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How To THRIVE In Tough Times!

Are you ready for some good news? Here it is. Yes, you can not only strive, but also THRIVE even in a downturn. Sound unrealistic? Let's break it down. It's simple and easier than you think. Small steps taken every day bring big results. It's like climbing any mountain - it takes just one step at a time no matter how high the mountain is! Are you feeling a spark already? You can make it happen!

Today is the perfect time to get started. Here's the first step:

1. REACH into new ways of thinking!

Everything begins with a thought. What we think about the current economic climate affects our direction. Our thoughts propel our actions, so first we've got to align our thoughts with our goals. Sounds good…but how do we do that in real life?

First we must understand that what we think about is a choice. We can't always choose our challenges, but we always choose our response. What we focus on…flourishes. It's the age-old law of attraction. If we're fired up and thinking positively, we’re ready to work smarter and see more positive results come our way.

Thinking negatively brings us more of what we don't want. Did you ever notice how a negative person can brighten up a whole room just by walking out of it? You get the picture. When we're encouraging, hopeful, and positive - we're easier to work with, more productive, and even our personal lives go smoother. Everybody wins!

We can reach into new ways of thinking by choosing to fire-up our attitude. Every day, we can take small action steps until it becomes a habit. Here are a few valuable tips to get there:

  • Spend more time with supportive, encouraging people.
  • Read books and articles (like this one) that can inspire you.
  • Listen to upbeat music with great lyrics. It feels good.
  • Offer to help someone who's more stressed out than you.
  • Make a gratitude list of everything going right in your life. It will amaze you.
  • Do things that make you laugh. C'mon, lighten up!

2. RISK new actions.

When we have our thinking lined up, we can take the next important step. In order to get different results, we have to do something different. There's no way around it. Action makes it happen.

What might keep us from risking powerful new actions? Fear! And fear will detour our success every time…if we let it. Psychologists say that we were born with two natural fears: fear of falling and fear of loud noises. Every other fear is learned. We need to be courageous and strong to keep fired up in tough times. Having courage is the key; it's feeling the fear and moving forward anyway. Remember the old adage of overcoming your fear of falling by getting right back on the horse? It's true.

“We miss 100% of the shots we don’t take!”

W. Gretzky

Action is the most successful way to overpower our complacency and move forward. Here's a memorable example: the creators of the mega-popular Chicken Soup For The Soul® series were turned down by over fifty publishers. Did they give up after forty-nine? No, they kept taking action until they found a company that loved their concept. It worked. They've sold over 100 million books to date! You probably have one or two copies on your bookshelf. I feel privileged to have a personal story in Chicken Soup for the College Soul. The point is…we can’t give up!

Worry is another culprit that keeps us from thriving. It's a vague feeling of anxiety that things will never turn around. You have plenty of details to oversee on the job and at home. But worrying won't change the outcome. In fact, worry never changed one moment of history. Again, action will bring the best results every time.

3. REFUEL. You can't run on empty!

Our cars have a lot of sense when it comes to fuel. When they run out…they just stop. They don't care if we're on a busy highway in the rain—they just quit when there's no more fuel in the tank. We can learn an important lesson here. When we try to run on empty, we not only lose our fire, we get burned out! That's when we might get sick, fatigued, depressed, and stressed to the max. We need to get back in balance, and that's an ongoing process. Just as one workout won't make us fit, we need to take steps every day to refuel and keep our tank full.

When you’re fired up… you’re more energized and productive.

If we don't take time for ourselves, everything else will suffer. But, is this selfish? No! Self-care is vital for our health, happiness, and productivity. When we have balance in our life, we're on top of our game and can give our best… to ourselves and to everyone else.

Here are some solutions:

  • Take timeouts throughout the day to breathe deeply and slowly.
  • Go for a ten-minute walk (or longer) at lunchtime.
  • Eat nutritious foods that give you energy: nuts, fresh fruit, you know…
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Get more rest. Our bodies really need it.
  • Learn to say “no” to things you don't need to do. It’s easier with practice!
  • Help others who are facing bigger challenges.
  • Remember that these tough times are temporary. Things will turn around.

You can start today to REACH, RISK, and REFUEL. If you follow these three simple steps regularly, you will see positive results. You're worth it. Now is really the only time we have. Make the most of every moment. This could be the best time of your life…you hold the key. You are the CEO of YOU. Choose to THRIVE!

Carol Grace Anderson

Carol Grace is a former psychology teacher, entertainer, and national speaker. © 2009 Carol Grace Anderson, M.A. All rights reserved. For information on his programs email

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Filed Under: Personal Development


About the Author: Carol Grace is a former psychology teacher, entertainer, and national speaker. © 2009 Carol Grace Anderson, M.A. All rights reserved. For information on his programs email

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