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How Do You Define “Thriving?” What are Three Main Characteristics of Thriving?

Hello readers. I want your help. I’m writing a book on thriving but so far I haven’t really found a definition of the term I like. Also I’m compounding a list of characteristics people associate with thriving (e.g., curiosity, open-mindedness, etc.) and I’d like you to tell me three other characteristics you associate with thriving.
So please send me your definition and/or characteristics. I’ll print them on the blog with your permission So tell me if that’s ok).
Send your thoughts to Ron at [email protected]
Ron P-E



	Hi Ron and Pat,

So, without a great deal of thought or editing, here's what comes 
straight off the top of my head.

One characteristic that I find vitally important to surviving and 
thriving is resilience. The ability to cope, get through and bounce back 
from difficult situations seems to be hinged on the capacity to be 
flexible and resilient.

For myself and many, I believe another key is the firm understanding and 
acceptance of a core set of values. Knowing what principles I stand for 
and what I believe is most important in life, and my understanding of 
who I am helps me survive or thrive.

Lastly, the ability to maintain an even keel, rather than emotional 
highs and lows through the use of questioning and analyzing a situation, 
rather than reacting to a situation, helps me survive or thrive.

Thanks for listening, and for valuing my opinion and ideas.

	~~ AnneMarie Swanson

3 characteristics of thriving:



-Support team/system

Thriving is a lot more than "surviving".

The word suggests forward movement, progress - not staying stuck-still 
for too long.

~~Eileen E.


Hi Ron, I am responding to the thrive characteristics request. I retired 
from Kaiser Permanente in September, their corporate slogan is; "We want 
you to thrive". Communications regarding this slogan included: 1) 
proactive health, 2) exercise vitals (150 minutes per week ), 3) healthy 
eating habits, 4) managing stress, 5) seeking medical care as needed, 6) 
leisure & lifestyle mgmt. Feel free to use any of these. FYI, I will be 
announcing my first book at the conference. Lifeskills For Daily Living. 

~~Steve Sumpter, MS, CAMS II, CTRS.

What does it mean to thrive?

The word thrive is an action verb suggesting that in order to thrive one needs to take action. The actions are any behaviors that promote personal well-being. They are individualized and vary from person to person. It may involve having wealth and status, but doesn’t have to, it may involve being a world class athlete, but doesn’t have to, it may mean having loving family, friends and relationships, but doesn’t have to.
To thrive is to value one’s self and develop a life structure that includes self-validating behaviors that build a sense of personal worth; enhancing and challenging us to take the actions that enable us to heal, grow and build on strengths that enhance and expands our lives.


Characteristics like the process are individualistic for each person but here are three that I’ve found helpful in my personal experience.

Physical well-being:

Physical well-being is necessary for survival and surviving is a prerequisite for thriving, but thriving physically requires the discipline to exercise, being vigilant about what we put into our bodies and physically taking care of ourselves.

Emotional well-being:

The ability to identify and express feelings are vital for thriving. Unexpressed feelings related to grief, shame and trauma negatively impact our ability to thrive.

Spiritual well-being:

This may imply religion for some people, but not for others.

I define spirituality as having an inner life and the ability to feel safe, positive and worthy within one’s self. To put this a different way, I think we thrive better from the inside out as opposed to the outside in. Spirituality and an inner life requires that we reconcile with ourselves by making who we are (our true self) more important than what we’ve done and or what was done to us (our wounded self). This reconciliation and self- acceptance needs to occur in spite of our wounded self and means learning to be ok around not being ok.
by Ed Ramsey


What does it mean to thrive?

To love, work, and live with integrity is one definition of what it means to thrive. Thrive is one of those verbs that you can recognize when you see it in action. To love means different things to different people, but being in relationship is key to the concept of loving. In order to be in a loving relationship, one needs to have the “best interests” of the object of your love in mind and in action. Thriving in love does not mean you are always going to agree with everything your love says or believes, but rather that you are willing to hold them in a place of high esteem and want them to thrive as well. To work is an essential ingredient of thriving. Everyone needs to feel productive in some way. Even young children need to feel that they are doing something important as they play. Thriving is evident throughout life in people who take satisfaction and meaning from their work. Work is often the last thing for people to give up before they die. Any visit to a Nursing Home will attest to this. Even the therapy to recover from illness can be a form of meaningful work, and when it ceases thriving often ceases. Living with integrity is a difficult thing to describe, but it is essential to thriving. Many expressions of positive psychology bring integrity into focus by identifying important strengths and character traits. Remaining true to theses traits in yourself can be an expression of integrity. An unexamined life will make it very difficult to live with integrity. Having a system of making meaning of your world and a workable value system are helpful in living with integrity.

by Linda Klitzke