Money and power are all well and good but if you really want
to live a successful life, get more sleep and turn the phone
That was the message from Arianna Huffington, founder of the
online Huffington Post and one of the world's most prominent
- and wired-in - businesswomen, to an audience at the Hay
Festival of literature and arts, which ended on Sunday.
Political and business leaders across the world, and the
people who work for them, are often living lives of sleep
deprivation and burnout in pursuit of the two traditional
measures of success - money and power, Huffington said.
But those who chase these two goals alone are likely to come
crashing down. "This is like trying to sit on a two-legged
stool. Sooner or later you fall off," she said.
Huffington should know. Seven years ago, she collapsed from
overwork and exhaustion, banging her head as she fell.
"By any sane definition, when you come to in a pool of your
own blood ... you are not successful," she said at the book
festival in Wales.
The first result of what she calls her wake-up call was to
get more sleep. "It's like a miracle drug," she said.
The Huffington Post newsroom includes two "nap rooms" where
journalists can grab 40 winks.
Many in today's hectic working world wear their busy-ness
like a badge of honour, Huffington said. Instead, the weary
make mistakes and their creativity is blunted.
Too many of us are glued to mobile devices in a bid to get
ahead in an increasingly interconnected world.
Huffington has captured her thoughts on how to live a better
life in a book "Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining
Success and Creating a Happier Life", which was published in
The book recommend four things: wellbeing, including a good
night's sleep, a capacity for wonder, wisdom and giving.
Apart from the nap rooms, the Huffington philosophy manifests
itself in the Huffpost newsroom in other ways: when employees
are not working, they are not expected to check their emails
- the office will call or text if necessary.
And, said Huffington, all Huffpost managers have specific
hiring instructions - "no brilliant jerks allowed".