What have you learned and applied to your life that has had the biggest positive impact? originally appeared on Quora -- the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
Learn the difference between surviving and thriving. These are two different realms of being, like parallel universes, actually. They have to do with a state of mind. One is victimized, while the other is in an evolutionary groove -- ever moving upward. And its basis begins with happiness.
Neither has anything to do with money, per se, but having enough money is essential to having the luxury of choosing one's life path. And certainly, having enough money can help support the thriving self.
This is the world (and the voice) of the surviving self as I have come to know it:
There is never enough for me.
I can't do something because it is beyond my grasp.
I avoid everything I don't want to face and develop addictions that further my unconsciousness and demise.
I'm jealous of other people and what they have.
I've been given a bad lot in life and struggle to get out of the misery and despair I feel.
Therapy doesn't help. Religion doesn't help. No one can help me.
You can't trust anybody, really.
I help everyone else, but nobody does anything for me.
Life is unfair. God is an uncaring God that lets terrible things happen.
There's always something terribly wrong.
There's nothing new under the sun. I know it all.
Even in a beautiful setting, I will find something to complain about.
What's the point of celebrating anything I've accomplished?
I don't feel great when others succeed.
I spend time ruminating on the past and regretting what has happened to me.
Nobody tells me what to do.
I have trouble caring about why I hurt others or that I even do.
I have nothing to grow into. I'm fine the way I am.
I live in reality, am skeptical of most things, and I like it that way.
I sustain my relationships by building their egos and expect they will bolster mine.
I live in a state of perpetual unconsciousness that, once I become aware of it, I still choose to live in.
And oh so many more.
I believe that most people live in this state or realm and that one of our tasks in this lifetime is to evolve out of survival in order to thrive.
In the thriving realm, there is inherent clarity. It is not devoid of problems, conflict, or even suffering, but the relationship to life is worlds apart from merely surviving.
And so here is the voice/realm of thriving as I have come to understand it:
Life is good. It really is.
Life is an exciting adventure, and I can't believe how ecstatic it can be.
I'm grateful for difficult experiences that come my way. They all help me to become more conscious and evolve.
I'm in touch with the luxury of choosing my life the way I'd like to live it.
There is nothing fundamentally wrong with life.
My whole point of existence is to live in the now, evolve, and become. Become what? More of myself.
Now is the most important moment.
As Lawrence Ferlinghetti says, "The world is on fire!" And so am I.
I'm excited about everything I learn and the people I meet.
I don't try to predict what's going to happen, but allow something new to enter my life.
I don't lead with cynicism, but instead demonstrate openness to the unlimited potential in life.
I care about how I impact the world and other people.
I care about making my life mean something.
I want to make my legacy, whether big or small, unique and true to why I am here on this planet.
I don't get hooked on other people's problems, insults, digs, and issues. I've learned to keep the boundaries strong and believe in myself.
Every day, I work hard at becoming more conscious where there was not awareness previously.
Life is a dance and I feel the music. I'm in touch with it, and in the flow of all that is happening around me.
I lean in because I care.
I'm interested in what others have to teach me and say.
I'll gladly listen to others who know more than I do. I'm grateful for any opportunity to learn.
And so many more.
So the biggest lesson I've learned is to align with that thrive mentality and continue to identify when I'm in the survival mode.
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