How to Thrive in our 24/7 World
Arianna Huffington's book "Thrive" redefines what it means to be successful.
Posted Oct 14, 2014
Arianna Huffington latest book, Thrive, captures the signs of our times. As a heavyweight social media channel, the Huffington Post has changed the way we consume news. In some ways, Arianna is single-handedly responsible for speeding up our lives with constant information. Yet one day she also realized as she collapsed in her office from sheer exhaustion that the pace of her own life was not sustainable.
Oftentimes we have to fall down in order to rise to new heights. Arianna is doing just that.
It is not as if she says anything new in her book, but reading it is like getting a whole year's supply of self-affirmations in one sitting. In essence, she tells the reader: "You are not crazy to feel overwhelmed. I was too. And I decided to do something about it."
I have long known that Arianna is a great champion of sleep. So am I. The trouble is getting the kind of quality sleep we need to keep pace in our 24/7 world. Technology and our ambition to keep up often leave us feeling depleted. But it's our own fault really. Why keep our iPhones next to our beds? Why check emails in the middle of the night when we can't sleep?
Technology's temptations are sometimes very hard to resist. Anyone with a teenager will confirm how invasive smartphones, tablets and all those gadgets have become in our daily lives.
When it comes to our digital diets, less really is more.
Arianna's premise is we must redefine the meaning of success to include well-being, wisdom, wonder and community. As my book The Power of Slow boils down to one word - 'choice' - hers boils down to one too -- 'love'. The more I think of it, the more I realize the limits of our minds. We have no love in our minds, only thoughts. When we react from the mind, we are entangled in the web of our own making. In fact, every stressor we feel comes down to one thing -- our reaction. Stress comes from a lack of trust that everything is going to be alright.
The truth is if we define "alright" to be That Which Is, then yes, everything will be alright. In fact, everything is alright all the time. Everything is indeed in alignment with the Universe. Our trouble begins when we ourselves are not.
Love can change that. When we come from our hearts' center, we are free.
Thrive is a smart piece of work that cites Greek and modern-day philosophers alike. She even quotes Carl Honoré, whose thinking about the Slow Movement greatly influenced mine.
My favorite part of her book is her discussion about time. She speaks of it in terms of physics. Time, in the physicist's view, is a landscape in which past, present and future can be seen. Like a mountain and a meadow and a wildflower all converging into one big thing. If that is true, than we needn't rush. All of time rests on a single canvas.
This book insists that we can not only survive, but actually thrive, even in our 24/7 world. As with all things, the quality of our lives is not informed by our bank account of Facebook fans or Twitter followers.
The beauty of our existence is informed solely by the depth of our hearts.