How Can You Create a Life of Well-Being?

Practical Steps to Help You Thrive

Arianna’s book, Thrive, offers a number of strategies you can use to bridge the gap between knowing what you could be doing to thrive, and actually doing it rather than just agreeing with but not implementing these principles in your own life. In addition to making sure you’re getting sufficient amounts of high-quality sleep, Arianna recommends incorporating the following strategies in your day-to-day life:

  1. Meditation. It can be as short as five minutes to start. Simply allow your thoughts to come and go, returning your focus to your breath without getting caught up in your mind’s meanderings. The purpose of mindfulness meditation is to simply be “fully present” in the moment. This is where you can notice how you really feel, and connect with who you really are, deep down.
  2. Sweeping your mental corridors. She also suggests making the conscious decision to drop negative or judgmental thoughts and anxieties at the end of each day. If the thought or feeling does not serve you, let it go.
  3. Practice gratitude. Keeping a daily gratitude list of the many little blessings in your life can help you shift your focus to how good your life is instead of dwelling on the challenges. “If we can redirect our mind to focus on the blessings, I find that I feel much more joyful and much more filled with energy,” Arianna says.
  4. Connect with others face-to-face. Start making personal connections with people you come across every day that you might have taken for granted – it could be the cleaning crew in your office, the checkout clerk, or the barista in the coffee shop. Connecting with people face-to-face will allow you to become more present in the moment, and more connected with the rest of humanity. It also helps you tap into empathy and compassion—two emotions that often fall by the wayside when you’re too stressed and disconnected to even notice the world around you.
  5. Do one thing at a time. Multitasking is an illusion. Research shows that multitasking is actually task-switching, and it’s very stressful. It also promotes anxiety. If you can walk down the street, and really just walk, without texting or talking on the phone, it will connect you with the moment. You will be able to notice the sunset, a flower, the design features of a building, or the smiling face of a baby.

I first learned about Arianna’s book from watching her presentation at Google (see below). I was particularly intrigued by how she handles all her email correspondence, while still maintaining balance in her life.

“I think what is very important for me is not to try and complete my emails by the end of the day,” she says. “[In the past] I would sometimes be up until the middle of the night answering emails. It’s also a very unsatisfying thing because it’s like trying to bail water out of a leaky boat. You clear emails and then more keep coming in. For me, it’s picking the time to do it. I actually like doing it over weekends because I can lie in bed.”

Transforming Society from Valuing Go Getters to Go Givers

We have more data than wisdom these days. The way to succeed is not to amass more data; we need to unplug now and then to integrate what we’ve learned and put that which has value into practice. With computers performing more of our work load, creativity in all its forms is at a premium, and creativity is destroyed by fatigue and anxiety. The world as we know it is rapidly shifting. As noted by Arianna in another interview, we’re at the edge of a “global shift” in attitudes similar to the shift from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

We’re now starting to really notice and acknowledge the drawbacks and pitfalls of the technological society we’ve created. For all its benefits—and there are many—there are also significant challenges that must be addressed if we want to be truly successful in this world. Stress, anxiety, and sleep deprivation are just a few examples of the toll our addiction to technology can take. In summary, some of the strategies that can help you maintain balance and reconnect with what’s really important in your life include:

  • Making your bedroom a device-free zone (no TV, cell phones, computers, or technological gadgets of any kind)
  • Setting aside specific timeslots for answering emails, and not allowing such correspondence to spill over into your family or sleep time
  • Setting aside at least five minutes each day for quiet meditation, where you simply maintain focus on being present in the now

Last but not least, as Arianna says, our Go Getter society needs to transform into a Go Giver society. This is the short-cut to happiness.

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Customer Review
4.0 out of 5 starsIS THE THIRD METRIC THE WAY FORWARD? March 20, 2014
Format:Audible Audio Edition

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington is a truly inspiring and refreshing book everyone should read. The deluge of books for reviews almost prevented me from having a look. I am glad I managed to squeeze in time to discover what this book is all about.

In the book, Huffington spells out how one can live a great and healthy life. Her insightful advice coupled with her wonderful writing style makes the book really enjoyable. Her sage and sane advice about getting enough sleep, meditations and shifting one’s core values beyond the control of money and power is truly life-changing and thought-provoking. This, in essence, is “the third metric.” It is an attempt to redefine success and create a vibrant life full of wisdom and wonder.

One important aspect of the book is its advice to unplug from technology and social media. In a world hooked to the social media such advice may seem ill-conceived but from Huffington’s perspective it is badly needed. Though the book has its own shortcomings, I honestly believe that many readers will take some of the advice to heart and be inspired to redefine success, create a life of well-being, wisdom and wonder the Arianna Huffington-way.

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