Choosing To Thrive

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(Lose the Net by Rasmus Faber Courtesy of Epidemic Music)

Isn’t it amazing how good questions lead us so naturally to good answers, and how beautiful questions lead to even better answers! When we open ourselves to the things we don’t know, we’ve opened the doors to discovery and wonder and greater understanding.

I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that matter every day.

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Photo: Scott Lennox


We think we know that thriving is, but are we defining it correctly? Could it be more subtle and more personally determined than we’ve told ourselves?

This week, we’ll look at a few examples of thriving that may change your mind. Stay with me.

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Throughout your lifetime, how many challenges have you walked through or stepped around? How many obstacles have you overcome that seemed to block you at the time? In how many ways have you been thriving without even noticing it?

In earlier podcasts, I’ve shared how my own challenges reshaped and transformed me, sometimes in surprising ways. Because of that, and though may seem a linguistic fine point, I’m no longer willing to settle for just surviving. Nor do I think of myself as a “survivor,” even though I have survived countless major challenges and come out standing.

Surviving is “getting by” at some basic or rudimentary level. Why on earth would I settle for that when so much more is available? In fact, why would any of us settle for merely surviving when thriving is always available, even when there are limitations or obstacles in front of us.

To be clear about it, thriving is a matter of definition, of decision, and of focused action. Let’s first look at how we define it.

The New American Heritage Dictionary defines “thriving” as making steady progress or prospering, as well as growing vigorously and flourishing. That goes way beyond surviving.

As an outsider, it’s easy to look at someone who is personally or financially successful and see them as thriving. That seems pretty obvious on the surface of things, but what about the kinds of thriving that are not so obvious to the casual observer? What about thriving that happens from the inside out?

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A longtime friend who is a brilliant artist recently shared with me that he may be facing a time when he’ll no longer be able to stand for long periods. If that happens, it will powerfully interrupt his ability to paint in his studio as he’s been for the past forty years. When he showed me his design for an adjustable drawing table that would allow him to draw while sitting in bed, I volunteered to build it in my woodshop.

His decision to keep working in the face of what others would call a disability is an act of courage and a demonstration of being intentionally positive. He’s choosing not to let pain and limited mobility be in the way of his thriving as a person and as an artist. As he chooses to accept his circumstance for what it is and chooses to move through it, he’ll keep doing what he can to live as well as he can in the middle of his circumstances.

That’s thriving.

In your own life, you’ve been moving forward and prospering in numerous ways every day, though some of your steps may have been quite subtle. You’ve learned countless things, and you’re still learning. As your life keeps changing, you keep adjusting and shifting in the ways you needed to. Even through the challenges and adversities you’ve faced, you’ve been growing your life and becoming more your authentic self every day.

That is thriving.

I’ve written in the past about a man named Juan who was unbendingly happy as he cleared tables in the dining room of Fort Worth’s Modern Art Museum. On the day I introduced myself and asked him why he was always so pleasant, he smiled and quietly answered in a way that surprised me. “I have everything,” he said. “I have my family. I have my work. I have my health. I have God. I have everything.” I’ll never forget that conversation.

After his departure, I learned that Juan lived with six other men in a two-room apartment, that he walked to work or sometimes rode a borrowed bicycle, and that he sent almost everything he earned back home to his wife and children in Mexico. I doubt I’ve ever met anyone more content or more truly present or more pleasant to be around than Juan.

That’s thriving.

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Each time we intentionally open our hearts and minds—even if it’s just a little wider—and quietly and positively redefine ourselves and what we’re experiencing, our lives expand and become richer and fuller. By choosing to be grateful for every good thing, we open ourselves to joy and appreciation and wonder. We open ourselves to thriving, even while we’re struggling. It will seem like magic, but I promise you it isn’t. It’s part of the natural process of awakening and thriving.

Once again, that brings us to this week’s three Beautiful Questions, which I offer for your consideration.

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Question One: When you stop to lean into your understanding of it, what does thriving mean to you?

Question Two: In what ways are you already thriving?

Question Three: What ways of thriving are you ready to bring into your life next, perhaps this week?

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I hope this week’s consideration inspires you to thrive in new and rewarding ways.

As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

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I’m happy we can engage this way as we consider things that matter and what to do about them. If nothing else, I hope you feel inspired to look more deeply at ways of caring for yourself.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. We’ve also included an archive of all previous podcasts, including guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, I encourage you to share them and tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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