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Discussion Questions, Book Notes,

Super Soul Sunday Episode Notes, and The

Art of Thriving Master Class Notes
Materials Compiled/Summarized by Prasanna Ranganathan / @pranganathan / / (613) 868-6208

Table of Contents
Discussion Questions Book Club Tweet Club on Thrive by Arianna Huffington ........................................ 3

Book Notes: Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom,
and Wonder by Arianna Huffington .............................................................................................................. 4

Super Soul Sunday Oprah Winfrey Interviews Arianna Huffington Episode Notes............................... 25

The Art of Thriving Master Class with Arianna Huffington and Panache Desai Class Notes ................... 32

Discussion Questions Book Club Tweet Club on Thrive by Arianna Huffington

Book being discussed:

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of

Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff)
#Thrive / #HowIThrive
Proposed Format for the Discussions
Welcome and Introductions, Book Giveaways (if any), Introduce the topic and author
Questions (for selection) to ask readers on Twitter/Facebook during the Thrive book club discussion:
1) What is your favorite lesson from the book?
2) What questions did this book raise in your mind?
3) The book starts off with the question: What is a good life? How would you have answered this
question before Thrive? After Thrive?
4) How did you define success before reading Thrive? How about now?
5) What statistic, tool, or part of Thrive did you find most surprising?
6) What would you want people to say about you & your life after youre gone?
7) Do you meditate? Whats your practice? Has it changed your life? If so, how?
8) Has Thrive made you think differently about sleep? If so, how?
9) How do you practice gratitude in your own life?
10) How do you move from struggle to grace in your life? What tools do you use?
11) The iParadox demonstrates that our smartphones are not making us smarter. How has the
iParadox shown up in your life?
12) When is the last time you felt in the midst of a time-famine? Time affluence? How did both
make you feel?
13) What do you pay attention to in your life?
14) Did the concept of the obnoxious roommate in your head resonate with you? Do you hear that
voice? How do you evict it?
15) Has Thrive changed how you will respond to adversity? If so, how?
16) Has a piece of art, music, film, theater filled you with wonder? What was it? Share it with us.
17) Have you viewed death differently since reading Thrive? Has it inspired you in any way?
18) Has Thrive made you think differently about service and giving? If so, how?
19) What opportunity for service or giving did you notice today? Since reading Thrive?
20) How has Thrive made you think about your relationship with technology?
21) What are your favorite quotes from this book?
22) Have you asked other people to read the book? Have they? What has been their reaction?
23) Has this book affected how you will move forward in the world? If so, how?
24) How do you thrive? Share with us using the hashtag: #HowIThrive
25) Share photos, videos, and songs that show how you thrive. #HowIThrive

Book Notes: Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of WellBeing, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington1

Key Question: What is a good life? (3)

Over time our societys notion of success has been reduced to money and power. In
fact, at this point, success, money and power have practically become synonymous in
the minds of many. (3)
This idea of success can work or at least appear to work in the short term. But over
the long term, money and power by themselves are like a two-legged stool you can
balance on them for a while, but eventually youre going to topple over. (3)
The way weve defined success is not enough. (3)
To live the lives we want and truly deserve, and not just the lives we settle for, we need
a Third Metric, a third measure of success that goes beyond the two metrics of money
and power, and consists of four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving. (4)
If we dont redefine what success is, the price we pay in terms of our health and wellbeing will continue to rise. (4)
People who were genuinely thriving in their lives were the ones who had made room for
well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving. (4)
We are entering a new era. How we measure success is changing. (4)
The Western workplace culture exported to many other parts of the world is practically
fueled by stress, sleep deprivation, and burnout. (5)
Even as stress undermines our health, the sleep deprivation so many of us experience in
striving to get ahead at work is profoundly and negatively affecting our creativity, our
productivity, and our decision making. (5)
In the new definition of success, building and looking after our financial capital is not
enough. We need to do everything we can to protect and nurture our human capital.
You are your most important capital. (6)
There are only so many withdrawals you can make from your health bank account, but
you just keep on withdrawing. You could go bankrupt if you dont make some deposits
soon. (7)
When we include our own well-being in our definition of success, another thing that
changes is our relationship with time (7)
There is even a term now for our stressed-out sense that theres never enough time for
what we want to do time famine (7).
And when were living a life of perpetual time famine, we rob ourselves of our ability to
experience another key element of the Third Metric: wonder, our sense of delight in the
mysteries of the universe, as well as the everyday occurrences and small miracles that
fill our lives. (7)

Please NOTE: Page numbers for where to find the quotes in Thrive are indicated in the brackets beside each line.

Darling, just change the channel. You are in control of the clicker. Dont replay the
bad, scary movie. Arianna Huffingtons mother Elli (7)
Im convinced of two fundamental truths about human beings. The first is that we all
have within us a centered place of wisdom, harmony and strength. The second truth is
that were all going to veer away from that place again and again and again. Thats the
nature of life. (8)
You cant connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking
backwards. Steve Jobs (9)
The function of leadership is to be able to see the iceberg before it hits the Titanic. (10)
There is plenty of scientific data that shows unequivocally that empathy and service
increase our own well-being. (10)
If youre lucky, you have a final straw moment before its too late. (10)
Eulogies are in fact very Third Metric. (15)
A eulogy is often the first formal marking down of what our lives were about the
foundational document of our legacy. (15)
Eulogies arent resumes. They describe the persons care, wisdom, truthfulness and
courage. They describe the million little moral judgments that emanate from that inner
region. David Brooks (16)
We shouldnt wait until death is imminent to begin prioritizing the things that matter.
A life that embraces the Third Metric is one lived in a way thats mindful of our eventual
eulogy. (18)
This book is about the lessons Ive learned and my efforts to embody the Third Metric
principles a process I plan to be engaged in for the rest of my life. (19)
These three threads (personal lessons, scientific data and daily practices/tools) are
pulled together by one overarching goal: to reconnect with ourselves, our loved ones,
and our community in a word, to thrive. (20)

A New Blueprint: Time to Renovate the Architecture of Our Lives

Nothing succeeds like excess, we are told. If a little of something is good, more must be
better. The time has come to re-examine these assumptions. When we do, it becomes
clear that the price we are paying for this way of thinking and living is far too high and
unsustainable. (22)
The architecture of how we live our lives is badly in need of renovation and repair.
What we really value is out of sync with how we live our lives. And the need is urgent
for blueprints to reconcile the two. (22)
Our current notion of success, in which we drive ourselves into the ground, if not the
grave in which working to the point of exhaustion and burnout is considered a badge
of honor was put in place by men, in a workplace culture dominated by men. (23)

But its a model of success thats not working for women, and, really, its not working for
men, either. (24)
If were going to redefine what success means, if we are going to include a Third Metric
to success, beyond money and power, its going to be women who will lead the way.
Women are paying an even higher price than men for their participation in a work
culture fueled by stress, sleep deprivation and burnout. (24)
One idea is to expand the project-based world where businesses simply give a skilled
worker a project and a deadline. (27)

Burnout: Our Civilizations Disease

Belgian philosopher Pascal Chabot calls burnout civilizations disease. Its certainly
symptomatic of our modern age. (28)
Another result of our current toxic definition of success is an epidemic of addiction. (29)
Burnout, stress, and depression have become worldwide epidemics. (30)
The need to redefine success is a global need. (30)
All of our small anxieties and trivial preoccupations evaporate with the sudden
recognition of what really matters. (33)
We are reminded of the impermanence of much that we assume is forever and the
value of so much we take for granted. (33)
Again and again, all around the world, it often takes a personal health crisis to get us to
pay attention. (33-4)

Healthy Employees, Healthy Bottom Lines

There is growing evidence that the long-term health of a companys bottom line and the
health of its employees are, in fact, very much aligned, and that when we treat them as
separate, we pay a heavy price, both personally and collectively. (35)
Treat people like family, and they will be loyal and give their all. Howard Schultz
(Starbucks CEO) (36)
Too many companies dont yet realize the benefits of focusing on wellness. (36)
A living being is constantly repairing itself against all of these different insults at a very
molecular level, at a cellular level, at an emotional level. So disease happens when the
repair process is not keeping up with the damage process. (38)

Meditation: Its Not Just for Enlightenment Anymore

One of the best and most easily available ways we can become healthier and happier
is through mindfulness and meditation. (38)
Every element of well-being is enhanced by the practice of meditation, and indeed,
studies have shown that mindfulness and meditation have a measurable positive impact
on the other three pillars of the Third Metric wisdom, wonder, and giving. (38)

When we hear the word mindfulness, we have to inwardly also hear heartfulness in
order to grasp it even as a concept, and especially as a way of being. Jon Kabat-Zinn
When they work together, the heart leading through empathy, the mind guiding us with
focus and attention, we become a harmonious human being. (39)
Through mindfulness, I found a practice that helped bring me fully present and in the
moment, even in the most hectic of circumstances. (39)
The only thing to do in meditation is nothing. (40)
Our breath also has a sacredness about it. (41)
Meditation and mindfulness training profoundly affect every aspect of our lives our
bodies, our minds, our physical health, and our emotional and spiritual well-being. (42)
Happiness is a way of being that gives you the resources to deal with the ups and
downs of life that pervades all the emotional states including sadness. Mathieu
Ricard (45)
Meditation can also have profound effects on a host of other psychological conditions.
Meditation may be a wonderful drug, but it does need to be regularly refilled. To get all
these benefits, we need to make it a part of our everyday lives. (46)
Happiness and well-being are not just magical traits that some are blessed with and
others not. (46)
While meditation may be a solitary activity that involves a certain inward focus, it also
increases our ability to connect with others, actually making us more compassionate.
No longer is meditation seen as some sort of New Age escape from the world. Its
increasingly seen for what it is: a practice that helps us be in the world in a way that is
more productive, more engaged, healthier, and less stressful. (48)
Meditation gathers me up for the day and makes me feel organized and happy and
capable of facing the challenges of the world, both internal and external. Lena
Dunham (49)
No matter what tradition you follow or if you follow no tradition there is some form of
meditation and mindfulness that can be integrated into your life. (52)

Why Gazelles Are My Role Models

Increasingly, companies are realizing that their employees health is one of the most
important predictors of the companys health, as well. (55)
Mindfulness is about training our minds to be more focused, to see with clarity, to have
spaciousness for creativity and to feel connected. Janice Marturano (56)
One of the primary obstacles keeping many businesses from adopting more sane and
sustainable metrics of success is the stubborn and dangerously wrongheaded myth that
there is a trade-off between high performance at work and taking care of ourselves.
This couldnt be less true. (57)

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner coined the term managing compassionately. Managing
compassionately includes practicing and expecting transparent communications, and
practicing walking in someone elses shoes. (59)
What matters is that we find a way, any way, to recharge and renew ourselves. (61)
My screensaver is a picture of gazelles. They are my role models. They run and flee
when there is a danger a leopard or a lion approaching but as soon as the danger
passes, they stop and go back to grazing peacefully without a care in the world. (61)
We need to liberate ourselves from the tyranny of our fight-or-flight mechanism. (61)
Under our current definition of success, a chronic state of fight-or-flight is a feature, not
a bug. (61)

Overconnectivity: The Snake in Our Digital Garden of Eden

Unfortunately, the ever-increasing creep of technology into our lives, our families, our
bedrooms, our brains makes it much harder to renew ourselves. (62)
But the connection that comes from technology is often an unfulfilling, ersatz version of
connection. (62)
Our relationship with email has become increasingly one-sided. We try to empty our
inboxes, bailing like people in a leaky lifeboat, but more and more of it keeps pouring in.
Disrupting your bodys breathing pattern can knock your bodys balance of oxygen, nitric
oxide and carbon dioxide out of whack, which can, in turn, play a part in exacerbating
stress-related conditions. (64)
The simplest tool for avoiding email apnea? To observe your breathing as you deal with
your emails to pull yourself out of automatic pilot. (64)
The problem is that with smartphones, email is no longer confined to the office. (64)
Paradoxically, one of the biggest growth sectors for tools to help us deal with
technology is technology. (66)
Going offline can often become harder and harder as you advance up the career ladder.
Increased power also brings with it the danger of losing the very qualities that are most
essential to leadership. (E.g. increased power lowers executives ability to be empathic).
Another study on leadership and perspective found that power makes us prone to
dismiss or misunderstand others viewpoints. (67)
Any tool that can increase our self-awareness and ability to listen and be in the moment
is invaluable. (67)

Secure Your Own Mask First

Not only is there no trade-off between living a well-rounded life and high performance,
performance is actually improved when our life becomes more balanced. (68)
Our current toxic definition of success and our addiction to our devices is having a
particularly negative impact on the next generation. (71)

Generation Y otherwise known as the millennials, could be given a third, more alarming,
name: generation stress. (71)
Stress, as weve seen, is a huge contributing factor in heart disease, diabetes, and
obesity. (72)
Not surprisingly, one of the biggest causes of stress among younger Americans is work.
Whatever your entry point is take it. Right now you may just want to be better at your
job, or help your company become more successful, and thats the reason you start
meditating, or practicing mindfulness, or sleeping more. But along the way you will
likely also gain some added perspective on what matters in your life. (78)
Paying greater attention to our well-being for whatever reason connects us with
parts of ourselves that now lie dormant and makes it more likely that there will no
longer be any split between being successful at work and thriving in life. (78)

Sleep Your Way to the Top

The most basic shift we can make in redefining success in our lives has to do with our
strained relationship to sleep. (74)
Theres practically no element of our lives thats not improved by getting adequate
sleep. (74)
Our creativity, ingenuity, confidence, leadership, and decision making can all be
enhanced simply by getting enough sleep. (75)
Like meditation, our sleep patterns can have a physical effect on our brain. (76)
Poor sleepers are seven times more likely to feel helpless and five times more likely to
feel alone. Great British Sleep Survey (76)
We desperately need to purge our lives of the poison of what Anne-Marie Slaughter
called time macho. She described it as our relentless competition to work harder, stay
later, pull more all-nighters, travel around the world and bill the extra hours that the
International Date Line affords you. (78)
Women are significantly more sleep-deprived than men. Dr. Michael Breus (78)
Rob yourself of sleep and youll find you do not function at your personal best. (79)
By sleeping more we, in fact, become more competent and in control of our lives. (80)
Many of us know that regular exercise helps us sleep better, but what I discovered is
that its a two-way street. Regular sleep also helps us exercise better. (82)
But like a flight or train, our sleep should be thought of as the fixed point in our day, and
everything else should be adjusted as needed so we dont miss it. (83)
Going public about your decision to get more sleep can be one way to make that
commitment stick. (84)
One result of getting more and better sleep has been an increase in the intensity of
my dreams. (84)
Reconnecting with my dreams has been like reuniting with an old flame. (84)
A side benefit of remembering your dreams is that it is a great opportunity to connect
even more deeply with the people closest to you. (85)

Remembering our dreams is a way to knock on our inner door and find deeper insights
and self-awareness. (86)
For the last week of December, we all pledged to swear off TV, social media, and email
so we could truly connect with our loved ones and ourselves. (87)

Lessons from the Sports Page: The Ultimate Performance-Enhancing Drugs

The fundamental flaw at the heart of our misguided definition of success is the belief
that overworking is the route to high performance and exceptional results. (88)
The most effective way to operate at work is like a sprinter, working with single-minded
focus for periods of no longer than 90 minutes, and then taking a break. (93)

Walk This Way

When I was living in Los Angeles, I discovered that I came up with many of my best ideas
while I was hiking. (94)
If youve got to talk to someone in person, why not do it while walking? (The Walk-TheTalk method) (94)
One of my favorite phrases is solvitur ambulando It is solved by walking. (94)
In our culture of overwork, burnout, and exhaustion, how do we tap into our creativity,
our wisdom, our capacity for wonder? Solvitur ambulando. (94)
For as long as I can remember, walking has frequently led to solutions to whatever
preoccupied me. (95)
Over the years, I came to realize that a journey that is full of adventure and discovery
doesnt have to involve planes and cars and passports. The benefits of a journey are
available simply by walking. (96)
Scientific studies increasingly show the psychological benefits of walking and other
forms of exercise. (96)
It turns out that sitting is as bad for us as walking is good for us. (98)
Walking is one of the ways we move through our world; language and writing are how
we articulate that experience. (100)
To fully experience the world around us, we first have to be able to free ourselves from
the distractions that are constantly begging for our attention. (100)
Forcing our brains to process in a new environment can help us to engage more fully.
So, please, walk. It makes us healthier, it enhances cognitive performance, from
creativity to planning and scheduling, and it helps us to reconnect with our
environment, ourselves, and those around us. (102)

(Furry) Friends with (Different) Benefits

There are many different ways of inserting Third Metric values into our lives.
Meditation, long walks, exercise, yoga, reconnecting with family and friends, and

making sure to unplug, recharge, and get enough sleep all will increase some aspect of
our well-being and sense of fulfillment. Another way is by being close to animals. (102)
A purpose of life is to expand the boundaries of our love, to widen the circle of our
concern, to open up rather than shut down, and to expand rather than contract. (102)
Like spouses and close friends, pets can become included in the self, the core of our
being that forms our perspective.
Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression.
Ian Cook, Psychiatrist and Director, UCSLA Depression Research and Clinic Program
Studies have found that pet owners have lower blood pressure, a reduced risk of heart
disease, and lower levels of stress. (104)
Animals help us be better humans. Quite often, they show us how to be our best selves.
Pets are the unrivaled masters of giving back. The pleasure they take in giving
themselves to us is perhaps their greatest lesson. (107)
Pets help us constantly come back to what makes us human. Theyre a furry version of
our best selves. (107)

Beyond Economic Indicators: A True Happiness Index

Though it may be difficult to measure, the idea that happiness should be part of our
national dialogue and purpose is not new. (107)
The idea of measuring our well-being is gaining ground. (109)
In fact, the idea of measuring our well-being is so widespread that last year The
Economist declared that the happiness industry was one of the more surprising
industries to have taken off during the current period of economic downturn. (109)
I completely support any effort to show that were more than just our marginal
contribution to our bank accounts, the bottom line of our employers, or the gross
national product of our countries. (109)
It is significant that so many leaders finally recognize that the well-being of their citizens
depends on more than just a countrys quarterly growth rate (as important as that is),
especially if this leads to policy changes from job creation to family leave that reduce
stress and improve well-being. (111)

Summary of Well-Being Practical Tools

Start by getting just 30 minutes more sleep than you are getting now. (111)
Move your body: walk, run, stretch, do yoga, dance. (111)
Introduce 5 minutes of meditation into your day. Eventually you can build up to 15 or
20 minutes a day or more. (111)
o Choose a reasonably quiet space to being your practice and a time when you will
not be interrupted (112)
o Relax your body (112)


o Let your breathing be full, bring your attention to the air coming into your
nostrils, filling up your abdomen, and then releasing (112)
o When thoughts come in, simply observe them and gently nudge your attention
back to the breath. (112)
o Some people find it helpful to have a special or sacred word or phrase that they
use to bring their awareness back to the breath. (112)
o It is really important not to make your meditation practice one more thing you
stress about. (113)
Life as a Classroom

Wisdom is precisely what is missing whenwe press the same levers again and again
even though there is no longer any real reward. (117)
Wisdom is about recognizing what were really seeking: connection and love. (117)
In order to find them (connection and love), we need to drop our relentless pursuit of
success as society defines it for something more genuine, more meaningful, and more
fulfilling. (117)
When we re-examine what we really want, we realize that everything that happens in
our lives ever misfortune, every slight, every loss, and also every joy, every surprise,
every happy accident is a teacher, and life is a giant classroom. (118)
There is nothing more draining than holding grudges. (119)
There is nothing that we need more today than having proportion restored to
disproportion, and separating our everyday worries and preoccupations from what is
truly important. (121)
When we have learned to sit quietly in a room alone, we can maintain that inner
connection that allows life to proceed from the inside out, whether we are alone or in a
crowd of screaming people. (122)
We all have within us the ability to move from struggle to grace, whatever the
challenges we encounter. (123)
Learning to be vulnerable without shame and accepting our emotions without judgment
becomes much easier when we realize that we are more than our emotions, our
thoughts, our fears, and our personalities. (125)
The stronger the realization, the easier it becomes to move from struggle to grace. (125)
Moving from struggle to grace sums up, as well, the experience of childbirth going
from a body racked with pain to the miracle of birth (125)
In our daily lives, moving from struggle to grace requires practice and commitment. But
its in our hands. (126)
Ive come to believe that living in a state of gratitude is the gateway to grace. (126)
Gratitude has always been for me one of the most powerful emotions. (126)
Gratitude exercises have been proven to have tangible benefits. (127)


Women know that we do not carry our unborn babies only in our wombs. We carry
them in our dreams and in our souls and in our every cell. (128)
We are not on this earth to accumulate victories, or trophies, or experiences, or even to
avoid failures, but to be whittled and sandpapered down until whats left is who we
truly are. (128)
This is the only way we can find purpose in pain and loss, and the only way to keep
returning to gratitude and grace. (128)
Gratitude works its magic by serving as an antidote to negative emotions. (130)

The Power of the Hunch: When Your Inner Voice Speaks, Shut Up and Listen

One big indicator of the absence of wisdom is our failure to heed warning signs. (130)
One big source of wisdom is intuition, our inner knowing. Weve all experienced it as a
hunch, an inkling, our inner voice telling us to do something or not to do something. We
hear the message, and it feels right, even if we cant explain why. (131)
Feeding and nurturing our intuition, and living a life in which we can make use of its
wisdom, is one key way to thrive, at work and in life. (131)
Science has confirmed how important intuition is in the way we make decisions. (132)
We all know we have access to intuition if we nourish it and listen to it. (134)
We know that our intuition can be more accurate than trying to bear down on a
problem with cold, hard logic. (134)
Sometimes what your intuitive response signals is that you need more information. But
our modern, hyperconnected world throws up roadblock after roadblock between us
and our intuition. (135)
For me, the easiest way to lose touch with my intuition is to be sleep deprived. (136)
Meditation, yoga, and mindfulness can help us to still the noise of the world so we can
listen to our inner voice. (136)
Intuition is about connections but connections that arent obvious and that cant be
reasoned into existence. (137)
Our intuition connects us both to our inner selves and to something larger beyond
ourselves and our lives. (137)
Our intuition is like a tuning fork that keeps us in harmony if we learn to listen. (137)

iParadox: Your Smartphone Isnt Making You Wiser

One of the things that makes it harder and harder to connect with our wisdom is our
increasing dependence on technology. (139)
Mindfulness cultivates our ability to do things knowing that were doing them. (140)
The quest for knowledge may be pursued at higher speeds with smarter tools today, but
wisdom is found no more readily than it was three thousand years ago in the court of
King Solomon. (140)
Ours is a generation bloated with information and starved for wisdom. (140)


Big Data, unfettered information, the ability to be in constant contact, and our growing
reliance on technology are all conspiring to create a noisy traffic jam between us and
our place of insight and peace. (142)
Call it an iParadox: Our smartphones are actually blocking our path to wisdom. (142)

Hurry Sickness and Time Famine

Mastering the art of slowing down doesnt happen quickly. Learning the wisdom of
slowing down, of truly living, is itself a journey. But it is also a prescription for better
health. (144)
Research published in the Harvard Business Review shows that speed adversely affects
creativity and work. (144)
Our culture is obsessed with time. It is our personal deficit crisis. We always think
were saving time, and yet we never feel like we have enough of it. (145)
In order to manage time or what we delude ourselves into thinking of as managing
time we rigidly schedule ourselves, rushing from meeting to meeting, event to event,
constantly trying to save a bit of time here, a bit there. (145)
Our computers, our movies, our sex lives, our prayers they all run faster now than
ever before. And the more we fill our lives with time-saving devices and time-saving
strategies, the more rushed we feel. James Gleick, Faster: The Acceleration of Just
About Everything (145)
o Harvard professor Leslie Perlow has given this feeling a name: time famine.
On the flip side, the feeling of having enough time, or even surplus time, is called time
affluence. (146)
Just as money cant buy happiness, neither can it buy time affluence. (147)
When it comes to winning the war on time famine, we are our own worst enemies. To
win the war, first we have to declare that we want to change. (148)
And while time affluence isnt inherited, its clear that were doing a pretty good job of
passing our self-destructive relationship with time on to our children. (148)
So what can we do to fight back against hurry sickness? You can walk dont run to
join the slow movement. (149)
The Slow Food movement was launched in Italy in 1989.And now the slow movement
has widened to include slow travel, slow living, slow sex, slow parenting, slow science,
slow gardening, slow cities, and no, slow thinking. (150)
Gaining a sense of time affluence can help lead us to both greater well-being and deeper
wisdom. (151)
Going viral has gone viral, and is taken to be a big sign of success independently of the
value of the thing going viral. (152)
Our media culture is locked in the Perpetual Now, constantly chasing ephemeral scoops
that last only seconds and that most often dont matter or have any impact in the first
place. (152)
We treat virality as a good in and of itself, moving forward for the sake of moving. (153)

As we adopt new and better ways to help people communicate, it is important to ask
what is being communicated. (154)
Social media are a means, not an end. Going viral isnt mission accomplished. (154)
Fetishizing social has become a major distraction. And we love to be distracted. I
believe our job in the media is to use the social tools at our disposal to tell the stories
that matter as well as the stories that entertain and to keep reminding ourselves
that the tools are not the story. (154)
Our times demand a better response. These new social tools can help us bear witness
more powerfully or they can help us be distracted more obsessively. (154)
Our attention is the fuel that drives our lives. (155)

Evicting the Obnoxious Roommate in Your Head

Even our worst enemies dont talk about us the way we talk to ourselves. I call this voice
the obnoxious roommate living in our head. It feeds on putting us down and
strengthening our insecurities and doubts. (155-6)
I have spent many years trying to evict my obnoxious roommate and have now
managed to relegate her to only occasional guest appearances in my head. (156)
Educating our obnoxious roommate requires redefining success and what it means to
live a life that matters, which will be different for each of us, according to our own
values and goals (and not those imposed upon us by society). (157)
Humor helps in dealing with that constant inner critic. (157)
Dont let your constant critic filibuster your dreams. (157)

Breaking Bad Habits: What We Can Learn from Minotaurs, Seat Belts, and the Stoics

As we are liberating ourselves, building new habits, and slaying our old habits our own
Minotaurs it is critical to find the thread that works for us. (158)
Habits are habits for a reason. Humans lead complex lives, and one of the traits weve
developed that has allowed us to be such productive creatures is the ability to make
many learned traits and responses an automatic part of our lives, buried so deeply in
the inner workings of our subconscious that they no longer require conscious thought.
Sacrifice is giving up with reverence and compassion what no longer works in order to
stay close to what is sacred. Mark Nepo (161)
We might think were in charge of our thoughts and behavior captains of our ship,
turning the wheel this way and that but so often its actually our autopilot thats in
control. (161)
If were not able to reprogram our autopilot, all our protestations of wanting to change
will be as pointless as the little boy furiously turning the wheel on the cruise ship. (162)
Keystone habits start a process that over time transforms everything. Keystone habits
say that success doesnt depend on getting every single thing right, but instead relies on
identifying a few key priorities and fashion them into powerful levers. Duhigg (162)

Dr. Judson Brewer of Yale has summed up the common signs of resource depletion in
the acronym HALT, which stands for hungry, angry, lonely, tired. (162)
When the habits that lead to resource depletion are the very habits were incentivized
to cultivate, it makes for a tough environment for change. (163)
This is all the more reason its important to create a positive keystone habit, to gain
some leverage to take back our lives. (163)
We dont have to wait until we move or change jobs to change our lives. Nor do we
have to wait for large-scale, upstream change. We can initiate change right now. There
are endless starting points. (164)
We have little power to choose what happens, but we have complete power over how
we respond. (165)
It all starts with setting the expectations that make it clear that no matter how much
hardship we encounter how much pain and loss, dishonesty, ingratitude, unfairness,
and jealousy we can still choose peace and imperturbability. (165)
Much of the time, what is standing between us and satisfaction isus. (166)
Stoicism is not just a tool for staving off unhappiness when we dont get a much
desired promotion it also teaches us to put that promotion and all our success in its
proper perspective. (166)
Youve got to make your heart bigger than the hole. You just have to make your
decisions out of love. And when we make the decisions out of fear, thats when we
have problems. David and Francine Wheeler (lost their 6-year old son in the Sandy
Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012)
As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I
didnt leave my bitterness and hatred behind, Id still be in prison. Nelson Mandela
Such equanimity and grace in the face of real suffering are in sharp contrast to the way
we often react to the trivial challenges we let disturb us. (169)
How we respond to adversity can make a huge difference to our health and to our lives.
By finding something anything to enable us to keep the pathways of hope open and
a positive attitude alive, we can deal with loss, suffering, and tragedy bit by bit. (170)
Cultivating the ability to not be disturbed by our lives obstacles, disappointments, and
setbacks doesnt mean not trying to change what we can change. (171)

Summary of Wisdom Practical Tools

Listening to your inner wisdom, let go of something today that you no longer need
something that is draining your energy without benefitting you or anyone you love.
Start a gratitude list that you share with two or more friends who send theirs to you.
Have a specific time at night when you regularly turn off your devices. (171)


And when you wake up in the morning, dont start your day by looking at your
smartphone. Take one minute trust me, you do have one minute to breathe deeply,
or be grateful, or set your intention for the day. (172)

Blast-off on a Journey to Inner Space

Wonder is not just a product of what we see of how beautiful or mysterious or

singular or incomprehensible something may be. Its just as much a product of our state
of mind, our being, the perspective from which we are looking at the world. (174)
Countless things in our daily lives can awaken the almost constant state of wonder we
knew as children. (175)
That sense of wonder is often stronger when its provoked by things ordinary and
unassuming our childrens faces, rain, a flower, a seashell. (175)
At the root of our secular age is the fatal error that has led us to regard organized
religion and the spiritual truth that man embodies as one and the same thing. (176)
The impulse to know ourselves which, after all, is a key component of spiritual seeking
is as deeply imprinted within us as our instincts for survival, sex, and power. (176)
Einstein defined wonder as a precondition for life. (176)
Nature and art are two of the most fertile grounds for experiencing wonder. (178)
Museums and galleries remain among the few oases that can deliver what has become
increasingly rare in our world: the opportunity to disconnect from our hyperconnected
lives and experience the feeling of wonder. (179)
Every era has to reinvent the project of spirituality for itself. Susan Sontag in The
Aesthetics of Silence (179)
Fully giving our attention to anything or anyone is precisely what is becoming more
and more rare in our hyperconnected world, where there are so many stimuli
competing for our time and attention and where multitasking is king. (181)
To me, the key question is this: Does the technology deepen the experience, or does it
diminish it?2 (183)
Its great to take advantage of new media tools to reach new audiences and provide
platforms for greater engagement with the arts. But we should not forget that while
technology will constantly change, the need to transcend ourselves through great art
never will. (184)
From a centered state of being, every encounter with an object, however ordinary, can
be an opportunity for transcendence. (184)
If we dont give our full attention to a deeper experience at a museum or exhibit, what
are the changes that well give it to a passing cloud, a tree, or a clay jug? (184)

In reference to technology and social media in museums, but this has wider application as a lesson for many
areas in our lives.


Of course, the visual arts are only one of arts voices. Music, sculpture, photography,
cinema, architecture, literature, drama, poetry, dance each can ignite the deeper
truth, and awaken the sense of wonder that slumbers within us. (184)
Along with music and the visual arts, another art form that often offers a direct road
map to our inner lives is storytelling. (187)
Humans are hardwired for narrative; we may be the only creatures who see our own
lives as part of a larger narrative. (187)
When we disconnect from our inner selves and identify exclusively with our ego, thats
when we lose our connection with lifes meaning and purpose and are left facing a void
that we try to fill with more money, more sex, more power, more fame. (188)
When the ego separates itself from the self, the end is always frustration and
destruction. (188)
We can use the power of story, and our primal need for it, to redefine our own
narrative. (188)
Were all on a journey, a voyage, a quest to slay the monster, free the princess and
return home. (188)
Too often the goals we seek those that the conventional notions of success tell us we
should be seeking take us down dead ends, searching for the meaning of our lives in
all the wrong places. (188)
Mindfulness helps us become aware of our own story. (188)

Hello, Silence, My Old Friend

The silence in our lives is under assault on all fronts. (188)

We are wired, plugged in, constantly catered to, and increasingly terrified of silence.
We drown out the big but simple questions of life with the simplistic sound bites of our
500-channel-and-nothing-on universe. (188)
I allowed some silence into my day, in which I could hear that still, small voice that we
rarely give our time attention to. I lost nothing, but gained a lot. And then I got better
at listening to others. (189)
Holidays were traditionally intended as a time to recharge ourselves spiritually as well as
physically to make ourselves slow down, tap into our inborn but suppressed ability to
wonder, and to make us recognize the breadth and bounty in our lives. (190)
Whether Im on a visit to a monastery in Greece or an elaborately planned staycation.,
the essential element is to regain that sense of wonder. It means disconnecting from
the outside world and setting out for however short a time on an inner journey.
We need to take the time to wonder at the world around us, feel gratitude for the good
in our lives, and overcome our natural bias toward focusing on the negative. (194)


Coincidences: Lifes Secret Door to Wonder

Our pathway to awakening wonder in our lives is the serendipity of coincidence. (194)
Coincidences, however prosaic, elicit our curiosity about the nature of the universe and
all that we dont yet know or understand. (194)
There is something about coincidences that delights us. (194)
Whatever your spiritual beliefs, whether you believe in something larger than yourself
in the universe or not, we all love coincidences. (195)
Coincidences are kind of like shortcuts to very big questions about fate, about God,
even to people who dont believe in either one. Sarah Koenig, producer of This
American Life
Ive always had a deep of love of the mysteries of coincidence and how they can give us
tiny glimpses of the structure of the universe or even a glimpse into the fact that
theres a structure at all. (197)
Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without God knowing it. Bible verse from
Matthew (197)
Research has shown that our willingness to let ourselves experience the wonder of
coincidence really does say something about us. (199)
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. (202)
Assign all the significance you want! And use the significance as an entry point for living
a Third Metric life. (202)
Maintaining a childlike sense of awe and curiosity is part of the fun and intense mystery
of being alive. (202)
Coincidences connect us across time, to one another, to ourselves, and to an invisible
order in the universe. (202)
We cant choose where or when they [coincidences] grace us with their presences, but
we can choose to be open to their power. (202)

Memento Mori

No matter how good and fulfilling a life we have, no matter how successful we are at
filling our lives with well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving, at some point our life is
going to end. (202)
And no matter what we believe happens after we die, whether our souls live on,
whether we go to heaven or hell, whether were reincarnated or folded back into the
energy of the universe or simply cease to exist altogether, our physical existence and
our lives as we know them will end. (203)
Whether death is final or simply a transition to something else, its definitely a stopping
point. It might not be the end of the story, but its definitely the end of a chapter. (203)
Death is one absolutely universal thing we all have in common. Its the ultimate
equalizer. (203)

The closer death comes, the deeper we bury it, desperately putting machines and tubes
and alarms and railings between us and the person stepping over to the other side of
the mortality line. (203)
The medical machinery has the effect of making the person the patient seem less
human, and therefore his or her fate less relevant to us, the lucky and alive. (203)
There may be no single thing that can teach us more about life than death. (204)
If we want to redefine what it means to live a successful life, we need to integrate into
our daily lives the certainty of our death. (204)
Death is the sine qua non of life. As soon as were born, were also dying. The fact that
our time is limited is what makes it so precious. (204)
Even if we stubbornly refuse to allow death to influence our lives, our lives with
definitely influence our death. (209)
That sense that theres something bigger than the world we live in dramatically changes
our priorities about what is truly important in life. (211)
To be able to incorporate the clock-resetting, course-correcting, empathy-building,
perspective-giving power of death in our lives, we need to be in shape for it, much the
way those who are in shape can experience profound pleasure from running a
marathon. (216)
But whether we believe theres something after this life or not, death has much to teach
us about redefining how we live this one earthly life, however long. (217)

Summary of Wonder Practical Tools

Focus on the rising and falling of your breath for ten seconds whenever you feel tense,
rushed, or distracted. This allows you to become fully present in your life. (221)
Pick an image that ignites joy in you.And any time you feel contracted, go to it to help
you expand. (221)
Forgive yourself for any judgments you are holding against yourself and then forgive
your judgments of others. (If Nelson Mandela can do it, you can, too.) Then look at your
life and the day ahead with newness and wonder. (221)

Widening the Boundaries of Our Caring: What Are We Going to Do This Weekend?

Well-being, wisdom, wonder: All are critical to redefining success and thriving, but they
are incomplete without the fourth element of the Third Metric: giving. (224)
Giving, loving, caring, empathy and compassion, going beyond ourselves and stepping
out of our comfort zones to help serve others this is the only viable answer to the
multitude of problems the world is facing. (224)
If well-being, wisdom, and wonder are our response to a personal wake-up call, service
naturally follows as the response to the wake-up call for humanity. (224)


We are in the midst of multiple crises economic, environmental, and social. And we
cannot wait for a leader to ride in on a white horse to save us. We all need to find the
leader in the mirror, and take the steps needed to make a difference, both in our own
communities and at the other end of the world. (224)
What makes service so powerful is that its benefits go two ways. (224)
A day when volunteering just a natural thing not something exceptional or something
that makes us feel particularly noble. Just something that we do. Something that
connects us with one another. (225)
Until compassion and giving become part of our daily lives, these are statistics that we
will continue to uncomfortably brush aside with world-weary explanations that offer no
answers. (226)
From the depths of our compassion, we can free ourselves of all that limits our
imagination about what is possible. Its the only way to counteract the excessive greed
and narcissism that surrounds us. (226)
Evidence of the power of compassion is all around us. (227)
[Service] is also about offering whatever special skills and talents and passions we have.
And being of service can help people whove lost their jobs rebuild their own confidence
and sense of purpose. (227)

It Shouldnt Take a Natural Disaster for Us to Tap into our Natural Humanity

It shouldnt take a natural disaster to make us tap into our natural humanity. (229)
The need to take care of our planet and those who are hurting, and the need to build
our inner resilience and spiritual infrastructure, are connected. (230)
Building our home upon a rock is about much more than protecting us from devastating
storms; its about building and maintaining our spiritual infrastructure and resilience
every day. (231)
And to keep our inner world strong its essential that we reach out to the outer world
through compassion and giving. (231)
We forget that every day we are surrounded by opportunities to act on that same
instinct for giving. These chances are always under foot. (231)
Every place is full of openings to make a real difference in the life of another human
being. (232)
It is when we give that we feel most abundant. Giving sends a message to the universe
that we have all we need. (233)
We become virtuous by the practice of virtue, responsible by the practice of
responsibility, generous by the practice of generosity, compassionate by the practice of
compassion. And we become abundant by giving to others. (233)
Giving and service mark the path to a world in which we are no longer strangers and
alone, but members of a vast yet tightly knit family. (233)


Go-Getters are Good; Go-Givers Are Better

Imagine how our culture, how our lives, will change when we begin valuing go-givers as
much as we value go-getters. (235)
Social entrepreneurs are classic go-givers. They build their work on a foundation of
adding value to peoples lives. (235)
Philosophers have long known that our well-being is deeply connected to our
compassion and giving. (236)
In practically every religious tradition and practice, giving of oneself is a key step on the
path to spiritual fulfillment. (237)
Only a life lived for others is the life worth while. Albert Einstein (237)
We can never completely eliminate stress from our lives. But nurturing our natural
empathy is a great way to reduce it and protect ourselves from its effects. (238)
Giving is a miracle drug (with no side effects) for health and well-being. (239)
Were so wired to give that our genes reward us for giving and punish us when we
dont. (239)

Science Proves: Love Grows Brains

The effects of giving as we age are especially dramatic. (240)

Givers also end up getting ahead at work. (242)
CEOs who are givers identify their companies goals as going beyond short-term
profits. (242)
Parents are constantly thinking about how to help their children succeed in life, earn a
good salary, advance in their profession, or simply be happy. But its just as important
to pass down a rich capacity for compassion, especially if we really want them to be
happy. (243)
Its never too late to transcend our childhoods. Any entry point of giving and service can
lead to benefits for our well-being and for our community. (244)
Compassion and giving dont have to involve getting on a plane to build houses or teach
school in a remote part of the world. It may involve helping people across town. Or
helping your neighbors. And it doesnt just mean giving money. (245)

Press 1 to Donate: Technology Meets Philanthropy

Todays technology has leveled the giving playing field. (245)

Giving can be as simple as giving joy to others sharing our talents and skills to help
them tap into their own ability to experience wonder. (246)
We tend to identify creativity with artists and inventors, but, in fact, creativity is in each
and every one of us. (247)
We are too quick to censor or judge our natural creative impulses as not being good
enough. But we need to give ourselves permission to follow what makes us feel most
alive. (247)

Technology has made it possible for us to live in a self-contained, disconnected bubble

24 hours a day, even while walking down the street listening to music on our
smartphones. (250)
Our devices might seem like theyre connecting us, and they do to a degree, but theyre
also disconnecting us from the world around us. And without being connected to the
people we encounter, its hard to activate our hardwired instincts for empathy. (250)
Theres a hunger in the world to serve. And the millennials are leading the way in large
numbers. (253)

Yaya Lessons in Giving: Its Not a Trade, Darling, Its an Offering

Its not a trade, darling, its an offering. Elli, Arianna Huffingtons mother (254)
We mostly focus on the good giving does for others the good it does for our
community. But just as profound is what it does for us. (255)
Because it is really true that while we grow physically by what we get, we grow
spiritually by what we give. (255)

The Fire Gets in the Poker, Too

We have come to realize partly due to the growing price we have been paying and
partly due to new scientific findings that there are other dimensions to living a truly
successful life. And these dimensions, the four pillars of the Third Metric, impact
everything we do and everything we are, from our health to our happiness. (258)
The destiny of humanity depends on something as intimate and personal as the shape
of our individual lives the way each one of us chooses to live, think, act, and give. (258)
Transforming our narcissistic habits and awakening our giving nature which is what
both the world and we ourselves need is the work of a lifetime. (258)

Summary of Giving Practical Tools

Make small gestures of kindness and giving a habit, and pay attention to how this affects
your mind, your emotions, and your body. (258)
During your day make a personal connection with people you might normally tend to
pass by and take for granted.... See how this helps you feel more alive and reconnected
to the moment. (258)
Use a skill or talent you have cooking, accounting, decorating to help someone who
could benefit from it. Itll jumpstart your transition from a go-getter to a go-giver, and
reconnect you to the world and to the natural abundance in your own life. (258)



My goal is for this book to chart another way forward a way available to all of us right
now, wherever we find ourselves. A way based on the timeless truth that life is shaped
from the inside out a truth that has been celebrated by spiritual teachers, poets, and
philosophers throughout the ages, and has now been validated by modern science.
Theres a collective longing to stop living in the shallows, to stop hurting our health and
our relationships by striving so relentlessly after success as the world defines it and
instead tap into the riches, joy and amazing possibilities that our lives embody. (260)
It doesnt matter what your entry point is or what form your wake-up call takes.
Whatever your entry point is embrace it. (260)
Remember that while the world provides plenty of insistent, flashing, high-volume
signals directing us to make more money and climb higher up the ladder, there are
almost no worldly signals reminding us to stay connected to the essence of who we are,
to take care of ourselves along the way, to reach out to others, to pause to wonder, and
to connect to that place from which everything is possible. (261)
So find your place to stand your place of wisdom and peace and strength. And from
that place, remake the world in your own image, according to your own definition of
success, so that all of us women and men can thrive and live our lives with more
grace, more joy, more compassion, more gratitude, and yes, more love. (261)

Appendix A: The No Distraction Dozen: 12 Tools, Apps, and Resources to Help You Stay
Focused (263)
Anti-Social, Nanny, Controlled Multi-Tab Browsing, Siesta Text and BRB, Self Control,
RescueTime, Freedom, Time Out, Concentrate, Digital Detox App, Isolator, Higby
Appendix B: Transcendent Tool Box: 12 Tools, Apps, and Resources for Meditation and
Mindfulness (269)
Headspace, Mark Williamss Mindfulness Meditation Recordings, Buddhify, Movement
of Spiritual Inner Awareness Online Meditation Classes, Chopra Center Meditation
Podcast, Oprah and Deepak Chopras Meditation Master Trilogy,, Do Nothing
for 2 Minutes, MeditateApp for Android, Mental Workout, Finding the Space to Lead
Meditations and Reflections, Eckhart Tolles Music to Quiet the Mind
Appendix C: At Your Service: 12 Sites for Giving and Volunteering (275)
SmartVolunteer (, All for Good (, VolunteerMatch
(, Catchafire (, iVolunteer (,
DonorsChoose (, Idealist (, UN Volunteers (,
DoSomething (,, Help from Home (,
UniversalGiving (


Super Soul Sunday Oprah Winfrey Interviews Arianna Huffington Episode Notes
On Sunday, May 11, 2014, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Arianna Huffington on the Emmy-award
winning series Super Soul Sunday on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
The notes from this Super Soul Sunday interview/discussion are included in this section.

Best-selling author Arianna Huffington joins Oprah for a cup of Oprah Chai at Starbucks
in Seattle to discuss her book, Thrive
Arianna Huffington is an author, media mogul, and founder of The Huffington Post
She was working 18 hours day, 7 days a week, when she fell and hit her head and woke
up in a pool of blood her wake-up call
This cultural icon is saying that it is time for us to redefine success: Are we living our
dream or are we living someone elses dream?
She speaks with Oprah about The Third Metric and unplugging sometimes
She says, Life is a dance between making it happen and letting it happen.

Background on Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington: This is my favorite show. I am a total Super Soul Sunday groupie!
My mother who died in 2000. She really believed that tea could solve any problem. I
am sure wherever she is, I am sure she is loving Oprah Chai.
Arianna describes her mother Elli as her biggest inspiration. She grew up in Athens in a
1-bedroom apartment. She started praying as a toddler. By the time she was 13,
Arianna learned meditation from her mother. These practices would be the foundation
for her spiritual journey.
She earned a scholarship to Cambridge University and made history by becoming the
first international student to be President of the Universitys prestigious debate society.
After graduation, Arianna Huffington wrote her first book and became a rising star as a
conservative female voice on radio and TV.
In 1980, she moved to NYC and made a name for herself as a best-selling author and
political commentator.
She married Michael Huffington in 1986 and had two daughters. After her divorce, she
remained in the political spotlight with a more liberal viewpoint and ran as Governor of
California as an independent in 2003. During this campaign, she first tapped into the
power of the digital world.
She then launched The Huffington Post in 2005 making it the 3rd largest source for
online news today.
While she became a fixture on shows and with The Huffington Post, her life became
24/7 as well. This led her on the path to create Thrive.


Definitions of Success

Oprah Winfrey: We are killing ourselves and we are in the pursuit of wealth, power and
fame in a way we never have before and it is really hurting us. I love that you wrote
Thrive after your own wake-up call.
Arianna Huffington: I had to get a bad wake up call. I collapsed from exhaustion on April
6, 2007 and hit my head and woke up in a pool of blood.
o I had a battery of tests and there was nothing medically wrong with me but
everything wrong with how I was prioritizing my life.
o Doctors waiting rooms are a great place to ask lifes big questions.
o By conventional definitions of success, I am successful. But lying in a pool of
blood on the office floor is NOT successful.
Oprah Winfrey: There are really simpler things you can do to slow it down.
Arianna Huffington: There is no trade off. The biggest mistakes I have made are when I
was exhausted, over-reactive, missed an opportunity or missed a red flag.
Oprah and Arianna then discuss the Marcus Aurelius quote that Arianna Huffington
includes on page 118 of Thrive:
True understanding is to see the events of life in this way: You are here for my
benefit, though rumor paints you otherwise. And everything is turned to ones
advantage when he greets a situation like this: You are the very thing I was
looking for. Truly whatever arises in life is the right material to bring about your
growth and the growth of those around you. This, in a word, is art, and and
this art called life is a practice suitable to both men and gods. Everything
contains some special purpose and a hidden blessing; what then could be
strange or arduous when all of life is here to greet you like an old and faithful

Marcus Aurelius recognized that life is shaped from the inside out. Arianna Huffington
said she had to get knocked on the head, literally, to get that.
Arianna Huffington: I dont want people to say, I agree with you. She wanted the book
Thrive to be filled with tiny steps that people could take.
o We must redefine success beyond money and power.
o The Third Metric Four Pillars Well-Being, Wisdom, Wonder and Giving

Sleep and Technology

When Arianna Huffington set up the Huffington Post, you worked 18 hour days, 7 days a
Arianna Huffington: For me, the keystone habit was sleep: I went from 4/5 hours of
sleep a night to 7/8 hours of sleep.


o I made sleep my priority. I would wake up recharged, ready to face whatever life
brought me.
Arianna Huffington: The other thing I would do I dont have the smartphone next to
my bed. I have a time to shut off all the devices and gently escort them out of my
o My bedroom is a device-free sanctuary. I only read real books in bed.
o If I wake up in the middle of the night, I wont be tempted to look at my data.
o Have a certain time where you LITERALLY shut it off.
Oprah Winfrey: An average person is looking at their devices 150 times a day.
Arianna Huffington: I am also a big believer in napping. We have 2 nap rooms at the
Huffington Post. They are now perpetually full, where at the outset people were very
skeptical about them.
o People need to realize we are paying people for their judgment and not their
Oprah Winfrey: 10 minutes is all it takes. Give your mind a break.

Sacrifice / Giving Up What No Longer Works

The original definition of sacrifice moves more inwardly. Give up what no longer works
in order to stay close what is sacred. Mark Nepo
This Mark Nepo quote from Super Soul Sunday really struck Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington: I did a life audit at 40 and gave up things /projects. I realized how
liberating it was to give up projects and focus on what really matters to me.
o So many people see themselves in the lens of what other people wanted. Be
open to what your heart desires and not be defined by what everybody else
o People have so many ideas about what success is that are not there ideas.


Oprah Winfrey: Shirley MacLaine and I first started to have these conversations in 1986.
o The culture and zeitgeist is changing You, Arianna Huffington, are talking about
what you are changing and meditation is key.
Arianna Huffington: 2013 was a tipping point with multiple CEOs coming out, not as
being gay, but as being long-time meditators
Oprah Winfrey: We think the harder we work, the more productive we will be, but this
is not true.
o Studies are showing that when you work 14 hour days, the 15 and 16th hour, you
are just going through the motions.
Arianna Huffington: We have instituted policies at The Huffington Post that unless you
are on an evening or weekend shift, you are not expected to answer your email/check
your email.

o You dont have to call it meditation, at least there is a stepping away from the
o You dont have to call it meditation, it can be prayer. It can be stillness.
o It is about reconnecting with the place inside us that was like a deserted garden
that I have once again started tending to.
o When we reconnect to that place of wisdom, strength, and understanding,
everything becomes easier. It is as close as our next breath.
Elli Stassinopoulos: The Ultimate Teacher

Arianna Huffington credits one woman as her greatest teacher and spiritual influence:
her mother Elli.
The family often struggled financially. Her mother sacrificed so that her mother could
provide an enhanced upbringing for her girls. Her mother borrowed money and sold
her belongings to relocate her girls to England to give them a better life.
Her mother was the beacon of The Third Metric. Elli was a magical improviser whose life
was filled with wonder. She had the rhythm of a child
She constantly said: Dont miss the moment. She never rushed.
She loved the Farmers Market. The Santa Monica International Market was like her
When she came out of the hospital, she went to the market, and then she came home
and spread it out on the kitchen table and invited everyone to share.
Then she fell. When we went to help get up, she said no. She asked us to bring a bottle
of red wine we sat on the floor. My sister and I said we had to call the ambulance, but
my mother said no, do not call the ambulance. After an hour, her head dropped and
she died.
The housekeeper, Debra, later said that Elli knew that this was her moment and told her
not tell us because that is how she wanted to die.


Arianna Huffington: We dont talk about death, but we can integrate it into our lives in a
meaningful way.
Oprah Winfrey: All death is to remind us of our own lives and how we are living it. What
does success mean? What will it mean when you get to what you think it is the top?
o Death is meant to teach us how to live life.
Arianna Huffington: A eulogy has nothing to do with ones resume. A eulogy has to do
with things that really matter: how we made people feel, what makes us laugh, small
kindnesses, our lifelong passions.
People may not remember what you did or what you said, but they always remember
how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
Oprah Winfrey: There is no such thing as failure. It is just God trying to move you in a
new direction.

Lessons: Failure and Multi-Tasking

Oprah Winfrey: What is the gift you want to give your daughters?
Arianna Huffington: It is what why mother gave me. I want to give them a combination
of unconditional loving and the knowing that they can go for their dreams without fear
of failure.
o As my mother often said: Failure is not the opposite of success. It is a stepping
stone to success. Elli Stassinopoulos
Oprah Winfrey: There is no such thing as failure, it is just God trying to move you in a
new direction.
o Knowing this would allow us to take a new direction.
Multi-Tasking/Being Fully Present
Oprah Winfrey: What is the best advice you have given your daughters and what is the
greatest lesson they have taught you?
Arianna Huffington: The greatest lesson my daughters taught me was to be fully
present. I would be with them, but often my mind wasnt there I would be processing
my to-do list.
o The last time my mom got angry with me before she died when she saw me
multi-tasking with my kids (i.e. opening my mail while I was talking to my kids).
o I abhor multi-tasking. Anything that matters requires your full attention. 100%
there. Elli Stassinopoulos
o Modern science backs her up.
o Multi-tasking does not exist. It is called task switching and it is one of the most
stressful things you can do.
o My daughters called me on it when I was not present. I was getting it from both
Concluding Observations

Oprah Winfrey: Having outlined this new definition of success, The Third Metric, do you
think you have now achieved it?
Arianna Huffington: It is a work in progress. We can never say this is it. When we say
that, we are gone.
Oprah Winfrey: You get hit with a lesson you dont want to learn.
Arianna Huffington: We all have that place of wisdom, peace and strength and we are all
going to veer away from it again and again and again.

Arianna Huffingtons All-Time Favorite Quote: Live life as though everything is rigged in your
favour. Rumi


Arianna Huffington: So often we go through life as though life has screwed us up or we

are victimized (quoting Oprah Winfreys speech at Harvard).
Oprah Winfrey: You become what you believe.
o The most fundamental belief is to believe and know that the universe, all that is
God, all the energy that defines what the world is, is in your favor. It is for you
and not against you. If you believe its against you then you see everything as
against you.

Soul to Soul
What is the soul?

The soul is who I am. The soul is who you are. It is one breath away. The body is what
allows us to have all of these experiences, which means we can evolve throughout life.
Who we really are is the soul and that is why we need to remember to bring it with us,
whatever we are doing (to work, on vacation), because that is what ultimately will be

What is your definition of God?

I cant improve on John the Beloved: God is love and those who live in love will live in
God and God will live in them.
Arianna Huffington quoting John the Beloved: God is Love and he that dwelleth in love
dwelleth in God and God in him.

How do you define spirituality vs. religion?

Spirituality is not about dogma and it is not about believing. It is about knowing and
feeling. A lot of religion is also about these things. So it depends on whether religion is
reduced to dogma or not. Spirituality has to be very practical and it has to be something
we bring into everything we are doing. We are all talking about outer space. Are we
going to Mars or Venus? I am more excited about inner space exploring inner space is
the most exciting adventure. Oprah, well you are doing it. You are the ultimate inner
space explorer.

What is the purpose of human experience?

To evolve into being fully who we truly are through everything that happens: the
painful experiences and the joyful experience. To keep getting closer to our essence
and to realize that part of our essence is giving. We are not complete human beings
unless we see ourselves as being a part of something larger than ourselves.


What do you think happens when you die?

We dont die. It is a little bit like dropping off our rental car at the airport and flying.
Normally the tank has to be full but with our lives, the tank is empty. But that is it and
then we fly.

What is the lesson that has taken you the longest to learn?

The lesson that has taken me the longest to learn: I dont make everything happen. It
is hard for a Type A personality to remember that. Life is a dance between making it
happen and letting it happen. A saying I have on my desk: What we do is 10%. But I do
my 10%, 100%. The rest I leave to God and go free. It is like we cannot be attached to
the result because it is not up to us. That is surrender.

Two Additional Questions (not on the broadcast, but shared by Arianna Huffington on Twitter):
Finish this sentence: The world needs?

The world needs to redefine success and start valuing go-givers instead of go-getters.

What do you know for sure?

What I know for sure is that who we really are is greater than what we are in the world,
however great or magnificent what were doing in the world may be.



The Art of Thriving Master Class with Arianna Huffington and Panache Desai Class Notes
On Monday, April 21, 2014 at 7 PM EST, Arianna Huffington and thought leader and Super Soul
Sunday alumni Panache Desai hosted a webcast discussion on his website called The Art of Thriving Master Class with Arianna Huffington and
Panache Desai. The link to this webcast is found at:
The notes from this discussion are included in this section.

Panache Desai welcomes Arianna Huffington and introduces her on the call
Born in Athens, Greece and then moved to London, United Kingdom
Attended Cambridge University and became the first international head of the
Cambridge Students Union and only the 3rd woman to do so
Founder and head of Huffington Post and author of the New York Times Number 1
Best-Seller Thrive

Panache Desai:

What are the values that your mother demonstrated to you as a child
that you still hold dear today?

Arianna Huffington:

My mother was the true foundation of my life and a true original.

My mother never made me feel limited by our circumstances.
We could always go for our dreams and if we failed, she wouldnt love us any less or
would not make us feel that we were any less.
This is the gift that I have given to my daughters.
Failure is not the opposite of success but the stepping stone to success. Lesson from
Arianna Huffingtons mother.
We stop ourselves from going after what we love, because we are afraid we are going to

Panache Desai:

A true master reveals themselves on how they navigate themselves

during their challenges. What is one thing that has helped you navigate
your struggles?

Arianna Huffington:

My advice is to see in every challenge, every obstacle a hidden blessing.

If we move from that place of trust, quoting Rumi Live your life as if everything is rigged
in your favour.

If we can see that these challenges are our sandpapering and if we move into
acceptance from that place, we can tap into our inner strength and resources we may
not even know we have.
This will allow us to transcend the loss with more ease and more grace.

Panache Desai:

Acceptance allows us to feel that which we are often trying to repress

or deny. Acceptance allows for transcendence. Often, people define
themselves by what they are going through. We identify with lifes
struggles and in turn, they become a source of lifes suffering. Bring this
space of acceptance into presence for you it may not be how you like,
want it to be, but it is in fact part of your greater development.
Acceptance allows us to transcend that which we think is an obstacle or
struggle in our life.
In 2011, AOL acquires The Huffington Post for $300 million. Can you
take us through what you were feeling on that day? Was it a moment
of sadness or was it bittersweet or was it freedom of being liberated?

Arianna Huffington:

Well, a condition of the sale was that I would remain in charge of The Huffington Post, so
I was still intimately connected to the operations.
The feeling that I had on that day was that we had the resources to expand faster.
We are now expanding around the world, currently in 11 countries.
We now have the vehicle through which we can reach millions more people.
Since my collapse in 2007, I was bringing the lessons I was learning in my own life (sleep,
slowing down, meditation) into the editorial sections.
I felt after the sale, we can bring these important issues and discussions to many more
people around the world.
We could reach people for politics/news, but also sharing the information the readers
wanted for the lives they wanted and not just the ones they settled for.

Panache Desai:

How did you manage in the midst of all of this to remain open-hearted?
There are other expectations or views placed upon you in your
expression. How do you maintain that balance with the original
integrity of what you created in The Huffington Post with its form after
it was sold?

Arianna Huffington:

I was excited because AOL and I were aligned in our vision for The Huffington Post.


No matter what event we are going through, if we can find a way to expand in the
middle of the contraction so that we are bigger than the event, this is the transition from
struggle to grace.
I just taped Super Soul Sunday with Oprah and I said, What I know for sure is that
whatever it is we are going through, the greatest pain or the grandest manifestation of
worldly conquests, we are bigger than that. We are more magnificent than that. This
way we dont cling to what is in front of us.
I recalled a dream where I was on a train going home to God and in my compartment on
the train was my family and close friends and what I saw from the window of the train
was scenery. Some was beautiful, some was ugly. However, the train kept moving on.
o This was a metaphor for life. There are ugly moments and beautiful moments,
but life goes on. The pain lingers when we cling to these moments.
I love your lesson Panache of: Surround yourself with the right people and kick the
wrong people off the train.
If you spend time with people who exhaust, depress and drain you, you have the
responsibility to escort them out of your life and not hold any grudges against them,
because that is when we pay a price.

Panache Desai:

Your message of Thrive really struck a chord with me and my work,

family, house, community. This message is not one we would ordinarily
hear from one at the top of their game in corporate America. When did
you first discover that the traditional metrics for success were an empty

Arianna Huffington:

I had a wake-up call on April 6, 2007 when I collapsed 2 years after setting up The
Huffington Post.
By the traditional metrics / definitions of money and power, I was successful, but by the
observations of any sane person: me, lying in a pool of blood after collapsing, I was not
Only looking at money and power at the focus was like sitting on a two-legged stool and
you fall off. The Third Metric is key.
This Third Metric has 4 pillars: Well-Being, Wisdom, Wonder, and Giving.
Each one of these pillars is a section of the book, Thrive.
I wanted people to read the book and make small microscopic changes to take us from
simply knowing what to do to ACTUALLY doing it.

Panache Desai:

This conversation of The Third Metric is so timely and so relevant. I did

Super Soul Sunday and it is the biggest forum that you have a huge
validation that you are heading in the right direction. What I discovered
is that this experience as much as it elevated my visibility, it also drove
me to look at my shadows. What was left after that experience was

everything about myself that I hadnt embraced or experienced. I

usually play this role for others, but Oprah Winfrey played that role for
me. The blessing for me at that time was that I actually had my
daughters. The Third Metric of being present for my daughters and
experience the wonder of my life it is amazing what success as
defined by society does. What it does is provides us an opportunity to
come back to what matters: FULFILLMENT.
Arianna Huffington:

It is so easy for success to distract us from our authentic selves. The time we take to be
still and nurture that part of us from where everything that matters comes is so

Panache Desai:

Does chaos still exist in your life? If it does, how do you still deal with

Arianna Huffington:

For me, the keystone habit to change was sleep. I know it sounds trivial, but sleep,
meditation and pauses in our lives are major.
Sleep has a huge impact on our health, mental clarity, and on our ability to not be so
Bill Clinton said the most important mistakes he made in his life were when he was tired.
When I was tired/burnt-out, I made the wrong decisions about hiring people, how to act
in certain circumstances, etc.
When I am recharged and I can wake up and be grateful for my life and be joyful this is
linked to how much sleep I gave myself and this links to my success in making the right
The other thing is my daily meditation. Start with 5 minutes of daily meditation. This is
5 minutes of quiet time, prayer, contemplation. It is basically honouring the presence in
When I can nurture myself and love and accept myself, it is easier to love everyone else.

Panache Desai:

I am a firm believer in napping & sleeping. It is one of my favorite

things to do.

Arianna Huffington:

When I first created the nap rooms at The Huffington Post, the journalists rolled their
eyes at me, but now they are very popular and key to the entire team.


Panache Desai:

I loved your discussion of the iParadox. Your smart phones are not
making you wiser. How do you unplug and what is your protocol for

Arianna Huffington:

Quote from Thrive: Ours is a generation bloated for information and starved for
I turn my bedroom into a device-free zone. I make sure all of my devices are turned off
and charging outside of my bedroom.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, you will be tempted to look at your data on
your phone and then your sleep is not as re-charging.
Checking my iPhone is not the first thing I do in the morning either. I set my intentions
for the day and tap into gratitude for the day.
There is plenty of time for checking my phone during the day.
It is really not about how much time we put into something, but how present we are
when we are doing something.
It is not about avoiding hard work, but it is about unplugging and recharging.
In the USA, we are much better at taking care of our iPhones than we are at taking care
of ourselves.
o We get alerts from our smart phone about battery levels and we instinctively and
urgently look for chargers, but we dont look at this in ourselves/check our own
In touring for my book, I marvel at the number of people who in one way or another say,
I no longer remember a time when I was not tired.
People who survive difficult challenges or thrive despite them, these are people who are
Resilience is entirely based on our inner resources and not outside circumstances.

Panache Desai:

To participate in corporate America, people arent thought of as people

anymore. It is important for us to reclaim authentic sovereignty. It is
important to cultivate the awareness that I am first and foremost a
human being.
TOOL 1: Do not sleep in the same room as your gadgets. Keep your
gadgets in a separate room/place. Turn your phones off. Charge them
somewhere else other than the bedrooms. When you wake up in the
morning, open your palms, rest in the awareness of your breath, allow
yourself to center and be grateful for what the day has for you.
Arianna, I attribute the quality of living your life from the inside out as
the reason you have gotten to where you are. Live your life from the
inside out and you will thrive. One of my other favorite chapters is

evicting the obnoxious roommate in your head. There is often a

physical manifestation of this voice in our bodies. Who is our
obnoxious roommate and how can we serve them their eviction
Arianna Huffington:

We all have an obnoxious roommate.

Men have an easier time shutting off the obnoxious roommate than women do.
My obnoxious roommate was incredibly self-draining and critical. It would go on and on
and on.
It would be the most draining thing after everything I did. I did a lot of work to deal with
my obnoxious roommate and now it only makes guest appearances.
I am not that voice. That voice is not me. That voice is not my authentic self and it is not
the truth.
It is the voice of our shadows, self-doubts, self-criticisms, and everything we dont like
about ourselves.
Learning to not treat that voice as the truth transforms our lives. It helps us be in the
It is part of being on the train and moving on and not clinging to the past.

Panache Desai:

I describe it as having your very own Simon Cowell in your head telling
you, You are pitchy. Let us see if we can get to the emotion that is
underneath that voice. Go a little deeper. As we go deeper in our
awareness, there is almost a sense of unworthiness there. In almost all
cases, this unworthiness is unconscious. This unworthiness is fuelled by
a sense of guilt or shame. There is something that we believe we did
that is wrong. There is something that we believe we did that occurred
in the past. It is a sadness that is associated with the feeling of never
being good enough, not being loveable, not being accepted.
In addition to reading Thrive, I invite you all to go to the root of your
sadness that is playing out each time that voice appears. You are NOT
that voice. That voice is an opening in the doorway that leads you to
something you havent allowed yourself to feel. Your inner roommate
will no longer dominate your life. People rarely understand that the
origin of the voice is a deep sadness that we have. This is just a sense of
unworthiness we feel. It is held in place by the fear that we wont feel
and the anger that we wont experience. When that voice appears,
take some breaths, go deeper, and liberate that emotion. Then the
voice no longer has the power.


I love the hurry-sickness and time-famine sections of Thrive. We feel

like there is never enough time. We are constantly running and trying
to get somewhere, without realizing that most of us are not going
anywhere. Can you help us tap into a slower pace?
Arianna Huffington:

Complex cognitive processing takes time and without that time, creativity is almost
We need to recognize the way the modern world has been designed, that to believe that
by constantly rushing and cramming every minute with something to do, is not the way
to be effective.
Even if all you want in life is to be successful at your job, if you constantly rush around
and dont unplug and recharge, you are not going to be effective.
Machines are taking over the mundane parts of our job. We need to deliver creativity
and only recharged human beings can do that.
When we disconnect, we will realize that we are something much more magnificent than
our jobs.
Now science is validating early wisdom.
When we are moving in this constantly rushing time-famine way, our bodies and mind
process it as a sort of fleeing from a predator making us living in a constant fight or
flight mode
This has a constant impact on our health.
of our health care costs come from preventable, chronic, stress-related diseases.

Panache Desai:

When we are in this state of peace and harmony, this is what is echoed
back to us in our reality. Silence is key.

Arianna Huffington:

I am a work in progress. I am not doing all of these things perfectly.

I am so happy that writing about these things allows me to constantly have them
present in my life, speak about them, and remind me.
All of the worldly signals we get keep reinforcing the first 2 metrics (money and power).
We need to look for other signals to ignite The Third Metric in our lives.

Panache Desai:

TOOL 2: We need to carve out time in our lives and sit in silence. The
acceptance of what is happening in our lives allows us to be peaceful in
the midst of it. Meditation in and of itself is an opportunity to start to
detox that stress that accumulates in our bodies and brings us back to


When people embark on their working life/career, there is so much that

is demanded of them. It is almost like people are expendable. People
have a hard time owning their worth and value enough to put their
well-being first. How can people broach that conversation? How do we
take back our authentic sovereignty and silence we need while working
in corporate America?
Arianna Huffington:

We are truly at a tipping point, the equivalent for me of moving from the Dark Ages to
the Renaissance.
35 percent of companies have introduced some form of stress reduction practice into the
working days for their workforce.
We need to recognize that even in the most extreme circumstances, we can choose our
own attitude, whether we nurture ourselves, we can choose to value ourselves and that
is terribly important.
It is not just the demands that others place on us, but it is also the constant demands we
place on ourselves.
Comparison is one of the most draining demands we can place on ourselves.
Taking time off work is important, but it depends on what we are doing with our minds
during this time off. Often 50 percent of people return from vacations tired and not
What are we doing with our obnoxious roommate and our negative fantasies about the
future? What are we doing with our technology?
I would like to offer some complimentary seats to your listeners to the Thrive conference
in New York City.

Panache Desai:

As someone who was raised Greek Orthodox, how do you transition to

the fluid essence of spirituality?

Arianna Huffington:

My mother was always very eclectic in her spirituality.

She taught us to meditate. When Maharishi came to Athens, I was 13 years old and we
My mother was a great yoga practitioner. I was very blessed to have a mother for whom
spiritualty took many forms.
I studied comparative religions near Calcutta at 17. It was always a big part of my life.
Why did it take me so long to integrate everything I knew in my life in a daily consistent
It can take so many forms. I remember when I was 4 years old, I knelt at my bed and
prayed to the Virgin Mary. If I was upset about something or wanted something, I would
pray to her.

Pray, meditate and work hard.

Panache Desai:

TOOL 3: Having this spiritual foundation really allows people to thrive.

The more individuals are connected to themselves, the more they can
be a contribution to the world without even trying. Regardless of
whether you had that in your family, it is never too late to tap into
some aspect of sacredness to you. Commit to doing that for you.
Commit to tapping into the sacredness of life, the mystery of life. The
greatest power of life is that which we cant see. Use this is an
opportunity to tap into the sacred and that which is authentic to you.
When you are connected to who you are, the world will come to you.
What you have is yourself, who you are, the third metric. That which is
authentically yours. Your soul signature. This conversation is a way for
you to come back to prioritizing what is real, authentic and important.
What you will remember on your death bed is the precious moments
you spent with those you love, in silence, and in authentic communion.
It is not the money or power. More and more, this message is timely.
We are on the verge of a paradigm shift. You are the mother of 2
daughters. What advice do you share with them?

Arianna Huffington:

My younger daughter will be on a mother-daughter panel at the conference on April 2425.

My daughter said watching me making changes in my life impacted her.
Our children learn from what we embody rather than what we say.
When our children go through awful things, it is important for us to see the blessing in
This journey is for everyone, wherever we are, whatever our life circumstances. The
purpose of our life is to connect with our truth.
We have access to it right now.

Panache Desai:

You have said this Thrive incarnation is my last incarnation. Is that

true? What is next for you?

Arianna Huffington:

The Thrive incarnation can have many incarnations. It is for all of us. It is really our lifes
I am happy that I have this opportunity and platform to learn from so many people and
share with so many people.

There is the #HowIThrive campaign where people can share on social media (Twitter)
how they thrive. It is like a list of recipes on how to thrive.
A student shared how her new tagline was Thriving is the New Winning.

Panache Desai:

Succeeding doesnt have to come at a cost. It can come from a place of

balance where well-being and wonder are anchors to our experience.
Thank you for living and expressing your authentic truth and Soul
Signature. Thank you for taking your time to share these insights and
wisdoms with us all. You are a messenger. You embody this grace,
calm and thriving. I am so excited and honored to see how people
encountering the energy that is you helps their own journey. People
are ready to let go of the conventional norms of success and tap into
something deeper. Be a part of the Thrive movement. Arianna
Huffington, myself, Julianne Moore, and so many others will be
presenting at the conference in New York City April 24 25, 2014.

Arianna Huffington: Thank you so much from my heart for having me with you. I enjoyed this
Panache Desai:

Thank you so much my sweet friends and until next time,