Are you thriving–or just barely hanging on? This is a close-up of the logo from a woman’s retreat I attended a few months ago featuring Leslie Nease, Mrs. North Carolina 2001 and contestant on Survivor China 2007.


A fitness trainer, she has written a book on physical, emotional and spiritual fitness called Body Builders. Leslie has had to overcome many obstacles in her life journey, but she shares these with touches of humor. Her new book Wholehearted: Living the Life You Were Created to Live (2013) describes how God transformed her from the inside out with an experience she refers to as a heart transplant. Her goal: to live every day with purpose and passion. To thrive, not just survive.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

II Corinthians 4:16

The desire to thrive, not just survive, is described in psychological terms as well. The book Love, Medicine & Miracles by Bernie S. Siegel, M. D. contains a description of the survivor personality traits. According to psychologist Al Siebert, there are observable indicators of self-motivated growth:

1. A sense of aimless playfulness for its own sake, like that of a happy child.

2. A child’s innocent curiosity.

3. The ability to become so deeply absorbed in an activity that you lose track of time, external events, and all your worries . . . .

4. An observant, non-judgment style.

5. Willingness to look foolish, make mistakes, and laugh at yourself.

6. An active imagination, daydreams, mental play . . . .

7. Empathy for other people, including opponents.

8. Recognition of . . . intuition as a valid source of information.

9. Good timing when speaking or taking original action.

10. The ability to see early clues about future developments and take appropriate action.

11. Keeping a positive outlook in adversity.

12. The ability to adapt to unexpected experiences. (Plan B!)

13. The talent for converting what others consider misfortune into something useful.

14. Feeling yourself getting smarter and enjoying life more as you get older.

What can you add to the list above?

Are you a thriver? A survivor?  Share a story please.

Your comments welcome! I always reply.