This month, I want to talk about flourishing, which is an old fashioned word that you don’t hear very often. And yet, it’s very important, because flourishing is more than being happy. It’s about being fulfilled.
When we flourish, it’s not just that we probably don’t allow negative emotions to get to us. It’s about being actively engaged in the life that we’re living. It’s about how we choose to live that life. And the fact that when we flourish, we actually live longer. Of course, if we’re having a miserable life, we don’t particularly want that. But if we’re flourishing, we want to be able to be active and engaged for as long as possible.
There are three particular aspects to flourishing that I’d like to talk about this month.
First of all, when we flourish, our life has a sense of meaning a sense of purpose, we feel that we have something to contribute, that we have something to share, and that who we are. And what we can offer matters. A lot of volunteers do that. And that’s why their life flourishes. So it’s important to be aware of meaning and purpose if you want to flourish.
When we flourish, we’re not afraid to think of new ways of doing things, we look at the box and look at how we might live outside of it, or expand the box, open it up to be something else. And in doing that, it’s so much easier, therefore, for us to achieve our goals because we’re not limited to glass ceilings or other people’s perceptions of who we are and what we can accomplish.
And the third aspect is that we want to share with others. When we’re happy, when we’re fulfilled, and we’re having a good time, we tend to want other people to do the same. So whether that’s through career, family or community, those of us who flourish, are always looking for how we can share that with other people. We’re more positive about life, even when we’re challenged. And so that can influence other people to perhaps think more positively for themselves.
The biggest thing about flourishing is that it’s not about survival. When we flourish, we thrive. And having a fulfilling life, as I said, goes beyond being simply happy. We experience a higher quality of life. We’re more positive in our outlooks. We tend to find ways to look forward not back. And to focus on what we have and what we can contribute in place of what we might like. When we flourish, it’s about the possibilities and the opportunities even when we’re challenged. And what that does is that enhances our emotional well being. The more we feel emotionally fulfilled, the more we flourish. And the more we flourish, the more we feel emotionally fulfilled. Interesting, is it not?