Your bazaar correspondent recently received a much coveted chance to hear Arianna Huffington speak as part of the press junket for her new book launch. For those who might not know, Arianna is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post news website. Known for its stark headlines and as a major player in online news, The Huffington Post has, in a relatively short time become a major player amongst news sources. The website, launched in 2005, now has 110 million unique visitors per month, a healthy amount by any measure. It sold for USD 315 million to AOL in 2011, and won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for their Beyond the Battlefield series on American war veteran’s lives after returning home. She was also named as one of the 100 most influential people in 2011 by Time magazine.
Arianna Huffington is a woman of vast talents that has proven herself in many different fields. Originally born in Greece, she would go on to study at Cambridge before eventually settling in the US. After failing to win a California Governor’s race against Arnold Schwarzenegger, she decided to set off in the direction of news. She says this latest book is inspired by and dedicated to her mother, a housewife with a sense of spirituality and a knack for philosophy who incidentally also lived with Arianna for her entire life. Currently on the eve of the release of her 14th book, she is as at home writing her novels as she is giving presentations, it seems. Though a relatively straight-forward news source, she cites (HP) as one based more on a model of creating conversations and looking for solutions to complicated societal problems based on that dialogue, than the traditional news delivery service we come to think of.
In Thrive, her new book, Arianna Huffington makes a compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world. She acknowledges the initial two measures, money and power, as not likely to go anywhere any time soon. Still, she argues at length that there is an increasing amount of research that suggests the ability to slow down and consider life’s other important factors are now grounded in research. In the book, she says that 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. By being connected to the world 24/7, she contends, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters. Our current definition of success is, as Thrive shows, literally killing us. She suggests that we need a new way forward.
In this new and personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and raising two daughters. Drawing on the latest 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 revolutionize our culture, our thinking, our workplace,
A skeptic might note that the “Third Metric” idea is a part of the Huffington Post’s website; a separate section with its own branded banner headline. Perhaps they would be right to, as there is an air about it that smacks of cross-promotion between the website, the book, and these series of conversations that she is giving on the subject. Still, she would answer that this is because of her own revelation towards working too much and not paying attention to some of these larger concerns that created her own new direction. The way she tells the story, the idea of working too much and not getting enough joy out of the life she was living was brought on by a terrible moment where she collapsed from exhaustion and being over-worked. In her road back, she says, she has learned to adopt a way of looking at both work and free time that allows her to more purposefully place both in their proper light. In this book, she uses recent scientific research to prove her claims that the benefits of living by this new metric outweigh the risk from not.
You can find more information on Arianna at www.huffingtonpost.com.