‘Thrive’ is the fourteenth and latest book by Arianna Huffington, the celebrated power woman, who wears many hats – Founder of Huffington Post, Journalist, Editor-in-Chief. The book deals with one of the pressing themes of modern lives – how do we lead a fulfilling life, or rather ‘Thrive’, in the midst of an almost all consuming professional life?
A strong case is made for the fact that for long we have chased ‘Money’ and ‘Power’ as they are considered indicators of success, but despite attaining them we aren’t living happy lives. The reason being ‘Money’ and ‘Power’ are not sufficient alone to make us happy, and we need to have an emotionally, physically, and spiritually happy existence to be truly successful. This, Arianna calls as the ‘Third Metric’, beyond ‘Money’ and ‘Power’ that we must have if we are to be successful in the truest sense. The ‘Third Metric’ is made up of four elements – Well Being, Wisdom, Wonder, and Giving.
‘Well Being’ is that of mind, body, and soul, and not just financial wellbeing. Burnout is an outcome of lack of wellbeing is one of biggest downfalls of the ultra-performance driven culture and this comes about by not caring for oneself. Taking time out to reconnect with our inner selves, practicing meditation, and having sufficient daily sleep – which might sound like a luxury in our sleep deprived times – are some of the ways by which we can create our overall wellbeing.
‘Wisdom’ or let’s say inner voice of sanity or intuition is often our best ally, but we tend to drown it or don’t listen to it or have forgotten the ways to connect with it. We are always in a state of perpetual lack of time or ‘Time Famine’ and this never gives us an opportunity to listen to our intuition.
‘Wonder’ at the life’s amazing gifts – nature, life itself and you would see yourself in a very different light. The more we slow down and start to notice the details of the beautiful bounties of the natural world, the more we grow in awe of our very existence and the more meaningful things we want to accomplish before its time to leave our ethereal existence in this world.
Finally, ‘Giving’ invokes in us a sense of inner happiness that nothing else does. Only when we start ‘Giving’ regularly and habitually do we understand the real impact on our self of such a thing.
The book is peppered with generous references to the ancient Greek philosophy, Arianna’s native country’s philosophy. It also highlights an impressive list of credible scientific sources that were relied upon. While the book does use scientific research findings to build the various arguments its own research seems largely secondary in nature with hardly any primary research to back things up. In several places the claims made seem a bit odd and the reasoning flawed. More importantly whatever the book proposes as solutions to modern life perils – sufficient sleep, disconnecting from the Digital world, being present in the moment, acts of kindness etc., – isn’t anything new.
You might think of this book as another grandiose self-help but what we need to consider is how emphatically and in a simple style some of the basic but often overlooked solutions to complex current day problems are presented. If anything the book brings together all the key messages at one place and provides an opportunity to look at them holistically. Who knows if applied and practised for long these potentially might bring in the much needed change our lives need.
Arianna Huffington is a Greek-American author, syndicated columnist, and occasional actress. She is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Huffington, Arianna (2014) Hardcover
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder