06/22/2015 09:06 am ET | Updated Jun 22, 2016

3 Lessons I Learned From Taking Arianna Huffington's Thrive Course

During the last six weeks I have been taking a course taught by Arianna Huffington based on her book Thrive. I have to be very honest; I hate school. I love learning but I hate any sort of school. The only reason I took this course was because I loved the book so much and I wasn't disappointed.

The course was six weeks long with an intention set at the beginning of each week and ending with an opportunity to speak with Arianna and ask her questions at the end of the week with office hours. We also had access to lessons and Arianna had guest speakers every week.

I would like to talk about three lessons I learned from the course.

1. Look in the past and be grateful. One of the homework assignments was to look at an old picture and reflect on it.

I loved this more than anything. It is amazing to see how much we have grown in our lives when we look at an old picture. I saw an old picture of myself when I hit rock bottom. Between 2008 and 2009 I lost my job, my car broke down, I lost my home, my uncle, grandma and best friend past. Can you believe all this happened in one year? Needless to say that I hit rock bottom and I was smoking 30 cigarettes a day and drinking nine cups of coffee a day. Looking back at that picture I saw no hope, I saw a wounded person, I saw a person who needed help. Now I don't smoke, I only drink one cup of tea a day, I host my own radio show and TV cooking show and I am very, very happy. Looking back and seeing how far you have come is an easy way to be grateful.

2. Stop drinking caffeine late into the night.

I hated this working assignment. Arianna is a big believer in sleep and not drinking caffeine into the afternoons or late nights. I had been drinking about five cups of tea a day and as a result I was staying up all night long. After taking this course, I am now down to only one cup of tea in the morning and then one decaf tea in the afternoon. My sleep was amazing but more importantly my negative talk has decreased.

I have been much kinder and happier to myself. Arianna talks about the obnoxious roommate in this course. This is when you start saying horrible things to yourself. We are at times so mean to ourselves. We bully ourselves and say negative things to ourselves.

Being kinder to myself was a result of lowering my caffeine intake. I stopped ruminating so much. The negative thoughts left my mind quicker.

3. You have to let go of negative people.

One of the lessons we had to do was let go off negative people. Dave Gilboa, the co-founder and co-ceo of Warby Parker was talking about how Warby Parker has hired and fired workers because they didn't fit into the core beliefs. Arianna talked about how she doesn't hire Brilliant Jerks.
Letting Go of the brilliant jerks off my train has been difficult, but necessary. One person can make or break you. One person can change your life for the better. Think about that one person who gave you a connection for the job you love or to the person who introduced you to the person that you love. You have to let go of jerks.

Overall, I cannot thank Arianna and Oprah enough for this class. I also want to thank Nikol Davis who works at Oprah for helping out and being a great asset and also Marcos Saldivar who works for the Huffington Post.

Have a great day everyone and let's all continue to Thrive in our lives.