Book Club: Thrive

Greek island Delos, dating back to the 3rd millennium BC: a center for trade and philosophical discussion

"'What is a good life?' has been a question asked by philosophers going back to the ancient Greeks. But somewhere along the line we abandoned the question and shifted our attention to how much money we can make, how big a house we can buy, and how high we can climb the career ladder. Those are legitimate questions... but they are far from the only questions that matter in creating a successful life." - Arianna Huffington

 

I read Thrive exactly 2 years ago while on vacation in Brazil. The others were at the World Cup, and I was stationed at the pool with a book, desperate to intake every ounce of sun that would come my way. I had moved to London only 3 months before to launch a new product for my company, and it was just me, myself, and I - a team of 1. What "right" did I have to take a vacation during that critical work time? But to my boss's credit, he did not question this right and in fact volunteered to be my "back-up." (Back-up in quotation marks because the Chairman of our division was going to be my Out of Office email "back-up!?") The situation induced self-inflicted guilt-tripping, but I didn't ask questions...

 

So why the background on my Who? What? Where?

It provides context for why I recommend Arianna Huffington's book Thrive. In fact, it's a timely read for you for 2 reasons:

  1. It's great for summer, when we're all questioning why we're in the office when the sun is shining just outside those doors. And/or, you're on vacation and wondering, "Why can't I feel this way all the time?"
  2. Just this month, it was announced that Huffington will be launching the start-up Thrive Global. It will deliver services that help businesses drive organizational success through the health and well-being of their employees.

And 3, I recently was in Greece. Huffington is of Greek origin and cites several references to Greek philosophers, lifestyles, etc. So there's that :)

 

The book starts with a belief that many of us consciously or unconsciously hold:

Success = Money + Power.

But Huffington argues that there's a 3rd Metric that few in boardrooms are ready to discuss. In fact, without this 3rd dimension, we simply cannot penetrate a deeper level of success - one that's tougher to quantify in an income statement, yet ironically, has direct impact on its bottom line. This 3rd Metric is composed of 4 attributes: 

  • Well-Being
  • Wisdom
  • Wonder
  • Giving

Thrive does a nice job of showcasing the thoughts of many well-known business names on each of the 4 attributes, so over the next couple weeks, we'll go a little deeper into each one and hear the wisdom that Huffington channels to us.

I really recommend the book as a great read to help you get more joy out of your summer (minus the guilt) while you're working. After all, it may actually be possible to do both.

 

Photos courtesy of Anna Pumer Photography and Malika Chopra's Blog