With structured content backed up by scientific research and philosophy, Thrive offers valuable advice to people who wish to live a successful life without suffering from stress and burnout in a competitive and fast paced world.
Arianna Huffington is the founder of the news platform Huffington Post. Her big moment of enlightenment came when she collapsed and injured herself severely. In those days (2007) she was working ”16 hours a day, seven days a week”.
During her recovery she realized that while she was very successful according to the conventional definitions of success (money and power), with her being one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, the injury was a wake up call to fix things. After studying and practising techniques like meditation and mindfulness, she came to the conclusion that we need a third metric for measuring success. This third metric is made up of four components: well-being, wonder, wisdom, and giving with each forming a section of the book.
Throughout the book, Arianna focuses on certain key habits that she wants each one of us to develop. In the ”well-being” section ,she encourages us to sleep enough (7-8 hr/day), exercise daily, be mindful, and to meditate at least 5 minutes a day. She cites several studies that have linked sleep deprivation to stress, poor productivity, lack of creativity, and feelings of helplessness, loneliness, and lack of life satisfaction. There are plenty of references to other habits as well.
In the ”wonder” and ”wisdom” sections, she demonstrates the need to allow ourselves downtime and to reflect inwardly. If we are not paying attention to the beauty that surrounds us, our entire life will be spent going from one task to another, always in a hurry to accomplish more without ever becoming satisfied. Slowing down and noticing the little things in life like a beautiful sunset or the rain drops can bring back the wonder in life.
In the final section ”giving”, various examples are given which assert that charity and volunteering not only help the receiver, it has several health benefits for the volunteers as well with increased happiness and satisfaction levels to name a few.
She makes a compelling case for each of these and describes in detail how these simple habits can have a profound effect on our lives. The reader will find the appendices at the end useful. They summarize links to websites and apps that can help practice the ideas in the book,
While reading I felt that a lot of the ideas poured in the ”wisdom” and ”wonder” sections from the ”well-being” section which means that a lot of ideas were repeated and this could have been avoided making the book a little leaner while still retaining the lessons.
Nonetheless, Arianna has done a wonderful job of putting together a book that inspires action. It is a book that everyone should read and its ideas be discussed so that we can change how we, as a society, look at success. As soon as we will start giving our health and well-being the importance they deserve, our homes and workplaces will become more friendly and warm.