Lessons & Inspiration from the formidable Arianna Huffington

Most of Australia would have at some point over the last few weeks heard that the formidable Arianna Huffington was in town. If you didn’t catch her at one of her many sold out speaking events you or may have seen one of her TV interviews.

As someone who regularly shares some of the fantastic articles on health and wellbeing published in the Huffington post, I jumped at the chance when a colleague invited me to attend the Sydney Business Chicks breakfast to see Arianna speak. I must confess I did not know much of Arianna’s story and upon meeting her I was immediately blown away by her authenticity and ability to own a room in a real way.

Throughout the 60 minutes or so that Arianna was on stage, I laughed, smiled and reflected on her stories and the message they have both for myself and Australia.  So I thought I would share a few of her thoughts and my personal reflections in the hope that you can also enjoy Arianna’s message and it’s application to your own life.

•     How do we define success? Get clear about what that means on a personal level, many of us are pursuing a path that represents success in the eyes of others.

•     Eulogies have nothing to do with resumes – we spend so much time focusing on professional success as a means to an end. Rank the 5 most important things in your life and then list (in order) the 5 things you spend the most time doing/focusing on. Compare the list. For many there are some harsh messages here.

•     Multi tasking is the most stressful thing you can do – What are you missing when you are multi tasking?  I love this question as we are so busy paying attention to the noise around us that it is often what we are not paying attention to that is the most critical area.

•     There is no better networking skill than being a giver – I can personally vouch for this being a fantastic approach to building my network. When meeting someone I am always asking myself the question – How can I help you? Who do I know that would be a valuable contact / introduction for you?

•     The importance of renewal – With so much focus on working hard, and a little less on playing hard, there is no focus on rest hard. Much of Arianna’s recently launched book ‘Thrive” talks about how we need to focus on the concept of renewal. In Arianna’s words ‘the feeling of waking up recharged and ready for the day is priceless’.

•     Set an intention for the day – don’t create your day or be at the mercy of your inbox. I see many clients who’s inbox drives their day – and for many their emotions – with regards to the feeling of being in control or ‘on top of things’. At Huffington Post, email is used as a form of communication within work hours. There is a clear mandate that employees are not expected to reply to emails outside of the working week and if an employee needs to be contacted out of these hours it is done via text or phone. What an awesome way of setting clear expectations with employees about communication channels and most importantly, giving people permission to not be on email 24/7.

•     No is a full sentence – this says it all!

Lastly, my personal favourite: Live life as if it’s rigged in your favour – this assumption is a perfect background with which to navigate life’s pathway to ensure perspective.

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