In 2007, Ariana Huffington was working all day and half the night for her 2-year-old media creation, The Huffington Post. She was only getting around four or five hours of sleep a night and was driving herself to the brink. Then, one day she collapsed from exhaustion and smashed her cheekbone on the corner of her desk. That was what ultimately led her to write Thrive, a book that has been dominating non-fiction bestseller lists since its release this past March.
In Thrive, Huffington talks about defining success. She considers whether money and power are really the best ways to measure success – and ultimately concludes that they are not. Although money and power are ways that traditionally measure success are thoroughly incomplete without concern for one’s well-being. Within the concept of well-being, Huffington includes inner wisdom, compassion, and more. If money and power are the two usual metrics to measure success, then well-being is the third metric. Huffington is so enamored with the idea that she’s created a new section on the Huffington Post site called “The Third Metric.”
Huffington focuses on how to achieve this new kind of wellness – this third metric – in her advice. One of her big pieces of advice is that people need to unplug. Western workplace culture, she said, is toxic in the way that the fact of constantly being reachable means that work is permitted to completely take over one’s life.
Huffington writes that 20 percent of people use smartphones during sex, although she herself once traveled with two BlackBerrys on two different networks so that she would never be out of touch. As more than one critic has observed, Huffington is the person most in need of her own advice. That being said, her advice is valid and she talks candidly about her problems and the little ways in which she has changed her life to help achieve the third metric. She writes that she no longer charges her phone next to her bed and says that she sleeps more now. She meditates and no longer turns on the news first thing upon entering the house.