Third Metric Living: Well-being, Wonder, Wisdom and Giving

Recently I reviewed Arianna Huffington’s new book Thrive. In the book Arianna explains that right now too many of us define success by two measures: money and power. Redefining success beyond money and power is possible through practices that align with what she describes as third metric living.

Third metric living is comprised of four pillars:

  • Well-being
  • Wonder
  • Wisdom
  • Giving

Well-being. We often think that we have to sacrifice our health to work and to be productive. Turns out, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Arianna disproves the idea that we have to forgo our health to be productive. It’s our health, body and mind, that is paramount to cognitive function and happiness. Arianna doesn’t suggest that everyone should go out and get a gym membership. Instead she provides practical tips to well-being. Things everyone can do, but most people don’t. They include:

  • Sleep
  • Meditation
  • Walking
  • Slowing down
  • Taking breaks

“Meditation, long walks, exercise, yoga, reconnecting with family and friends, and making sure to unplug, recharge, and get enough sleep – all will increase some aspect of our well being and sense of fulfillment,” says Arianna.

Wonder. Being simultaneously present in the moment and in awe of the world. With improvements in access to technology and anytime, anywhere learning becoming synonymous with PD in nearly every sector, information and data are no longer at a premium. Arianna believes that it’s, “Our sense of delight in the mysteries of the universe,” that must be part integrated into our daily lives and that sense of delight cannot be found by “Googling it.” Tips from Arianna on Wonder:

  • Focus on your breathing as a centering practice
  • Pick an image that you gives you joy, and when you are compressed go to it
  • Forgive yourself of judgments you might be holding

Wisdom. Have a deep connection with the world. There’s a difference between wisdom and knowledge. Use coincidences as shortcuts to spark wonder. Arianna describes the importance of treating life like a classroom and going with your hunches. She warns of the poison of negativity, why your smartphone isn’t making you any smarter, and the detrimental impact of hurry sickness and time famine. Tips from Arianna on Wisdom:

  • Let go of something today that you no longer need
  • Start a gratitude list and share it with friends
  • Designate time during the day when you turn off your phone

Giving. Be present and find moments when you are inspired by empathy and compassion as triggers to give. Arianna does a great job describing that giving is not limited to money. Service to others is often a more rich experience and beneficial for the recipient. Tips from Arianna:

  • Create a habit of making small gestures of kindness, and recognize how it makes you feel
  • Make personal connections with people you would normally not acknowledge
  • If you are skilled or talented in something, help someone with it

The appendix is packed with resources for readers to find ways to give back. They include UN Volunteers, DoSomething, DonorsChoose, Catchafire, VolunteerMarch, and All for Good.

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