Thrive – Arianna Huffington

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Thrive by Arianna Huffington

This was probably the first book which sparked the real beginning of a serious focus on my well-being.  One of the cover reviews reads: “If you’re feeling tired and fed up and wondering if there is more to life, now’s the time to read Thrive”.  I stumbled across it during a very intense experience on International Women’s Day in Saudi Arabia with two dear friends and colleagues from Cisco.  One of the very powerful speakers we saw on the day accredited this book with providing a life-changing awakening, her story was so compelling it got all of us very interested.  So, when my friend gifted us all a copy, I got reading!

Thrive drew attention to my long-standing issue of sleep – or lack of it.  So, I’m particularly tickled that I’m writing this review after an absolutely splendid 8 hours sleep following a week of insomnia and exhaustion! Reading this book was the first time I had been able to learn about well-being from an “inner” perspective and with a significant amount of research and science to help back it up.  I’m not saying the book alone shifted my view, but it was a considerable nudge in that direction.

What also really helped me in this book was the idea that looking after yourself wasn’t selfish.  In essence, I think for so many of us we’re hard-wired to believe that if we’re not putting others before ourselves, then we’re really knocking on the door of becoming the twisted, wicked stepmother from Cinderella.  It seems to me though that the truth is very different, by not looking after ourselves we’re allowing others to turn us into the rag-wearing, ash-covered Cinderella from the story – and the gift is entirely with us to not let that to happen.

Arianna completes her book with a chapter about ‘giving’, this was the ‘aha moment’ of the read for me.  Similarly, the self-care elements resonated the idea of ensuring that “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”.  This notion was not about ‘running around after everyone else until you keeled over’, this was about giving, in a very thoughtful and deliberate way, which in turn contributes to your own well-being.

It would be some years later before I was able to create the appropriate boundaries in my life to truly live out the learning from Thrive, but the sleep and well-being part of the insight was an early gamechanger.

Today there is a brilliant resource online built on the back of the Thrive movement, and hardly a day passes that I don’t get some kind of tip, background or thought-provoker from it.  Maybe start with the book to go deep (I’ve since discovered Audible and would recommend perhaps trying the audiobook while you’re out for a walk) and then keep the focus alive daily with the online resources.

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