Tuesday 2 July 2013

Flourishing not simply just success

Yesterday I ended my blog looking forward to our mutual flourishing. Before I share more on the ICECAPS acronym I want to explore the use and meaning behind flourishing. After all, if flourishing is the end result of the changes I'm suggesting we all need to make, its useful to understand why it's important. 

Initially I thought the process I was developing was about how to achieve success - success in life, in health, in business, in leadership. Yet it just didn't feel right. Then flourish came to mind and that did feel right - this blog is a means of me exploring why that might be.

Looking in the dictionary the following words are used to describe each:

Success: achievement of an aim often cited as wealth, profit, fame or prosperity - or more generally achievement of something desired.

Flourish: to grow well, to thrive, to develop, to prosper or to be healthy.

It would seem I've muddled up verbs and nouns for a start. However even if I use 'to succeed' as the aim there's still a question of "at what?", "for how long?" and "for whom?"

Whilst success, therefore, is the achievement of some end result as yet unknown, flourish is an end result in and of itself. Perhaps that's what I like about flourishing - it provides an outcome from the start of what the intended outcome of our actions is. It's also a state that assumes future flourishing. For me success is too nebulous and can, I realise, also be achieved to the detriment of thriving, development, health and yes even future success. Additionally, as the ICECAPS model uses nature as its teacher, flourish also makes more sense than success - after all when did you last see a successful landscape? 

Later in the week I'll continue to explore what implications applying a goal of flourishing rather than succeeding would have personally. Future blogs next week will consider organisational flourishing. 

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out

You can find more on how you can use the ICECAPS acronym on Pinterest and Facebook. Although the remaining 29 blogs, to meet the ultimate blog challenge of a blog a day for a month, will also explore the acronym  and how to successfully apply it to your life and business to allow you to flourish.

Picture with kind permisisson from Pixabay.


  1. Alison, you have captured the essence of "flourishing" very well! As the Founder of Flourish Over 50, I spent a very long time coming up with just the right word to name my business. I chose the word flourish because it is an action word, not just an adjective like "fabulous." It implies a state of being that requires active participation, and conjures up feelings of becoming all you were created to be, stepping in to your brilliance. I have had so many people comment over time that they love that word! You have chosen wisely!

  2. Thanks Susan glad to know. It certainly felt right but evidence is always useful. Look forward to connecting as the ultimate blog challenge continues throughout the month.

  3. 'Flourish' was my 'word of the year' last year, and it encapsulated all I wanted to see blossom in my life. It was an exceptional year, and that was because I got focused and intentional! Love your post. Will be interested to see what else you have us as the month unfolds.

  4. Love the word Flourish because when we're over 50 (I'm 72) we can definitely flourish even more than when we were younger. It's great to meet new people by participating in The Blog Challenge.

  5. Thanks Susan and Hazel I'm loving the reaction to flourishing here and elsewhere. Tomorrow's blog continues the theme of personal flourishing - unless I go off on any other tangents :-)

  6. Today's blog continues the exploration of flourishing linked to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. http://thepurchasingcoach.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/maslows-hierarchy-of-needs.html