What does it take to truly thrive?
As I write this, I’m in the middle of an exciting season of life. Our daughter Addison recently turned two months old. She is incredibly cute. Our two older girls are beginning their adventures in the first and second grades and are thrilled to be back in sports. In fact, just last week, I watched Mackenzie make her first two soccer goals ever! She even scored twice during the same game. Finally, I’m in the process of publishing two books while learning to blog at the same time. All of these things are amazing, and I love every second.
Yet, all of this activity doesn’t come without challenges. On most days, getting the children off to school feels like trying to herd cats. Everyone is headed in different directions, and it’s never toward the door. Writing feels like trying to swim through syrup—a ton of effort is put forth for every bit of progress made. And at times, getting this blog working feels like nailing Jell-O to a wall—just when I think I’ve got things figured out, I discover that I have to start all over.
Common Barriers to Thriving
Can relate to this? Perhaps you are one of those everyday heroes who:
- Works a steady job
- Attends school
- Is passionate about raising great kids
- Truly desires to honor Jesus
- Has big goals, and
- Longs to be a good friend to others
Likely there are also times when you have difficulty keeping up with the demands of life. I wish I could offer a magic formula that would add more hours to your day. To be honest, I wish I had one of these formulas for myself. Fortunately, even if you’re consistently on the go, and feel like the woman in the picture below, know that it is possible to survive and thrive during these busy seasons of life. Although being hurried is hard, life can be challenging and good at the same time. Here are three strategies that I use to enjoy this incredible, fast-paced journey. I think you will find these tools for thriving extremely valuable too.
1.Thrive by Trusting the Process
Philippians 1:6 says, “For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work inyou will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Growth is a process. God doesn’t demand perfection from us and we shouldn’t require it of ourselves. The phrase, “Trust the process” has become one of my favorite sayings because it reminds me to relax and enjoy the journey. I first heard these words spoke by our college dean when I was in graduate school. Our dean encouraged us not to get bogged down with worrying about where we thought we should be, nor to get overly frustrated when difficulties arose. Challenges are a normal part of life and they are not all bad. Learning to work through roadblocks contributes to our growth. This simple phrase is a good reminder to make the most of each step along the way. So next time you feel frustrated with where you are at, remember to keep moving forward and:
- Have faith that God is taking you where He wants you to go.
- Believe the obstacles you are overcoming are making you stronger.
- Trust that you are also growing and acquiring valuable skills as you work through difficulties and overcome barriers.
- Know if you keep moving forward a little each day, your effort will pay off.
- Understand that slow and steady wins the race.
- Then, keep pressing on!
2. Thrive by Deciding to Get There When You Do
About a year ago, I attended a Mary Kay motivational seminar to support my wife on her newest adventure. At first, I was leery. I entered the training wondering if it would be non-stop talk about pink-Cadillacs, pink-shirts, and pink-makeup. However, much to my delight, the speaker was incredible! One particular phrase he said stuck with me. After being bombarded with questions like, “When will I reach such and such a goal?” the speaker replied, “Don’t worry when you will get there, just keep doing the things you know you need to do to succeed, and you’ll get there when you get there.”
The statement, “You’ll get there when you do” is now one of my favorites. It’s not especially important when we arrive as long as we make progress. If you and I continue to put one foot in front of the other, we will eventually reach our destination. Progress may not happen as quickly as we like, but eventually, we will get there. Getting there is what really matters.
3. Thrive by Taking Care of You
Big tasks such as raising children, writing a book, going back to school, and gaining a promotion at work are marathon sized jobs. They require much more than a sudden burst of energy. Because of this, taking time to recharge is 100 percent necessary. Currently, my wife and I are learning how to tag-team to complete important tasks. We are also learning to thrive by stepping away from this work to take a break.
The busier life gets, the more important that good self-care becomes.
The idea of self-care is simple; self-care is any healthy activity that reduces stress and helps us to recharge. For me, this involves going for a walk, reading a book, listening to Pandora, and spending a few moments to connect with my wife. What I’m learning is that the busier life gets, the more important it is to continue taking small steps forward, trusting the process, understanding that I’ll get there when I do while remembering to take time to rejuvenate along the way.
Continue The Conversation
These three simple tools have helped me survive and thrive during the busy seasons of life. How about you, is your life as busy as or even busier than mine? If so, what are some of the strategies you use to keep yourself motivated and recharged each day? I’d love to borrow some of your ideas, so please feel free to leave a comment below.