When I lived in the UAE from 2005-13, I attended many events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai but except for the Emirates Festival of Literature and the Abu Dhabi Book Fair, none directly involved books. In Miami I’ve found that book-related events happen almost daily, and I get to meet an author, acquire the book, and network at the same time, as often as possible.
Two weeks ago I was at the University of Miami at an event organized by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce – a local group that has been around since 1984 uniting executive women in all industries – and Books & Books, a major independent bookstore and a leader in marketing books in new ways. The University provided the space and the interviewer, and students attended the presentation along with members of the chamber.
Everything was constructed around Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, and her new book, Thrive. The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.
Members of the Women’s Chamber and their guests were invited to a reception at 4 pm. Meanwhile, as students lined up outside to buy the book and to enter the auditorium, Arianna Huffington circulated around the reception, graciously greeting us and posing for photos with everyone.
Chamber members didn’t line up to buy Thrive. An autographed copy was included in the price of tickets ($40 for members, $50 for others). As we checked in, we each received a copy.
On stage at 5 pm, Huffington sat with Donna Shalala, President of the University of Miami and former US Secretary for HHS (equivalent to Minister of Health). Shalala asked questions and Huffington answered. Later, the audience also asked questions. The entire performance took about an hour and was streamed live to bookstores where Thrive is on sale and available to anyone with a good internet connection.
I’m still reading Thrive because I always like to have a non fiction book – that I’ll be able to put down when I start feeling sleepy – next to my bed. If you didn’t hear Huffington in person, it’s worth buying. Her thesis is simple.
The “third metric” is quality of life; the first two are money and power. Most of us wouldn’t mind having both, and women around the world work hard at school and on the job to fulfill that ambition. Huffington’s point is that there is more to life than work and that never having time for yourself and your family makes no sense.
She calls on women to redefine success and to work better by working less. One of the pillars of the method she advocates is getting enough sleep. Huffington quotes well known people including former US President Bill Clinton who says that all the bad decisions he ever made came when he was too tired to think straight.
Perhaps her most controversial point is banning electronics from the bedroom. That includes TV, iPad, and smart phone which she says must be turned off at bedtime and left in another room. I agree with her about turning off the phone – I don’t have a TV in the bedroom and never use the iPad there – but my trusty BlackBerry is handy, next to the bedtime book. I turn it off when I turn out the light, and power it back first thing in the morning to check email before getting out of bed.
By: Dr. Alma Kadragic