Last Friday, I attended the "Thrive: A Third Metric Event" conferencerence co-hosted by Arianna Huffington and Mika Brzezinski and was blown away by the amount of information that I got out of it. The concept of "thriving" is about knowing who you truly are and doing your best to live the best life for you. To find out more about what Arianna has to say about this, check out her book: Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. Below are my take aways from the conference:
Take As Good Care Of Yourself As You Do Your Smartphone: Today, when we get our smartphones, we do all we can to make sure that they are protected. For example, some of us spend $80 or more on Lifeproof cases so that our phones don’t break when they fall or we get those scratch proof screen savers so our phones don’t get defaced. Arianna asked the audience why we didn’t apply that same concept to ourselves as well. Too many times we take our bodies for granted and we either refuse to feed it well or we overwork ourselves to the point of exhaustion. Exhaustion leads to burnout and when we burn out we are of no use to anyone.
Start With One Bad Habit: We all have bad habits that we want to break. That is part of what makes us all humans so as we work to better ourselves, it is important to understand that instead of looking for some panacea to remove all our bad habits, we need to start with one bad habit at a time. Conquer one before moving on to the next. This will lead to less stress and self doubt. Speaking of self doubt, Arianna also discussed how getting rid of the “obnoxious roommate that lives in our heads” is the key to breaking bad habits. This is the roommate that constantly whispers to you how impossible what you are trying to accomplish is. If you change habits around your mind, then you change your life for the better!
Make A Clear Commitment To Yourself And Find A “Thrive” Buddy: So you’ve decided to break a habit, now what’s next? Get a “thrive” buddy or someone who can hold you accountable. This way, when you are slipping or not doing what you are supposed to do, someone will be able to get you on the right track.
Redefine Success: Society has a definition of success and that is money and power but what we need to do is redefine success for ourselves. We need to figure out what it means for us. It could be working less hours at the office and spending more time with loved ones or leaving a high paying job to opening the bakery you have been talking about since you were five years old. Success can include money and power but be careful not to conform to society’s standard just so you can meet an imaginary checklist. Think of yourself and integrate well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving into your definition of success as Arianna would say.
Be Fully Present In What You Are Doing: Julianne Moore, award winning actress and author was one of the panelists and she said something that struck me. She said that whether she is learning how to bake a lasagna or running lines for a movie, she is always present in what she is doing. Whatever she is doing at that moment is important and demands her attention. The point being that when we start allowing thoughts of other things we need to do to get in the way of what we are actually doing, our productivity suffers and we start to stress more.
Invest In Yourself And Know Yourself So You Can Help Others: Do you know that if you truly want to help others to the best of your ability, you need to know yourself inside out? You should know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Once you know these things, you know what you need to develop more to be the best version of yourself and you know what you need to work on to limit your weaknesses. Have you noticed that many times it is only when we get sick or injured that we promise to appreciate ourselves more because we realize how ineffective we are with whatever body part is injured or affected by our sickness? Well it is the same concept with helping others, If we can’t even help ourselves when our bodies are crying out to us, how can we truly know how to effectively help others? We need to know what our pain points are and learn how to listen to them. Investing in yourself is self preservation.
Be Empowered: True empowerment is owning something whether it is a skill set or anything else. Once you have worked tirelessly on a skill or an ability, own it. Introduce yourself to the world and let them know what you have to offer. Don’t let things like your job or other peoples’ opinions define you. If you get fired, don’t let that get you down; understand that you have something to offer and that there will be another opportunity for you because you have an ability that someone else is looking for.
Sleep Your Way To The Top: No I don’t mean what you are thinking! I am talking about actual sleep! Almost all of us don’t get enough rest and the more we do that, the more we become susceptible to exhaustion. The more exhausted we are, the more stressful we get. Arianna says “Make an appointment to sleep like you are flying”. When it is the day of your flight, you do everything you can to get to the airport early so you don't miss your flight. You remove yourself from obstacles that could prevent you from missing your flight. Do the same thing for your sleep times too. Decide what time you want to sleep and make an appointment to meet that time. Charge your phone away from your bed, put it on silent, turn off the TV, and close your eyes. If you get enough rest, you will have enough energy to be the best you. Being the best you will allow you to achieve invariably more and achieving more will get you to your version of the top. See! I told you not dirty at all
Be A Go Giver: We have all heard of go getters but how about trying to be a go giver as well. Pay it forward. Look to help. Mentor someone, open that door for that person, over tip your waiter, the taxi driver or the doorman. You'll feel better and so will they. Win Win!
Unplug- Give Yourself A Digital Detox: Now admittedly this is probably the hardest thing for me as I am very attached to my iPhone. However, after hearing Arianna and Mika talk on Friday, I will definitely be giving myself a digital detox soon. Shutting down from the digital world occasionally allows us to spend time with the real people that we often neglect or ourselves.