I picked up Thrive hoping to get advice on work/life balance, and how a modern woman handles the myriad of responsibilities with an added dose of happiness about doing it all. Instead, it turned out I had picked up a natural health and wellness manifesto.
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the news and opinion website, Huffington Post. She weaves history, culture, literature and so much more into this interesting book on well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving (the topics in the contents).
What I didn’t get from this book, was the advice I was hoping to receive that was so clearly written in the summary on the back: “…managing time and prioritising the demands of a career and two daughters.”
A couple of years ago, I went to a debate put on by Intelligence Squared on the subject, “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Cannot Rock the Boardroom.” In this hour, it was clear – male or female, you cannot rock the boardroom without help. Families had chosen to outsource childcare, education, and/or bring help into the home through nannies, family members and tutors. I suspect, Arianna Huffington has employed many of these tactics as her business exponentially exploded.
If you decide to pick this up for an easy to read guide on taking care of yourself, then this book is definitely for you, though you may not like all of the advice. I appreciated Arianna’s sleep experiment where she took a month to practice good sleep habits and hygiene. Many pages are also devoted to the importance of meditation and being present no matter what you are doing whether you are at work, spending time with family or going for a walk in nature. She also, admirably, has tried to incorporate these practices into her company.
What is the takeaway from this book? The thorough and amazing amount of annotated research and resources is definitely a plus. Since reading this book, I have picked it up a number of times to read sections again and look up some of the studies she references. I liked her ability to make connections across history and relate them to contemporary times with the focus on health and wellness. There is a lot of sage advice in the book, and if you decide to employ any of the recommendations, it will take time. Health and wellness is an individual journey; this book is another great resource to tap into from real life experience.