In my last column, I laid out the differences between thriving, surviving and drowning. As long as you were honest with yourself, you were able to identify which of these realities you are currently experiencing, in your career or business, and life. With your new clarity, you can begin to make changes in your perspective, and take actions, that will deliver to you the reality you desire.
The first and most powerful question to answer is: Are you IN, or are you OUT? Your answer to this critical question–and committing to it fully–will determine your direction, and direction is what you need to move from drowning or surviving to thriving. Without direction we are lost.
If you have identified that you are drowning, and you truly believe that your career or business is not at all what you want it to be, then creating an exit strategy may be right for you. As you begin to plan for your change of direction, choose to be grateful for things in your life, like the fact you are alive, that you have a career or business to go to, for the abilities you have to do your work, that you will eat tonight and sleep in a bed. Being grateful is a powerful choice you can make to radically alter your perspective of your situation. It is impossible to be miserable when you are truly grateful. Then, commit to do your absolute best until you move on professionally. By doing your best, you will act with integrity, and you will feel better about yourself and your life. You may even find that once you take on a more positive perspective and re-engage, that you are no longer drowning; you may find that you actually like your career or business as you become happier and more successful.
As a person who is surviving, it is wise to take the same actions listed above. Perhaps a change in your career or business is right for you also. Perhaps it is not. Only you can decide this. With gratitude and integrity as your guide, look for a solution to your particular situation. Perhaps you can work with your company to create an adjustment to your position, one that will allow you do more of the work you enjoy and excel at. If you are the owner of a business and there are tasks you do not enjoy doing, look for ways to outsource these tasks to qualified people within, or outside of, your company. This will free you to actually be the one leading your company, to be the innovator you are, and to devote precious time to the growth and development of your organization. As a solution is created you will naturally move toward thriving, and thrive you can!
If you are already thriving, there is even more available to you. It may be that you are so passionate about your career or business, that some of your relationships are not what they can be. You may also be sacrificing some activities that you enjoy very much to follow your passion. In other words, there may be an imbalance between your personal and professional life as you give so much to your career or business. If this is your situation, making conscious choices will allow you to re-engage other areas of your life where great joy, satisfaction and fulfillment can be derived. All work and not enough play can really work against you over time. It is possible to move backwards from thriving, to surviving, and even drowning if one does not remain conscious of their reality and adjust accordingly to continue thriving. So, stay alert for signs of imbalance, and use your conscious awareness to stay on track to greater happiness and success.
It is within each of us to be happy and successful. We have the power to thrive! The difference between those that continue to survive or drown, and those who leave these realities behind is simple. Those who thrive engage their passions, are conscious of their reality, stay aware of their actions and outcomes, are consistently grateful, act from integrity, and have made the decision to be IN. By following this same path, you too can experience exceptional happiness and success in your career or business and life.