It's time to start truly living life and defining success beyond the metrics of money and power -- and it's never too late to start, no matter your age or circumstances.
Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, and Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, opened the Thrive conference in New York City on Thursday, April 24, with the message that it's time for people to start redefining success beyond money and power.
"If we define success by money and power, it's like sitting on a two-legged stool -- you'll topple over," Arianna said. "And more and more people are toppling over."
The Thrive conference is built around conversations on how to redefine success to include a third metric of success -- based on the four pillars of well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving, Arianna said.
Arianna shared her own wake-up call -- when she collapsed in 2007 from sleep deprivation and burnout, breaking her cheekbone in the process. "That was the beginning of my re-evaluating my life," she said. "By any sane definition of success, if you're lying in a pool of blood in your office --"
"That's a bad sign," Mika chimed in.
Mika shared her own story, including her reliance on pills to get sleep here and there. She said she had had enough when she realized how unsustainable her life was becoming -- and Arianna approached her about it.
"It was lonely, and it wasn't a healthy way to live," Mika said. "It was beginning to impact my health on the outside as well ... I was trying to be all things to all people, but I was burning out fast. And Arianna told me, in her accent, that it was time to pause. So we paused."
The Thrive conference, held at the New York City Center in Manhattan, grew out of last year's women's conference, which had a more intimate setting -- Arianna's apartment. At that event, titled "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power," hundreds of influencers in media, entertainment, business and politics gathered to discuss how to redefine success beyond money and power. Also co-hosted by Arianna and Mika, the 2013 conference featured speakers including Jill Abramson, Katie Couric, Adrian Grenier, John Mackey, Joe Scarborough, Valerie Jarrett, Erica Hill, and George Stephanopoulos.
"The way we define success isn’t working," Arianna said at last year's conference, as reported in the New York Times. "More, bigger, better -- we can’t do that anymore."