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Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder Paperback – March 17, 2015
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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.
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“A convincing, compact, anecdote-laced guide for achievers of every stripe.”
“In Thrive, Arianna urges all of us to get in touch with who we really are so that we can live life on our own terms. From the importance of sleep to the imperative to listen to our own inner voice for ways to deal with the daily time crunches we all feel, this book lays out a path for each of us to look within and make our lives more authentic and fulfilling.”
“Provides powerful ideas about how to approach life differently.”
“At once intimate and formidable, this book is Arianna Huffington at her persuasive best. Thrive is a clarion call, a meditation, and a practical response to the question of how to live.”
—Susan Cain, author of New York Times bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
“Refreshingly practical . . . Lean In may be able to tell women how to get what they want, but Thrive may help them to figure out what that is.”
“Once in a generation, a book comes along that can truly transform your life. This is it. Thrive doesn’t show just how to become more successful; it shows how to realize and experience what matters most.” —Dean Ornish, founder of Preventive Medicine Research Institute, bestselling author of The Spectrum
“Full of compelling arguments (backed by substantial research) about why we need to redefine success.” –Real Simple
“A captivating look at what it takes to live a more meaningful, satisfying life. Brimming with passion, supported by science, and crowned with practical insights, Arianna’s exceptional book will transform our workplaces, schools, and families.” -Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of Give and Take
“More a-ha moments than an episode of Oprah.” -People
"Reading this book is the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones. A monumental work that will change your life, and your health." -David B. Agus, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California and author NY Times bestsellers, The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life
“Begs us to redefine how we measure success: As women everywhere put their foot to the gas pedal in their careers, what happens when we go too far?” –Shape
“Filled with cutting edge scientific research, captivating stories, and straightforward everyday practices, [Thrive] is a call-to-action that informs, invigorates, and inspires all at once.” -Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., author of Brainstorm and Mindsight, professor, UCLA School of Medicine
"Arianna Huffington has written a passionate and much needed prescription for reshaping life from the inside out. Turn off your cell phone, your email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and every other tool of the stressed-out, distracted world to spend some time thinking about grace, joy and wonder. You'll be glad you did." –Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer prize winning columnist and bestselling author of I Know Just What You Mean
"This is a generous, urgent, vital book, a chance to redefine how we keep score before it's too late. Arianna has given us a gift, and delivered it with style." -Seth Godin, bestselling author of The Icarus Deception
"Arianna’s honest, raw and compelling call for us to Thrive, in the midst of a jumbled, chaotic world by redefining what matters – well-being, wisdom, wonder, service and each other – is the right book, at the right time to heal us from our disconnection to ourselves and each other." -Mark Hyman, MD, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Blood Sugar Solution
"Thrive is a book that makes me smile just thinking about it. It is a book of wit, wisdom, and practical advice for changing our lives by changing our values. After all, why should we be content just to live when we can thrive?" -Anne-Marie Slaughter, professor, Princeton University, author of What Works for Women at Work
"In our relentless pursuit of more and more success, we have lost touch with our true selves, our bodies, our families and our friends. In Thrive Arianna brilliantly explores how we can climb out of our stressed out, over-committed lives and once again create lives of balance and well-being." -Jack Canfield, Co-author of The Success Principles(TM)
"Socrates, Plato, Aristotle…Arianna. Beyond politics, there is her wisdom, applicable to everyone. This book probably added ten years to my life, some of which I'll spend re-reading it." -Bill Maher, host of Real Time with Bill Maher,bestselling author of The New Rules
"Rich in worldly wisdom and brimming with motivation, Arianna gently shows us how to face the craziness of life today with awareness, grace and a sense of humor.” -Congressman Tim Ryan, Ohio, author of A Mindful Nation
“You can feel Arianna's passion on every page of this book. In Thrive, Arianna has created a new paradigm for redefining how to systematically build a life of purpose and balance and accomplishment— the whole life we're all ultimately after.” -Tony Schwartz, CEO, The Energy Project, author of The Way We're Working Isn't Working
"Beautiful, bold and brilliant…. I did not just read this book, I entered into long conversations with it. Thrive profoundly transforms our understanding of success and wakes us up from the broken dreams we chase." -Elif Shafak, bestselling author of Honor and The Forty Rules of Love
"Warning: The content of this book is highly contagious. Even slight exposure may set you on a path to far clearer seeing, a radical resetting of your priorities, deep contentment, and, of course, thriving. Chances are, it will also melt your heart." -Jon Kabat-Zinn, professor, UMass Medical School, author of Full Catastrophe Living
“One of the most important books of this century. Weaving a tapestry of home-spun wisdom, science and compelling life stories, this is a profoundly uplifting and practical book that has something for everyone. A must read for anyone wishing to live life more fully.” -Richard J. Davidson, founder and chair, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Desperately needed in today’s Type A, hurry-up world. [Thrive] just screamed at me to slow down, turn off the inner dialogue, sleep more, and stay in daily touch with my source of being.” -Wayne Dyer
About the Author
- ASIN : 0804140863
- Publisher : Harmony; Reprint edition (March 17, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780804140867
- ISBN-13 : 978-0804140867
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.18 x 0.76 x 7.95 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #149,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2019
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We need a third metric for defining success and to lead a healthy, meaningful, productive life. In order to lead a meaningful life, the third metric comprises of well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving. The four sections in this book elaborates on these 4 topics of Well being, Wisdom, Wonder and Giving.
A New blueprint is required to renovate the architecture of our lives. What we really value is out of sync with how we live our lives. Our work culture considers exhaustion and burnout as a badge of honor.
Burnout has become a common disease that we are willing to live with. Burnout, stress and depression has become common epidemics.
So in this section on Well Being, the book covers in detail how to take care of your physical / emotional well being / health.
Healthy Employees, Healthy Bottom Lines – There is a direct correlation between the long term health of a company’s bottom line and health of the employees.
Meditation – It is not just for Enlightenment anymore. One of easier way to be healthier and happier is through mindfulness and meditation. Meditation practiced regularly can transform your health and life.
Over connectivity – The snake in our digital garden of Eden. Due to the ever increasing creep of technology into our lives, families, bedrooms and our brains, it is much harder to renew ourselves.
Securing your own mask first – Meditation, Yoga, Mindfulness, napping and deep breathing are important for our well being and better performance. When people are taking care of themselves, they will be more effective in taking care of others.
Sleep your way to the top – Most basic shift in redefining success in our lives is to do with our strained relationship to sleep. We have a mistaken belief that success is proportional to the amount of time we put in work, instead of the quality of the time we put in. Hence to gain time we sacrifice on sleep. Our creativity, ingenuity, confidence and decision making can be enhanced simply by getting enough sleep.
Wisdom is about recognizing what we are really seeking; connection and love. In order to find them we need to drop our relentless pursuit of success as society defines it for something more genuine, more meaningful and more fulfilling.
Power of the Hunch – When your inner voice speaks, shut up and listen – This section elaborates on the importance of intuition – our inner knowing. It is important to understand that intuition is not intellect. Meditation, Yoga and Mindfulness help us to still noise of the world so we can listen to our inner voice.
iParadox – Your smartphone is not making you Wiser. This section elaborates on how our increasing dependence on technology is making it harder to connect with our wisdom.
Hurry Sickness and Time famine – This section elaborates on the importance of slowing down. It is important to overcome the obsession with time and deficit crisis.
Evicting the obnoxious roommate in our head – The self talk within our head that is putting us down and strengthening our insecurities and doubts. This section is all about how you stop all the negative self-talk.
Breaking bad habits – what we can learn from minotaurs, seat belts and stoics – This section is all about liberating ourselves from our old habits, building new healthy habits. It is important to find the thread that work for us.
It is important to listen to our inner wisdom and let go anything that we no longer need – something that is draining our energy without benefitting in anyway. Disconnecting from the digital world will help you reconnect to the inner wisdom, intuition and creativity.
Wonder is not a product of what we see – of how beautiful or mysterious or singular or incomprehensible something may be. It is a product of our state of mind, our being, the perspective from which we are looking at the world. Countless things in our daily lives can awaken the almost constant state of wonder.
Silence, My Old Friend – The silence in our lives is under assault on all fronts; headline news, alarms, buzzing and chirping smart phones etc. This section is all about how to gain our silence in our lives.
Coincidences – Life’s secret door to wonder – The pathway to awakening wonder in our lives is the serendipity of coincidence. This section elaborates on the important role coincidences play in our lives.
Memento Mori – This section elaborates on the role of death and how it results in transformation and renewal.
Giving is all about widening the boundaries of our caring. Well being, Wisdom, Wonder – All are critical to redefining success and thriving, but they are incomplete without the fourth element of the Third metric – giving.
Giving, loving, caring, empathy and compassion, going beyond ourselves and stepping out of our comfort zones to help server others – this is the only viable answer to the multitude of problems the world is facing.
Don’t wait for a Natural Disaster for us to Tap into our Natural Humanity – We live in a connected world and every action of ours touch people every day in ways we may never know. This section elaborates on the importance of giving and helping not just in time of disaster but going beyond that.
Go-Getters are good; Go-Givers are Better – The topic itself is self explaining.
Science Proves – Love Grows Brains – There are studies that proves that volunteering activities were more likely to engage in brain building activities that lowers the risk of diseases. All about giving and how it impacts our lives.
Press 1 to Donate – Technology meets philanthropy – This section is about how technology has leveled the giving field.
Lessons in giving – It is not a trade but an offering. Giving is not bartering is the message.
“Onward, Upward and Inward”
We are living in a world of distractions. What is required is to find your place of wisdom and peace and strength. Remake the world in the our own image, according to our own definition of success, so that all of us can thrive and live our lives with more grace, more joy, more compassion, more gratitude and more love.
In summary, I liked this book and its message. It would have been better if the author has split the sections in each topics into separate sub chapter. There are places where the presentation was monotonous.
Then in the first chapter she step by step discusses the problems of the present-day society linked closely with well-being:
Burnout – as a result of a zeal to overwork that leads to high level of stress and decreases productivity;
The link between the health of employees and bottom lines;
Overconnectivity of modern life and the state of being drowned in plenty of data;
The constant lack of time for all our tasks and our multitasking fever.
Her recipes: sleep enough, meditate, do not overwork, turn off your gadgets regularly, use general well-being instead of GDP as an indicator of economic success
Next chapter is about wisdom. In fact she is speaking about the same problems as in the previous chapter but at another point of view: "Wisdom is precisely what is missing when – like rats in the famous experiment by B.F. Skinner … -we press the same levers again and again even though there is no longer any real reward". Here AH mentions in passing about the notion of Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom and Big Data. Her recipe: listen to your inner wisdom, break bad habits, change yourself…
A chapter named Wonder is about the purpose of life itself – and "that purpose is self-actualization…"; about silence – "ask your soul"; about coincidences which awaken wonder in our lives; about death which is inseparable side of life.
At last the chapter Giving is about compassion and altruism: "helping others makes us happier"…
"Onward, upward, and inward!" – these are the last words of this book.
It's worth noting that the author gives a lot of examples both from scientific studies and from her life and the life of her family as well as from the lives of her close friends. Especially touching – at least for me – were the pieces where AH tells about lessons that she got from her mom and about her mom's death. All mentions on people, events or names are carefully described in Notes. There are Appendices as well where a reader can find references about tools/sites for meditation, relaxing, giving, volunteering, etc.
What I don't agree with:
The third metric model tacitly equals the human side of human being with money and power. I think that money are necessary only as the means for self-actualization but can't be the purpose of a wisdom man. The more the power may be a purpose only for a very limited number of people. Of course AH is right when she writes that modern society forces us to think that money and power mean success but nevertheless I consider them as lower steps of Maslow hierarchy.
And my second doubt is about the assumption "… that we all have within us a centered place of wisdom, harmony and strength". I'm afraid that not all have… and I don't know what is the part of those who have… Of course potentially all people may have… but in reality …
Top reviews from other countries
The style of writing was irritating - a mix of journalistic and academic writing that seemed to pluck evidence from random studies and surveys to justify every point made. The barriers to change for an ordinary person were not acknowledged, and there were few practical steps recommended to achieving a thriving life. The vast majority of people who are failing to thrive are either in poor relationships they feel unable to change, in jobs where they work too hard for too little pay, with debts and childcare they seem unable to afford or with ill health that is not getting better. It is difficult for people in these situations to instantly get a job in a company that allows pets, has meditation rooms or yoga classes, or to take the time and finance required to change their lives. All of this is ignored, as if the reader is in an ideal practical position and simply has to join a yoga class!
Changing behaviour is not about evidence of what works; it is about taking the small steps towards a healthier life, and finding ways of overcoming the barriers to do so.
I can't even finish this it's a push tough.If you haven't read Sheryl Sandberg Lean in, go for that instead.