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Surviving vs. Thriving

In our busy lives we often get caught up in our day to day living and lose sight of the big picture of what we want our lives to look like and shape into. With all the opportunities we have to better our lives and live an optimal existence making the choices to do so often seems like a daunting task. During my education I was introduced to a book by Jim Collins; called Good to Great. The book has many great business principles to learn from and apply to our daily lives, but the real take home message is the biggest enemy of the great is the good, because if you are satisfied with good enough, you will never take the extra step to be Great!

This philosophy is one of the most powerful motivators that I have found. Sure it is easier to do what everyone else is doing and make excuses that allow us to come up short. We tell ourselves its ok as long as we fit in, “anyway the neighbor next door has tried that diet a dozen times and gives up after only 5 days; at least you made it 2 weeks”. I hope you get my point, we often make excuses for not achieving what we wanted to and most times it is because we compare ourselves to other peoples failures and say  “well I did pretty good”.

It is time to stop being good enough and work on being Great! When we work on being Great we start thriving and becoming better versions of ourselves. We accomplish more of our goals and come closer each day to fulfilling our dreams. There is a little caution that I will interject at this point before you throw down this magazine and charge off to slay the dragon. Thriving takes planning and if you do not plan for all areas of your life, your goals of thriving will quickly turn back to survival mode.

All areas of your life means just that, all areas. You can’t be thriving on one side and surviving on the other because sooner or later that area where you are just surviving shrivels and dies because you were not giving it much attention.  You want to have a thriving prosperous career but you work so late at the office that your marriage fails. Or you want to run a marathon and train so hard running each day but you don’t’ pay attention to your diet and you get sick and injured before you can even start the race. Lets look at a few ways to better the whole you and start making your life thrive.

If you are going to live a Great life you need to have a healthy body. As many of you know getting healthy is not always a comfortable process, just take a look at the latest season of the Biggest Loser to confirm this. However when you finally get there you realize that all the difficulties were worth it. To have a healthy body you have to consider all 3 aspects of your health, your structure, your physiology and your mental/emotional health. You need to make a commitment to exercise.  Choosing ways to keep active is essential for thriving. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym, but you need to move your body: walk, hike, run, swim, dance, climb, shuffle, whatever; get off your butt and move it!

Having a healthy physiology is also essential.  Your body is a walking test tube. There are thousand of reactions happening at all times in your body to keep the engines running and pipes clean. If you don’t put the right fuel in the engine, the engine will not run very well. We are surrounded by many toxins and poisons that find their way into our systems daily and inhibit the body from working to its full potential. Many of these toxins are in the form of trans fats, sugars, chemicals like preservatives and artificial sweeteners, hormones and pesticides. We can avoid these if we make smart decisions about what we are eating. Making choices to limit our sugar intake and avoid empty calories is a good place to start. Eat more organic produce and healthy meat is another good step! Avoiding all artificial and overly processed foods is essential, as it has absolutely nothing to make the body thrive and makes it really difficult for it to survive.

A healthy thriving mental/emotional balance can take work and cultivation but will be very rewarding and motivating the more you work towards it. Surround yourself with work from leaders, entrepreneurs and successful people. If you want to be successful you have to think like a successful person. Success doesn’t come with an owner’s manual, but if you can learn from others along the way. It will help keep you motivated and help to avoid some of the potholes on the road to success.  Take time everyday to learn and to review your goals and dreams, make it a habit and pretty soon others will be learning from you.

If you take the principles of leading a thriving life from an individual standpoint to a broader picture you will find that the recipe is very nearly the same.  You always start with yourself because that is the person you have the most control over. Knowing that you have many different hats to wear on any given day: business person, spouse, volunteer, mentor, mentee, athlete, philosopher, etc. makes thriving challenging until you realize you can do everything better as long as you take care of yourself first. Once you align yourself with healthy habits and you decide on which direction you are heading to accomplish your dreams, everything else will follow in stride. You will begin to move out of survival mode and into a thriving existence where you can actualize your dreams and live the Greatest version of yourself!

Dr. Phil Cameron DC is the owner of the Bozeman Wellness Center. He is a Chiropractic Physician and Professional Applied Kinesiologist.  He Treats every patient as an individual and strives to help each patient Live Healthy, Live Naturally, and Live Optimally.

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