Life is tough. Everywhere we turn, it seems this narrative is relentlessly reiterated. Work. School. Family. Bills. War. Terrorism. Racism. Obligation and fear never cease. Sound familiar to the life you or someone you know is living? Pay attention closely... that's NOT living... it's more like waiting to die. In truth, we are now in a new year which offers renewal, hope and unlimited opportunity. Happiness is achievable but the journey to joy is a process which requires diligence. How do we actually attain and sustain the happiness that always appears to elude us? I've found one reliable answer: Thrive, the digital OCourse offered by Arianna Huffington on demand at Oprah.com.
Thrive, a six-week online interactive course, outlines how to reclaim your life's narrative. It even takes it a step further with lessons that show how to actually thrive while doing so. From the intention set in the welcome message by Oprah Winfrey, to the powerful lineup of guest teachers (NBA star Kobe Bryant, happiness expert Shawn Achor and others), Arianna Huffington guides us through practical exercises that challenge, frustrate, but ultimately inspire. If your schedule is already jam packed and the last thing you have is time for a six week online course, you're just like me... and you need this course the most!
Each week Thrive offers a new, formidable lesson plan. My nemeses? The "digital detox." Thrive puts us on a step-by-step plan to detach from devices and social media... a downright violation for someone like me. Despite the imposition, I commit to the challenge for the duration of the course. In the end I don't miss anything critical by not obsessing over my devices, but it sure feels like it. What I do notice is more time to be productive in other areas of my life. This "digital detox" is not a one time cure all. It's a practice I still repeat regularly.
Guest instructors give Thrive an additional boost. NBA super star Kobe Bryant reveals how he takes time out for himself and it's utterly clear how such focus has led him to numerous championships. Despite his larger than life persona, he's practical and relatable as an instructor. Guest instructor Shawn Achor, the Harvard Happiness expert, teaches us the true meaning of happiness in a way that is actually realistic. They're a perfect compliment to Huggington's style. I continue to use both of their classes as a compass to gauge that my life is still on track.
Accountability is a huge component of Thrive. Several activities are designed to work with a trusted partner. One of these principles, an application of gratitude, I still practice daily with my classmate. What started as a classroom assignment has become a welcome ritual... and we continue to hold each other accountable. The results? Life changing.
At the conclusion of the Thrive you're definitely in a new space physically, emotionally and spiritually... if you've done the work. So now what? Do we just ride out our remaining days from this spiritual mountaintop? Not exactly. Not even close. The beauty of this class being available on demand is we can access the lessons anytime and as often as we need! The Thrive OCourse doesn't eliminate the stressful demands of life, but does a provides strategic action plan that keeps us moving in the direction of our greatness. Almost a year after initially completing the course and I'm still thriving!