Book Review: Thrive

While at the 2014 ATD-ICE conference, I had an opportunity to listen to Arianna Huffington speak about well-being, a key metric of success. I walked away from this presentation inspired to put some her concepts into practice. However, before I could do so, I had to learn more. At the conference, I purchased her book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder*, and just finished reading it. Personally, I thought this was a book that had a lot to offer. I am already taking steps to improve my quality of life, and feeling the benefits.

The book is 342 pages spread across an introduction, four chapters, an epilog, appendices, acknowledgments, and notes. The chapters focus on well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving. Well-being is the longest, weighing in at nearly 100 pages.

Huffington wrote this book after suffering an unfortunate accident caused by exhaustion. As she was recovering, she had an opportunity to reexamine what it was to be successful. In spite of wealth and power, you could not be truly successful if you suffered physically.

When writing the book, she reached back to her Greek upbringing and the lessons her mother shared with her. She recounts those lessons over and over in her book. She also taps into research as reflected by the wealth of studies she shares. While the lessons shared apply to everyone, she focuses primarily on women health issues and solutions.

Throughout her book, Huffington touts the changes she has made in her company to improve quality of life. Additionally, she highlights successful changes that other companies have made. Personally, I believe this is basic leadership that seems to be lost on a number of companies. Leaders have a responsibility to get the mission accomplished as well as take care of their people. Many companies do not take care of their people as they should, and as a result, the mission suffers.

At the end of each chapter, she summarizes the lessons with steps you can take to put into practice what she has written about. In the appendices, Huffington shares a number of applications and Web-sites that will also help you put into practice what she has written.

Not only does this book offer suggestions for improving individual quality of life, I believe that organizations can find guidance for improving quality of life and improved performance across the entire company. I plan to draft up a bill for the University of Wyoming Staff Senate based on what I learned.

I can easily recommend this book to anyone. If you changed one thing based on what you have read, I believe your quality of life will improve.

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