Book Review: Arianna Huffington’s ‘Thrive’ a great modern workplace tool

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Sleeping one’s way to the top definitely has sexual connotations, given the mind’s penchant to wander in certain directions, but in Arianna Huffington’s case, the meaning is quite literal.

The author of international bestseller Thrive, coined this phrase when she found herself lying in pool of blood in her office one day after a hard day’s work. She had hit her head on the corner of her desk on her way down, cutting her eye, and breaking her cheekbone.

The founder of the immensely successful Huffington Post and Time’s world’s 100 most influential person went from doctor to doctor, trying to find the root cause of her fall , only to realise that it all boiled down to one thing: exhaustion. That was her wake-up call to slow down and “sleep her way to the top”. Yes, literally take her nap.  So profound was this realisation that after getting better, Arianna set out to do research on her theory. The book is filled with not just academic research, but also findings from her day to day interactions and lessons from her own life.

In today’s rat race that is the corporate world, the author points out that the metrics of success need not just be about money and power, but also about well-being, wisdom , wonder and giving.

One of the most poignant lines from the book is:

“…When living a life full of perpetual time famine, we rob ourselves of our ability to experience another key element…..the element of wonder, our sense of delight in the mysteries of the universe, as well as the everyday occurrences and small miracles that fill our lives”.

Arianna’s well-research book takes one through the journey of her life, as a young woman, young wife, young mother and finally a successful entrepreneur, providing fresh insights into what success looked like before she had her ‘aha’ moment and what might look like in future.

It is interesting to note that Arianna has also put her own advice to practice, as her employees have a room in the office where they can take their power naps should they feel the urge to.

Thrive is a book not just about a new definition of success but also about wholesome living.

It is an excellent book for a woman (or man) in the corporate world who is struggling with success especially when it comes to issues like work-life balance.

One really practical thing that the author says she does in order to help her stay connected is to never sleep next to her mobile phone, as the blue light that signals emails or messages are distracting.

“If you need your phone as your alarm clock, buy an alarm clock,” she advices.

Like most self-help group, there is nothing that you don’t already know in this book, but whether this information is new or not to you, buy this book because of the well-articulated, well researched thoughts about how you should really live your life from the mouth of one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in the digital space.

In fact, the book was so good, that it got its own six-lesson online Oprah’s Lifeclasses course. She even did the interview on Oprah. “Thrive” is available in local bookstores and online.

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