5 Strategies to Help You Thrive
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. – Maya Angelou
On January 5, I gave the keynote address at the Academy of Mt. St. Ursula High School for girls in the Bronx. It was the school’s Annual Young Alumna day but the senior class was also in attendance. I really enjoy speaking to young women, but I am always cautious about how to approach a conversation with them. They are usually tough audiences. They are impressionable, but they are skeptical at the same time. They question everything and rightfully so. Ready for the next phase of life, they struggle to choose the right post-high school path. If they choose college, they worry about leaving home, affording tuition, choosing a major and being on their own for the first time.
The main message I wanted these young women to walk away with was that there is a formula that will allow them to thrive and not merely survive. That formula consists of engagement + authenticity. Sounds simple, but humans struggle with this daily. Young people must engage these strategies as an extension of their authentic selves. Doing so will allow them to do more than just get by. While these strategies may seem more abstract than concrete, they allow us to get a long way in whatever we choose to tackle – school, career, family!
1. Take Care of Your Health.
No matter what you are working on, there is no doubt that a healthy lifestyle will always get you to the finish line. Clean eating, regular exercise, and a good night’s sleep allow you stay focused and clear headed. Actively engaging your mind and body in wellness, create an environment for your whole self to thrive.
2. Give Back.
For some reason, giving back doesn’t seem to come as naturally to folks in the way that self-service does. Yes it’s important to care for your family and yourself but there is always room to pay it forward, to lift as you climb. Engaging positively in your community allows your soul and spirit to thrive. It brings out the best and truest pieces of you, allowing you to be at your purest, authentic self.
3. Take Responsibility.
Doing the wrong thing always comes with negative consequences. You always want to be able to look at yourself in the mirror. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy and if you do happen to take a misstep and make a mistake, own up to it. Accept responsibility. You won’t be weighed down by the guilt and those around you will respect you for it. The respect of your community creates an environment that will allow you to thrive.
4. Be Unapologetically You.
You need to proudly claim what you bring to the table. Forget being like everyone else. Forget keeping up with the Joneses. We live in a world where branding, marketing and trendy terms like value proposition can make you or break you. Bring your authentic A game. Be proud of what makes you stand out above the crowd. It’s what gets you promoted. It’s what let’s you win your next account. It’s what makes a professor take notice of you in a positive way.
5. Be Willing to Change.
Don’t allow the concept of comfort to hold you back. Comfort can be a four-letter word if you are not careful. Broaden your horizons by engaging in new technologies, new ideas and new concepts. Don’t let “that’s how we have always done it” hold you back. How it’s always done isn’t always the best way to accomplish a task. If you are not being asked to change, then be active in your own enlightenment by becoming the change agent yourself.
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