NEW YORK – Audiences across the country have flocked to hear Arianna Huffington talk about her new best-selling book Thrive – The Third Metric Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder.
This week she shared some thoughts about Thrive with The National Herald.
The book is founded on the common sense notion that there are limits to what individuals and societies can withstand and its essence is a message about the need for balance in our lives.
Huffington shares her own experiences and those of industry leaders she knows, but she also draws upon the wisdom of her Hellenic heritage.
She has spoken about how the rich word Greek “Eudaimonia” – often mistranslated as happiness but better understood as human flourishing – has been forgotten and that success had come to be based on only two metrics: money and power.
Huffington proposes a third metric, consisting of four pillars: well-being, the ability to draw on intuition and inner wisdom, the sense of wonder and the capacity for compassion and giving.”
The co-f0under and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group is one of many business leaders to address what can be done for individuals, companies and America as a whole to avoid burn out.
Huffington documents that Thrive’s proposals make people even more creative and productive – and able to actually savor the American Dream.
She recently blogged, however, that “Too many companies don’t yet realize the benefits of focusing on wellness,” but science is her ally in her battle for balance, and perhaps most importantly, more sleep, which she calls a wonder drug.
“These findings are essential, and not only when it comes to sleep. Recent scientific findings have caused a shift in our culture, so that meditation and mindfulness have finally stopped being seen as vaguely flaky, vaguely new age-y, definitely California, and fully entered the mainstream,” she said.
We are living through an incredible time, when modern science is validating a lot of ancient wisdom. That’s why, in Thrive, I’ve included 55 pages of endnotes to convince even the most stubborn skeptic that we need to unplug, recharge and reconnect with ourselves, and by doing so, actually improve every aspect of our lives.”
She has connected with people of all ages and social groups, but her message especially resonates with women.
Asked about Anne-Marie Slaughter’s famous article titled “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” where she wrote that real change in the world of work won’t happen until a woman becomes president and half of the members of congress are women, Huffington said, “Anne-Marie and I recently had a great conversation at Princeton. Real change can happen on many fronts at the same time, including when each of us decides not to just go out and climb the ladder of success, but to redefine success. The world desperately needs it.”
Huffington dedicated Thrive to her mother – “who lived the third metric before I knew what it was,” but she emphasized that “Both fathers and mothers have a tremendous opportunity to set a healthy example for their daughters. Parents are constantly thinking about how to help their children succeed in life, earn a good salary, advance in their profession, or simply be happy. But it’s just as important to pass down a rich capacity for compassion, especially if we really want them to be happy.”
GREECE CAN THRIVE TOO
Her empathy extends back across the Atlantic to her homeland. She is a member of the Board of the Hellenic Initiative, which seeks to harness the power of the diaspora to support the resurgence of Greece, and she agrees the crisis is also opportunity to build the Third Metric into the New Greece.
“It is a golden opportunity, because Greeks have a head start when it comes to embracing the Third Metric! Philosophy for the Greeks was not an academic exercise, it was a way of life – a daily practice in the art of living.”
“The architecture of how we live our lives is badly in need of renovation and repair, and as our fellow Hellenes go about their work, I hope they will prioritize making those renovations and repairs both internally and externally. And once we launch the Huffington Post in Greece – a longtime dream of mine – we will be using all the tools at our disposal to tell that story.”
In America, where ‘workaholic’ and ‘Greek-American’ are almost synonymous, she believes the clergy are a natural vehicle for the third metric.
“One of the fundamental truths about human beings is that we all have within us a centered place of wisdom, harmony, and strength. This is a truth that all the world’s philosophies and religions— whether Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or Buddhism— acknowledge in one form or another: ‘The kingdom of God is within you.’ So I think that universal truth can be a starting point for clergy when it comes to opening up the conversation about our spiritual lives and the social questions that follow.”
Thrive presents a fascinating combination of insights from the worlds of science and spirituality, but when Huffington was asked if he considered pursuing science , she said “No, a career in science was never a possibility for me. But I have a deep respect for science and scientists, and I’m fascinated by the intersection of science and spirituality. It’s why I dedicated a section of the book to wonder.”
And despite the fact that “music has always been incredibly important in my life,” Huffington’s many talents also do not include music. “I tried to learn to play the piano but without much success! “
Huffington is reinforcing her book’s message with informative and entertaining – musical performances are included – events across the country.
“In April we held our two-day Third Metric Live event, Thrive, in New York,” Huffington told TNH. “More than 2,000 people attended to be part of a conversation on how we can unplug, recharge and renew ourselves, and redefine success beyond money and power. We’re using all the tools at our disposal to tell the stories of people redefining success to include well-being, wisdom, and wonder and giving.”
Future events are listed on onhuffingtonpost.com/thrive.