There are many different kinds of survival.
We all know someone who is content with living off of the spoils and hard work of others. They don’t want to work, so they rely on hand outs, gifts, and caretakers who will do everything for them. They are not interested in changing a thing. They are not interested in progression, personal growth, or personal development. They use others to get their bare minimum needs met. These are the people who believe that something for nothing is not only an option, but a way of life, and they think the world owes them, because of trials or difficulties they have had to endure. After all, they didn’t ask to be brought into this world. They are takers that never give. People caught up in this lifestyle are content being victims.
There are others who, “Straight-Up Survive” until they THRIVE. They go out and work for whatever they need and want. They are not only interested in progression, personal development, and creating a more beautiful, uplifting, fulfilling, passionate, and wonderful life for themselves and for the people they choose to surround themselves with, but they are also committed to it. They, “Straight-Up Survive,” until they begin to thrive. These are the ones who are considered an over-night success, that have actually been in the making, behind the scenes, their entire lives. They learned from the examples of others, watching, reading, paying attention, and through trial and error, to become better humans and more valuable for others. They are usually too proud to accept gifts or help, and choose, instead, to work hard for everything they have. They realize that the reward of their hard work and the confidence earned is going to be more valuable and useful to them than any gift they are given, because of what they BECOME in the process. It will bring confidence, a sense of fulfillment, and a feeling of success, to do the work and earn the prize, rather than being saved, enabled, or taken care of.
Admittedly, I have practiced both of these lifestyles of survival. I learned many things through trial and error. I have failed miserably, for years, at many things, and made many mistakes in my life. I have been caught up in being a victim for YEARS. Some of the biggest mistakes of my life (and also some of the greatest, most valuable experiences,) came from living a lifestyle of, “Shady survival.” I was saved and rescued many times by loving, supportive, well-meaning family members, and many other incredible people in my life. I am eternally grateful to them. I learned much from them and from the experiences.
It has been said,
“A stupid man never learns. A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” A wise man won’t only learn from the mistakes of others, but also from the successes of others.
For much of my life I was stupid. I just didn’t learn. In 2014, after a visit to a mental institution (See My Story), I started to get smarter. As of late, I have been aspiring to become wise. The more I learn, the more I realize I have SO much more to learn. It’s exciting.
I finally woke up. It was due to the suffering that I was experiencing. Eventually I realized the suffering was a blessing in disguise, and something I was constantly recreating for myself. In order to learn to practice transcending suffering, we must first experience it. Being stupid, I never learned from the suffering; I only tried to escape the suffering, distract myself with addictive practices that became habits, and run away from it. When I chose to feel it and experience it, I began to realize its value. It was empowering to face it, learn to navigate through it, and eventually conquer it by using it as feedback, after running from it and allowing it to conquer me for so long. Addictions quickly fell away, and an entirely new life of unlimited possibilities was before me. After the age of 40, I finally began to learn how to really live and be in more useful ways.
The truth is, it’s nobody else’s job to save us. That is for us to do.
Today I will think about how I can improve my own survival skills and become more capable and self-reliant. I will be grateful for my lessons and the help I have received, and decide to help myself, rather than allowing others to figure everything out for me.
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Remember: Mindset matters. Character counts. That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives. WE CREATE our personal realities.