Arianna Huffington Tries to Teach Leonard About Meditation

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Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington makes an impassioned and compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today's world. In Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, she looks at how our relentless pursuit of success—money and power—has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and even our careers.

On our attachment to our smartphones: “We have become addicted to our devices. And I don’t use the word lightly.”

On why having a cellphone in your bedroom at night is too big a temptation: “I think we are weak creatures and we are going to be very likely to check our data.”

On why multitasking doesn’t really exist: “We think that multitasking is efficient, that it saves us time. And in fact, the science shows that there’s no such thing as multitasking – it’s actually task switching and it’s one of the most stressful things we can do.”

On why more information doesn’t mean more understanding: “Big data do not necessarily lead to wisdom.”

On what it is to be mindful: “It really means basically being fully present in what we’re doing, which is the opposite of what we tend to do, which is multitasking…The point is just some time with no distractions and no devices.”

On people who dismiss meditation, yoga and other mindfulness practices: “I think the people who still associate them with flaky, New Age concepts are the same people, probably, who still think that global warming is a fantasy. There are some people who are never going to be persuaded by data. But I think the rest have recognized the importance, whether they have applied in their lives or not.”

On the timelessness of the concepts behind meditation and contemplation: “We kind of know all these things with some part of our brain or our soul, but we’ve forgotten them.”

On the power of mindfulness: “If your entry point is that you want to be successful and want to use these tools as performance enhancement tools, go ahead. In the process, you will discover that you are more than your job.”