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Are you flourishing?


We can probably agree that a plant that is healthy and blooming can be said to “flourish,” and that a business that is booming and raking in record profit is “flourishing.”

But what does it mean for you to flourish?

Why Flourish

Our culture today is focused on everyone being happy, so much so that the word happy practically has no meaning.  Happy brings to mind a buoyant mood, merriment, good cheer, and smiling—none of which is useable when setting personal goals, establishing company policy, or searching for future market needs.

As small business owners and entrepreneurs, a more appropriate focus should be on our well-being, which is what the concept of flourishing entails.

Dr. Lynn Soots, professor and Positive Psychologist, describes flourishing as the following:

Flourishing is the product of the pursuit and engagement of an authentic life that brings inner joy and happiness through meeting goals, being connected with life passions, and relishing in accomplishments through the peaks and valleys of life.

The idea of flourishing is not static—it’s not something you either have or don’t have—it is something that you can cultivate and improve on.   While there is no set of producible results, people who flourish have positive mental and physical health, are happy, satisfied with life, have meaning and purpose, display character and virtue, and cultivate close social relationships.

In short, they are the kind of people who everyone aspires to be like.

How to Flourish

Here are a few interesting suggestions that will help you develop flourishing.

  • Stop asking the wrong questions. You and you alone have the power to make life different, to make the changes that bring you the results you want.  Not everything turns out as planned. And all the negative thoughts and questions of why it didn’t happen and why it went wrong will threaten to overwhelm you.

Take the opportunity to ask the right questions, the positive questions that are more likely to keep you moving towards the fulfillment of your desire.  Ask what can you do better next time and stay positive.

  • Stop complaining. Living the life you want can be simple, but not always easy. Notice when you’re complaining and learn to take it easy on yourself.  Learn to dream outrageous dreams and believe that you can make something in your life that wasn’t there before.

Taking responsibility for your life includes both your successes and failures. Complaining never changes anything but choosing to have a positive attitude does.

  • Stop waiting for the perfect time. If you’re waiting for the stars to align in your favor, you might be waiting a long time. Don’t wait for a more benevolent horoscope, an inspiration to strike, for someone to help you, the right relationship to appear, permission to be granted, or reassurance given.  Just go for it.
  • Stop arguing for your limitations. Every time you see yourself as a victim, think limiting thoughts, or engage in finger-pointing, you’re defending habits that are destructive to your wellbeing.

You are capable of designing the kind of life where the sparks of possibility become flames of accomplishment…don’t get in your own way.

The Bible

Human flourishing is a key theme woven throughout the Bible.  Within Scriptures, the pathway to flourishing is to trust in God who will direct our hearts and renew our souls in such a way that we will flourish according to His plan.

Proverbs 14:11 says.

The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.

And, Psalm 72:7 says.

In his days may the righteous flourish
and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.

The righteous will flourish because God is with them.  Flourishing doesn’t mean we have all we want to make us comfortable.  It means we have all that God wants us to have to fulfill his plans for us.

Cultivate personal habits that will lead to flourishing, and the flourishing of your business will follow.  The easiest way to flourish, however, is to live in the presence of God and let Him help you flourish.