Survival of the Fittest

Everyone has probably heard the phrase “Survival of the Fittest”.

The phrase was first used by Herbert Spencer in his 1864 book “Principles of Biology” after reading Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of the Species”.   My non-scientific interpretation of Survival of the Fittest is that the species that are able to change, adapt, and grow with present and future environments will be the species that sustain and survive.  Those that are not able to change, adapt, and grow will eventually go away.  With no intention of being scientific or 100% in alignment with it’s original meaning I use the phrase Survival of the Fittest quite a bit when I’m talking to people as I think it is a simple way to articulate a point.

To me, survival is striving to enhance our quality of life versus being satisfied with “the way things are” and settling for average or status quo.  It’s about continuously moving forward and progressing in this crazy… unfair… political… dog-eat-dog world.  Survival is about dealing with all the bullshit and stress that may come our way on a daily basis and staying secure, confident, and fulfilled in our lives.  I don’t just want to go through the motions living . . . I want to survive.  I want to change, adapt, and grow with every situation I encounter, good bad.  I need to, and so do you!

Those that have the greatest chance of surviving are those who are the most fit and healthy:

  • Mentally
  • Emotionally
  • Physically

Being fit and healthy come down to three things for me. 

Fit people . . .

  • THINK more productively.  People that think productively are more aware and secure with themselves and the world around them.   They assess information and situations objectively, allowing them to make better decisions.  When they are faced with stress and adversity they are better equipped to overcome and recover more effectively.
  • Have EMOTIONAL awareness, intelligence, and they are able to manage their emotions appropriately.  Part of the awareness and management process is understanding how we show up in situations and what makes us think and feel certain ways.  This allows us to be more  intentional when we do things, as well how we react to things. 
  • Take the most effective ACTION to get the results they want.  Without thinking productively and having emotional awareness and intelligence, it’s much more difficult to consistently take the best action.  Unproductive thoughts and mismanaged emotions are the main ingredients of insecurity.  When people are insecure they make choices to satisfy their discomfort, fears, and insecurities rather than approaching people and situations with confidence.

Like anything worthwhile, this takes time, energy, and attention.  It might not be easy or pleasurable at first.  We live in an insecure society and if we’re not intentional it’s really easy to allow ourselves to be knocked around by average and status quo.  Everyday you don’t try is another day you’re digging yourself a hole that is full of average and insecurity.   How far down are you going to dig before
the hole is too big to climb out of?

Everyday we have a choice to simply live and settle or strive to survive.

What do you want to do?


About Jason Kiesau
Jason has been studying personal, professional, and leadership development for over 13 years and is passionate about helping people confidently pursue and achieve meaningful results. He is a speaker, trainer, coach, and author who works with leadership groups, emerging leaders, and young professionals. Jason is a contributing author with The Good Men Project and and was honored as a 2014 Forty Under 40, an award given to 40 local business leaders under the age of 40 who have demonstrated impressive career achievements and unparalleled community involvement. You can learn more about Jason at his website:

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