The Rules:

Show Up. Be Yourself. Connect. Contribute. Do Work That Matters.
Repeat.
Thrive on Purpose.

Thriving is a choice – and a practice. It isn’t surviving better – although surviving is obviously an essential prerequisite. It is an orientation to living, loving, leading and learning – whole-heartedly, on purpose – day in, day out.

Thriving is a way of being – aware, appreciative, curious and conscious – and doing: attending to what matters most, taking deliberate action, striving for harmony and to make dents in the universe for good.

There is no perfect or right way to thrive, and no roadmap. But I suggest that there are some ‘rules’, guidelines, practices and ways of doing whatever you’re doing – that dramatically increase your chances of thriving and enjoying the journey. These thrive•agility rules are simple, but not easy. And I submit that following these can dramatically improve your capacity to thrive personally and professionally beginning immediately.

What follows is what each of these ‘rules’ means to me. I offer them as sparks to catalyze your thinking, reflection and consideration. Only you can decide what each means for you. I also invite – and challenge – you to join me in blazing a new trail to clarity, confidence and conscious success, and to thrive on purpose.

Show-up

Be right here – right now. Pay attention to whatever is right in front of you. Be present to what is – to yourself, to others, to the world around you. No multi-tasking. No escaping, hiding or making excuses. No what you ‘woulda-coulda-shoulda’ done yesterday or what ‘might-could-possibly-maybe happen’ tomorrow. Listen with your whole mind and speak from your heart. It is not always easy, and sometimes it isn’t pleasant. Yes, it requires effort and practice – and you will never perfect it. But you can get a whole lot better.

Luckily, getting better is free, and it isn’t all that difficult. You don’t even need to break a sweat. And life is your practice field. You get opportunities to practice every minute of every day. But you must make the choice to do it, to practice bringing your attention to the here and now, to the moment that is.

This moment is all you have. You cannot save time; you can only spend it. How you spend your limited resources of time, energy and attention is completely within your control. You can squander them by allowing the world to tell you what to do with them or debate about the ‘best’ or ‘right’ way to invest them. Or you can develop an investment strategy of showing up for what you care about – and practice making wise investments.

No matter what you choose, the results you reap are guaranteed.

Be Yourself

Be the most authentic, powerful version of yourself that you can be. You are different, unique and uncommon – just like everybody else. There are things about yourself that you can’t change: you passions, your aspirations, your talents and aptitudes, your values. That’s your Genius. There are things you can change: your hair color, your behavior, your way of seeing and being in the world, your orientation to living, working and the quality of your relationships with other people. You can change your perspective and where you focus your attention – and appreciate your uniqueness and use to make a difference – and that makes all the difference.

You can focus on things you can’t change – exhausting yourself (and others around you) trying to fix, cover-up, shut-up and mold yourself into a shape so that you will ‘fit in’. You can keep trying to cram yourself into a tiny package of what you think you should be and do is or what they (whoever ‘they’ are) think you should be and do. It takes extraordinary effort and doesn’t work. It leads to a perpetual battle with yourself, trying to mediate the conflict between the many voices in your head, being chased by – and chasing – shoulds and coulds. Live people don’t fit in boxes – and the longer you try, the more you deprive the world of the gifts of your Genius.

Focus instead on being the best and brightest version of you, nurturing your Genius so that you can offer the best of what you have and who you are to the world. Get comfortable in your own skin, confident that no one else on the planet can ever do your Work that Matters. Stop trying to prove yourself, figure it out and looking for the ‘right’ path – and start blazing a trail on the learning journey of life. Spend your time discovering and embracing your Genius and increase your capacity to be joyful, to bring joy to others and to do good in the world.

Stand tall and proud, confident that you are always and already enough. Define yourself – and your work that matters. Then use every minute you are blessed with to expand and hone the gifts you’re given and share them with others. You have much to offer – and the world is waiting.

Connect

Success is never a solo act. Human beings are social creatures – and we need each other. We are all connected. You are part of something bigger – and everything you do or don’t do has an impact on others – most of whom you can’t see and will never know. It is only in connecting with others that you can be the person you are meant to become, and only through the eyes of others that you can see the depths of your Genius. It is the dance of collective Genius that the most powerful possibilities for the future emerge and where love and work that matters evolve.

When you reach out and actually see another person, you give them a gift. Honor your own – and their humanity – and have the courage to connect – even for moment. Being seen and heard is a rare gift in the world where everyone is trying to get something or somewhere and people are seen as a means to an end.

Have the courage to connect first to your own heart and mind – and listen to your Genius. Connect with what you care about, with your aspirations and intentions. Then open your heart and mind to see, sense and truly connect with others with curiosity and compassion. Allow yourself – and another person – the gift of being seen as human being, always and already enough.

Have the courage to ask for – and accept – help and support. Acknowledge that you cannot thrive alone, and that to reach your aspirations, you need to receive and give, to nurture and be nurtured. Embrace your vulnerability – and allow other to do the same. Open yourself to the world. Extend a hand of care and support, share a smile or a tear in empathy – and live, love, learn and lead with an open heart.

You change the world everyday of your life. When you connect, everyone – including you – changes for the better.

Contribute

Use the gifts you have been given to serve others and make dents in the universe that make a difference. Call it duty, or fate or destiny – or just contributing to making the world a better place for you having roamed the planet for a brief moment in cosmic time. In exchange for the life you have been given, share your gifts and your Genius with others. You cannot thrive alone, and our collective future comes down to little actions – one after another – by people like you and me. One person can make a difference – and you may never know the importance or the results of your actions. Offer what you have in each moment with generous intention, do it over and over, and trust that it is – and that you are – enough.

The funny thing about contributing is this: when you connect with what matters and offer what you have with an open heart, you receive so much more than you give. It’s the way the universe works. When you feel empty or hopeless, look at the gifts you have been given, and cultivate gratitude. They are not yours to protect – they are yours to share. Generosity feels good. Offer your gifts. Don’t give till it hurts. Give until your heart is overflowing with joy and fulfillment.

Do Work that Matters

Work matters. It is how you will spend most of your waking hours as an adult. Even when you aren’t ‘at’ work, you are tinged with  the memories of the work of the past and thinking about possibilities for the future. How you spend those hours – what you are engaged in doing, how you show up and do what you do and the reason you do that work – is totally up to you. You make the choices in where you work and the contribution you make. You decide whether you indulge your Genius – your power to do your work – or whether you punch a clock, sell your soul for a paycheck or make a compromise somewhere in between. Your life is a patchwork of complex colors, shapes and conditions that is as unique as you are. It is easy to get lost in competing priorities – particularly if you try to achieve balance.

So don’t. Seek harmony. Do it consciously. What are you here to do? What is your Genius? What matters? That gives you a point on the horizon to move toward. Now think about what dents you can make today. Let go of greatness, magnificence and legacy. You can’t control most outcomes – and you definitely can’t control other people’s thoughts, feelings or actions. Get clear in your intention, focus on your effort and make progress. Right now. This week. This month. This year. What is your work in this moment? Decide what your work that matters is. Then go do it.

You are always the boss of you. You can’t give up that job – or get fired – no matter how hard you try. No one can make you do anything. Not all choices will seem fair or easy. But they are all yours to make. Connect with your Genius – with what matters – and make a difference.

Repeat

Every morning the sun rises, every evening the sun sets. In those waking hours are thousands of moments for each of us to choose. You can Show-up, Be Yourself, Connect, Contribute and Do Work that Matters – or not. You can’t ever be perfect – you can only do your best. Practice curiosity and compassion, gratitude and generosity – and watch what happens. Listen to your heart, focus your attention on your aspirations, and then on ‘what is’ – and honor both. Look for opportunities to experience hope and bring it to others. Embracing yourself and your Genius – the passions, aspirations, values, talents and aptitudes that make you ‘you’ – is a practice. The more you practice – the more frequently you bring your attention to your intention and take deliberate action – the more your capacity for contribution and connection grows.

It all matters. Take one step at time –  Shift on Purpose – and do your work that matters. Make the dents in the universe for good that only you can make.

You will thrive more. On Purpose. You will make more dents. And that will change the world.

To learn more about how you can discover your Genius and increase your thrive•agility, contact Angela Stauder.

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