Am I “Successful”?

Money. Power. More money. According to Arianna Huffington, that’s all we want. Huffington says that this traditional measure of success is turning us into stressed-out, joyless humans. And that we need to redefine the money/ power index to include a third metric: well-being. But isn’t my meditating, cross-fitting, fundraising, baking generation already doing that? I believe so.

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Let’s Thrive

I picked up Huffington’s new book, ‘Thrive’ with my Changi dollars on the way home from holiday. I’m only one chapter in, but I thought I would jot down what I have learnt so far.

You probably already know this, but Huffington is well-known for co-founding The Huffington Post. In 2007, she made it on to the Time 100 Most Influential People list. So she’s done alright for herself. Certainly someone we could all learn from.

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Changi buys

Huffington’s new book, ‘Thrive’, is based on the observation that, in the absence of real life royalty, society now awards princely status to the rich and powerful. As a result, we define our own success based on the same criteria: money and power. Huffington, quite rightly I think, says that people are growing sceptical of this life, and starting to realise that they are chasing broken dreams. That ‘there is no there there’.

This quote basically sums up Huffington’s observation:

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‘At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life’

In a rather dark turn, Huffington says that when we die, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success. She says the things that matter then, and that should matter to us now, are things like well-being, wonder and wisdom. Together, these are Huffington’s third metric – that other, oft forgotten, pillar of success.

So far I am on board with Huffington and her third metric. But I question whether she may be a bit late to the party with this particular revelation, especially insofar as it applies to my generation.

You would have noticed that today’s society already places enormous value on fitness, well-being, beauty and personality. A quick scan of my Instagram feed will tell me that the praise flows more freely for a bikini body before-and-after pic than it does for pretty much anything else. Sure money and power help with these things, but they are not essential. So it seems that more and more, we are expanding our definition of success from money and power alone, to include third metric type things like health, happiness and generosity.

As you can see, my first impressions are mixed. So I will be interested to see where Huffington takes the book and what I can learn. Somewhere towards the end she has included the ‘daily practices, tools and techniques’ she uses to thrive. I look forward to that.

Thought Leader(s): Arianna Huffington

Source(s): Huffington, A (2014) ‘Thrive’, WH Allen.

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One thought on “Am I “Successful”?

  1. Pingback: Work Hard, Sleep Harder | thingsilearnt

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