Saturday, May 24, 2014

Thrive

I mentioned in a talk I did recently that I had started reading Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington. I've seen it talked about online in numerous places and I follow her on line and see she is doing talks about it all over the place.

The book is about redefining success and understand what success means to you. From Amazon's book description:
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.
and a few wonderful quotes from the book which I highlighted:
In her 1951 novel Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar has the Roman emperor meditating on his death: “It seems to me as I write this hardly important to have been emperor.” Thomas Jefferson’s epitaph describes him as “author of the Declaration of American Independence … and father of the University of Virginia.” There is no mention of his presidency. 
and
For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. —FR. ALFRED D’SOUZA
and
If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis, all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace. —FREDERICK BUECHNER
and
English poet Ted Hughes: “The only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.
and
But if coincidences are a sign that there is meaning and design in the universe, there are consequences for how we live our lives. Because if there is meaning in the universe, there is meaning in our daily lives and the choices we make. And so we can choose to live in ways that help us live fuller, more complete lives, aligned with what matters: A life that isn’t defined by our salaries and résumés. A life that encompasses all that we are and can become.

Sorry about all the quotes, but these are just a few of the ones I highlighted. Lots of good things to think about with regard to how you spend your time and your days.

Recommended.

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