Reviewed by Pastaveia St. John (Air Force)
I first heard about Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive from Marie Forleo’s interview with her on YouTube. The video was amazing and I immediately went to my local library to get a copy.
Unfortunately, I had to wait a few weeks for the library to order the book. Once I got it, I couldn’t put it down. Arianna speaks in a way that is clear and easy to understand. Her voice in my head is that of a cool aunt sharing her lessons learned in life.
Thrive gives the best advice you could ever receive despite your age, race, gender or social status in the world.Huffington speaks about how society defines success and how that definition of success is literally killing the human race. She talks about fueling your curiosity in an uplifting manner, getting more out of life by enjoying the simple treasures life brings and ultimately being wise with the direction you take your life.
The book starts out with Huffington lying in the pool of her own blood (gasp!) because she passed out from exhaustion and sleep depravation, two pitfalls we can control but choose to overlook when we become obsessed with fulfilling deadlines. For me it was clear to see where she was coming from because I, too, have sacrificed sleep to “get the job done.” I’ve talked myself into pushing past my limits, telling myself that it was for the greater good. In the end all it did was leave me tired and overworked. My former drill instructor once told me,“You have to work hard in life to get ahead.” As women, we sometimes feel as if we need to work twice as hard. However, despite the double standard that faces women, I’m recognizing that I will do my best within my lane and be happy with the results because I gave it my all.
Huffington discusses our addiction to technology, specifically social media and emails. “It’s celebrated as ‘personalization,'” she says, “but it often caters to a very shriveled part of who we really are.”
Last year, I did an experiment and got rid of my smart phone for nine months. I didn’t have the Internet at my fingertips at every minute of the day. I’ve got to say, it was liberating because I realized how much time I wasted “surfing the web” and “liking” randomness. Now, I can easily go online and to what I need to do then I’m off – to go read a good book, do some yoga or my favorite – nothing at all!
As of late, I have been very aware of how my day-to-day activities seem to be connected. Most people call it coincidence or synchronicity. I think my favorite part of book was the story she shared on page 198. It’s also about synchronicity and how her parents were going to terminate a pregnancy but got distracted (morning hanky-panky) the day of the appointment and in turn kept the baby. The baby is her younger sister, who is her closet friend. Everything really does happen for a reason.
I believe everyone will take something different from the book. For me it wasn’t one of those “read it once, then put it on my shelf for guests to ask me about later” books. I have found that over the past few weeks, I’ve re-read various passages over again. It’s a book to study, to apply your findings to everyday life. Happy Reading!
Pastaveia St. John was with the Air Force for twelve years. She has a popular blog, PS Be Fearless. You can follow her on You Tube, Instagram and Facebook as well.
I like to give this review the alternate title: “If Arianna Huffington were your drill instructor, what would she say?”
Thanks so much for this review, Pastaveia. It’s always great to hear what you’re reading!
I love that, lol! 🙂
Oooh. This book sounds really interesting. I always love reading different points of view on what it means to be successful and how to achieve that. It’s something I really struggled with in the last few years being unemployed then underemployed. I started equating my worth with my employment status, which is no bueno. I want success on my own terms, but I’m still not sure what that means.
I’m also intrigued by the talk about unplugging. When I was living OCONUS for a year, I no longer had internet on my phone, my home internet was slow, and we only had 10 TV channels. It was one part super frustrating but another part liberating. It went a long way to helping me break the habit when we moved back Stateside. Of course, now that my husband is deployed and there are lots of quiet hours to fill, I spend a lot of them online. It’s something I need to be aware of, especially when he comes home. Great review!