Thrive by Arianna Huffington
NOTE: A similar book, but one that I reviewed higher, is The Happiness Track by Emma Seppälä PhD.
For some background trivia, the author, Arianna Huffington, is also the founder of The Huffington Post.
As it says on the front cover, this book is about ‘redefining success and creating a happier life.’
When I was in my early 20s, I tried to define was success meant to me.
In other words, how much money did I have to earn, what type of car did I have to drive and what type of house did I need to own before I could call myself successful.
As I got older – and I’m nearly 30 at the time of reviewing this – I’ve realised that those material goals are not success.
Instead, I’ve learnt that the ultimate goal in life is to be happy (as wishy-washy as that sounds).
When we look at success in the terms of money and power, we often neglect ourselves. We work ourselves into the ground, don’t give ourselves enough sleep and miss out on the things that matter in life.
This book is trying to redefine what we call success.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of the book, I would like to mention that I have a lot of respect for this book because I feel as though it has been written for the right reasons.
When reading books, I usually get the feeling that they have been written for one of two purposes.
The main purpose is monetary gain. In these circumstances, a book has been put together to create another product and revenue stream. I have no problem with this, if I had the skills to put together a book, then I would do this too.
The second purpose of writing a book is to increase the status of the individual named on the cover. That individual can now say that they are an author which adds to their credibility.
For this book, Thrive, I don’t feel as though it has been written for either of those reasons.
I feel as though Huffington wrote this book because she just wants to help people. To tell them that it’s okay to not work 90+ hours every week. That it’s ok for them to get a full night’s sleep. That it’s ok to just work 9-5 and to take time off. That it’s okay for them to switch their phone off whilst they’re on holiday.
As entrepreneurs, we do work long hours, we are constantly tied to our phones and email accounts and we do neglect ourselves quite a lot in order to put in the hours and the grind that every around us is telling us that we must do in order to be successful.
For those reasons, I have a lot of respect for the book and believe that it has been written with the right intentions in mind.
..in saying all of that, throughout the first third of the book, if I hadn’t committed myself to reading and reviewing this book, then I would have put it down.
I found it to be very tiring, very difficult and, at times, I felt very frustrated with it.
The reason why was because I felt as though the author went on and on and on and on over a single concept. I had read about the concept for 10+ pages and was wanting the author to move onto something else. And yet, there was still another 20 pages or so going over the same points. I found this very frustrating.
As I got further through the book, I started to understand why Huffington spent so long going over and over and over a single simple concept.
The author is going against all the industry norms about how we define success and the ways in which we must work in order to be successful. So, rather than listing once concept with a couple of facts to back it up, Huffington is explaining a concept and then backing it up with numerous facts, university studies, teaching and quotes from famous people along with her own life experience.
By going so in depth, you almost can’t forget it or argue with it because you have read about it for 50-100 pages.
If you do read this book and you find it tedious in the first quarter or a third, I do urge you to keep going.
Have you read this book? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.
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