Thrive by Arianna Huffington Book Summary
Book Summary — Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington
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The author is most well-known worldwide for her website HuffingtonPost.com. While she has become what most see as a powerful and successful person, this book really pulls back the curtain on her personal life and how she navigated from a work exhaustion accident to define what “success” really is.
#1 – As a society, we have compartmentalized success into two metrics; Money and Power. But the author simplifies a successful life by comparing it to a stool… it needs a minimum of 3 legs to stand. Money and power alone are not enough. In order to have a successful and fulfilled life, we need a third metric (or leg), which is THRIVING! Thriving includes four pillars: Well-Being, Wisdom, Wonder, and Giving.
#2 – Unplug daily. At minimum, allocate 2 hours per day without technology. No TV. No computer. No cellphone. Spend this time reading a book. Meditate. Improve your health with exercise. Or simply focus on relationships and conversations with those around you. Our mind was not built to stare at screens all day, so we need to schedule in these moments of mindfulness. Instead of jumping on your phone the next time you have a break, just take a moment to breathe and enjoy your non-technological surroundings. The architecture of a building. A blooming tree. Literally, “stop and smell the roses”. I know this sounds cheesy, but we get so caught up on work and technology that we suppress our sense of wonder and mindfulness.
Also on the topic of technology, the author mentioned sleep. First, no screens ONE hour before bed. Second, avoid having your cell phone in your bedroom at night. And third, get 8 hours of sleep per night. Anybody who tells you they don’t need 8 hours of sleep is lying to you and themselves. They are not working at their full potential with anything less than 8 hours of sleep.
#3 – Meditation is a powerful tool that most people have heard of, but never use. Meditation is like a free magical prescription for mental health, without all the side effects! By simply taking a few moments each day to calm your thoughts, you can change your mood and physical health for the better. Many people think they can’t meditate or that they are doing it wrong or they don’t have an hour to waste on meditating each day. There is no wrong way to meditate. Start simple. Have a seat. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose, filling your lungs to their fullest capacity, then exhale through your mouth. Let your busy thoughts slip away by focusing on counting each breath in and each breath out until you get to 100. This should only take you 5 minutes. Seriously try this now and comment how you feel below!
#4 – Giving is a hard thing for some people. They come from a place of scarcity so they don’t want to give money to charity or donate their time. They say they will once they are rich. Now you aren’t kidding anybody. If you aren’t forming the habit of being charitable now, you sure won’t once you are rich. Scientific studies have shown giving is a key element of happiness. So again, start small. Giving doesn’t mean you have to cut a check to XYZ charity every month, it can be as simple as giving someone a compliment each day. Or doing a chore for a friend. How about scooping the snow off your elderly neighbor’s driveway? The ideas for giving value to others is truly limitless.
#5 – The third metric of success, “THRIVING”, is impossible without growth! Ask yourself, how are you becoming wiser and growing daily? This Fear of Inspiring Peeps blog is a great start! So do one thing daily to stretch yourself mentally and physically. Whether that is a workout class or reading a book or trying something new… never stop learning!
#6 – Gratitude journals. Set a reminder on your phone for 2-3 minutes every morning you wake up or at night before you go to bed. Simply write down 5 things you are grateful for… it could be from that day, it could be a memory, a loved one, it could be for that you are grateful for your health… the things to be grateful for are endless. But once you acknowledge them in the written form, it is scientifically proven to induce happiness! I personally think this is a great practice to introduce to your entire family at breakfast or dinner each day.
#7 – What is the point of your life? Wow, deep question right? The author implores us to ask ourselves this big question often in order to push ourselves to become the best version of ourselves and lead a fulfilled, “successful” life.
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