During times of adversity and significant challenge, there are those who succumb to challenges entering a state of despair, those who bounce back to a baseline state exhibiting resilience, and those who recover from adversity and surpass a baseline state of functioning engaging in a process of thriving. Thriving is an upward trajectory of human flourishing characterized by optimal well-being, prosocial behavior, and a heightened spiritual perspective. Life meaning, passion, and social purpose are also central components of thriving. Scholars and researchers have long acknowledged the existence and wellbeing benefits of thriving, but there is still a significant need for further research on the concept.
Much of the work at THRIVE builds upon our previous research on meaning in life, hope, contemplative practices, and mental health interventions. We are also informed by the Thriving with Social Purpose Theory of Life Meaning (TSP; Ford & Smith, 2007) which provides an integrative approach for understanding how individuals develop and sustain motivation towards meaningful goals. Through this research, we have identified some potential avenues for facilitating thriving. We noted these components in the THRIVE model above highlighting that our central aim is to see positive transformation in individuals and communities.