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Arianna Huffington Tries to Teach Leonard About Meditation

Thursday, May 01, 2014

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.”

Guests:

Arianna Huffington

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Comments [22]

I couldn't believe that she actually said "It's a little bit like when Copernicus looked through his telescope and discovered the earth was flat" (timestamp 19:20) What up with that?

At first I thought she must have misspoken and she had meant to say "discovered the earth wasn't the center of the universe," but then she went on to talk about flat-earthers. And even if she did mean "center of the universe," Copernicus died (1543) long before the telescope was invented (1608).

May. 01 2014 03:26 PM

I couldn't believe that she actually said "It's a little bit like when Copernicus looked through his telescope and discovered the earth was flat" (timestamp 19:20) What up with that?

At first I thought she must have misspoken and she had meant to say "discovered the earth wasn't the center of the universe," but then she went on to talk about flat-earthers. And even if she did mean "center of the universe," Copernicus died (1543) long before the telescope was invented (1608).

May. 01 2014 03:25 PM

Asked a snr huffpo ed what huffpo is exactly.

his reply: "i can't tell you what it is -- but i know what it isn't!" ahem

May. 01 2014 02:26 PM
Lou Sid from NYC

A media mogul billionairess telling us our modern drive to succeed and our dependency on digital gadgets is ruining our health and our happiness. Wow!
The commodification of pseudo wisdom may be another problem. Have you noticed how everything that disturbs our sleep keeps on growing in the same direction.

May. 01 2014 02:04 PM
Peg

But, ...soon enough these same devices that are plaguing us now, will be our go-to de-stressers. Plug your device into your bioport, access your sleep app, choose the number of hours to sleep AND "sweet dreams to you!"

May. 01 2014 01:14 PM
henry from md

Only caught part of what she was saying and am not in disagreement. Meanwhile, while the human mind is seduced by all the digital wonderland, whatever is left of nature's domain around us is being eroded, poisoned, paved over.
There is only so much you can do with your mind stuck in a wasteland

May. 01 2014 12:46 PM
Sue from Glen Rock

I am pleased that Ms. Huffington is bringing the issue of over-achievement and success into the light. There are too many people that are in pursuit of the carrot at the end of the stick, that they are not aware of their surroundings. The old clichés about living the moment, and stop to smell the roses are not just words. There is a lot to be said for taking a breath. I find it very sad that no one listens to the world any more...the birds, the wind, the water. The aps that are free to calm and relax the mind and body. Unplug and take advantage of the freedom.

May. 01 2014 12:41 PM
SKV from NYC

This listener just had to mindfully turn off the radio.

I don't take self-help advice from Gwyneth Paltrow, and I'm not interested in someone else with hundreds of millions of dollars telling me I should take time off to meditate. Let Ms. Huffington preach to her multi-millionaire friends.

The hubris!

May. 01 2014 12:40 PM
Jessie Henshaw from Way Uptown

The "fly in the ointment" is that business is what is changing the world ever faster, and requiring everyone to engage in a life-style of keeping up with ever more rapid change, to "relax".

You'd need more than sleep rooms to change that..

May. 01 2014 12:40 PM
John A

Onair: "The media is becoming an increasingly larger haystack."
Lol, 'It ain't hay!'

May. 01 2014 12:31 PM

Today's news: Fox News finished its 148th consecutive month as the top-rated cable news network.

Majority of American don't believe in Darwin's theory of evolution.

Correlation?

May. 01 2014 12:31 PM
GK

Not all people work hard for power and money. Some do it for altruistic reasons. Does working for others make it less or more likely that one would experience a burn out?

May. 01 2014 12:29 PM

Another celebrity learns of her mortality and ruminates about it. Yes, death and taxes are inevitable and while some may succeed in cheating their way out of paying taxes, nobody yet has cheated death, with one possible exception :)

May. 01 2014 12:28 PM
Ken from Harlem

AH recommends charging one's phone someplace else than at bedside, to avoid middle-of-the-night craziness. I completely agree.

Of all the phone makers, Blackberry recognized this problem, and created a nice solution: When you plug in your phone, it goes into "bedside mode", which dims the screen to a comforting glow, and can be tailored to eliminate email/text alerts and LED lights. You can still choose whether or not the phone will ring for voice calls, which makes sense for folks who don't have a land line. I really miss this feature on Android.

May. 01 2014 12:23 PM
Amy from Manhattan

You could just turn off the email notification sound when you leave your phone by your bed (w/a reminder to turn it back on set for the morning). If someone needs to call me in the middle of the night, I want them to be able to reach me.

May. 01 2014 12:21 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Does Ms. Huffington mean women in high-pressure jobs are more likely to have heart disease than men in high-pressure jobs or than women in lower-pressure jobs?

May. 01 2014 12:18 PM
sp from nyc

Given that Ms Huffington sold her website for $315 million and shared $0 with contributors, this is a (bad)joke.

May. 01 2014 12:13 PM
Brent from Manhattan

If in a given office there are those who prefer to work intensely for long hours, how does that reflect on others who 'redefine' their work ethic? Wouldn't you need to somehow handicap the over achievers first?

May. 01 2014 12:11 PM
Peg

From a song that Bonnie Raitt sang -
"What is success?
Is it do your own thing? Or to join the rest
Or should you truly believe or keep trying over and over again
Living in hopes, that someday you'll be in with the winners"

May. 01 2014 12:08 PM
Elaine from Baltimore

hmmmm, perfect candidate for your sleep study...

May. 01 2014 12:08 PM
John A

Another signal towards the death of hypercapitalism. Let's hope it happens soon.

May. 01 2014 11:46 AM
Mike

There was film called PRICE CHECK that came out last year with Parker Posey that was about this.

May. 01 2014 11:36 AM

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