As part of the Left to Write Book Club, we’re reading the book Thrive by Arianna Huffington. I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time, even more so once I heard her speak at BlogHer14. I feel like it’s really speaking to me at this point in time because I want to be great in everything I do. I recognize that it’s not going to happen without some changes though.
I’m always trying to remember how to balance and prioritize what really matters. If I was honest, my list should read God, self, family, friends, work, organizations, community and everything else. My list really reads family/work, God/organizations, self, and everything else. The reality is that I need to reprioritize my list. Seriously, several years ago I realized that the world would continue to turn if I dropped dead. People would pause and mourn me but eventfully, things would return to how they were. My co-workers would go through my files and email to piece my projects back together, people would stop reaching out to my family and they’d have to move forward with their lives. I say this to bring focus into the world.
There are very few things in life so serious that require me to sacrifice being my best self but I do it every day. I skip the gym because I need to catch up on work, I don’t pay attention to my family because I need to get one last thing done at work, we skip church because we’re tired and need to spend family time, it’s a vicious cycle that I’m going to break. (I wrote it on the Internet so you know that’s it’s true right!) One thing I took away from the book and her speech at BlogHer is that I go to sleep. I have to be rested to tackle everything else I need to do in life.
Secondly, I want to give. A key trait I want for my children to have is a giving spirit. I want them to share with others with a cheerful and free heart. It’s something we’re constantly working on. I spend time in my children’s school but what about the school that doesn’t have an active PTA. Who gives to that school? Giving is a harder one for me because I want to give not only of my treasures but also of my time and as I outlined before, the time is already stretched.
Finally, I’m heeding my intuition. Just today, I had a conversation with a friend about an event and would I attend. I’ve kind of made up my mind not to because my family could really use some still time but it would be fun to do, this would be the last year, etc. The friend reminded me that I need to listen to my gut because I’d already said I wasn’t going to. Thinking about the lessons in Thrive, I remembered that and made peace with my decision.
One of the things that I really liked about Thrive is that I don’t think the thoughts behind the book are groundbreaking. We all recognize we go too much, we move too fast, etc. The information she uses to support her conclusions is an interesting mix of sources from personal stories, sacred books and research that help it read like a conversation with a very knowledgeable friend.
Have you read it yourself? Is it on your list to read?
This post was inspired by Thrive by Arianna Huffington who challenges women unplug and sleep more to create a balanced life. Join From Left to Write on March 19th as we discuss Thrive. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.