By Arianna Huffington
We have, if we’re lucky, about thirty thousand days to play the game of life. How we play it will be determined by what we value. If we worship money, we’ll never feel truly abundant. If we worship power, recognition, and fame, we’ll never feel we have enough. And if we live our lives madly rushing around, trying to find and save time, we’ll always find ourselves living in a time famine, frazzled and stressed.”
~ Arianna Huffington, Thrive
Arianna Huffington (co-founder, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group) had a personal wake-up call in 2007. When she collapsed from exhaustion and injured herself in the process, she finally hit the wall. She was totally burned out and the pursuit of the standard two metrics of success—how much money and power a person possesses—simply weren’t doing it for her any more. Indeed they aren’t working for most of us. We are currently experiencing an epidemic of stress-related illnesses (including Diabetes II, cardiac problems, and obesity). Though we are “connected” 24/7, we have lost our connection to what really matters. Physically and spiritually, our current definition of success is slowly killing us. We need a new definition, a new way to structure our precious thirty thousand days.
What really constitutes living a good life? In the last seven years, Arianna Huffington has focused on redefining what it means to have a successful life. The third metric, as she dubs it, consists of building your life on a foundation of four pillars:
- well-being, which includes both physical health as well as being deeply in touch with yourself
- wisdom, which is far more than knowledge
- developing a sense of wonder, which is sorely lacking in today’s plugged-in culture
- and giving.
This book has had a profound effect on me. I have strived all my life to be a success according to the first two metrics. It could be argued that I have had a successful career, and now I don’t lack for anything except peace of mind (the ability to shut up that little voice in my head that says, “It’s not enough”). Thanks to this book, which I’m giving to everyone by the way, I’ve made three initial changes that have already started to increase my peace of mind.
First, I’m “unplugging” for a portion of each day and trying to turn the electronics off in the evenings. Second, I’m trying to eradicate the word “should” from my vocabulary, certainly when it comes to me but also when it comes to others. Finally, I’m trying very hard to uncouple my feelings of success with external validation and comparing myself to others. That way only leads to tears—mine.
"So find your place to stand—your place of wisdom and peace and strength. And, from that place, remake the world in your own image, according to your own definition of success, so that all of us—women and men—can thrive and live our lives with more grace, more joy, more compassion, more gratitude, and yes, more love. Onward, upward, and inward."