Thriving isn’t the same as happiness – it’s more than a feeling and it won’t always mean things are easy. It’s also about what we do, as much as how we feel in the moment. We can thrive through the ups and the downs and there’s no such thing as perfect. Thriving and resilience are two sides of the same coin – they are both important to our well-being and they support each other. Thriving is just as important when life is hard, it just might mean we have to rely on others a bit more, ask for help, be ok with not being ok, look after ourselves and our own well-being and recognise that it won’t last for ever. Working through setbacks and taking the good when it comes along is all part of thriving.
What is thriving?
Thriving allows us to be at our best, make the most of what life has to offer and more able to build thriving in those around us. In order to thrive we have to understand what gives us meaning and purpose, where we find the confidence and energy to take on challenges, connect with others and enjoy the good things in our lives.In the world of education thriving is not a nice to do – it’s essential. Educators do what they do to help others thrive but need to remember to do the same for themselves.
Is thriving just for the good times?
Thriving at work
How we thrive at work will be different for everyone but my research tells us there are some essential ingredients in the formula and what we need in order to thrive is an important first step. Then we can get better at it – we can develop skills and strategies that support our thriving by connecting us to others, creating more meaning and encourage us to do more of the things that we care about. The good news is this doesn’t involve a ‘leap’ to a different way of doing things, but small, every day, incremental steps that build over time to increase our capacity to thrive.
Creating a thriving school where every member of the community has the opportunity to do their best is no simple task. An environment where the adults who support young people can thrive in their work is a great place to start.
Thriving school leaders
Thriving as a school leader isn’t easy – there are often too many other priorities and
demands to give it any focus - but it really matters.