How to succeed?

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I’m reading *Arianna Huffington’s book ‘Thrive: the third metric to redefining success and creating a happier life’ at the moment and I can’t put it down.  It was literally thrust into my hand by my clever wife who told me I’d love it.  (Yep, she knows me well).  I do.

A reporter from The Daily Mail called this book ‘the most barking mad, self-help book of all time’ or ‘six shades of baloney’, which in my humble opinion, is the piece spouting ridiculous nonsense, not the book.  However we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

This book talks my language… it’s all about success being more than money and power, and instead should include well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving.  But I had no idea just how powerful, or renewing, the art of sleep can be.  Thanks to Arianna and her research, I have all the statistics I need to dazzle anyone who questions my need for meditation and shut-eye at any time of the day or night.  People who know me well comment on the fact I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, anytime, anywhere, and I never knew just how useful that was for my health!  I’m taking that notion and running with it.  Obviously I knew the numerous health benefits of meditation.  And everyone (especially a parent) knows how debilitating it is to suffer from lack of sleep.  No longer am I the ‘Granddad’ with his mouth open on a plane or on the tube, nor am I ridiculed for leaving the party early desperate for my eight hours a night, oh no!  I’m the wise entrepreneur and performer investing in the success of my business and my career, by taking valuable time out, to make sure the time I spend working in/on my company is quality and ultimately maximised.

Love it!

For a long time, after working in banking and recruitment as well as the entertainment industry, I’ve questioned why the criteria of success is: who stays the longest at work, who works themselves hardest into the ground, who never takes a lunch break or goes for a walk or always eats their lunch at their desk because they’re sooooo busy, or who turned up for work after a long night on the tiles or the least amount of sleep and ‘what a hero/hard man/legend they are’ (cue applause from colleagues, friends, bosses).

I’ve never understood that but I think I was in a minority.  At Incognito Artists we work hard but I am rapt if my staff go to the gym at lunchtime, or want to meditate for 10-20 minutes during the day, or share wellness tips and healthy homemade treats to liven up our taste buds and our afternoons,  or mix family/partner vacations with concerts in Florida… or whatever turns them on and helps them to be more alert and vibrant, more up for hitting the targets and/or delivering the most mind-blowing performance possible (at weddings, parties, corporate events, stadiums, wherever, whatever, every time.  ‘Bring a spare mind because yours is about to be blown away’ is our mission).

So now, are you with me – or not – in applauding Arianna’s mission to make a difference in the world?  I definitely believe the secret to creativity is creating a life with balance, mixing the have to’s with the choose to’s, to design a life you love, and for which you jump out of bed every day.  A life we want and deserve, not settling for mediocre or accepting burnout as a badge of honour.

Maybe now if more people at the top of corporations and big business, and opinion leaders worldwide, listen to people like Arianna, things will change for the better.  It will be interesting to observe the behaviour of the next generation and whether they are succeeding in creating a more balanced, happier life with less stress, and less stress-induced medical conditions!

Her book is full of facts which fascinated me, many of which I could go into further (like ‘community’ which coincidentally we’ve talked about for the past couple of weeks) but today’s message is about one of my most favourite activities in life: SLEEP.  Ahhhhhh.  Even the word makes me feel good.  So, get your eight hours.  The benefits are huge and numerous – read the book if you want to know why.  Arianna has done all the research for you.

We’re here for a good time, not a long time!


* Arianna Huffington is the cofounder and editor in chief of Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and the author of thirteen books. She is also the co-host of Left, Right & Centre, American public radio’s popular political roundtable program. She was named to Time magazine’s list of the world’s one hundred most influential people and to the Financial Times’ list of fifty people who shaped the decade. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was sixteen and graduated from Cambridge University with an MA in economics.

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