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Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

4.1 15
by Arianna Huffington

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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


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 cofounder 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 echocardiogram, 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.

Editorial Reviews

"Renewal is not for slackers; renewal is a way to increase your capacity, to be more effective." Arianna Huffington's Third Metric conference is teaching women, but not just women that success doesn't just mean money. Like those vital confabs, her book Thrive invites readers to hit a pause button in their stressful race for job advancement to enable them to focus on health, wellbeing, giving back, and personal fulfillment. A stress-reducing tool for real people.

Publishers Weekly
Media mogul Huffington lays out steps to creating a lifestyle where success is measured not by money and power, but something more meaningful. She criticizes “America’s workplace culture... fueled by stress, sleep-deprivation, and burnout,” and compliments efforts by companies like General Mills for its “mindfulness program” and LinkedIn for “managing compassionately.” Huffington Post, she reports, exemplifies the “third metric” tenets—“well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving”—with nap rooms, meditation classes, and an app called “GPS for the Soul.” Huffington cites studies on the health benefits, both physical and psychological, of meditation, adequate sleep, and exercise. One study finds people who had participated in volunteering reported feeling healthier, happier, and less stressed. Huffington also recalls incidents in her own life that have led to wisdom, including her hospitalization for exhaustion, a stillborn baby, and her daughter’s struggle with addiction. Discussing death, she advises opening up a dialogue with the dying, powerfully evoking the dignified passing of her own mother. Huffington draws from both Eastern and Western philosophy, and though it’s a bit rich when she criticizes the media for chasing viral stories, this is otherwise an excellent guide for individuals aspiring beyond the rat race or businesses seeking to elevate employee morale and well-being. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
“A convincing, compact, anecdote-laced guide for achievers of every stripe.”

“In Thrive, Arianna urges all of us to get in touch with who we really are so that we can live life on our own terms. From the importance of sleep to the imperative to listen to our own inner voice for ways to deal with the daily time crunches we all feel, this book lays out a path for each of us to look within and make our lives more authentic and fulfilling.”
—Sheryl Sandberg

“Provides powerful ideas about how to approach life differently.”
—U.S. News

“At once intimate and formidable, this book is Arianna Huffington at her persuasive best. Thrive is a clarion call, a meditation, and a practical response to the question of how to live.”
—Susan Cain, author of New York Times bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

“Refreshingly practical . . . Lean In may be able to tell women how to get what they want, but Thrive may help them to figure out what that is.”

“Once in a generation, a book comes along that can truly transform your life. This is it. Thrive doesn’t show just how to become more successful; it shows how to realize and experience what matters most.” —Dean Ornish, founder of Preventive Medicine Research Institute, bestselling author of The Spectrum

“Full of compelling arguments (backed by substantial research) about why we need to redefine success.” –Real Simple

“A captivating look at what it takes to live a more meaningful, satisfying life.  Brimming with passion, supported by science, and crowned with practical insights, Arianna’s exceptional book will transform our workplaces, schools, and families.” -Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of Give and Take

“More a-ha moments than an episode of Oprah.” -People

"Reading this book is the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones. A monumental work that will change your life, and your health." -David B. Agus, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California and author NY Times bestsellers, The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life  

“Begs us to redefine how we measure success: As women everywhere put their foot to the gas pedal in their careers, what happens when we go too far?” –Shape

“Filled with cutting edge scientific research, captivating stories, and straightforward everyday practices, [Thrive] is a call-to-action that informs, invigorates, and inspires all at once.” -Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., author of Brainstorm and Mindsight, professor, UCLA School of Medicine

"Arianna Huffington has written a passionate and much needed prescription for reshaping life from the inside out. Turn off your cell phone, your email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and every other tool of the stressed-out, distracted world to spend some time thinking about grace, joy and wonder. You'll be glad you did." –Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer prize winning columnist and bestselling author of I Know Just What You Mean

"This is a generous, urgent, vital book, a chance to redefine how we keep score before it's too late. Arianna has given us a gift, and delivered it with style." -Seth Godin, bestselling author of The Icarus Deception

"Arianna’s honest, raw and compelling call for us to Thrive, in the midst of a jumbled, chaotic world by redefining what matters – well-being, wisdom, wonder, service and each other – is the right book, at the right time to heal us from our disconnection to ourselves and each other." -Mark Hyman, MD, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Blood Sugar Solution

"Thrive is a book that makes me smile just thinking about it. It is a book of wit, wisdom, and practical advice for changing our lives by changing our values. After all, why should we be content just to live when we can thrive?" -Anne-Marie Slaughter, professor, Princeton University, author of What Works for Women at Work

"In our relentless pursuit of more and more success, we have lost touch with our true selves, our bodies, our families and our friends.  In Thrive Arianna brilliantly explores how we can climb out of our stressed out, over-committed lives and once again create lives of balance and well-being." -Jack Canfield, Co-author of The Success Principles(TM)

"Socrates, Plato, Aristotle…Arianna. Beyond politics, there is her wisdom, applicable to everyone. This book probably added ten years to my life, some of which I'll spend re-reading it." -Bill Maher, host of Real Time with Bill Maher,bestselling author of The New Rules

"Rich in worldly  wisdom and brimming with motivation, Arianna gently shows us how to face the craziness of life today with awareness, grace and a sense of humor.” -Congressman Tim Ryan, Ohio, author of A Mindful Nation

“You can feel Arianna's passion on every page of this book.  In Thrive, Arianna has created a new paradigm for redefining how to systematically build a life of  purpose and balance and accomplishment— the whole life we're all ultimately after.” -Tony Schwartz, CEO, The Energy Project, author of The Way We're Working Isn't Working

"Beautiful, bold and brilliant…. I did not just read this book, I entered into long conversations with it. Thrive profoundly transforms our understanding of success and wakes us up from the broken dreams we chase." -Elif Shafak, bestselling author of Honor and The Forty Rules of Love

"Warning:  The content of this book is highly contagious. Even slight exposure may set you on a path to far clearer seeing, a radical resetting of your priorities, deep contentment, and, of course, thriving. Chances are, it will also melt your heart."  -Jon Kabat-Zinn, professor, UMass Medical School, author of Full Catastrophe Living

“One of the most important books of this century.  Weaving a tapestry of home-spun wisdom, science and compelling life stories, this is a profoundly uplifting and practical book that has something for everyone.  A must read for anyone wishing to live life more fully.” -Richard J. Davidson, founder and chair, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Desperately needed in today’s Type A, hurry-up world. [Thrive] just screamed at me to slow down, turn off the inner dialogue, sleep more, and stay in daily touch with my source of being.” -Wayne Dyer

Library Journal
After Huffington, the high-profile creator of the Huffington Post, collapsed from exhaustion and lack of sleep, she realized that she had measured her life in two metrics of success—power and money. In the author's new book, she proposes an alternative yardstick measuring well-being, wisdom, and the willingness to give of ourselves. Huffington details the ways in which readers can achieve these states, such as practicing meditation, getting ample rest, and appreciating the small wonders in life, and stresses the value of "go-givers" over go-getters. VERDICT Despite the title being somewhat of a turn-off, the author's message of slowing down is a good one, and makes a particularly solid read for the harried careerist.
Kirkus Reviews
Advised to unplug, a world-famous media omnivore promptly creates a commencement speech, multimedia conference, hundreds of blog posts and a self-help book about being nice to yourself. For someone who has drawn much criticism for refusing to pay creators from which she profits, Huffington (Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream, 2010, etc.) understands how to market her own image for money. Here, she describes the moment she collapsed from exhaustion in 2007 and the subsequent process of writing her 2013 commencement speech at Smith College. Unfortunately, the book that grew out of that speech is hollow, manipulative and overly self-promotional. "Since my own final straw moment, I have become an evangelist for the need to disconnect from our always-connected lives and reconnect with ourselves," Huffington writes in a representative passage. "It has guided the editorial philosophy behind HuffPosts' 26 Lifestyle sections—in which we promote the ways that we can take care of ourselves and lead balanced, centered lives while making a positive difference in the world." The author's concept—that if life is defined by success at work while simultaneously raising a family, then people need a "third metric" to measure happiness—is flawed at best and deeply condescending at worst, especially to women, at whom this self-help manual is clearly aimed. "It seemed to me that the people who were genuinely thriving in their lives were the ones who had made room for well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving," writes the author. "Hence, the Third Metric was born, the third leg of the stool in living a successful life." Less than a month after her Smith College speech, Huffington launched the concept as a touring womens conference. One has to wonder how hardworking mothers and self-reliant professionals will regard these questionable pearls of wisdom. A gimmicky, patronizing book.

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Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
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5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Arianna Huffington, a member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100, is the cofounder, president, and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, one of the world's most influential news and information brands. She is the author of fourteen books, including Third World America and On Becoming Fearless, and the mother of two daughters, Christina and Isabella.

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Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
JudithCEvans More than 1 year ago
In her book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder, Arianna Huffington explains that our current view of success is making us sick. Citing her personal wake-up call that occurred after a fall due to exhaustion and lack of sleep, Huffington points out that our current view of success relies on two metrics: money and power. The author introduces a third metric, which includes well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving. This book is a refreshing invitation to exhale and step off the treadmill. Huffington's statement that we need "empty spaces" in our schedules resonated with me at a time when we are encouraged to multitask and over=program. I especially appreciated the fact that Huffington includes medical research findings as well as examples from businesses and individuals in this book. I highly recommend "Thrive" to anyone who is looking for a humane view of success.
auntazalea More than 1 year ago
Each chapter draws you into a deeper level of insight with great wit, compassion and beautiful writing. I was pleasantly surprised.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not exactly earth-shattering, this book serves as a reminder of things we already know and have heard before. Way too many facts for a self-help book  and not enough soul. I believe Arianna is sincere in her message but  the approach is business-like rather than heart-felt. .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is basically a bunch of articles re-written from a Google search. I doubt A.H. did much of the work herself other  than string  together the articles her staffers found on the Internet. Not original - no reporting from primary sources - just a rehash of various articles available to anyone who does the research themselves. 
SuspenseWriter More than 1 year ago
Not very original.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Non-fiction. I really just do not have enough good things to say about this book! Read it. There are helpful ideas and thoughts in here for everybody, but especially if you are a working woman and mother. This is a book for our times, discussing how over-stressed and over-worked we are, how we are doing some of it to ourselves, and what some solutions are to these situations. Some of it is small, like not checking your email constantly or leaving it open all the time so it pings relentlessly in your ear, others are deeper and more complex issues that may not appeal to some, like daily meditation. This is not one of those books where the privileged rich person is telling the poor person how to live. It is humble, insightful, honest, and above all else extremely helpful!
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LSodeika More than 1 year ago
Excellent read and reminder of how we can thrive through better mindfulness and conscientious living. Don't feel like you've read this stuff before! Arianna Huffington provides her personal experience and perspective, but the book is also chock-full of new studies and statistics that show us there is a new way to manage our lives in and out of the workplace. It's a great read, written by a creditable, dynamic and successful leader.
BLUEFISH99 More than 1 year ago
A very down to earth and from the heart book, challenges the writers lifestyle and how to re define life. Its about well being wisdom and wonder, the need for us to change happiness from feeling good and doing good and reconnecting ourselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply amazing! 
PatFay More than 1 year ago
Huffington made her wealth by cheating writers. Writers work hard at their articles and should be paid. Yes, we like to write, but that doesn't mean we should not get paid. We have the same expenses for housing, health care and food that others have. Huffington should respect writers and pay them for the work they do for her.