What’s TotalThriver.com all about? Perhaps you noticed last week the feature of the ThriveFit training program and took a moment to learn how an Olympic lift can help you get in great shape and look and feel better. Maybe you scrolled down to see the previous week’s post about eternity and what God has planned for His children. After that, you clicked the ThriveWealthy tab on the top menu and downloaded the free cashflow planning tool, including instructions for getting your finances in order. Are these topics related? What connects these seemingly unrelated ideas?
You’re not an ice-cube tray
The threads that connect these aspects of life are at the very core of our mission here at TotalThriver. A prevalent notion in our culture today is the idea that we exist as individuals with different compartments, which are separate and distinct from each other. For example, a man may delude himself by thinking, “Sure, I’m harsh and unsympathetic at work, and sometimes I take advantage of my employees, but that has nothing to do with my relationship with my wife and kids. Who I am at work is not who I am at home.”
Contrast this with the wisdom of God’s Word. In Proverbs 23, we read:
6 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.
This is a teaching given throughout the Bible–that the heart is where our behavior and actions originate. Similarly, Jesus said in Luke 6:45 that:
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
Address the real problem
All of us want to thrive in life–and particularly those of you who’ve come to this site to find tools and resources to do just that. But the first step in moving forward is to recognize that our “less than thriving” behaviors in the various aspects of our lives are rooted in our heart. The man who mistreats his employees has a heart problem. And this problem of the heart will manifest itself everywhere in his life.
To insist that poor behavior in one area in life has nothing to do with other areas of life is dangerous because it refuses to recognize the real connections within your own person. And without clear understanding of the cause of a problem, no true change can be made.
What are your “unseen connections?”
Take a moment to consider personally, “what aspects of my life have I been neglecting?” If your life is a wheel made up of five spokes (physical, financial, spiritual, relational, career), which spoke is deficient and giving you a wobbly wheel?
Try to seek out the connections between parts of life where you aren’t thriving and the negative effects that they produce in other areas of your life. Do you hate your job? Do you then come home angry and fight with your spouse? Or perhaps you’ve not exercised in months, and notice that you just don’t have the energy level to care for your family that you once did. By identifying the negative results that you most dislike and connecting them to their causes, you’ll find the motivation to make the investments of time and energy needed to thrive in one area, bringing success in both areas.
That’s what’s so great about starting to understand how these areas relate–you improve the area that needs improvement, but you get a bonus in other areas. The clearest example of this is the area of fitness. When you spend time exercising your body properly, you’ll notice an improvement to your physique. But you get a bonus benefit in your work life, as you have better energy levels and can be more productive. And you’ll likely notice an improved relationship with your spouse, as your frustrations have been taken out on a barbell instead of your lover!
The connections between these areas of life are complex and seemingly infinite. Some, like the examples above, can be understood and generalized. Others are known by God alone. Yet as we understand more and more that our behavior and the results of our behavior stem from the heart, we work to thrive in each area to the satisfaction of ourselves and the glory of our Maker.