Wake-up calls -- you don't ask for them, yet they come. Often you're the last one to realize that the way you're going is just not sustainable -- that there is much more to life than frenetically chasing money and power. Famed creator and founder of The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington had just that moment. Back in 2007, she found herself lying on the floor of her office with a broken cheekbone and a cut on her eye. There wasn't anything major happening to her from a medical viewpoint, but the frenetic hours and time that she was putting in to build her company had taken their toll. She was exhausted from lack of sleep and a punishing work schedule that left her little time to plan, to think, to be. So she went on a journey of discovery and found well-being, wonder, wisdom, and giving to be the four pillars to a fully-realized life.
Arianna spoke at The Content Council's annual spring conference, Content Chaos: Navigating the Path to Engagement, of her wish to save others the pain of a jarring wake-up call and instead to learn from the suffering and renewal of others. To that end, she published Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. She explained that everything that happens to her becomes a section on The Huffington Post, so there are plenty of articles on sleep -- which to her is paramount to living a well-balanced life -- and a gratitude section. "Sleep has gone from being derided to being embraced," she said and explained that at the office, they have two nap rooms and a policy that does not expect people to be on call or on email after hours -- calls or texts are sent when there are urgent needs. She's even teamed up with Oprah to teach a six-week course on how people can thrive.
I myself had an epiphany when I contracted Epstein Bar while in my 20s. Just going to the grocery store was arduous and getting out of bed became a victory. So, I sought out alternative healing and started eating many more vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates that increased my energy level. Regular visits to an acupuncturist and a chiropractor helped and meditation become my salvation as I slowly began to heal. Today, I meditate every single day for a minimum of 20 minutes, am strict about my sleep schedule, exercise for at least a few minutes each morning, don't eat sugar, and back away from my devices by 10 p.m. This is the routine that allows me to live my best life. I've also discovered that daily gratitude is the most healing mechanism of them all -- especially for the most precious thing that we all have, the amazing people that surround us and keep us grounded.
According to Arianna, everyone should have their own thrive support group -- she does. Her sister, her daughters, and her yoga instructor are part of her in-crowd. "We need to move from copycat crimes to copycat solutions," Arianna concluded. We do indeed, Arianna, we do indeed.