I think you can tell by now that I am a “growth junkie”. It is not hard to figure that out having read my third blog post or so.
I decided to review the book of a person I discovered through a YouTube video rather than a book. I got to know her as I watched her commencement speech at Smith College in 2013. Then I quickly became addicted to her podcasts. Afterwards, I started reading her articles until I fell on her bestselling book.
I am speaking about Arianna Huffington who wrote Thrive where she basically redefined success through health, wellbeing, wisdom, and wonder.
I cannot say that this is one my favorite books even though I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I definitely endorse the theories behind it.
What I liked
This book is eye-opening. It reveals a lot of things we know but we are afraid to say, live, or act upon. We feel unconcerned by so many things in life: sickness, burn out, etc. We think that it only happens to others. We have the impression that we are stronger than we think – at least physically. However data shows that we are not. If we do not break physically, we end up breaking mentally, socially, financially, or in so many other forms.
As much as this book is evidence-based, it is too personal. As I always say, what is personal is often times universal. The author delves deep in what she believes are the true pillars for success: wellbeing, wisdom, wonder, and giving.
As you read the book, you will find yourself laughing. Arianna is very funny indeed. Nevertheless, her messages are punchy. She reveals family secrets, stories about her daughters, souvenirs from her childhood, and other moments that you could relate to.
This book is not about the research behind it. It is about how fragile the human being is and how we need to put boundaries to the distractions around us (the author focuses a lot on how harmful intruding technologies are).
What I liked less
I cannot but reservedly criticize this book though. In fact, I found it long for what it had to offer in terms of content. I think that the author exaggerated a little with her definition of the four elements of success. In many instances they overlapped. In a few other instances, they seemed unrealistic for the millions of people who do not know whether they will be able to feed their children by the end of the day.
As you read through the pages of the book, you feel that you could only realize what the author is preaching if you are financially secure. I do not think this is fair play. It is easy to preach wonder, wisdom, and wellbeing when you are not too concerned about having a bed to sleep at night, and having a meal to calm your hunger.
Why you should still read it
Still, I think one should read this book.
We all need a dose of hope. I always find that reading heals. Reading inspiring books heals better and faster. It helps us heal from technology, from hatred, from the pace of the world we live in. It helps us aspire for something that we might not attain. However the aspiration itself is a pleasure.
When you feel “Hungry Angry Lonely Tired”, this book is a good reminder that you should listen to your inner wisdom. Let go of something today that you no longer need.
This is a must-read. It is a sweeping attempt to explain not only poverty (1.29 billion people struggling to survive on less than USD 1.25 per day) but various forms of gut-wrenching world problems.
Sexy stories: know how to tell them but do not believe them. Every best seller is ephemeral. Realization is inwards.
My friend and frequent contributor Ken used to live in the Middle East where I got to meet him. He is not only passionate about this part of the world. He is also one among the few expats I know who embraces the Middle East and understands it.
You must have noticed the changes to the look and feel of my website. I hope you like it as much as I do.
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