Thriving is Not the Same as Happy

If I asked you to find a photo of someone who is thriving, what image would you pick? 

I’m guessing it would show a person who seems happy. 

And I wouldn’t blame you. (How do you think I chose this blog photo?)

But, thriving and happy are not equal. Today I’m sharing what I believe thriving actually is, but first I want to address something. 

The name My Happy Insides might suggest my goal is to help people feel happy. But that’s not really accurate. What I actually want is to help people get unstuck and start thriving. 

And that does not necessarily mean feeling happy.

SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO THRIVE?

In my opinion, we thrive when we are living in alignment. 

This means acting in a way that honours our true selves. It’s about integrity, purpose, kindness, courage, depth, vitality, clarity, balance, and freedom. 

When we reduce thriving by equating it to happiness alone, we lose the other ways a person can be thriving. 

For example, doing what’s right even when it’s hard. 

If your goal is happiness, you might avoid a difficult situation. Like not speaking up because it will disrupt the peace and lead to discomfort. 

But if your goal is to thrive, speaking up when it’s the right thing to do is more important than comfort. This is when you let integrity guide you instead of comfort. 

Think back to a time when you did what was right even when it was challenging or scary. Afterwards, you may not have described yourself as ‘happy’, but if you acted with integrity, you likely experienced some other positive emotions. Perhaps you felt brave, confident, responsible, authentic, assured, mature, strong, peaceful, grounded, etc. 

I don’t know about you, but those sound like some pretty amazing emotions—and none of them are simply ‘happy’.

EXPAND YOUR FOCUS

While there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel happy, focusing on this one emotion leaves out so many other ways we can thrive. 

So how do we expand our focus and cast a wider net? 

First and foremost, you can’t live in alignment with your true self when you don’t know yourself. You need to start with self-knowledge. And this means looking inward. 

It means getting curious and understanding yourself better. It means waking up to your personality and habits. 

It’s about breaking the pattern, which only happens when you see the patterns at play. 

In other words… thriving is an inside job.

So resist the urge to look externally for answers. You won’t find them out there. 

Instead, get to know yourself. Observe yourself. Challenge yourself. 

By getting clear on who you are, you can act in alignment and really start thriving.