The Doyenne of Digital News

During a visit to UM, Arianna Huffington talks about the need to unplug and recharge in order to be successful.

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UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 09, 2014) — Her wake-up call sounded urgently in April 2007, when three years after launching The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington collapsed in her office, cracking her cheekbone and leaving a gash over her eye.

Suffering from exhaustion and sleep deprivation, the Cambridge scholar, syndicated columnist, radio and TV host and, by then, author of 10 books who was destined to become the Doyenne of Digital News and one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women, began to question her own success.

“If you are lying in a pool of blood in your office, you are not successful,” Huffington said Tuesday evening at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center Fieldhouse during a conversation with UM President Donna E. Shalala about her 14th and latest work, “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.” The event was co-sponsored by UM and Books & Books.

As Huffington, the chair, president and editor-in-chief of the one of the world’s most widely read news and blog sites, told the audience of UM students, faculty, staff, guests and many others who listened in by live-streaming, we are living under the “collective delusion” that non-stop connectedness and work is normal, that “if we are not burned out we are not succeeding.”

“Arianna
UM student media interviewed Arianna Huffington prior to her talk at the BankUnited Center Fieldhouse.

Thrive,” which includes 55 pages of scientific end notes “for stubborn skeptics” is Huffington’s urgent call for women, with the help of men, to start a third revolution, one that embraces the ancient wisdom of meditation, of introducing pauses and quiet times in our daily lives, of living in the moment, of nurturing our sense of wonder, our capacity for compassion and giving, and our well-being.

The end result, she said, will be more productive and creative lives, not less.

“I am not against stimulation or hard work or big dreams or big accomplishments. All I’m saying is all these things are going to be better when we learn to unplug and recharge,’’ Huffington said, noting how we take better care of our Smartphones than ourselves, always nervously hunting for a recharge “shrine” when our phone batteries run low.

“For us human beings we have to be below zero before we wake up and realize we have to do something.”

Among her sage, and often witty advice:

Sleep your way to the top. “That’s goes for the guys, too,’’ she said. “Sleep improves everything. It improves our mental capacity. It improves our judgments. It improves our health so we need to reclaim it.”

Escort all devices from your bedroom. “We need to put technology in its place. Technology has become our master.”

Every day, let go of something that no longer serves you, perhaps a resentment, or a grudge. “I say, ‘You know what? If Nelson Mandela can do it so can I.’”

Don’t just be a go-getter; be a go-giver. “Make personal connections every day to people you otherwise would take for granted, like the check-out clerk at the coffee shop, or the cleaning crew at the office.”

Realize you can drop goals. “I have a list…Learn German. Learn to cook. One day I realized I was not going to do any of these thing so I came up with the conclusion that you could complete a project by dropping it.”

Last but not least, Huffington said, don’t fret about finals week. A senior editor is bringing The Huffington Post’s Oasis, the space of tranquility where delegates to the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions could unplug and recharge, to campus then.

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