There are going to be some people who believe that life is matter of survival and then there are going to be others who believe there is more to life than simply surviving. And because they see life differently, there is a strong chance that they are going to experience life differently.

However, this can all depend on if their views match up with their reality. One may believe that there is more to life than surviving and at the same time, this doesn’t mean their life matches up with the outlook they have.


When this happens, they are going to end up experiencing conflict and it will be harder for them to settle for how their life is. Whereas, if one didn’t expect more from life it is still going to create pain, but it will be what they have come to accept.

Simply existing is not going to be enough for them, and this is going to give them the motivation they need to change their current life circumstances. This doesn’t mean their life will change overnight, but there is the chance that it will change over time.


If one was to go into a populated area, they are going to see examples of people who are thriving and people who are simply surviving. One may come across people who live on the street and people who are driving in expensive cars into expensive houses, for instance.


Now, this is not to say that this is all about how well off someone is in a material sense, but this is going to be a big part of it. This is also something that relates to how one feels about themselves and the world, and how healthy their relationships are, for instance.

When one can support themselves financially, it is going to make it a lot easier for them to thrive on this planet. If they are in a position where they rarely, if ever, have any money, it is likely to be a challenge for them to live well.


However, if they only earn a certain amount, it could still mean that they are unable to thrive. They could be in a position where they are only earning enough to make ends meet and each day could be a struggle.

On the other hand, one might not be able to earn money and this is likely to mean that they are dependent on others for their survival. When this happens, one is not going to feel as though they have much control over their life.

A Struggle

They may say that life is not something you enjoy, it is something you endure. This may mean that they are drawn to things that allow them to experience life differently for a short while, such as: alcohol and drugs.

And even though one may rise up, it is not going to be long until they are back where they started, and because they have experienced life differently, it is going to be even harder for them to live in the same way. Yet, all the time they experience life in the same way; it can be a challenge for them to cut back on (or avoid) these options.


When someone is not simply surviving, they are likely to be in a position where they are no longer thinking about if they have enough money or is it safe for them to be themselves. As a result of this, it will be possible for them to live a live a life of purpose.

The needs of their body are being fulfilled and they can then fulfil the needs of their heart and mind, and even their soul. This doesn’t mean their life is easy or that everything goes to plan, but it will mean that they will be able to fulfil their ‘higher’ needs, so to speak.

A Different Experience

The person who is thriving is having a radically different experience the person who is simply surviving. Based on what is taking place, it could be said that one person is luckier than the other, and that this is why they are having a different experience on this earth.

If one is thriving, it could be because they were brought into the world by a family who were also thriving, and if one is surviving, it could be because their caregivers were also surviving. And while this could be true, there are also going to be people who started off surviving and then end up thriving and vice versa.

Early Experiences

What happens during one’s early years is going to play a big part in how they experience life as an adult. There will also be how one responds to what happens, and this shows it is not something that is black and white.

If someone is thriving, it shows that their needs are being met, whereas if they are surviving, it shows that the majority of their needs are not being met. And the first person one looked towards to fulfil their needs is likely to have been their primary caregiver.


How their caregivers responded to their developmental needs can play a big part in how other people respond to their needs in their adult life. This is because these experiences can define whether one feels comfortable or uncomfortable with their needs.

If their caregivers responded to their needs, one would have learned that it was safe for them to have needs, and they would expect to have their needs met. However, if their caregivers didn’t respond to their needs, one would have learned that it wasn’t safe for them to have needs, and this would then set them up to believe that other people won’t meet their needs.

Repeating The Past

Without the attunement they needed to develop, these early years would have been a time of pain and suffering. Therefore, if one is ‘surviving’ as an adult, it can be seen as a reflection of how they experienced life as a child.

Yet, even though what is taking place in their adult life is a reflection of their younger years, it doesn’t mean they realise this. It might just been seen as ‘how life is’, and this will mean that they have not been able to step back and observe their life.

Two Options

So as their needs were rarely, if ever met, it can set them up to feel powerless when it comes to getting their needs met, and at the same time, being in this position can be what feels safe. The pain they experienced through not getting their needs met all those years ago may have stayed within them and this is going add to the pain they are experiencing through not having their adult needs met.

One may find that they have moments where they either act as though they don’t need anything or they act needy, and how they behave can depend on how they feel and who they are with. Their early years conditioned them to believe that their needs are not acceptable and this would have set them up to feel ashamed of their needs.


If this is something that one can relate to, it will be important for them to look at what is taking place in their head and in their body. They may need to change their beliefs and to mourn their unmet childhood needs.

This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist and/or a support group.

Author's Bio: 

Prolific writer, thought leader and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from the United Kingdom. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation; love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over seven hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behavior, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. Current projects include "A Dialogue With The Heart" and "Communication Made Easy."

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