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The difference between the Surviving Self and the Thriving Self

The Surviving Self is concerned only with the survival of our physical body and of our Ego. If we completely identify with our Surviving Self (if our consciousness is focused only on it), without any connection to our Thriving Self and our Essence, then we will be concerned only with getting food and shelter, obtaining material possessions and wealth, obtaining social power over others, treating other people only as means to an end (treating them nicely only when it serves our desires, and not hesitating to hurt them when it serves our purposes), and constantly seeking physical and material pleasures and gratification (such as tasty food, drugs, sex, entertainment, acquisitions, fame).

If only this part of us manages our thoughts and emotions, we often experience worries or anxiety about being lonely or losing our possessions or health or being hurt by others. We often compare ourselves to others, criticize ourselves or others, or get into fights. We focus only on what we don’t have and on problems, and while this originates from a natural desire to fill our needs, focusing only on problems moves us farther away from solutions and from recognizing and appreciating what we do have. In this state, we are also very susceptible to being controlled by The Virus.

In contrast, our Thriving Self is concerned not only with our physical and social survival, but cares about the thriving of all our parts and needs. This is where our positive character traits and values are manifested. This is the place that knows and absorbs the higher knowledge we learn in books and courses of self development (e.g. about courage, or how to communicate compassionately with others). It drives us to learn and grow, to be curious and creative, and to develop so that we can fulfill our potential. Our Thriving Self cares not only about our own well-being, but also about the well-being of others, and we see them as subjects like ourselves, not as tools to manipulate.

The Thriving Self is all about deep happiness and joy of life, confidence and serenity, love and compassion, appreciation of what is and awareness of our strengths, connectedness to ourselves and others and to the world, the freedom to be who we really are, and the power to act. It can more easily connect with our Essence than our Surviving Self can.


How strongly are you connected to your Thriving Self? How much of your day do you operate from a perspective of surviving rather than thriving? How could you increase the time that you are connected to your Thriving Self?