SURVIVING > THRIVING

Jon Davidson
4 min readSep 6, 2023

“Don’t just survive. Thrive!"

We all want to thrive in life. We want to achieve our goals, live meaningfully, and feel fulfilled. Furthermore, in today’s society, we are often taught incessantly that we should always strive to become our best selves. Everyone seems to be peddling a secret formula for doing so.

But sometimes, it’s just not possible to thrive. Sometimes, we have to focus on surviving.

There are many situations in which we might need to just survive instead of thrive. We might be going through a difficult time, such as a financial crisis, a health scare, or a personal loss. We might be dealing with a mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression. Or, we might simply be going through a season of life where we don't have the energy or resources to thrive.

When we are in these situations, it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of trying to "keep up" and "do it all." In the midst of these times, though, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to just survive sometimes. It doesn’t mean that you’re weak or a failure. It simply means that you’re doing what you need to do to get through a difficult time.

Sometimes, surviving is vastly superior to thriving.

Here are a few reasons why it's sometimes necessary to just survive:

To protect your mental and emotional health. When we’re going through a tough time, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out. If we try to push ourselves too hard to thrive, we can end up making our problems worse. It’s important to take care of our mental and emotional health by giving ourselves time to rest, relax, and process our emotions.

To conserve your energy. When we’re facing hard times, we may not have the energy to do everything we normally do. It’s important to conserve our energy by focusing on the things that are most important and letting go of the things that aren’t.

To avoid making things worse. When we’re not thinking clearly, we can make decisions that we’ll regret later. It’s important to take a step back and assess the situation before we make any big decisions.

To give yourself time to heal. It takes time to heal from difficult experiences. Don’t put pressure on yourself to thrive before you’re ready. Just focus on surviving and taking care of yourself one day at a time.

Surviving doesn't mean giving up on your dreams or your goals. It simply means taking care of yourself and your basic needs so that you can have the strength to get through the tough times. It means focusing on the things that are most important to you and letting go of the things that aren't. It means taking things one day at a time and not putting too much pressure on yourself.

When you're in survival mode, it's important to be patient with yourself and to give yourself the time and space you need to heal. It's also important to reach out for help if you need it. There are many people who care about you and want to support you through this difficult time.

Remember, it's okay to not be okay. It's okay to just survive sometimes. Surviving is not a failure. It's simply a necessary step on the journey to thriving. So don't be afraid to just survive for now. Eventually, you'll be ready to thrive again.

If you've made it this far, congrats.

If you've made it this far, are somewhat familiar with my writing, and have noticed that something is a little different stylistically, double congrats.

The above piece was written by AI. Google's Bard, to be exact.

I simply asked Bard to write this piece, produced two drafts, made a few minor edits, and boom.

Fascinating. Alarming.

Don’t get me wrong: I agree with the vast majority of what Bard is saying. In fact, I was planning on writing this piece myself before I impulsively decided to solicit some post-human assistance. Granted, I as a human writer might have expressed these valid points in a slightly more poetic manner, with less of a clickbait/self-help feel. However, the truth remains that something not human wrote this piece, and wrote it well.

I’ve heard this current AI revolution compared to the onset of the digital age in music by several artists and writers. Once digital recording and editing tools appeared, it became possible to make even the most out-of-tune vocals pitch-perfect, the most out-of-time drums spot-on.

Suddenly, even Paris Hilton could be a 'singer'.

There is one massive difference between AI and digitally produced music, however.

The song.

Even the most slickly produced music starts with someone, some human, writing a song. A song good enough for Paris Hilton to butcher and still receive airplay.

AI, on the other hand, needs no such assistance. I told Bard, "Write a piece on why it’s often important to survive instead of thrive," and some four seconds later, what you just read was spit out in remarkably organized, nuanced, and articulate fashion, save the aforementioned minor edits by yours truly.

Like every new technology, I’m sure that there are, and will be, many useful and beneficial applications for AI writing. As is the case with many novel technologies, there will be downsides: job replacement, discrimination, and so on. But, I, like many, can’t help but see a little deeper, down to the sinister underbelly of where all this is going. Slowly, we are blurring the lines of what it means to be human, ceding control of our destiny to a creation of ours that has already surpassed us.

In the meantime, while this world inevitably goes down in flames, I should ask Bard to finish the book I've been working on for the past six years.

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Jon Davidson

Mixologist. Entrepreneur. Author. Musician. Jesus follower. Mountain climber. Craft beer lover. Adventure blogger. 66 countries, 50 US states.