Are You Thriving or Surviving?

Choose to thrive
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It’s amazing how one phrase or question can have a major influence on the direction of your life. For me it was Shane Raitoshi Stevens, 5th Degree Black Belt, asking the question, “Are you thriving or surviving?” He asks this question as a casual greeting each time I see him at my daughter’s To-Shin Do class. When he first said this to me I was already questioning whether to stay at my job that was making me feel unhappy, unfulfilled, and stressed. I continuously questioned whether leaving a career that I worked so hard for was the right decision.

When he asked this question I would always jokingly respond with something like, “I’m here” or “I’m getting by”. This made me think, is this how I want to live? Is this how I want my daughter to see me? The answers to both of those questions were NO. I decided that I want to live a life of intention and to truly thrive, discover my passions, and grow as a person.

Every precious thing that you want out of life starts from believing that you possess an unstoppable drive to continuously strive and thrive.

Edmond Mbiaka

A Process of Change

I didn’t dramatically quit my job the next day, but this sparked the process of change and deciding what to do next. I began obsessively researching other careers and taking college classes to see if it felt like the right fit. Ultimately, I just needed to be patient. I needed to relax and let things come to me. My purpose is there. I just needed to be open to see it. I’ve learned that it’s difficult to leave when you don’t know what is next, but what’s next won’t come until you leave and make space for it.

There were many books and interviews that are inspiring me along the way. The underlying themes are consistent: identify your passions, identify your values, and then ask what does the world need/what can you get paid to do? A few resources that come to mind are the book, Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, by Jenny Blake, the website, and the podcast, Career Relaunch, with Joseph Liu ( There are hundreds more, which made me so much more aware of the fact that I am not alone with this. I am not the only one that is not happy with their job or career.

If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.

T. D. Jakes

I am still working towards learning what my path is and probably always will be. It is possible to have goals while still being open to seeing what comes next. I don’t think there is only one answer. I don’t think you need all the answers in order to move forward and push yourself to thrive.

Thank you for letting me tell a bit about my story and what has inspired me. Please ask yourself today, “Are you thriving or surviving?”

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