Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Thrive" a new look on success by Adrianna Huffington

Adrianna Huffington is admired by many people.  I enjoy reading her "Huffington Post" daily and have found many of her tv appearances and earlier books enlightening.  She succeeded with hard work.  At one point she realized success is more than money and power and she was persuaded to share her pursuit of real happiness with "Thrive".

If you are a reader of self improvement books you have undoubtedly read many of the ideas presented, but for many of us it takes a lot of repetition and perhaps a different perspective to help us make the changes that make our lives better.  The self improvement is not aimed at making you richer or more powerful.  Adrianna shares her own experiences and not all of them were positive.

Stress is a universal disease.  We all seem to feel a hurry-ness.  It is a competitive world that seems to require exploiting our fellow humans.  You can succeed against odds, but material success comes only after a lot of stress and may seem empty.  One remedy Adrianna suggests is simply to get more sleep and she found getting a half hour more each night made a difference.  For those who can't, naps are a semi solution.  Other serious ways of dealing with stress include meditation, mindfulness and yoga.  You have heard all this before, but she has her own spin worth the trouble to read.

Technology can make things worse or not.  Social media has become very effective at determining what anyone likes and will serve it up as often as practical.  On the other hand social media can not determine what you don't know that you might like.  The inter net has turned work into a 24/365 burden for too many. and the rest of us are being dragged along.

A concept usually avoided is the awareness of death.  Death is one universal  fact of life shared by all, but a thought that is almost taboo.  Adrianna suggests an awareness of the inevitable makes us more conscious of how precious life is.

Viktor Frankl's story has been recounted in many books and talks, but is one we need to grasp.  He survived a death camp with the Nazis.  He learned that none of us can control what happens outside ourselves, but our last human freedom is the freedom to choose our own attitude.  No question the world can be a cruel place, but most of us do not have to endure the hardships Frankl went through.

Another good example comes from Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison before his oppressors released him to help with a delicate political transformation.  He puts it this way, "if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind I'd still be in prison."  Nelson set an example that helped South Africa move forward.  When we carry bitterness it holds us back.

Adrianna is an advocate for volunteering, but she doesn't just talk about it.  At Huffington Post she allows employees to have 3 voluntary days per year plus they match up to $250 any charitable donations employees care to make.

She makes her points in the main body of the book, but provides appendixes that give more specific instructions and directions for more information.  Her ideas cannot be written enough, but as she is someone to admire her words might carry more weight or because she is perceptive the words might just hit the right nerve.

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