spirit of gratitude
When you are grateful for the small things you have been blessed with you will begin to live life more abundantly. Everyone thinks life is better on the other side. The grass is greener on the other side. Then they get to the other side and realize that was not what they originally thought. Life only becomes better when you accept your circumstances and are grateful for them. There are things to be grateful for in any situation.
“It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thank people who are happy”. -anonymous
“The root of joy is gratefulness”. -David Steindl-Rast  
4.) Do something 
It is time to stop making excuses as to why your life has not gone as planned. Take a step forward and write down all the things that make you happy and do them. If you love listening to live music go to places where you can listen to live music. Put yourself in situations that you have no choice in being happy.
“We should never let reality interfere with our dreams. Reality can’t see what we can see”. -Simon Sinek 
5.) Get excited 
You have so much purpose and potential swirling around in your life. It is time to get excited about living and being alive. You are human and that is already an amazing thing. Get excited to live life, pursue your passions, and fulfill your wildest dreams.
“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity”. -Bo Bennett 
“Give yourself permission to act like a child to view the world with wonder and excitement to let you mind be free”. Karen Kostyla