Here’s how it happened: some weeks ago a retweet directed me to an animated short of Ariana Huffington describing her recent book of redefining success: Thrive. At my next book shopping venture ( in a real bookstore), I decided to take this new self-help tome home with me.
A couple of weeks later I’m in the middle of it and much of it makes sense: get more sleep, unplug more often and for longer, practice mindfulness, stop and smell the roses… You get the idea. So I have been experimenting with going to bed earlier and yes, I do notice that there are all sorts of positive physical and emotional benefits. Great!
Okay, so I decide it may be worth writing a short post about it. So I look for that short on YouTube and can’t find it. What I do find is the Third Metric website and on another note, a fairly realistic review on Slate.
Viewing the Third Metric website is like encountering everything I resist in my day to day existence: airbrushed celebrity as the source of some great new life-changing truth. The Slate article provides some relief by putting the whole Ariana Huffington phenomenon into context. Nevertheless, I feel let down, even duped. These messages which make sense and are at turns both useful and applicable lose their whole thunder for me when the “expert” voices and “thought leaders” who purport to lead the way are almost exclusively white and representative of a decidedly eclectic elite. Call me small-minded and self oppressing, but suddenly it feels as if I dialed the wrong number and the message on the other end is not truly intended for me.
So I suppose I will finish the book and I may make use of some of its points. And I also come away from the experience knowing that the world is not lacking celebrity self-help which automatically sells. The world does need more everyday, run of the mill individuals who dare to speak, write, paint and sing their truths even when there’s no media crew to pick up on it. More sleep will do us all some good and our thriving will make a world of difference to the people around use who matter most, regardless of whether we read the book or not.