Thrive vs. Survive

Anyone who knows me from work knows I HATE going to meetings with a passion.  I have been known to use every trick I have to avoid them.  This was especially true at the Holy P, my most recent employer.  Near the end of my stint there, every meeting resulted in a knock down drag out fight.  Sometimes yelling, sometimes tears (not me boys don’t cry), yeah they sucked.

So when I started here at the Mighty P, I still wasn’t gung ho on meetings, but I also wanted to do everything possible to make a good impression.  So I resolved NOT to try to avoid meetings.

Well, two weeks into my new job, I was invited to an optional all day meeting.  OK, old Tony woulda declined in a heartbeat, new Tony, accepted (though with trepidation).

Well, suffice it to say, I was surprised to find that within the first few minutes I heard something that intrigued me.

Our CEO was talking about the company, and the changes that have occurred in the last couple years, and he said “Isn’t it better to thrive than to just survive.”

Well hell, I started pondering that and missed the whole rest of his introduction to the meeting.

Now I am GREAT in survival mode.  At work if suddenly you are pounded with things that need to be done now, I can kick in and get it done!  I can crank out the deliverables if need be.  Also working for an insurance company, there is no busier time than when a storm hits.  I LOVE a good storm and the Battle mode response.  Yep I love it, for about 2 weeks.  THEN it gets old!  My dad used to say “You can get used to hanging if you hang long enough.”  But is it fun?  No!

In my mountain days I had to break out true survival mode.

Climbing out out from Camp Muir
Climbing out out from Camp Muir

Once a group of us were climbing to Camp Muir (10000 ft on Mt Rainier).  One member of our group, who will remain nameless, left us and sped ahead, jackass.  The weather suddenly started going downhill, as it will on that mountain.  The rest of us gathered evaluate our options.  We all knew that the best bet was to turn around, and we WOULD have if it weren’t for the jackass!  We seriously considered leaving him, but decided it wasn’t the right thing to do.  He was the least experienced of us all.

We kicked it in and finally caught him, informed him he was a jackass, and that he would be heading back down with us.  By then the wind was high, and clouds had turned visibility to zero.  Since the route was wanded, I had the team wait at a wand and I headed down till I found the next one and lead them to it with my voice.  NOT fun.  So I can DO survival mode if I have to.

Given the choice though, I MUCH prefer Thrive.

I am with someone I love.  We make each other happy, and like to spend time with each other.  We will sit in our read chairs in our sitting area, each reading or web surfing, and just look and smile at each other.  She is smarter than I am, and flat fun to talk to, and I LOVE to check her out when she aint looking.  Yep Thriving.

I am in better shape now than almost any other time in my life.  I am enjoying the hell out of my rides and work outs.  I am feeling strong, healthy and bulletproof.  After this last century ride I did better than I ever had before.  I can feel the benefits of the extra miles I have ridden.  I feel strong and alive.  It seems kind of silly to call it out, but I am thriving.

Even at work, things are good.  I have been working harder in the two months since I’ve been there than the last year where I was.  I am liking my job, the project I am on and even the people I am working with.

I realize that overall I am a very lucky man.  I have a job, I have love and I have my health.  I think the CEO’s comment just enabled me to start thinking about all that I have, and to appreciate it.

Everyone should have a survival mode in them, you never know when something might happen.  But, if you are in that mode, do everything you can to move out of that mode.  I can tell you, even though short term getting into survival mode can be fun, I am loving the fact that I am thriving!


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