I'm not a person to dive into something. When I commit to something big (like a tattoo), it means I thought about it for a really long time. The tattoo in this picture is the only one I have, and probably the only one I ever will. I thought about it for years. In high school, I used to write "thrive" on my wrist every day with a pen, going over it if the ink started fading. When it didn't seem like a passing phase (and I moved out from my parents' house), I decided to get it tattooed onto my wrist, in the same place I always wrote it.
Why did I like it so much? Why does that word mean so much to me?
It represents everything I want in life. I want to thrive in everything I do. I'm the kind of person who falls into the trap of wishing for the next thing. When I achieve whatever I've been wishing for, I move to the next goal. I get antsy and discontent a lot. So this word means a lot to me. It reminds me to calm down, enjoy where I am, and make the most out of the situation I'm in.
It sounds easier than it is. How does thriving look practically? That's why I'm writing this post. I think you need a few things to truly thrive in life. With these things, life becomes more than just something to coast through.
1. Trust in God
Trust is key. We live in a stressed-out society. Everyone worries about how to make ends meet, how to move up in their job, how to get into the best university. We can't thrive when we're worried about what we want to do.
That's why we have to trust that God is looking out for us. Yes, we do need to work hard and do everything we can to meet our goals, but we don't have to stress about it. I've learned that lesson so many times when I've been without a job, wondering how I'll be able to pay my bills after my savings run out. And every time, I'd get hired at a job that's been great for where I was. I had to apply to places, of course, but I didn't need to stress out.
This kind of ties into the last point. It's hard to keep going if you don't see the next step. If you don't know that you'll be graduating high school in a few years, then you have no hope that life will get better. If you don't see the end on the pain, the hard stuff you're going through, you won't be able to thrive.
How do you get hope? This really depends on the situation. If it's a job that's mundane and there's no way to move to a better position in that company, your hope might be in finding another job. If it's school, your hope will be in working hard to graduate.
If it's life? Getting over a breakup? A loss? Talk to God. Talk to friends, to people who have gone through the same thing you have. Read. Understand that where you are in life won't last forever. It's so hard to thrive in difficult situations, but if you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it will make it so much easier.
3. Something to work toward
Do you have a goal in life? Something you really want to do? Something you want to share?
For me, it's writing. It's not my job, and it's not something anyone's telling me to do. It's just something I want to do. Something I want to succeed at. Even when I've had a rough day, often writing will cheer me up, because I know I have a higher goal in life than working a 9-5.
What's your goal? Is it to graduate and become a doctor? Do you want to start your own business? Don't put off your goals just because you're waiting for the right time. Start working on it now, doing little steps, because it will make you so much happier. It'll give you a reason to thrive.
4. Something that makes you happy now
What makes you happy? What causes you to smile? Is it your friends? Your boyfriend? Your dog? Your favorite sport? Your church?
Cherish those things. Enjoy them when you can. They will help you thrive when other things in life might not be going as well. These things don't always seem productive, but a life that's only productive won't make you happy. We were made to have times of rest, times of community. Make sure you take time to enjoy the things that make you happy.
Thriving is key. God didn't put us on earth to drag our feet through life. We're meant to thrive, to grow, to draw others to Him. So it's our responsibility to work toward a life of thriving, no matter what we do.
Honestly, I often forget I have that tattoo. I'm so used to seeing it, that it doesn't mean as much as it used to. But when I stop to think about it, it's what I'm called to do. And it's my goal.
So what do you need to do? Find hope in a situation? Find something to work toward? Pray about it this week and ask God how you can thrive where you are right now.