It may seem like an oxymoron to say a Disabled person thrives, but is it? Disabled may mean not “able”, but it does not mean dead. “Thrive” refers to how we are living. Can’t we live a full and abundant life with fewer abilities than most?
Can a person with a disability have the same traits as other Thrivers?
Let’s go thru the 8 traits of Thrivers and see.
- Thrivers are aware of their situation. Often we get so caught up in our inabilities we forget what is happening around us. Is this good for us? Pause for a moment and think about what is going on with you. Close your eyes and tell yourself what is happening to you. Then notice how the people around you feel? What do they need. If you can answer these questions you can be aware of what is happening around you.
How did you feel as you created this image? If you are like me your aches and pains subsided if not ceased. So, not only can you do this, it is more pleasant to adopt this trait of thriving.
- Being optimistic or just oriented to the future: when we struggle to get thru the day it is hard to contemplate the future. Yet, as you pause to look back, can you see that things have been worse? I certainly can. The things I struggled to do a year ago are now easy. I have made progress. In the last day I have found a resource to do something I struggled to do several times over the last month. What difficulty have you resolved in the last month? Is it safe to expect that you will overcome some of the things you now struggle with? You, too, can see a better future. You can be optimistic.
- Enjoy a challenge: That thing you struggled with and overcame in the last month might not have given you joy while you were struggling with it. Can you find joy in the fact that you overcame it? I certainly can. Let’s learn to see obstacles as chances to thrive.
- Friendly: what does it take to be a friend? Is it not about taking a moment to focus upon those around you and see what they are doing and what they need and then trying to meet those needs. A simple smile can go a long way toward being friendly. You don’t need to have deep heart to heart conversations with everyone. If you tried it might wear you out very quickly.
- Willingness to try new things: this can be hard when you struggle to do just the simple things. Could we change this to, “being willing” to try doing things differently?”
Doing things differently is a must when we can’t do things the way we were used to doing them. Willing or not we must do things differently. Sometimes simply not doing things at all is different from trying and failing.
- Willingness to share our creativity: Creativity is the trait we use to survive. There is no one around us telling us how to do it. Yes there are resources but we must seek them out and find a way to use them. Are you like me; willing to share your ways to be creative with others?
- Can find a purpose in life; this is challenging when we often wish to escape the pain we find ourselves in each moment. For example, the way Brandt Morgan found the purpose in his life was by reaching out to others. By doing this he found that he was overcoming the pain of the moment. See hiss podcast episode in disability Freedom.
- Are connected to more than just the physical reality: this means we are spiritual. When the physical reality in which we live fails us, where else are we to turn. When I turned to the non-physical I found such warmth that I longed for more. Since then I have glimpsed it in several moments. I have learned to just pause and let God connect with me. How have you experienced the spiritual dimension of life?
In what ways do you know to Thrive?
When do you feel you are Thriving?
As All Ways, Seek Joy,
Coach Dr. Dave
PS, this is the first in a new blog series, learning to Thrive with disability