Thrive: Power, Success, and the Third Metric
I just finished reading Arianna Huffington’s book “Thrive” and it was amazing to see someone who is in such a prominent position of power with her own successful company and a largely followed figure in the media telling us instead of grinding ourselves out on the ever alluding path to success, fame, and fortune that we should really be slowing down, getting enough sleep, taking in the moment and focusing on our own wellness.
I think that this has been something largely lost in the pursuit of the American dream, as our society has almost devolved into drones looking at a computer screen, tablet, phone or some other device and losing out on what makes the world we live in actually work. When was the last time you actually stopped to notice something new or interesting in your morning commute? When was the last time you looked up and enjoyed the sky? When was the last time you actually took in any of your surroundings?
Arianna prescribes meditation as a way to gain mindfulness and find peace with yourself. Most people will probably write this off as “new age hippie bs” but I can say that meditation has had a better natural impact on reducing my stress and anxiety levels than medication ever has. I have been meditating on and off for the past 11 years after starting in 2003. I don’t think I truly understood the impact and power of it until this year though. The ability to “tune in” to your body and tune out to negative energies, bad thoughts, social distractions and everything else that fries our brain is a very important excerise. Meditation will not only make you feel more alert and aware but you will notice a difference in your happiness level, clarity of thought, and overall physical health.
The proof in the effects of meditation is in the long list of famous celebrities who have adopted it. From Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra to guys like Howard Stern and Hugh Jackman, the list of “famous” meditators is impressive and long (http://tmhome.com/experiences/famous-people-who-meditate). The Beatles attributed meditation to their success and they were the biggest band of all time. Rupert Murdoch meditates and has one of the biggest media conglomerates in history. Howard Stern has meditated daily since being a teenager and has also credited it as a major influence in his success. You can view his interview with the innovator of transcendental meditation, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi here — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJQweEsgupM.
In her book, Arianna had a really moving quote “We have roughly 30,000 days to play the game of life and that’s if we’re lucky.” Time is so limited and we don’t do enough to take care ourselves and focus on the things that truly matter. No one in your eulogy will refer to your job title, salary, or how hard you worked and how many long hours were put in for that promotion. They’ll talk instead about the way that you made them feel, the kind things that you did in your life when you probably didn’t have to, the caring nature you had with your family and the way you treated those less fortunate than you. Yet why is success, power, and riches all that seem to matter in corporate America?