Front Line Marketing
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Failure To Thrive


In medical terms when used with the elderly, 'failure to thrive'  refers to apathy and a loss of willingness to eat and drink.

I've recently had to become familiar with this term, and therefore have tried to wrap my head around it.

'Failure to thrive' is an expression used to describe an older person coming to the end of their journey as evidenced by apathy and despondency. It is resignation. It says, "I've had enough."

Take the word 'Thrive". Such a strong and positive word. One of its definitions is, 'to grow vigorously'. Synonyms include, 'flourish' and 'prosper'.

Interesting that 'Thrive' was used in this expression.

Because, what concerns me, is not that someone coming to the conclusion of this life might determine of their own accord to move on, but just how appropriate and unfortunate a phrase, "Failure to thrive', can be for many of us in the midst of our journey. Too many of us go through the motions of life without passion and purpose. Our only intent is on getting to the end; of the day, the week, the year ... existing in life instead of thriving. Focused on getting through life with minimal bumps and bruises. 

The decision to thrive, to grow vigorously, to flourish, is I believe tied to our level of happiness. And it would seem that happiness, according to numerous studies, is very much determined by us, consciously.


Is that feeling that you get when you lose track of time, when you are doing an activity that you could do all day. It is that state of mind in which we are happy.

In psychology, 'Flow' is described as the psychology of optimal experience.

To thrive we need to seek those experiences that create flow, because it turns out that our happiness is dependent on a neurotransmitter in the brain called Dopamine. Often prescribed as an anti depressant, dopamine is released when we are doing things that we like.

To thrive, maybe it is best to follow the advice of comedian George Burns, "Do what you love."
Our Happiness Construction
Happiness Chart Studies are finding that we each have a genetic 'set point' that determines our happiness range. Our inclination to be happy. And that accounts for 50% of our predetermined happiness.

About 10 percent of our happiness is determined by the overall circumstances of our lives. Things like social status, demographics, money, age, whether we are religious and whether or not we are married. Yep, only 10%.

That leaves us a whopping 40% of our happiness directly under our control. It is our 'intentional activities' that really move the happiness needle in our lives. And intentional activities turn out to be the things we choose to do everyday.
Thriving In Business
group clapping Studies report that up to 80% of those working are not engaged in their work, are unhappy and feeling unfulfilled in what they are doing. They would seem to be, "Failing To Thrive". And since businesses are a reflection of the people that comprise it, is it difficult to assume that most businesses are therefore also, "Failing To Thrive?"

The economics are clear. And the answer is simple, if not easy. For a business to prosper (Read: THRIVE) it must invigorate its most important asset, its people. A 'churn and burn' philosophy, 'warm body' approach or casual indifference to well-being is no longer the road to prosperity and sustainable profit. In a world that is increasingly becoming more aware of itself, forward thinking companies have the opportunity to reinvent themselves by focusing intentionally on their only sustainable product, their employees.

Maybe you will find it poetic, that the word, "Company" comes from the Latin, "companio", which means companions.

The leadership model that will be successful in the future will seek to actively engage employees as unique individuals, purposefully leading them to find their passion and then encouraging them to find ways to best apply that passion to a unifying vision.

Leaders will encourage their companions to thrive.

"You're alive. Do something. Your direction in life, the moral imperative is so uncomplicated. It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences. It sounds like: Look. Listen. Choose. Act."
Barbara Hall

At Front Line Marketing our passion is people. We are dedicated to helping you improve your bottom line, by focusing on your front line.

We call our approach to business, Kerfuffle. We believe it is time to 'create a fuss' in the way business is approached. If you would like to learn more about how to create Kerfuffle in your business, please contact me directly.

To Your Success,
Bruce Cameron
Front Line Marketing
To begin creating a kerfuffle contact me