The Thrive Pathway

I had developed the ‘Thrive Pathway’ framework in November, 2017, in an attempt to connect the dots around everything I was learning around growth and thriving. I had originally shared it on the home page, but my understanding of it has since evolved, so I set up this separate blog post to honour the original creation. At the end of this post, I share my current understanding of what it takes to thrive.

PS: In case you haven’t seen this, I’ve been updating the Helloo Sunshine! site with sharing my resources and launching a podcast where I talk to people about their journeys.

Here’s my original post on the Thrive Pathway:


SELF-HELP, DECONSTRUCTED

There’s a lot of self-help stuff out there. Where do you start? What do you need? What’s the point?  

I felt the need to connect the dots, so I started putting together all the pieces I’ve learnt from personal development programs, books, podcasts, courses and my own lived experiences.

The word ‘self-help’ really didn’t help (pun intended). It’s a little dull and uninspiring, don’t you think? And what are you supposed to help yourself for anyway?

I realized that ultimately, it’s about feeling alive. It’s about feeling fulfilled, connected, joyful. So my leading question became: How do you thrive?

I spent an afternoon with sticky-notes on my mirror, shifting different ideas and concepts around trying to make sense of them. And what started emerging in front of me felt so tremendous that it must be shared with the world.

I call it the thrive pathway. 

The pathway when it first emerged on my mirror (scroll down for a cleaned up version)

The pathway when it first emerged on my mirror (scroll down for a cleaned up version)

 

Introducing...the thrive pathway

The path to thriving consists of six key ingredients. Lets use the analogy of a rose to understand this pathway. Imagine a rose that is blossoming, expanding and radiating beauty in the sunshine. How do you enable it to thrive in this way rather than be dull and lifeless? Here's how: 

 

First, you need to work on its foundation and roots, planting it in healthy soil. 

Self-Awareness

Understand how you think, feel, and behave, and how your relationships impact you

Whats the story you tell yourself – about you and your life?


Inner Work

Actively change how you think, and process emotions, and practice new behaviours

How can you take personal responsibility for yourself and in your relationships?


Then you need to protect and nurture the plant, watering it and inspecting it regularly.

Self-Care

Develop ongoing self-care habits, address your mental health, and communicate needs and boundaries in relationships

How do you take care of your body, mind and spirit?


Self-Discovery

Learn more about who you are and what matters to you, and develop a stronger sense of self

What are your strengths, passions, values and vision?


But even all four of the above may not be enough to really thrive. 

For the rose to thrive, you need to grow it alongside other plants that mutually benefit each other, and ensure it has enough space and sunshine to blossom. It needs the right environment to come alive.

Self-Expression

Engage in creative projects, your passions and hobbies, in play and humour, in honest self-expression with others    

How can you express yourself and share who you are with the world?


Connection

Develop a sense of belonging, whether through connecting with your tribe, volunteering or having a spiritual practice

How can you contribute and lead with purpose?


Put all these pieces together and you get the bigger picture of what it takes to thrive! The map below lays out this picture along with some elements that fall into each of the six categories. 

thrive map official v1.JPG

Where do you start? 

Seeing all the pieces of the thrive pathway together can be overwhelming (especially for perfectionists who want to do it all – trust me, I’m one of them). You don't need to do it all, in fact, its best if you don't! Choose wherever you want to start and choose the strategies that appeal to you. For example, if you haven't paid much attention to Self Expression, then perhaps you can commit to playing sports or going dancing or spending time on a creative project once a week. Other specific actions include: 

  • Learn more about mindfulness and start practicing it

  • Read a book or take an online course on emotional intelligence

  • Take an online personality assessment that helps you learn more about yourself

  • Sign up for a group fitness class

  • Start a daily journal to explore your thoughts and feelings

  • Focus on building one self-care habit, such as sleeping at a consistent time everyday

  • Start working with a therapist or life coach

  • Make travel plans or do something exploratory every few months

  • Join a common interest driven group that meets regularly, like a running group if you enjoy running

  • Explore your spiritual beliefs and develop a regular spiritual practice

  • Sign up for a brief 2-4 day immersive program/workshop linked with personal development

  • Become proactive about connecting with family members or friends


Evolving the thrive pathway

16 months after creating this framework, I see it less as a ‘pathway’ to thriving and more as the outcome of three key ingredients:

  • Self-Knowledge: This includes understanding the narrative we hold of ourselves as well as discovering our strengths, passions, values (combining Self-Awareness and Self-Discovery from the previous framework)

  • Self-Care: This includes how we take care of our mind, body and spirit, as well as the inner work of actively changing how we think and how we communicate in our relationships (combining Inner Work and Self-Care)

  • Self-Expression: This includes the creative or passion projects you undertake to express your gifts, as well as how you share those with the world and connect with others (combining Self-Expression and Connection)

Ultimately, I believe thriving is about being yourself. It is not a constant state, but a journey of learning to come back to who you are, being grounded in your values and needs, no matter what the circumstances are. It includes sharing who you are with the world, which is why self-expression is so essential to thriving.