Interview with Dave Arnold: How to Thrive Not Just Survive

I’m excited for my friend Dave Arnold‘s new book release entitled “It’s Possible: How To Thrive, Not Just Survive.” Dave is a writer and speaker who works with refugees and immigrants in the Detroit-area.  He is passionate about hospitality and believe deeply in helping people find purpose in the alley.

1. Tell me what inspired you to write your latest book.

Possible Book CoverThe book was inspired by my own personal journey of struggling and attempting to thrive. I mention in the begging of the book about a significant conversation I had with my wife back in 2009. She spoke directly to my heart and to the reality that I was living my life in “neutral” – that is, not intentionally, merely surviving.

That started me on a journey of taking an inward look to see why am I doing what I’m doing; and as I did, I was able to better see my purpose and how God created me. I had allowed busyness and work to so dominate my life that I forgot what I was supposed to be doing.

Moreover, I’ve encountered so many people who are just surviving in life, uncertain of why they are on this earth and what they should do.

These are the reasons I wrote the book.

2. Why is it so important to thrive and not survive?

Survival is easy. It’s natural. As humans, we naturally drift into ruts. But God called us to thrive not just survive. Although survival is sometimes inevitable in different seasons of life, it should not be our normal “mode” of life.

Jesus said, “I came to give life and life to the full” (John 10:10). But experiencing this full life requires effort. We need to be intentional about growth. If not, we will slip into survival mode and we’ll wake up one day and say, “Who am I and what am I supposed to do?

3. What are some key destiny deterrents and why is it so harmful in pursuing one’s calling in life?

Destiny Deterrents, as I define them, are those things that trip us up in life and cause us to languish instead of thrive. I love what Hebrews 12:1-2 says: “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

The idea is to discover what those “hindrances” are and throw them off. If we are to run effectively, we don’t need heavy baggage weighing us down.

Destiny Deterrents can be anything from fears – fear of failure, etc., to poor time management, to bitterness. The key is to identity what is hindering you and then do something about it.

4. What are some practical steps an ordinary person can do to discover his/her God-given purpose in life?

I think some practical steps are:

  • Write down 2 or 3 things that make you feel alive. I talk about this in my book. You have to write it down and then take steps – often, at first, small steps – to work toward it.
  • Find a few other people who can be with you on your journey. The truth is you need others to help you thrive.
  • Identify what your Destiny Deterrents are and then pray about how you can deal with them in healthy ways. This may require accountability and life coaching to do this.

Believe it’s possible to do what God’s called you to do. God has placed within you everything you need to be who He’s created you to be and do what He’s created you to do. But this requires daily choices to believe this in faith and then take action.

Dave Arnold is an author, speaker, blogger and leader who ministers to the needs of immigrants in Dearborn, MI. Dave is a husband and father. His second child is coming March 10th. You can follow Dave on Twitter, Facebook, and through his website www.reflectionsfromthealley.org