Today, we live in a world where there are wars, a sputtering business economy, disruption du jour, and a helicopter of uncertainty swirling around us. Yet, in the midst of this turmoil there arise individuals just like you who have decided to grab the steering wheel of the future and change lanes.

As I have interviewed people virtually and in person, there is a resounding new soundtrack emerging with a trap beat of thriving vs. surviving.

Creating rather than accepting.

Moving forward rather than standing still.

Reaching upward instead of settling for forty acres and a mule.

These are the individuals who have chosen to evolve into being Thrivers. Yes, they are misfits, quirky, rebels in disguise, salmons who swim upstream. They are divergent thinkers who use their own intellectual scissors to cut themselves out of the straitjacket of quiet desperation.

Thrivers are captains of their own destiny instead of receiving orders from the mothership of tradition. No longer will they settle for being denied a seat at the table. Thrivers create their own circle of resilience that’s made up of people who don’t look like them, think like them, or envy them.

To heck with waiting to be liked, re-shared, commented on, or loved by a heartless place of business that will hire you into the family and the next day put you out to pasture like a cow or worthless professional vagabond.

Thrivers cut the umbilical cord of having a need to be needed. They have chosen to jump ship and create a meaningful life where they are seen, valued, and understood.

Thrivers are bigger than a Social Security number in the human resources payroll system.

Ahhh….yes. Thrivers are rising up all over the planet. They’re no longer confined to showing up in person with their game face on, or putting up an invisible shield to deflect people who are more negative than an undeveloped piece of film.

According to research from Perkins + Will, 27% of working people say nothing will bring them back to the office; not culture, amenities, ergonomic desk, healthy foods, snacks, natural light, or a garden.

Can you blame them? Some have left a physical office where the office trauma of disrespect, discouragement, distrust, and disloyalty choked out the twins of innovation: creativity and collaboration.

As a Thriver, I had an epiphany one day that there was a senior leader who had it out for me. My days were numbered.

No matter how much I figuratively kissed up or played the political game, he was never going to like me. It didn’t matter how many diversity, equity, and inclusion classes he attended, bottom line he didn’t care, nor did he give a rip about my career.

I’ve never talked about workplace trauma to anyone until now. I kept my head down for twenty years—left to my own accord, though indirectly nudged out by a corporate henchman who smiled in my face but secretly worked behind the scenes to get rid of me.

I could sense I was being set up. Then one day, the light switch flipped on in my mind and I walked out of my corporate job without filing an EEOC complaint (for experiencing job discrimination based on race, sex, etc.).

I didn’t ask for a severance package. Please Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina. I would rather die trying to find my happiness elsewhere instead of working another day for a senior executive who cared more about his stock options than humanity.

It’s taken me twenty years to process this workplace trauma. Somehow, I pushed it down into the damp basement of my soul. All is forgiven but not forgotten.

I chose to thrive.

Thrivers come to the realization that someone’s limited opinion of them is their cognitive bent. A self-centered mindset cannot see potential through a microscope of scarcity. Your innate Brilliance DNA™ to thrive is recognized through a telescope of abundance.

Invest your energy in a place where you are activated rather than tolerated.

Infuse your life, business, and career with what is working well instead of what’s not working.

Inspire someone else to finish what they start.

Thrivers have a spark.

When a Thriver finds their voice, they find their spark. When a Thriver finds their Spark, they find their voice. When a Thriver finds their voice, they find their freedom.

Freedom to just BE YOU!