One thing we all have in common as humans is the need to become successful in our chosen field. Whatever that field happens to be. Not one of us wants to go through life being mediocre – standing still in a job with no opportunity for growth. Once we find our professional passions, our drive to succeed will keep us pushing toward the finish line, working as hard as we possibly can. And in today’s world, it’s exceedingly difficult to reach our own image of success without sacrificing everything else in our lives, including our own health.
Arianna Huffington is no stranger to success. In her new book, Thrive (out tomorrow – 3/25!) she shares her personal struggle with trying to build The Huffington Post into the powerhouse news/media company it is today. It also shares the scary wake-up call that landed her in the hospital with a broken cheekbone and a nasty cut above her eye, which was a sign that she needed to slow things down, immediately. The injury occurred when she collapsed from exhaustion and lack of sleep. In the days that followed, she found herself in several doctors’ offices getting MRIs and CAT scans, and she wondered if this was what success was supposed to feel like.
This book is all about finding a healthy balance in life. Sure, we all want money and power (the two traditional metrics that define success), but do we really need to choose between our careers and our personal lives, or even our overall health? The answer is no. Taking her wake-up call into account, Arianna decided to explore this common struggle, and what she found was a third metric of success that we all need to strive for. The 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.
If you find yourself working too much and sleeping too little (as I do way too often), you really need to read this. Consider this moment your wake-up call, and use this book to guide your personal journey into a less stressful, more fulfilling life. You will never regret the time you spent putting yourself and your loved ones first.