I decided to read Arianna Huffington’s Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder after listening to a discussion of it on a podcast, From the Front Porch (episode 1). I started reading it by listening to the audio version, but I quickly realized that there were a lot of wonderful quotes in the book that I wanted to jot down so I ended up reading the hardcover. I’m glad I did that because this is a fantastic book with a lot of useful information.
Huffington writes that in addition to money and power, there is a third way to measure success in our lives. She calls it the third metric to success and each chapter in the book focuses on one of the four components of that third metric: well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving. Focusing solely on obtaining success through money and power has led many people to suffer from burnout, increased stress, illnesses, and a number of other problems. Through descriptions of her own experiences, inspirational quotes from a variety of sources, and important research from a number of fields, Huffington inspires us to improve the quality of our lives. If I were a business owner, I would feel inspired to incorporate many of her ideas into my workplace to help increase the well-being of my employees.
Huffington talks about a number of things we can do to increase our well-being, including meditating, unplugging from electronic devices and email, getting better sleep and enough of it, exercising regularly and reducing stress by having connections with animals. Most of us already know that we should incorporate these things into our lives to reduce stress and feel more centered, but sometimes we get sucked into the busy rush of life and we need to be reminded to slow down and focus on what’s really important.
To develop our inner wisdom, we should learn to trust our intuition through practices like meditation and yoga that connect us with our deeper selves, slow down our lives, learn to disconnect from our electronic devices regularly, and develop a sense of gratitude for what we have. All of these things help us to live more fully in the present moment. We can also develop our sense of wonder and awe by being present with nature and art. I really enjoyed her discussion of how we can be more present in our daily lives by accepting the reality of death. The book ends with a discussion of the final component of the third metric, giving. By volunteering and helping others, we widen our circle of influence and we become healthier in mind and body. There are a number of resources at the back of the book, including some volunteer organizations that I want to learn more about.
The great thing about this book is that Huffington writes in a very down-to-earth style and gives the reader concrete ideas about how to lead a fuller, calmer, slower and more introspective life. If you need more of those things in your life, grab a copy of this book!