Recent Reads: Thrive, by Arianna Huffington

Photo from Amazon

A $22 credit appeared in my  Amazon account the day Arianna Huffington’s new book, Thrive, came out, so I immediately purchased it.  I’ve been attempting (and failing) to work my way through the ever-popular Lean In, and I wanted to see what Sheryl Sandberg’s peer had to say. Sandberg has a message of jumping into work, and Huffington has a metric of adding more balance to working hard, an idea I like better.

Huffington calls thriving the “third metric” of success, after money and power. She explains that she, and many other top CEOs and execs are considered “successful” based on standard parameters like money and power, but their lives reflect exhaustion, a lack of interpersonal connection, and poor health.  She says money and power are two legs of a stool, and without the third metric of thriving, a successful person’s life is unbalanced and they’ll eventually topple. 

The purpose of the book is to expound on what thriving actually means, and how we can attain it in our overworked, overscheduled lives.  Huffington divides thriving into four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.  Experiments, science, research, and personal stories (both hers and other high powered execs) underscore the importance of focusing on these four items in everyday life. 

My favorite chapter was the well-being one, which delves into the benefits of meditating, mindfulness, exercise, and connection.  Huffington talks about the idea of a centered place of peace being within each of us, and how to get there.  It’s a truth that’s seen in a lot of religions, including my personal one of Catholicism, and something I definitely need to continue to work on.   Reading this chapter, and the rest of the book, reminded me to put my focus on the moment I was living, and helped me to calm down a bit and stop jumping ahead to the future.  It alleviated some of the constant “rush-rush-rush” I feel in my daily life. 

It’s important to me to see a successful woman in charge of a powerful company discussing the need for us to all take care of ourselves. Too much connectivity, too much working, too much phones and Internet drives me a little crazy and I think has a lot of negative impacts on humanity, and a private sector leader getting behind the idea of calming it down could hopefully be the start of cultural changes.  

What I liked too about this book was that it was kind of an ode to her late mother.  Huffington’s mother seems full of wisdom and insight, and the little clips and stories added a great human touch to the book. 

Loved this one and recommend everyone read it!!

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