If one thing’s for sure in 2015, it’s that we’re at a greater risk than ever of collectively burning out. Thankfully, what’s also undeniable, is that we’re becoming more and more aware of it. If every magazine and online publication now pours vast amounts of energy into features that teach us how to ‘calm down’ and tips on how to ‘turn our phones off’, it’s pretty clear we’ve got a problem. We’re no longer able (nor should we be expected) to keep up with the traditional metrics of success (money and power). Meditation and mindfulness used to be something we associated with monks who live out their days among the Himalayan mountains, contemplating the world around them. These days, we’re being reminded at every turn to take a time-out. Still though, most of us struggle to give ourselves even five minutes to just sit and do nothing. Slowly but surely, we are learning that our wellbeing is perhaps the most important measure of success, far beyond a hefty income or a corner office. If it’s not from something we’ve read, it’s because we, or someone we know, have had to learn the hard way.
Ariana Huffington of The Huffington Post (President and Editor In Chief) is one such woman who got her wake up call when she suffered a broken cheekbone and a painful gash across her eye, following a nasty fall due to nothing more than exhaustion. Her book Thrive is fast becoming a must-have modern day bible for its compelling arguments against the traditional notions of success that, more and more, are leading us to fall apart.
How many people do you know who feel they have to remain constantly in the fast lane or their careers will flatline? How many do you know who are always chasing the next promotion, the next pay rise? With so many of us focused on this elusive, ever-changing end goal, we miss out entirely on the here and now, doing ourselves more harm in the long-run. Isn’t it worrying that we struggle to name just a few successful CEOs who haven’t had to clock up 18 hour days at the office? Or for those of you who have worked yourself to the bone and are now reading this article from a cosy corner office, was it worth it?
If you’re at the top of your career ladder or just starting out, do yourself a favour now; know the value of your own wellbeing. It may not be as easy to measure, but it is by far the most rewarding metric for success. If this means walking away from a job offer that offers you a 40% pay rise for the sake of your mental health (something this writer can attest to), just learn to trust your gut. As Ariana reminds us, we doubt if there’s anybody who has ever said on their death bed that they were glad they had worked those 70 hour weeks, or happy that they had missed out on their best friend’s wedding due to work commitments. Don’t wait ’til then to reconsider what’s important and what’s not.
Here’re a few great quotes from Thrive. For more, add this book to your own personal collection; you won’t regret it.
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” —IAIN THOMAS”
“It’s not ‘What do I want to do?’, it’s ‘What kind of life do I want to have?’ ”
“If you take care of your mind, you take care of the world.’ ”
“What is success? It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace. —PAULO COELHO”
And here’s another to make you think…
“In December 2013, a tourist in Melbourne fell off a pier and plunged into the sea while checking Facebook on her phone. She still had it in her hand when she was rescued.”
“Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplace, and our lives.”
We got our copy of Thrive at Dubray Books