Arianna Huffington: The 7 things I’ve learned on my way to the top

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  • Feeling under constant pressure and working round the clock are not the ways to achieve success. So says Arianna Huffington. Forbes ranks her as the 61st most powerful woman in the world, so we're going to listen to what she's got to say.

    1. The current model of success isn’t working. Equating success with working around the clock, driving yourself into the ground, sleep deprivation and burnout – isn’t working for anyone. It’s not working for women, it’s not working for men, it’s not working for companies.

    2. There’s more to life than money and power.
    By themselves, they are a two legged stool. You can balance on them for a while, but eventually you’re going to topple over. And more and more people, very successful people, are toppling over. That’s why we need a Third Metric of success, beyond money and power, to include our well-being, wisdom, capacity to wonder and to give back.

    3. If we don’t redefine success, the personal price we pay will get higher and higher.
    And as the data shows, that price is even higher for women than it is for men. Already, women in stressful jobs have a 40 per cent increased risk of heart disease, and a 60 per cent greater risk for diabetes.

    4. Life needs purpose and meaning. In the United States, the founding fathers wrote about the pursuit of happiness, and if you go back to the original documents, happiness did not mean the pursuit of more ways to be momentarily entertained or distracted or just make money. It was the happiness that comes from living a life of purpose and meaning.

    5. I learnt about burnout the hard way. My own personal Third Metric epiphany – although I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time – was when I fainted from exhaustion and broke my cheekbone. Since then, I’ve been highly sensitized to how many people around me, at all levels of their professions, are running on empty – burned out, sleep-deprived, and making terrible decisions. And it’s not from lack of IQ or intelligence or education, but from lack of clear-headedness, perspective, judgment – or, in other words, lack of wisdom.

    6. There will be plenty of signposts along your path directing you to make money and climb up the ladder, but there will be almost no signposts reminding you to stay connected to the essence of who you are and what you really value in your life, to take care of yourself along the way, to reach out to others, to pause to wonder, and to connect to that place from which everything is possible. ‘Give me a place to stand,’ my Greek compatriot Archimedes said, ‘and I will move the world.’

    7. Women need to take control. Since our current definition of success – the one that so desperately needs changing – was created by men, it’s going to be women who will have to lead the way.

    Get more information on The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power.

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