Arianna Huffington and Mika Brzezinsk recently hosted Thrive, a two-day conference in New York City, which focused on redefining success beyond the current two metrics of power and money. The conference, based on Arianna's new book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder featured well-known celebrities, influencers and spiritual leaders, including Katie Couric, Kenneth Cole, Brad Meltzer, Penache Desai and Tory Burch. The speakers discussed ways we can thrive by focusing on Huffington's four pillars of success: well-being, wonder, wisdom and giving.
Brzezinski kicked off the conference by asking, "Are you stretched too thin? Feeling guilty all the time? Wish you had more time in the day? Focused on the bad instead of the good? It's time to pause... " Every mom, and most anyone, can identify with these feelings and benefit from the inspiring and thought-provoking topics discussed at the event.
Speakers shared these five ways that you can reset, renew and begin to thrive:
1. Unplug From Technology
An important theme expressed throughout the conference was the positive impact taking a break from technology has. Glamour magazine's editor-in-chief Cindi Leive along with Arianna Huffington referred to the benefits they experienced from their one-week "digital detox." Dot Complicated's Randi Zuckerburg shared, "People ask me the rules I have for my 2-year-old son, but no one asks me the rules for myself. We have to set boundaries and guidelines for ourselves if we expect our children to be good digital citizens." We, moms, know the importance of unplugging in our everyday lives, but it is much easier said than done!
2. Connect With Others
Speakers reinforced that thriving is not only about the changes we make to ourselves but the relationships that we build with one another. Author Brad Meltzer discussed the importance the connections you make with others has on the legacy that you leave behind. He said, "Sometimes we don't know the impact we have on people... All you have to do is be kind to one person... You are now that mentor, teacher, person who inspired you." Thought leader Penache Desai discussed how we should remain open to every human interaction and experience because we don't know where they can lead. I experienced my own "thrive" moment when I struck up a conversation with the person seated next to me and discovered that they are also from Washington D.C., and they happen to be a journalist that I had been wanting to meet for some time. Coincidence or something greater? Huffington suggests that "coincidences are like a doorway to the mystery of life."
3. Give Back to Others
Many of the panelists discussed the positive impact that giving can have on your life and legacy. Kenneth Cole and Tory Burch discussed the integral part that community service plays in their business, crediting giving as a critical factor to their success. Panelists also considered other creative ways that giving can help one thrive. Huffington shared, "If there is something that you love to do, that is your passion, you may not make a living from it but you can give it back for free." She cited music, personal time, comedy and art as a few examples of talents and passions that can be used to help others. Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, shared, "You don't have to be Gandhi to be a giver." He recommended focusing on five-minute favors every day and suggested making connections as an easy way to get started. Huffington shared, "Research has proven that compassion and giving are a short cut to happiness. If you give people an opportunity to be generous, their happiness increases." Think about who you can connect with, inspire, touch with your talent or give back to today!
4. Focus on Yourself
Lucy Danzinger, former editor-in-chief of Self magazine advised, "Invest in yourself, feed yourself the spiritually you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others... Know what you have to offer and bring that to the world with no shame." Panelists offered many strategies regarding how to take better care of ourselves. Huffington stressed the importance of sleep, recommending, "make an appointment with sleep the way you make an appointment to catch a plane or meeting." Yoga, meditation and breathing were also encouraged as effective methods to de-stress, take care of yourself and thrive. Headspace founder Andy Puddicobe shared, "You define meditation by how you choose to use it. Meditation is about letting go ... It's about awareness and compassion." Puddicobe also stated that though it may be difficult at first to meditate, but like any other exercise or challenge, the more that you focus on it and do it, the easier and more beneficial it becomes. He recommended trying 10 minutes a day for 10 days. Panache offered, "When life happens, I invite you to stop, slow down and take a breath ... In traffic, when life becomes overwhelming, when your kids annoy you, breathe!"
5. Change Your Perspective/Focus on What's Truly Important
Journalist Ellen Goodman shared, "We have to thrive and live well right until the end ... Talk to people about what matters to us, not what is the matter with us." Brad Meltzer added, "Your resume fades with you, it is the things you do for others that is your legacy." Many speakers emphasized the importance of not getting caught up in our career, stress and the little things that ultimately have no lasting impact on our lives. Accomplishing this lofty goal requires a shift in perspective and focus. Desai closed out his speech by sharing, "When you live in a state of acceptance, life meets you with infinite possibilities. Life will happen, life will continue to happen. Our choice from this moment on is what we do with life when it happens."
For more on Arianna Huffington's tip to thrive, strategies for unplugging or business and lifestyle tips, check out The Modern Mompreneur.