What Makes People Flourish?

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” — Anne Frank 

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.— Chinese Proverb

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.— Theodore Roosevelt 

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. 

My life is similar to yours, sometimes up, sometimes down; filled with great things and disheartening. Everyone experiences heartache and setbacks. Who hasn’t felt the sting of rejection or the sorrow of loss?

And it is true that each of us wants to be happy. Agree? This is the reason we buy lottery tickets dreaming of a lifetime of financial happiness, and we post on social media to show others how “happy” we are, how great our vacations are, and how happy we are with our very-nearly-perfect children, partner, pets. Humans are always in search for happiness in a myriad of ways, although many of their strategies, such as material goods, drugs, alcohol, or pleasure-seeking, may be fleeting, or even misguided in nature.

Let’s look at a few ideas to move you to a flourishing life:

  1. Be yourself. Accept who you are and be proud of it. You’re at your best when you are yourself. There’s always ways for you to improve yourself and be the “best you” you can be. But it’s got to start with accepting who you are and understanding what’s important to you.
  2. Find like-minded people – Daniel had Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Who can you walk with at work who has a vision for flourishing? Is there someone who can encourage you, be a role model, hold you accountable?
  3. Make a decision to be happy and start to believe that real happiness is a definite possibility. Make a decision to recognise that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes (some not entirely visible). Happiness is essentially a choice, but you need to believe it is achievable. It’s also crucial to realise that your happiness is predominantly your responsibility, so if you want to enjoy and get more out of life, you need to take charge.
  4. Make forward progress. For example, if you are a photographer, your goal is to make beautiful images that uplift, encourage, and mesmerize others. You want to always challenge yourself in your photography. You want to make forward progress. You want to work on photo projects which test your determination, compositional skill, and sequencing skills. You don’t want to keep doing the same thing over and over again, or else you will atrophy creatively, and die.

Meaning and purpose in life gives us a sense of belonging and connects us to our higher purpose. Simple ways to develop more meaning include participating in a spiritual practice that resonates with you, volunteering for a cause or charity you believe in and making positive changes, however small, in your little corner of the world.Do you have a story that you would like to share, just send me a line I want to hear from you. 

4 thoughts on “What Makes People Flourish?

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