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Marie Forleo: Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching Marie TV, the place to be, to create a business and life you love and I have a question for you. Does trying to be a success ever feel exhausting? I mean, we’re all connected to technology 24/7 and most of us feel a pressure to make more money and gain more power and more recognition. Well, if you’re anything like me, what you’re really craving is a life that’s more sustainable and more meaningful and if that sounds like you, you are in for a treat today because my guest is not only someone I deeply admire, but she’s also on a mission to help us redefine success on our own terms and create a life that’s filled with wellbeing and wisdom and wonder.
Marie Forleo: Arianna Huffington is the chair, president and editor in chief of the Huffington post media group, a nationally syndicated columnist, an author of 13 books. In May, 2005 she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely read linked to and frequently cited media brands on the internet. In 2012 the site won a Pulitzer prize for national reporting. In 2013, she was named to the Forbes most powerful women list. In 2006 and again in 2011 she was named to the time 100 time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people.
Marie Forleo: Originally from Greece. She moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge university with an MA in economics. At 21, she became president of the Fame Debating Society, the Cambridge union. She serves on several boards including El Pais, Prisa, the center for public integrity and the committee to protect journalists. Her 14th book Thrive, the third metric to redefining success and creating a life of wellbeing, wisdom and wonder will be published by crown in March of 2014. Arianna, thank you so much for being here. This is an incredible honor to have you here on Marie TV and in the midst of this incredible new book, which by the way, for everyone, Thrive. I’ve read it cover to cover. I honestly believe with all of my heart this is a book that every human being on the planet needs to read. Thank you for being a Marie TV.
Arianna: Thank you so much. It’s such a lovely set and I love what you’ve done, so thank you for having me.
Marie Forleo: Let’s start with… The fact that you are such an incredible woman. Your career has taken you around the world. Most of your adult life you’ve been on the public stage and one of the stories you start the book off with was, in 2007 you found yourself in your home office on the floor in a pool of blood. What happened?
Arianna: So I stopped the book like that because it really was the beginning of the journey that led to Thrive. It was April, 2007, April 6th and it was two years after I had launched The Huffington Post and you know how it is when you have a startup, a lot of work, getting the baby to grow and getting investors and getting the work done. And at the same time I have two daughters and one of them was about to go to college. So we had been on a college tour and our agreement was that I would not be looking at my Blackberry while we were together during the day. So at night she would go to sleep and I would start working.
Arianna: So I came back home completely sleep deprived and exhausted and collapsed and fell on my desk. My head hit my desk, broke my cheekbone, first stitches on my right eye. But also it started me going from doctor to doctor, trying to find out if there was anything more seriously wrong with me. It turned out there wasn’t anything medically wrong, but there was a lot wrong with the way I was leading my life. And so that started me on trying to define what success is because by external definitions of success I was successful. But by any same definition of success I was not because I had undermined my health and as I realized as I started studying the implications of sleep deprivation, I had also undermined my ability to make good decisions.
Marie Forleo: Which brings me actually to one of your… What I feel. It was such a great piece of advice and it was so fun when we get into the wellbeing aspect of thrive, which was for everyone of course, but especially for women. Your recommendation for all of us to sleep our way to the top, which not only gave me a chuckle, but I wanted to thank you because I’ve been doing a lot more of that lately.
Arianna: I’m so glad that that makes me feel really good because I really profoundly believe that if we get enough sleep and enough sleep depends on each human being. Most scientific findings show that you need between seven and eight hours. Some people need more, some people need less. We know it’s when we wake up without an alarm. So I went from getting four to five hours to getting seven to eight hours. I became a sleep evangelist.
Arianna: I talk everywhere about that. So much so that the Harvard school of medicine sleep division invited me to join their counsel and now I get even more information about the importance of sleep and there’s so much science around it now. The connection between sleep and high blood pressure and stress and diabetes and obesity is just amazing. So at the end of the wellbeing section where I give small steps that we can take to make our life fuller, richer and less stressful. The first one is, start by at least getting 30 minutes more sleep than you are getting right now.
Arianna: Whatever it is you’re getting, unless you are one of the few wise people who get enough sleep, you’ll see the difference. And then that in itself will reinforce you into developing better sleep habits. And I have a lot of keeps as you know about how you can ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. I always have a hot bath before I go to sleep because it just like puts the day away and you can really go to sleep leaving everything behind you and wake up recharged. And key, key, very, very important not to charge your devices next to your bed.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Arianna: That is essential. I have a device free zone around my bedroom. Nothing is going to happen that cannot wait until the morning.
Marie Forleo: It’s so, so important and I have to tell you how much I appreciate the message that you’re sharing, especially around sleep because as a woman who loves to study success, I’m very driven myself, I’m very ambitious. So much of my life I feel like I’ve been given an opposite message, which is, sleep less and you only need four to five hours and I have to tell you, it really… It opened my heart and it really made a difference to me to have you share this message. And Josh, my fiance was thrilled because he’s like… He’s paying attention to what I’m reading. He’s like, what does Arianna say? And I was like, I need to go to bed right now. So it’s been awesome. So thank you for that.
Arianna: I’m so happy when young women like you, who have your whole life ahead of you, can actually begin this healthy practices because then everything is going to be affected and you can enjoy your success instead of actually allowing you to undermine your health and your joy because that’s the other thing. When we’re exhausted, we drug ourselves through the day instead of enjoying the day.
Marie Forleo: Yes. And on that same theme, we were talking in the book and I felt like I was having a conversation with you. Was about this idea of time famine. And that really struck me, that phrase and something I appreciated was how open you were about your own struggles with time, your relationship with time. And I’ve experienced that myself. I love what I do so much and there’s times when I say, I know what downtime can do for me, but I wish I had 48 hours in a day to get all of these ideas out into the world. So what is time faminen and how can we transform it?
Arianna: Well, time famine is something that so many of us suffer from. And it’s basically the fact that we are always breathlessly feeling that we are running out of time or we don’t have enough time and people value having enough time more than they value anything, including their careers and their children. It’s just amazing what a difference it makes to our sense of wellbeing. So the key here is to prioritize what really matters. Brian Andress had this great quote that I love, I’ve actually put on napkins. It says everything changed in her life the day she realized that she had enough time for all the important things. And if we realize that, then certain things will just not get done and that’s just fine. And a key thing here is our relationship with our email. Sometimes we feel like we’re the slaves of email.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Arianna: Now, do you have to finish everything. You have to respond to everything because we are such perfect young women and in your case, and in my case, much older, but the point is that as women who have this idea of having to do everything perfectly, and that includes answering every email. So first of all, making sure we stop answering emails at least an hour before we go to sleep that is key. Because then it’s like downtime and I’d rather read real books actually I love reading real books and underlining them.
Marie Forleo: I do too. When I got my iPad I was happy about my iPad for the idea of traveling because I love to read so much and I didn’t have to have a whole other piece of luggage for my books. But I will tell you, I read much more traditional books and I don’t think I’ll ever give them up. There’s something about holding it or being on the beach or being in an airplane and the smell of a real book. That’s just, it’s amazing. And I think you have a genius tip, which I’m excited for you to share about completing things on your to do list that may be have been lingering around for a while. And when I read this in Thrive, I like literally I gave you a fist pump. I was like, yes, this is awesome.
Arianna: Well, what I did is on my 40th birthday I did a kind of live life audit and realized that there were a lot of incomplete projects, things that I had said to myself I was going to do. Like I really wanted to learn German because I have so many favorite German authors I thought would be great to be able to read them in the original. I really wanted to become a good skier because I’m a terrible one and I really wanted to learn to cook and then I suddenly had to acknowledge to myself that I was never going to actually do these things.
Arianna: So I came up with this phrase that you can complete a project by dropping it. And so I… That day completed German and cooking and skiing. And now when my daughters who love to ski, want to go skiing, I kind of sit by the fire and read a book and I have some hot chocolate and it feels great. I acknowledged this was it. I was never going to be good at it.
Marie Forleo: Isn’t that such a freeing thing?
Arianna: It’s kind of liberating.
Marie Forleo: It’s really liberating. We do this a lot. We have a big priorities list in our company with all the different projects we want to do and often times every three months or so we’ll revisit it. And I can’t tell you the sigh of relief and the cheers that come when we look at something that we previously thought we wanted to do and we said, you know what? Not true anymore. We don’t need to do that. And the whole line goes through it and everyone’s like… It’s that idea and I love that you pointed that out, that that’s just giving ourselves permission to let these things go. And I think you touched on something so important before.
Marie Forleo: And it’s so important for me, this perfectionism, and I know it’s something that I’ve struggled with my whole life. I have very high standards for myself and my creativity, but it does come at a cost. And again, this book has been so important for me because I look up to you and I consider you a role model and to hear the lessons that you’re imparting to us now, it’s such a gift. So I want to thank you for that.
Arianna: Well, Marie I find that I’m much more creative when I’ve actually taken care of myself.
Marie Forleo: Yeah.
Arianna: Because creativity comes from the depths. And so when we allow ourselves to tap into that wisdom, that intuition, we come up with our best ideas.
Marie Forleo: Yeah. As I started to complete the book, you talk about wonder and a topic that many of us don’t talk about openly. And I realized I haven’t spent quite enough time for myself talking about it with people I love and which is death. And I was so touched by the story that you shared of your mom’s passing and her mantra, don’t miss the moment. And I will tell you that just today before coming here to the studio to do this interview. Josh, my fiance, he… I went in to interrupt him. He work from home and he’s… I was about to run out because I was like, Oh I have a couple more things to do. And he said, no, no, sit with me for a minute.
Marie Forleo: And I remembered that, don’t miss the moment. And I sat there and it was so wonderful because it’s something I try and live by, but it’s just a great reminder. How did the experience with your mom and really tapping into wonder, how has that continued to help you thrive?
Arianna: Well, I actually dedicate the book to my mother because she lived what we call a third metric life, meaning a life that goes beyond the first two metrics of money and power all her life. And now that I’m coming to some realizations that she actually embodied in her life. I feel that the book is like a homecoming because I’m kind of rediscovering all her teachings, many of which she actually passed on to my sister and me without words, just by the way she lived.
Marie Forleo: Yeah.
Arianna: And don’t miss the moment was one of them and another one was changed the channel darling. And if you think I haven’t a strong accent, you should have heard my mother. Whenever we would get really worried or anxious or obsessing about something, she would say change the channel. And also my mother had no sense of hierarchy, she treated human beings all the same.
Arianna: I remember when I was living in London and I was dating a British member of parliament and one night he brought that his was then prime minister to dinner and my mother had the plumber in the kitchen dealing with a problem and as the plan of what he thought of the prime minister, the plumber said not much hasn’t been good for working people. So my mother said, Oh, let me bring him here and you can tell him directly. And that was my mom.
Marie Forleo: It’s awesome.
Arianna: And that’s why in the giving section of the book one of the tapes, one of the steps that I asked people to consider taking is to just acknowledge every human being that come into contact with during the day because so often like the barista at the coffee shop, if we’re in a hotel, the cleaning crew that we pass by as we go to the elevator, we offer like don’t acknowledge them. And I think if we can just take a moment to make eye contact to say hello, it just reconnects us with ourselves and with that moment that we have.
Marie Forleo: Yeah. So beautiful. Arianna, I want to thank you so much for writing this book Thrive and for taking the time to be with all of us today because this has made a difference for me in just the short time that I’ve read it and I am just honored for you to be here and to share this message with everyone.
Arianna: Thank you so much, Marie. Thank you for having me.
Marie Forleo: Now, Ariana and I have a challenge for you. Which of the tips that we talked about today is going to help you thrive the most? What really impacted you and what can you take action on starting right now? As always, the best discussions happen after the episode over at marieforleo.com so go there and leave a comment now. Did you like this video? If so, subscribe and share it with your friends and if you want even more great resources to create a business in life that you love plus some personal insights from me that I only talk about an email.
Marie Forleo: Get yourself over to marieforleo.com and sign up for email updates. Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time on Marie TV. I thought he was messing with me like you’re making me do aerobics in my seat.
Arianna: Oh my God, out of 15 minutes we’ve found our time.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Arianna: That’s fantastic.
Marie Forleo: Awesome.
Arianna: Thank you so much, thank you.
Marie Forleo: Thank you. Hey, I did it. Double sticks. What…