The Will To Thrive

Matthew McKenna
3 min readAug 3, 2022
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Unless suicidal, the drive for survival will motivate a living organism.

But not all life is guided by the will to survive. There are those among us who do not merely survive, but thrive.

Surviving, getting by, and simply not dying is the mantra for many. But for those radiating souls who are unsatisfied with the mediocre, theirs is the will to thrive.

To thrive is to triumph. Success, fulfillment, and prosperity of spirit are granted to those who are guided by the will to thrive. Survival is not triumph. Survival is the slavery one finds in defeat. Survival is not fulfillment. Survival is the avoidance of death and the longing for a life well lived. Survival is not prosperity. Survival is getting by with enough to not perish. Surviving is not thriving. To survive is to live, to thrive is to live well.

It seems that some people are driven by a light from within — by an internal energy that pushes them far from average. They seek not only to survive, but thrive. They don’t want the mundane and “good enough”, they aspire towards greatness and aim at the highest state of virtue.

These folks are characteristically different. Rather than just working harder or doing better, they seem animated by a different spirit altogether. At the core of their being is a drive for greatness.

The will to thrive is not a primal urge for victory or domination, but for prosperity beyond oneself. Those driven by the will to thrive have something of the Midas touch, turning everything they encounter into gold — gold in the sense of richness, quality, and excellence. Those motivated by the will to thrive are not concerned with just living, but living well. And not just living well for oneself, but for the wellness of others.

Individuals who thrive cause their communities to flourish. Communities that thrive cause their countries to prosper. Countries that thrive lift the world to new heights.

Those whose will aims at survival with act insofar as they survive, but those whose will aims at thriving will act beyond just surviving. The will to thrive is the seed of greatness.

Why just survive when one can thrive? The will to thrive is available to all, if only they will advance beyond the will to simply survive. Thriving is opposed to surviving. Whereas surviving is concerned with keeping one’s head above water, thriving aims to soar in the sky above.

Thriving, excellence, harmony, greatness, success, fulfillment, high achievement, and the most prosperous quality of existence are what we can attain — only if we set out sights clearly on prosperity and avoid the pitfalls of mere survival. Life can be okay, or life can be better than okay. The choice is yours.

The will to thrive is available to all. Within us is a motivation — a drive towards a state of being. It’s unfortunate that many of us set our sights on the mediocrity of “getting by” and mere survival. I offer you a vision of what life could be if it were a life of the highest sort. A life of love, plenty, and fulfillment. Such a life is achievable so long as the goal of life is not simply to survive. I invite you to set your sights beyond just survival. I invite you to aim at the highest aim of life — prosperity.



Matthew McKenna

When facing hardship and burned by flame / We look to myth for where to aim / As stories of old were understood / Extract the gold and make it good.