Meeting Arianna Huffington was an incredible experience. In early spring I had the supreme enjoyment of meeting Arianna Huffington upon the release of her book, Thrive. She gave a talk at one of my favorite stores in the world, ABC Carpet & Home.
As a side note, why am I posing like this? It looks like we just got engaged, but I think was holding my hair out of my face…
The space was heavenly, as you’ll see below (ABC is one of my favorite places on earth), but the realizations I had while listening to Arianna talk about her personal experience with burnout were enough to momentarily blind me to the epic beauty of my surroundings.
Her book opens with the sentence, “…I was lying on the floor of my office in a pool of blood. On my way down, my head had hit the corner of my desk, cutting my eye and breaking my cheekbone. I had collapsed from exhaustion and lack of sleep.”
Arianna’s book outlines the ways in which we are, as a go-getter rat-race culture, completely destroying ourselves and our chances at looking back on truly fulfilled lives. More immediately, as we careen forward without self-care, proper rest, or reflection, we’re also detrimental to our own decision-making and health.
These are things you’ll hear all the time, but not give much thought to, because we all have deadlines and somewhere to be. We’ll sleep when we’re dead, right…?
But this book has begun to change my view on the frantic lifestyle of worshiping to-do lists, checking email in between breaths, and putting basic human needs off in favor of having one more thing done before I collapse in bed at the end of the day.
Arianna is onto something. As a society, we’re careening toward burnout at an alarming rate.
While I recommend that you buy the book yourself and spend some quality time with it, I’d also like to leave you with a few concise gems of wisdom that I scribbled in my copy of Thrive while Arianna was speaking.
They don’t require an explanation. Just sit with them for a minute, and maybe even copy down the ones that speak to you. I’ve even put a few up on my wall in the form of post-it reminders:
“Life is incredibly mysterious and cannot be contained in a to-do list. We might as well accept that mystery.”
“Burnout is the disease of our civilization. Burnout does not equal success. We must redefine it.”
“The goal is not to be on top of the world. It is to change the world.”
“Multi-tasking is the enemy of wonder, giving is the shortcut to happiness”.
“Your eulogy won’t be a reading of your LinkedIn profile.”
“We don’t pay people for their stamina, we pay them for their judgment.”
“You cannot be sustainably compassionate to others if you cannot be compassionate to yourself.”
I went to the event with one of my oldest and closest friends, A. We tend to be aligned when it comes to having certain realizations around work and creativity, even when we don’t see each other for months. We’re on the same plane. She was the perfect companion to experience this evening with.
Thanks for letting me share this special evening with you! Once you buy the book, you can use the hashtag #HowIThrive to share your thoughts on thriving—and your own personal “recipes for life,” as Arianna would say.