Thursday, December 08, 2016

Read: Arianna Huffington's Thrive

Title: Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder
Author: Arianna Huffington
Publisher: Harmony, New York

I was recommended to read this book. In this book, Huffington shared her observations that the third measure of success goes beyond the two metrics of money and power. What exactly did she identify as the third measure of success?

The third metric consists of four pillars:
Wonder and

The author outlined how paying greater attention to our well-being enables us to connect with parts of ourselves and be whole being successful at work and thriving in life. In the chapter on well-being, many pages were dedicated to discuss how getting adequate sleep can improve so many aspects of our lives. This sub-chapter encouraged and reminded me to be more mindful to sleep before midnight as often as possible.

The chapter on wisdom weaved in the author's growing up years in Athen and Greek myths. One major source of wisdom is intuition, our inner knowing. The author stated that "Our intuition is like a tuning fork that keeps us in harmony - if we learn to listen".

Huffington also made three suggestions to cultivate the ability to not be disturbed by our lives' circumstances. These are:
1) Listening to our inner wisdom to let go of something that we no longer need. (e.g. resentment, self-talk or a project that we are not really going to complete.)
2) A gratitude list.
3) A specific time to disconnect from the digital world.

Being present enough could awaken in us the almost constant state of wonder that countless things in our daily lives present. In this chapter, the author spends a fair length to discuss how coincidences are life's secret door to wonder.

Concluding the chapter on wonder, the author shared three simple practices that has helped her live more in the moment, the place from which we can experience wonder:
1) Focus on the rising and falling of our breath for ten seconds whenever we feel tensed, rushed or distracted. This will allow us to become fully present in our life.
2) Pick an image that ignites the joy in us.
3) Forgive ourselves for any judgments that we are holding against ourselves, and then forgive our judgement of others. Then look at our life and the day ahead with newness and wonder.

The chapter on giving was comparatively shorter than the other chapters. It outlined how service is so powerful. The author shared her own memories of her mother whereby giving was a way of being. That was a moving chapter on how the gesture of giving and service was an offering, not a trade.

Ending the chapter on giving were simple suggestions such as:
1) Make small gestures of kindness and giving a habit. Pay attention to how this affects our mind, our emotions and our body.
2) During our day, make a personal connection with people we might normally tend to pass by and take for granted.
3) Use a skill or talent - cooking, accounting, decorating - we have to help someone who could benefit from it.

This book ends with an insightful epilogue, which quoted Archimedes: "Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world".

There are appendices at the end of the book to provide a series of resources for the readers.

While this isn't a book I would have normally pick up and read, I am pleased that I have read the book. A book that has shifted me towards redefining what it means to thrive in today's world.

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