06/11/2013 01:32 pm ET Updated Aug 11, 2013

Networking to Access the Third Metric

At the Smith College commencement, Arianna Huffington initiated a discussion on the Third Metric. According to Arianna, success is largely determined by money and power. This metric of success needs to be re-thought to include "well-being, wisdom, our ability to wonder and to give back." On June 6, Arianna along with Mika Brzezinski, led a day of discussions with experts from a variety of fields to further explore and discuss the idea of the Third Metric.

As someone who values the Third Metric, I found Arianna's commencement speech and the conference discussions as an echo of my own thoughts. There have been some discussions around how one can invest in the Third Metric and, on the other hand, the feeling that caring about well-being, wonder and empathy is a luxury for the many people struggling just to make ends meet. The single most important factor that has allowed me to invest time and energy in the Third Metric is my network.

I'm a member of a community that meets regularly for meditation and discussion sessions and a variety of workshops that help members connect to their inner selves. Involvement with this community has never allowed me to lose faith in the importance of the Third Metric. I did not join this community because I was stressed or sad or was working long hours. This community is my source of joy and has NEVER let stress enter my personal or professional space. I did not spend tons of money or time to become a part of this community. I simply showed up and was welcome by a bunch of people who value inner peace more than anything else.

Thanks to this network, I can simply close my eyes, drive into a breathing exercise or guided mediation and sail through challenging situations. According to Arianna, "money and power by themselves are the two legged stool..." My network is the third leg of the stool that has cultivated my faith in the Third Metric and prevented me from going off-balance.

We are groomed to network for expanding professional connections, primarily because the index of success is money and power. If we are looking to change the index of success to include the Third Metric, we'll have to network to make connections that allows us to value our well-being and ability to wonder.

We don't start our professional networking when we are out of job or when we are responding to a request for a proposal. We invest in our professional network in anticipation of using it when the time comes, yet we expect to attend a yoga class when we are stressed and feel better about ourselves. If we are serious about the Third Network, we have to continuously invest our time and energy in a community that would be our safety net, a network that will support us in our journey to embrace the Third Metric.

Complement your professional networking with the search for a community that allows you to access the Third Metric.