How To Flourish
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How To Flourish When You’re Languishing

If you read my post on languishing, you know I’ve been feeling bored and uninspired lately. It’s been a struggle for me to produce content, focus on my writing, even focus on my coaching business. I was beginning to think I had a form of high functioning depression until I learned about languishing and realized “hey, that’s me!” 

The counter to languishing is, according to the professionals, flourishing. I knew I wasn’t flourishing – or as I interpret it, thriving. I was going through the motions of waking up, going to work, going to school, coming home, and going to bed. Nothing about that was me at my best. I was checking the boxes but that was about it. 

Dr. Martin Seligman came up with the PERMA method to counter languishing. The idea is to cultivate each of these five categories: 

  • Positive emotions
  • Engagement
  • Relationships 
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishments 

But how do you cultivate them? 

I’m no expert, but in my opinion, I needed to figure out what I actually wanted my ideal life – my ideal day – to look like if I was going to cultivate and flourish. So I sat down with my trusty journal and I walked myself through the following questions. 

  • How do I want to feel? 
  • What brings me true joy? 
  • Who do I want to surround myself with? 
  • What do I want to do for work? 
  • What do I want to do for fun? 
  • What do I need to let go of? 

Once I had the answers to those questions, I moved on to the next step: 

What does my ideal day look like? 

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I started with how I wanted my morning to look. Where do I want to wake up? How do I want to wake up? Who do I want to wake up to? What does my morning routine look like? 

From there, I wrote out my ideal day in as much detail as I could – where do I go? What do I do? Who do I spend time with? What do I eat? What do I watch? Read? Listen to? How do I move my body? Where do I prioritize my time? Do I drink enough water? When dinner rolls around, do I cook or do I order in? Go out to eat? Do I have dessert? What does my evening routine look like? What is my bedtime routine? Who is with me? How long does it take for me to fall asleep? 

I went on for several pages. There are no right or wrong answers. Let yourself dream big. If you want it, write it down. This is your dream. This is how you flourish. 

Now, the hard part. 

The part I’m still in and if we’re being frank, will probably be in for a while. 

Making your dream life your actual life. 

It’s not easy. Depending on where you are in your current situation, you might be pretty far off from your dream life (I certainly feel that way). That doesn’t mean you can’t get there, but this is the part where the work begins. 

Compare your current day-to-day with your dream day-to-day. How are they similar? How are they different? Where can you start to make progress towards your ideal day? Using myself as an example, part of my ideal day has me getting in at least 30 minutes of movement. I wasn’t doing that consistently in my current situation, so I took a look at where and how I could get movement in and made a commitment to stick to it. A couple of weeks in, I can already feel the difference. 

Perhaps you eat healthfully in your dream day scenario, but currently you’re grabbing fast food on your lunch break or using DoorDash to bring you late night cookies. Start to pivot towards that dream day by packing lunch a few times a week and stocking your pantry with healthier options for your sweet tooth. Take small steps – too much at once isn’t always a good thing – and create new habits. As those habits become second nature, expand them to include other habits from the dream life. 

Maybe, like me in my dream life, you’re working for yourself or at least have a healthy side hustle but currently, you’re going to a job that you don’t hate, but you’re not exactly on fire for it either. Make a plan for how you’re going to start your business or if you already have it established, how you’re going to grow it. That could be a creating a content calendar, filing for an LLC., or opening a business checking account. 

If you’re languishing right now, it’s because you’re not flourishing. Sometimes we need to do some self-reflection to flourish. Set aside some time to dedicate yourself to this exercise. Get really clear on how you can flourish. Then, identify the steps to flourish and start making them.

One step at a time.

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How to flourish when you're languishing

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