In Thrive, Arianna Huffington makes an impassioned
and compelling case for the need to redefine what it means
to be successful in today's world.
Arianna Huffington's personal wake-up call came in the form
of a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash over her eye -- the
result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep.
As the cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post
Media Group -- one of the fastest growing media companies in
the world -- celebrated as one of the world's most
influential women, and gracing the covers of magazines, she
was, by any traditional measure, extraordinarily successful.
Yet as she found herself going from brain MRI to CAT scan to
echocardiogram, to find out if there was any underlying
medical problem beyond exhaustion, she wondered is this
really what success feels like?
As more and
more people are coming to realize, there is far more to
living a truly successful life than just earning a bigger
salary and capturing a corner office. Our relentless pursuit
of the two traditional metrics of success -- money and power
-- has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related
illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our
relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In
being connected to the world 24/7, we're losing our
connection to what truly matters. Our current definition of
success is, as Thrive shows, literally killing us. We
need a new way forward.
In a commencement
address Arianna gave at Smith College in the spring of 2013,
she likened our drive for money and power to two legs of a
three-legged stool. They may hold us up temporarily, but
sooner or later we're going to topple over. We need a third
leg -- a third metric for defining success -- to truly
thrive. That third metric, she writes in Thrive,
includes our well-being, our ability to draw on our
intuition and inner wisdom, our sense of wonder, and our
capacity for compassion and giving. As Arianna points out,
our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the
way society defines success. They don't commemorate our long
hours in the office, our promotions, or our sterling
PowerPoint presentations as we relentlessly raced to climb
up the career ladder. They are not about our resumes -- they
are about cherished memories, shared adventures, small
kindnesses and acts of generosity, lifelong passions, and
the things that made us laugh.
In this deeply
personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own
challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands
of a career and raising two daughters -- of juggling
business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that
led to her collapse and to her "aha moment." Drawing on the
latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in
the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that
show the profound and transformative effects of meditation,
mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the
way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our
workplace, and our lives.