Forget the traditional ideas about survival, Bear Grylls in Man vs. Wild eating something nasty just to get a meal. Or the show Survivor. Think survival in life, your life. You have made it this far but could it be different? Could you thrive instead of just survive?

Now ask yourself are you a master of survival or are you thriving? When you wake up in the morning do you go through the motions hoping something different will happen? Do you hate your job and look forward to retirement because you feel like that is the only escape?

If these questions resonate, you are a master of survival. Just going through the day to day awaiting something different to happen. There is nothing wrong with surviving and the fact that you can make things happen to make ends meet is impressive.

But now you have come to a point in your life where you have had enough. Surviving just to survive isn’t doing it anymore. You want to thrive, not just because it’s something to do but because you know there’s something better.

Here’s The Problem

There are 5 levels or basic needs to thrive and just not survive according to Maslow. Level one is food, water, shelter, sleep, and oxygen. This is pretty simple, right? But without these needs being met you cannot move forward.

It has been proven time and time again that without level one you could care less about level 2 which is security. But oddly enough more people today worry about level 3 more than any other level.

Level 3 has to do with belonging to something and being loved by another. But this step gets skewed because of our current societies interest in influence. Remember the Marlboro man or the Easy Bake Oven? The Marlboro man was sold as rugged, looks like he takes no shit, has no emotions, and a smoker. If you weren’t this person you weren’t a man.

Little kids, teenagers, and men all were comparing themselves to the Marlboro man a fictitious person who in reality probably didn’t like the outdoors, or like smoking. But we as a society were told to believe it so we did.  

Or the easy bake oven, there were no men around the easy bake only women. It made it seem like baking was only for women, not men. And if you were a woman you have to bake or your not a woman. But again, in reality, some of these women probably didn’t care for cooking at all.

Say What

Do any of those scenarios seem incongruent? I remember as a kid thinking I want to be the Marlboro man, and most of my dad’s friends smoked and had a loose resemblance to the Marlboro man. Most of those people have serious health problems and were not very happy people.

My sister got an easy bake oven just because my mom bought it and figured she would love it. But it very rarely got used.

Level 3 is bullshit if you don’t truly believe in who you are and seek out the right people to be around. Because the wrong people will make it impossible for you to be happy and you will stay stuck and unhappy.

Getting to Thrive

Let’s go through the steps and see how close you are to fulfilling them to see what needs to be improved.

Step 1

Figure out what you need to do to satisfy your food, water, shelter, and sleep needs. In most cases, you have this already taken care of and all you need to do is maintain it.

This does not mean having 2 dinners is necessary and being gluttonous is going to make you a better person.

You just need to maintain this at the level that is necessary then you can move into step 2.

Step 2

Now that you have everything situated for food and shelter. Now you are going to be thinking about security.

How are you going to protect the things from step 1? You want to know when you come home from work everything is in the exact place it was before you left.

That your family is okay, your food, shelter everything is still standing. Without security satisfied you worry more to the point where it consumes you from moving forward.

Think about it, the last time you left your car or something that you value in a sketchy area were you able to put your complete attention on those around you? Or were you worried about your valuables being there when you got back?

This is exactly why you cannot move into being with others because you are thinking about security more than anything else.

Step 3

This is where most of us skip to, we want to belong and find love before anything else. The problem with rushing into this step is that you are on unstable ground. In most cases you haven’t learned to love yourself so why should someone else? 

You are grasping at straws trying to find a person or a group that will satisfy everything you think you need. Searching for another or a group to be your savior. Putting your future in everyone else’s hands.

By doing this you are not fulfilling security because you are out of control and in the control of other people. These other people don’t necessarily care about your basic needs because they need to fulfill their own needs first.

Focus on the basics first so you can find yourself and fulfill your needs so when the right people, and groups show up you can take advantage. Do not rush in and allow advertising and societies skewed sense of reality destroy everything you are.

Step 4

This is where you start moving fast because you did all the work, in the beginning, to make sure you are being you and only you.

In this step, you are now only seeking those who align with you. Those who challenge you to be better, and you challenge them to be better. Your environment is being formed and is filled with positivity, accomplishment, and enjoyment.

You will feel uplifted in this step if you don’t you will not be able to move forward. To achieve such an awesome filling you have to stick to your guns, believe in yourself, and lead yourself to the exact destination you seek.

Step 5

By taking the time to find your people you are now able to step out and find what you were always meant to be. The people, groups, and the environment you have created at this point push you forward to always achieve. Even more then that you are more aware of your own feelings. 

Being so aware will keep you on track and having the right environment around you, the environment you created will only reinforce everything you have built to this point.

Getting here is not a hard task, but if you are mentally exhausted just thinking about ever achieving any of these steps you aren’t alone.

You have to remember we live amongst people that believe you are born into a situation and that is it. These people are not you, and at this point you know if you just take a couple more moments fulfilling these steps you can break through the mold.

Get from Surviving to Thriving

Surviving is not hard, you and I do it on a daily basis. Just focus on some basic actions and BOOM you are surviving. To thrive is shifting your mindset and paying attention to your innermost feelings.

Those feelings most of us suppress are telling you the things you need to fulfill to move forward. All it requires is you paying attention and humbling yourself to the fact that there may be another way to do things.  

It is your goal in life to thrive, and it all starts with your willingness to lead yourself beyond your current situation. Some people will say you’re too old, or it’s too late, or even better you have a good job why change.

These people have their own problems and may not be the best people to have around when you are moving towards thriving. You are never too old, or too late, and no one is saying you have to quit your job. But there are plenty of hours in a day to move towards your true version of thriving.


Don’t get discouraged by people and their own problems getting thrown on you. The importance of steps 1 through 3 and your willingness to truthfully fulfill steps 1 through 3 will ensure you make the right choices.

You may find that your environment changes completely or you thin the herd down to a very small concentrated group. Having more is not always better, having more of the right people and situations is always better.  

Get moving now, take action towards thriving be an Alpha, not an Omega.

Make time for yourself to have no way out, and only your success in focus. Do what it takes and you will be rewarded. Take action now.

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