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thrive 246Factors which contribute to thriving 

From a study by Dr Daniel Brown and others

Dr Daniel Brown, a sports scientist at the University of Portsmouth, and colleagues at the University of Bath studied thriving in elite sports performers and identified internal and external factors which contribute to feeling outstanding. These were published in a July 2017 study, "A Qualitative Exploration of Thriving in Elite Sport".

The research identified the fundamental factors of human thriving and put these into two lists of key ingredients, internal and external, that facilitate thriving. One does not need all of these components to thrive, but that a combination of the factors on List A and List B (below) will facilitate thriving. 

The lists are as follows:

Key Factors That Facilitate Human Thriving

List A – Internal
Person Is:

  • Optimistic
  • Spiritual or religious 
  • Motivated
  • Proactive
  • Someone who enjoys learning
  • Flexible
  • Adaptable
  • Socially competent
  • Believes in self/has self-esteem

List B – External
Person Has:

  • Opportunity
  • Employer/family/other support
  • Challenges and difficulties are at manageable level
  • Environment is calm
  • Is given a high degree of autonomy
  • Is trusted as competent

List A provides some clues as to specific explanatory styles, daily habits, and target mindset that will increase odds of thriving.

For anyone who is in a position to help someone else, List B offers a checklist of things you may be able to do that will help somebody else thrive. 

The researchers are not yet able to judge which single factor is the most potent, or to be able to assert confidently that altering some of the conditions or enablers of thriving could bring about a change in athlete performance, but both are the subject of further research.

Dr Brown commented, "It appears to come down to an individual experiencing a sense of development, of getting better at something, and succeeding at mastering something. In the simplest terms, what underpins it is feeling good about life and yourself and being good at something."

You may note that 'Spiritual or religious' is one of the internal factors. This ties in with other studies - see a previous blog 'Active faith is key factor in increased well-being'.

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From a study by Dr Daniel Brown and others, 03/10/2017

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