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Thrive
Cover of Thrive
Thrive
The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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  • From the book Well-Being

    For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

    —Fr. Alfred D'Souza

    A New Blueprint: Time to Renovate the Architecture of Our Lives

    Nothing succeeds like excess, we are told. If a little of something is good, more must be better. So working eighty hours a week must be better than working forty. And being plugged in 24/7 is assumed to be a standard requirement of every job worth having today—which means that getting by on less sleep and constant multitasking is an express elevator to the top in today's work world. Right?

    The time has come to reexamine these assumptions. When we do, it becomes clear that the price we are paying for this way of thinking and living is far too high and unsustainable. The architecture of how we live our lives is badly in need of renovation and repair. What we really value is out of sync with how we live our lives. And the need is urgent for some new blueprints to reconcile the two. In Plato's Apology, Socrates defines his life's mission as awakening the Athenians to the supreme importance of attending to their souls. His timeless plea that we connect to ourselves remains the only way for any of us to truly thrive.

    Too many of us leave our lives—and, in fact, our souls—behind when we go to work. This is the guiding truth of the Well-Being section and, indeed, of this entire book. Growing up in Athens, I remember being taught in my classics class that, as Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living." Philosophy for the Greeks was not an academic exercise. It was a way of life—a daily practice in the art of living. My mother never went to college, but she would still preside over long sessions in our small kitchen in Athens discussing the principles and teachings of Greek philosophy to help guide my sister, Agapi, and me in our decisions and our choices.

    Our current notion of success, in which we drive ourselves into the ground, if not the grave—in which working to the point of exhaustion and burnout is considered a badge of honor—was put in place by men, in a workplace culture dominated by men. But it's a model of success that's not working for women, and, really, it's not working for men, either. If we're going to redefine what success means, if we are going to include a Third Metric to success, beyond money and power, it's going to be women who will lead the way—and men, freed of the notion that the only road to success includes taking the Heart Attack Highway to Stress City, will gratefully join both at work and at home.

    This is our third women's revolution. The first women's revolution was led by the suffragettes more than a hundred years ago, when courageous women such as Susan B. Anthony, Emmeline Pankhurst, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought to get women the right to vote. The second was led by Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, who fought—and Gloria continues to fight—to expand the role of women in our society and give them full access to the rooms and corridors of power where decisions are made.

    This second revolution is still very much in progress, as it needs to be. But we simply can't wait any longer for the third revolution to get under way.

    That's because women are paying an even higher price than men for their participation in a work culture fueled by stress, sleep deprivation, and burnout. That is one reason why so many...
About the Author-
  • Arianna Huffington, a member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100, is the cofounder, president, and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, one of the world's most influential news and information brands. She is the author of fourteen books, including Third World America and On Becoming Fearless, and the mother of two daughters, Christina and Isabella.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 27, 2014
    Media mogul Huffington lays out steps to creating a lifestyle where success is measured not by money and power, but something more meaningful. She criticizes “America’s workplace culture... fueled by stress, sleep-deprivation, and burnout,” and compliments efforts by companies like General Mills for its “mindfulness program” and LinkedIn for “managing compassionately.” Huffington Post, she reports, exemplifies the “third metric” tenets—“well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving”—with nap rooms, meditation classes, and an app called “GPS for the Soul.” Huffington cites studies on the health benefits, both physical and psychological, of meditation, adequate sleep, and exercise. One study finds people who had participated in volunteering reported feeling healthier, happier, and less stressed. Huffington also recalls incidents in her own life that have led to wisdom, including her hospitalization for exhaustion, a stillborn baby, and her daughter’s struggle with addiction. Discussing death, she advises opening up a dialogue with the dying, powerfully evoking the dignified passing of her own mother. Huffington draws from both Eastern and Western philosophy, and though it’s a bit rich when she criticizes the media for chasing viral stories, this is otherwise an excellent guide for individuals aspiring beyond the rat race or businesses seeking to elevate employee morale and well-being.

  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2014

    After Huffington, the high-profile creator of the Huffington Post, collapsed from exhaustion and lack of sleep, she realized that she had measured her life in two metrics of success--power and money. In the author's new book, she proposes an alternative yardstick measuring well-being, wisdom, and the willingness to give of ourselves. Huffington details the ways in which readers can achieve these states, such as practicing meditation, getting ample rest, and appreciating the small wonders in life, and stresses the value of "go-givers" over go-getters. VERDICT Despite the title being somewhat of a turn-off, the author's message of slowing down is a good one, and makes a particularly solid read for the harried careerist.

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., author of Brainstorm and Mindsight, professor, UCLA School of Medicine "Thrive is an urgently needed compendium of wisdom and practical guide enabling us to create peace of mind and well-being in our ever more chaotic lives. Filled with cutting edge scientific research, captivating stories, and straightforward everyday practices, this book is a call-to-action that informs, invigorates, and inspires all at once. Arianna Huffington's ingenious gift is to bring herself fully into these pages as she invites us to join her on this rewarding journey to become more connected and compassionate with ourselves and others as we change our cultural conversation about how to best live our lives."
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Thrive
Thrive
The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
Arianna Huffington
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