10 Things I Learned from a Book that Touched My Life

There are books that slip into your life and leave just as quietly. There are books you forget almost immediately after reading them. And there are books, like Arianna Huffington’s Thrive, that make you reassess your life.

In this book, which is part memoir, part personal development, Huffington questions how we view success and challenges us to redefine it beyond money and power. Our wellbeing, intuition, compassion, and connections with others, she says, are essential and help us to truly thrive.

Here’s a summary of the main ideas that impressed me… I hope they inspire you too!

  1. “No” is a full answer: We don’t have to spend time and energy on explaining why we’ve chosen to say no, or decided not to take up an offer.
  1. Make sure you have a good pillow and bed: Your quality of sleep matters – a lot! Sleep deprivation reduces our emotional intelligence, self-esteem, assertiveness, sense of independence, empathy, quality of our interpersonal relationships, positive thinking, and impulse control.
  1. You can make a small tweak in your life to improve its quality. For example:
  • Start by sleeping 30 minutes more per night
  • Don’t have your phone by your bed
  • Don’t check your emails first thing in the morning. (Did you know that the average smartphone user checks their device every six and a half minutes?)
  • Walk 10 minutes more each day
  1. Giving makes us happier – whether we’re volunteering, giving away things we don’t need, or doing a small act of kindness that will have a positive impact on someone else.
  1. Declutter your life: start with your cupboard, wardrobe or workspace. Make space in your life too, so you can welcome new things…
  1. A good and quick way to be done with a task or project is to simply drop it! Identify anything that has been sitting on your agenda or to-do list for a long time. Does it still matter to you? Will it add value to your life? If the answer is no, then consider dropping it.
  1. Put self-care first – make your needs a priority. Arianna starts her book describing her “wake-up call”: a health crisis that led her to see her life through different eyes. She encourages us to act now, if we are not taking care of ourselves, so we don’t need a wake-up call to tell us what we already know deep inside.
  1. When your inner voice speaks, “shut up and listen!” I have nothing more to add here. ?
  1. We have, if we’re lucky, about 30 000 days to play the game of life. How we play it will be determined by what we value. Or, as author David Foster Wallace put it, “Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”
  1. Ask yourself what is important to you and give your precious time to those people and activities that feed your soul.As the book ends: “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’.”

Which of the above resonates with you? We’d love to hear your thoughts – do leave a comment below.


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ps. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, Ariana Huffington, is available on Amazon.


© Vivian Chiona

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