Insights on wisdom from Arianna Huffington

“Wisdom” is one of four keys to redefining success in Arianna Huffington’s new book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. (March 2014)

She assumes we are all busy pursuing the first two metrics of success: money and power. (She is! She is super-busy and visible as the co-founder, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group.) After a wake-up call in 2007 – a nasty fall she blames on exhaustion – she began to reassess her values.

To make a fulfilling life, she recommends the pursuit of well-being, wisdom, and wonder – as well as a commitment to giving. Together, these are what she calls “the third metric” – the key ingredients that were missing from her life.

Naturally, I found her chapter on wisdom the most interesting. Here are a few of Arianna Huffington’s insights:

  • “Wisdom is about recognizing what we’re really seeking: connection and love.”
  • “There is nothing that we need more today than having proportion restored to disproportion, and separating our everyday worries and preoccupations from what is truly important.”
  • “In our daily lives, moving from struggle to grace requires practice and commitment. But it’s in our hands. I’ve come to believe that living in a state of gratitude is the gateway to grace.”
  • “Gratitude works its magic by serving as an antidote to negative emotions. It’s like white blood cells for the soul, protecting us from cynicism, entitlement, anger, and resignation.”
  • “One big source of wisdom is intuition, our inner knowing. . . . Our intuition is like a tuning fork that keeps us in harmony – if we learn to listen.”
  • “We have little power to choose what happens, but we have complete power over how we respond…. No matter how much hardship we encounter… we can still choose peace and imperturbability.”

She also includes these two memorable quotes from other people:

  • “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” – Carrie Fisher
  • “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” – Blaise Pascal

I don’t share her focus on the relentless pursuit of money and power, but I did find that she had points worth making and ideas worth considering.

What about you? Are you pursuing money and power? Or did you discover, before Arianna did, the importance of well-being, wisdom, and wonder – as well as giving back?

The nine women in Warm Cup of Wisdom discovered these insights long ago. Yet I suspect they would still nod their heads in appreciation at the above quotes.

Arianna Thrive cover

About dorijonesyang

As a former journalist in Hong Kong, I love writing books that bridge the gap of understanding between China and America. My new book, When the Red Gates Opened: A Memoir of China's Reawakening, will be published in September 2020.
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