Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington[Updated May 22, 2014]

In Thrive, Arianna Huffington makes an impassioned and compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world.

Arianna Huffington’s personal wake-up call came in the form of a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash over her eye — the result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. As the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group — one of the fastest growing media companies in the world — celebrated as one of the world’s most influential women, and gracing the covers of magazines, she was, by any traditional measure, extraordinarily successful. Yet as she found herself going from brain MRI to CAT scan to echo cardiogram, to find out if there was any underlying medical problem beyond exhaustion, she wondered is this really what success feels like?

As more and more people are coming to realize, there is far more to living a truly successful life than just earning a bigger salary and capturing a corner office. Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success — money and power — has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In being connected to the world 24/7, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters. Our current definition of success is, as Thrive shows, literally killing us. We need a new way forward.

In a commencement address Arianna gave at Smith College in the spring of 2013, she likened our drive for money and power to two legs of a three-legged stool. They may hold us up temporarily, but sooner or later we’re going to topple over. We need a third leg — a third metric for defining success — to truly thrive. That third metric, she writes in Thrive, includes our well-being, our ability to draw on our intuition and inner wisdom, our sense of wonder, and our capacity for compassion and giving. As Arianna points out, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success. They don’t commemorate our long hours in the office, our promotions, or our sterling PowerPoint presentations as we relentlessly raced to climb up the career ladder. They are not about our resumes — they are about cherished memories, shared adventures, small kindnesses and acts of generosity, lifelong passions, and the things that made us laugh.

In this deeply personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and raising two daughters — of juggling business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that led to her collapse and to her “aha moment.” Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplace, and our lives.

Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. In 2013, she was named to the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. In 2006, and again in 2011, she was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She serves on several boards, including EL PAÍS, PRISA, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Her 14th book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder will be published by Crown in March 2014.

The Third Metric Special Session With Arianna Huffington – The One Young World Summit 2013

Arianna Huffington argues for the need to redefine success beyond money and power to include well-being, wisdom, the capacity for wonder and the ability to give back in this Special Session at the One Young World Summit 2013.

The One Young World Summit 2013 took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Summit brought together 1,250 young leaders from 190 countries to debate and devise solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

The Third Metric: Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington shares why it is vital we begin to redefine success beyond money and power.

Wisdom 2.0 Backstage: Arianna Huffington, and Eckhart Tolle


The Rise of Mindfulness in Society: Arianna Huffington, Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Rise of Mindfulness in Society: Arianna Huffington, Jon Kabat-Zinn

Published on Mar 2, 2014

The Rise of Mindfulness in Society: Opportunities and Challenges. At Wisdom 2.0 2014.

An Interview with Arianna Huffington By Suza Scalora

On April 6, 2007, Arianna Huffington experienced a massive wakeup call, collapsing in her office due to exhaustion and lack of sleep. When she came to in a pool of her own blood, she realized she was not living, as she puts it, “a successful life based on any sane definition.” The day of this interview, Huffington, the editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, found that her new book Thrive View Here had just debuted on the New York Times best-seller list at number one.

In Thrive, Huffington recounts the impetus for her own personal journey inward to find balance, inner peace and a new definition for success she calls, “the Third Metric.” In her new book, Huffington lays out a road map to a new and sane definition of success, based on her learning that “life is shaped from the inside out.” Thrive includes the latest science and research on wellbeing, the wisdom and wonder of poets and ancient philosophers and the healing benefits of the gift that keeps on giving, namely giving.

In your new book Thrive, you address the current definition of success, which is based on money and power. You’ve introduced the Third Metric, which focuses on caring for your inner being.

The first two metrics of success do not create a fulfilling life, and that’s why we need the Third Metric, which consists of four pillars. Well-being and health is the first pillar, because it’s a foundation, and yet so often through burnout, exhaustion and sleep deprivation — we sacrifice our well-being on the altar of the first two metrics of success — money and power. The second pillar is wisdom. How do we connect with our inner wisdom, how do we connect with our intuition, so that we are not at the mercy of external circumstances all the time?

It’s what Eckhart Tolle talks about when he says let go of defining yourself by external metrics, and don’t be concerned how others define you. When we connect with our own inner wisdom it’s much easier to do that. And, the third metric is wonder—being able to acknowledge the beauty around us in every moment. Seeing the beauty in everything ordinary, and not to be so buried in multi-tasking that we miss the moment.

That’s really at the heart of Eckhart Tolle’s teachings, when he says, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” That’s at the heart of wonder.

The fourth pillar is giving…
Giving, which completes the circle, because if we just lead a narcissistic existence, we can never be truly happy. In fact, there is new scientific evidence that I include in the book, which shows that our genes are wired for us to be giving, and when we are giving all the inflammatory markers that are the precursors of disease decrease. When our happiness is purely based on self-gratification, the inflammatory markers increase.

Being connected to yourself on a deeper level is really what Thrive is all about. What are your daily practices to infuse presence into your life to stay connected to your inner being?

It starts with something very simple, and this is getting enough sleep. After my wake-up call when I collapsed from exhaustion and burnout — I broke my cheekbone and got four stitches on my right eye — I went from four to five hours of sleep, to seven to eight hours of sleep a night. That was very important for me. Everybody needs a different amount of sleep, but getting the required amount of sleep is essential to our well-being and we now have science that proves it’s like a miracle drug.

The second thing is that I meditate every day. In the book, I have small tips, small daily practices, and at the end of the well-being section I recommend that people start with five minutes of meditation. Even the tiniest amount of time spent with ourselves can help us recognize that we are more than our daily activities, and help us acquaint ourselves with our essence.

The third thing is I try to do something physical: working out, walking now that the weather is getting better — I love having walking meetings, instead of sitting in my office having meetings. When I’m in LA I love to go hiking with my friends. Everyone who is in the better shape talks on the way up and the rest talk on the way down.

Can you talk about your decision to bring Eckhart Tolle to the Huffington Post?

The Huffington Post is prioritizing its coverage with many sections devoted to how to help people thrive. We wanted to have the most significant spiritual teachers on the Huffington Post, and so we’re thrilled to have a section dedicated to Eckhart’s teachings.

When you read Eckhart Tolle’s books, what was it that resonated with you and how have his teachings made a difference in your life?

It was actually at the time when my life was filled with ‘time famine.’ I was longing for this inner stillness, and there was something in The Power of Now that made it so clear to me that the inner stillness is actually essential for creation. As you know, I’ve always been a writer, and then launching the Huffington Post, I realized that unconsciously we are operating under a cultural delusion that we need to be driving ourselves into the ground, in order to be productive and creative. I remember in The Power of Now, Eckhart writes that all true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of inner stillness. When we get caught up in the stress of our daily lives, and completing our projects, and getting through our to-do list, this is something we forget.

In your book, you write about the “obnoxious roommate”—the in voice your head. Eckhart talks about our inner critic. Sometimes, we don’t recognize the “obnoxious roommate,” living in our head, because we are so accustomed to this inner dialogue.

Yes. Coming to terms with the “obnoxious roommate,” means, first of all, recognizing that we all have that inner voice, but the voice is not who we are. We need to recognize that we are not that voice of self-doubt and anxiety, the voice that puts us down, that questions our dreams. When we listen to that voice and treat it with a sense of humor, rather than identifying with it and believing it, then it begins to lose its power. So now, my “obnoxious roommate,” only makes guest appearances, while it used to be a completely constant presence.

I love this quote by Iain Thomas that you included in Thrive, “And everyday, the world will drag you be the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this! And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what is important.”

I love it because it’s so important to remember that while the world provides plenty of insistent, flashing, high-volume signals directing us to make more money and climb higher up the ladder, there are almost no worldly signals reminding us to stay connected to the essence of who we are, to take care of ourselves along the way, to reach out to others, to pause to wonder, and to connect to that place from which everything is possible. To quote my Greek compatriot Archimedes: “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world.”

Suza Scalora is a certified high performance life empowerment coach, speaker, writer and best-selling author. She specializes in the development and delivery of dynamic coaching programs and products to cultivate mindfulness and positive sustainable change. A skilled teacher and instructor with experience facilitating transformative personal and professional development workshops for The International Center for Photography, The Omega Institute in New York, and the Center for Living Peace. She is also the curator and editor for the Eckhart Tolle – Huffington Post Channel, contributing writer for the Eckhart Tolle newsletter, and a regular blogger for the Huffington Post.

Suza is a co-founder and the Educational Program Director of The Whole Purpose, a company that offers individuals and corporations, an innovative approach to physical and emotional well-being through Mindful Wellness and Conscious Communication.

Suza is the co-founder of the non-profit, Love 365, a workshop-based organization designed to support and educate people in cultivating loving relationships with one’s self.

Suza is the best-selling author of The Fairies (1999), chosen by NEWSWEEK magazine as one of the 10 best picture books of 1999. Suza’s other books include: The Witches and Wizards Of Oberin‚ published in 2001 by Harper Collins and Evidence of Angels, published in 2009 by Harper Collins.

My Conversation With the Dalai Lama: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality (VIDEO) ~ Arianna Huffington

At a lunch in the crypt at St. Paul’s before the Dalai Lama received the Templeton Prize today, I was seated next to Canon Mark Oakley. “We need to move beyond relevance to resonance,” he said.

It was a call to move beyond the shallows to the depths, beyond the passing novelties of the moment to the echoes of the soul. The Canon summed up the vicious circle we too often find ourselves caught in: “We are,” he said, “spending money we don’t have on things we don’t want in order to impress people we don’t like.”

To find the peace of mind that alone can replace this aimless search that has led to an epidemic of stress, anxiety, and drugs — legal and illegal — the Dalai Lama is looking to science (specifically neuroscience) to convince a skeptical increasingly-secular society of the power of contemplation and compassion to change our lives and our world.

As he wrote in his 2005 book, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality:

The great benefit of science is that it can contribute tremendously to the alleviation of suffering at the physical level, but it is only through the cultivation of the qualities of the human heart and the transformation of our attitudes that we can begin to address and overcome our mental suffering… We need both, since the alleviation of suffering must take place at both the physical and the psychological levels.

It is for this decades-long passion to bring together science and spirituality that he was awarded the Templeton Prize. I sat with him before the awards ceremony. Here is our conversation (with a video slideshow here):
View Here

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