Arianna Huffington Curated

Founder of The Huffington Post

CURATED BY :  

This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow Arianna Huffington have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase Arianna Huffington's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming bloggerss. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • Arianna Huffington looks for 2 qualities in new hires, and you won't find them on a résumé

    The first quality she mentioned was the confidence to speak up. "I love working with people who say exactly what's on their minds," The second quality is The ability to take care of yourself. "I think it takes a certain person to recognize that, when they take care of themselves, they're going to be better at they take care of themselves."

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  • Have you been interested in politics?

    I would watch any kind of election result, even in a country I knew nothing about. When I got to Cambridge, I didn’t think about how I might have power or use power but I loved debating. I was a terrible speaker when I started, I had to read everything. Then little by little I learned how to speak. That became my main passion at Cambridge. Obviously, I studied economics and that took a lot of time but the main chunk of my time was at the union.

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  • What is the definition of success to you?

    For many years, I subscribed to a very flawed definition of success, buying into our collective delusion that burnout is the necessary price we must pay for success. Then, in 2007, I had a painful wake-up call: I fainted from sleep deprivation and exhaustion, hit my head on my desk, and broke my cheekbone. From that point on, I knew I had to make sleep a priority.

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  • How was your teenage like?

    There were lots of things that worried me. I had very frizzy, super curly hair, I was incredibly tall for a Greek girl – 5’10 when I was 13. Most of my classmates were about five foot nothing, so I was freakishly tall. I had acne to deal with. I had a lot of teenage problems, which may be why I chose to lose myself in books. If I could go back I’d tell that girl: “Arianna, you will be more productive and healthier and happier if you can commit to not only working hard but also unplugging, recharging and renewing yourself. This will save you a lot of unnecessary stress, burnout and exhaustion.” I would also reassure her that her skin would get better and she would learn to blow dry her hair.

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  • What has been your biggest disappointment?

    I was crushed when my second book was rejected by 37 publishers.

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  • What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

    A tendency to miss the moment by being distracted, mostly by technology.

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  • How would you like your epitaph to read?

    I don't think about legacy or epitaphs. I just think that you continue to live on in the hearts and memories of people who were with you, who loved you and whom you loved.

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  • What inspired the Huffington Post?

    The inspiration is really around the importance and joy of conversation, of people sharing their thoughts, their ideas, their concerns and their discoveries with one another.

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  • Predict the media landscape in 2024.

    Media companies are going to be a combination of traditional journalism, investigative journalism and long-form journalism, but also platforms that provide distribution to many voices — some known, some not known. There is going to be a greater demand for quality. I think there is also going to be a turning away from anonymity.

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  • You were born in Greece, attended Cambridge University, were the wife of a congressman, have two daughters, run a global media company. How do you navigate change?

    I have made many, many fundamental changes. The first one was going from four to five hours of sleep a night to seven to eight hours of sleep a night. That has made a huge difference. Also, I start my day with meditation. My bedroom is a device-free zone. I never take my iPhone or my BlackBerry to my bed, to my bedroom.

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  • You write that "your smartphone isn't making you wiser" and urge readers to unplug. Isn't this ironic advice from the Huffington Post's founder?

    Yes, but we are practicing what we are preaching. The Huffington Post is a 24/7 operation, but we have a policy of people not being expected to answer emails after work, except for the people who are obviously on duty at the time.

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  • Arianna Huffington says she became truly successful when she quit one common bad habit - CNBC

    I have to assure you that the success at the Huffington Post happened after I started taking care of myself. I can tell you with authority that when I’m exhausted, when I’m running on empty, I’m the worst version of myself. I’m more reactive. I’m less empathetic. I’m less creative. And all of us can testify to that.

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  • What can be the consequences of hiring the wrong people?

    Going behind someone's back is the way to destroy a company. There was a moment [at HuffPost] where I realized that someone who was really good at their job was incredibly toxic. People came to me complaining about how undermined they were. The presence of such people has a negative impact on company morale. Now during interviews, there is a speech I give to everybody, "I give you full permission to walk into my office and scream at me. But I want you to consider this as my last warning. If you complain about any of your colleagues behind their back, you would be let go". It does make a difference because you see how people react.

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  • What is the biggest mistake while hiring?

    My biggest hiring mistakes were when I was tired and wanted to cross one more thing off of my to-do list. Never interview when you are tired. After all, your company is a reflection of the men and women you employ. The biggest mistakes are always hiring mistakes.

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  • How to balance between work and healthy lifestyle?

    Being burnt out is not necessarily a prize of success. We must recognize that to make better decisions we need to take care of ourselves, be healthier and avoid illness. When people realize the value of taking care of themselves and disconnecting from their devices, then they are more likely to be aware when we fall off the wagon. It’s [your business] never going to be a perfect journey. We are all works in progress. But I think we are becoming much more aware when we are running on empty.

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  • Can social media be a problem?

    One of our problems with the addictions to social media is that we are constantly comparing ourselves, and our inevitable imperfections, with someone else's hightlight reel, which is all people post on instagram. I think there is an increasing trend for people to show more of their true lives and true selves, rather than represent this photoshopped existence.

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  • Do you think that the human connection is the most fundamental part of all of this? Is it the base of making such changes?

    Absolutely. I’m so glad you made that point, because everything we’re doing starts with the premise that every human being has a place of strength, peace and wisdom inside us. It’s our birthright, and we live most of our lives disconnected from that. As Thích Nhất Hạnh, the great Buddhist monk put it, “It has never been easier to run away from ourselves.” What we’re helping people do is really connect to that place inside ourselves. Nobody lives there all the time, but knowing how to get back to it makes us more resilient and less subject to the inevitable stresses of modern life. In fact, in our behavior change product, we have a feature that I particularly love called “Reset,” which is based on the scientific fact that it takes just 60 seconds to course-correct from stress, that stress is inevitable and not a problem. The problem is stress becoming cumulative. So, we ask our users to bring together elements — such as photos, music, and quotes — that are joy triggers for them, that help them remember what they value and what they’re grateful for. We put it all together and then, when you are feeling stress, you just play your guide. If I’m feeling stressed after I received some bad news or I had a stressful meeting, I don’t just keep going. I take one minute to course-correct. If you think of it, one minute is nothing, but it’s game-changing. And that’s why, again, it’s back to Microsteps. Each one may take 60 seconds, but if you take that minute four or five times a day, you end up going home not feeling so wired.

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  • A leader, an H.R. leader who wants to start to be more conscious of the well-being of their employees, what do you think would be a good way to kick that off? Is it simply a conversation?

    I think it will be a conversation with everyone, because I think it’s great for everyone in the company to know that it’s a priority for the company. Then asking, “How do we give people these Microsteps across every area of their lives?” When it comes to helping people with nutrition, exercise, sleep, communication, the ability to avoid distractions, there are Microsteps for every one of these areas. Then I would encourage them to have people share their stories, because we learn from each other’s stories, and storytelling is absolutely key. There is no wrong moment to start on this journey. It’s an amazing journey that makes our lives so much richer and makes our work lives so much more productive. I write about these things in my weekly newsletter that people can subscribe to. It goes out every Sunday, and if anybody wants to subscribe, you can do it through thriveglobal.com, our media platform.

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  • Do you think that the responsibility for making those changes lies solely with leadership, or is there more of a reciprocal relationship?

    Of course it’s reciprocal. Leadership is incredibly important, but once people believe it’s possible and they begin to see results, they’re encouraged to continue. It’s really exciting to support people on this journey. One of the other things we encourage is finding what we call an “accountability buddy” — somebody who can be your buddy on the journey, and you can check in on each other. We recommend, for example, to companies we work with, that each onboarding of an employee should start with an entry interview. People often talk about exit interviews, but even more important are entry interviews. One of the first questions we ask is, “What’s important to you outside of work?”, followed by, “How can we support you?” We had an editor here at Thrive who said, “What’s important to me is to make my therapy appointment at 7 p.m. every Tuesday,” and we said, “Great, let’s support you,” because she hadn’t been able to make it over the last year when she was in a previous job. So, we asked her to find somebody who would be her accountability buddy, and who at 6 o’clock literally takes her bags and puts them by the elevator.

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  • What advice do you have for those in the workplace in terms of burnout prevention, work/life integration and workplace wellness?

    The way the new changes are going to spread faster is by recognizing that they’re not warm and fuzzy and nice to have, but they are directly connected to business metrics and to the bottom line.

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  • If some young woman were to ask you what is your secret to success, what would you say to her?

    I would say, what I tell my two millennial daughters. When they prioritize their well-being, they will be more creative, more productive and more effective in whatever career path they choose. They also will realize that success is not just defined by career but by living a full life outside work and nurturing your body, mind and soul.

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  • What do you envision the typical workplace will look like in 2030?

    It’s going to be so different from where we are now that we’re going to look back in 2030 at where we are today in the same way we look at television ads for cigarettes in the 1960s. When we read about the corporate hustle culture and wearing burnout like a badge of honor, we will see how important it was that we made all these changes that we’re making right now which I hope will be widespread in 2030. And what is inevitable is that we’re going to see better decisions from leaders, better and sustainable results and happier lives. What is absolutely critical at this moment is a reduction in the mental health crisis and chronic diseases because these are symptoms of the burnout culture we’re living in.

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  • What is Thrive Time?

    “Thrive Time” is one of our cultural values, based on the clarification that we’re not a 9 to 5 workplace. We don’t believe that any high-growth, ambitious company, as we are, can be 9 to 5. But we believe if somebody has worked extended hours over the weekend or pulled an all-nighter to ship a product, it’s important to take Thrive Time immediately afterwards to fully recharge before returning to work. The data shows when people go to work before they fully recharge and their immune system is suppressed, they are more likely to get sick and make bad decisions. They’re not as creative or productive, not as empathetic, not as good colleagues and so forth. It’s like an athlete taking a break after a big game.

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  • How has science and research helped you in spreading out the message of importance of sleep?

    The research is unequivocal that sleep and time to recharge along with good nutrition and movement improve both our cognitive and physical performance. Of course, we see that with athletes. You wouldn’t have Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady or Simone Biles forego sleep, eat junk and then show up to perform or play a big game. It’s the same for all of us in any area of life. That’s why at Thrive we have a lot of interviews from elite athletes like Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and the 49ers who recognize how important it is to move what they’ve learned in the sports world to the rest of the world.

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  • How is Thrive Global redefining the wellness category?

    We recognize that in order to achieve behavior change, we need both mind shifts and Microsteps. The first mind shift is to end the collective delusion that in order to succeed, you have to burn out. That collective delusion is at the heart of the hustle culture and emphasis on burning out as a badge of honor to the point of emotional bankruptcy. The habit of overextending yourself has diminishing returns. So what we show is that it doesn’t actually improve your performance; it’s damaging to your performance. That’s a central part of the mind shift. And then on the Microstep front, we help people to go from knowing what to do, to doing it by giving them small, incremental daily steps.

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  • What are some micro steps for my team, and what ways can micro steps help build healthier habits into an organization?

    We don’t want to hire people who want a nine to five job, or who want to chill under a mango tree, but to recognize that there may be times when you have to pull an all nighter. There may be times when you have to work over the weekend because you have a presentation or a conference you are planning, or whatever. What we do—and what we recommend to our partners and clients to do—is to then take thrive time off immediately after.You are much more likely to get sick because your immune system is suppressed. Everybody’s better off to take a thrive day, and fully recharge and come back. The emphasis on the human part is actually key, because we believe that so much of behavior change at the moment is based on just what’s happening to your mind, and not what’s happening to your heart.

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  • How can a lack of sleep affect an individual’s performance?

    As well as the cognitive impact, there is an impact when it comes to empathy and creativity. If you’re managing a team, you’re going to be less empathetic and creative. It’s absolutely crucial to recognize the importance of the connection with sleep and recharging throughout the day, like the little breaks to recharge during the day. Even if somebody didn’t care about anything else in their lives—their health, happiness, and families—their performance is affected by how they take care of themselves. We see that with founders. We have a lot of founder stories where they buy into the founder myth that you need to be always on, and it’s affecting your performance.

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  • There’s no rules for how to interact with all information. What’s your approach?

    We break down everything we suggest to our clients and the consumers we interact with what we call micro-steps. For example, in the morning, take 60 seconds to set your intention for the day, to remember what you’re grateful for, or to breathe consciously before you go to your phone.The science is clear that how you start and end your day are critical. Most people end their day by being on their phone in their bed, answering texts, emailing, or scrolling through social media.This is absolutely insane because you’re physically tired so you want to fall asleep, but your brain has not really calmed down. What we ask people is to declare an end to their day. The ritual that marks the end of your day should include turning off your phone and charging it outside your bed.

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  • How does modern work help people feel fulfilled or inhibit people’s jobs?

    The goal of a machine is to minimize downtime. Same with software. For some reason we bought into the delusion that it is also the goal for human beings. We now have this epidemic of burnout and stress, which the World Health Organization acknowledged as a real workplace syndrome that has a huge impact both on our mental health and our performance. Even when we end our working day, we’re addicted to other things like social media or games or simply checking our inbox and our texts at all times. That has created this real epidemic with huge impact on our health.

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  • Best piece of advice you've been given?

    “Don’t miss the moment.” This was one of my mother’s favorite sayings, and it embodied the philosophy of her life.

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  • Do you think there’s a tech bubble?

    I don’t, but that doesn’t mean all unicorns are created equal. Some will live up to their promise and some will not, but that’s different from a tech bubble. We’re not even approaching the warning signs that defined the real estate and dotcom bubbles, like people going into crazy debt. And the price/earnings ratios of today’s tech stocks are around 20 -- well below the stratospheric heights of the dotcom days.

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  • What’s the most important company we’ve never heard of?

    Thorn’s Defenders Circle, cofounded by Ashton Kutcher, which uses the latest and most sophisticated tech tools in the service of protecting children from abuse and exploitation.

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  • What app can’t you live without?

    One of my favorites is Headspace. It was created by Andy Puddicombe, who in his early twenties traveled to the Himalayas to study meditation and ended up being ordained as a Buddhist monk in India. Driven by a desire to make mindfulness meditation easily available, he created Headspace, a guided meditation app rooted in the idea that, as Andy says, “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes.” We’ve also made it available free to all our employees.

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  • How often do you exercise?

    I am relentless about doing thirty minutes on my stationary bike every day, and I do yoga a few times a week. I love walking, so I try to incorporate walking meetings into my day to boost my energy and renew my creativity.

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  • What’s on your home screen?

    The Huffington Post!

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  • If you could be pitched to by one person, who would it be?

    I’d love to be pitched by someone who has a story to tell about how sleep has improved their life. Because these stories are out there, and there’s nothing like people sharing their own experiences and wakeup calls to help put a spotlight on sleep’s importance. As I’ve gone around the world, I’ve found that the subject people wanted to discuss most -- by far -- is sleep: how difficult it is to get enough, how there are simply not enough hours in the day, how hard it is to fall asleep and stay asleep, even when we set aside enough time. And since my own transformation into a sleep evangelist, everywhere I go, someone will pull me aside and, often in hushed and conspiratorial tones, confess, “I’m just not getting enough sleep. I’m exhausted all the time.” Or, as one young woman told me after a talk in San Francisco, “I don’t remember the last time I wasn’t tired.”

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  • What do you eat for breakfast?

    Fresh fruit, poached eggs and two hot cups of Bulletproof coffee.

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  • How many hours do you sleep?

    95% of the time I get eight hours of sleep a night. Once I started giving sleep the respect it deserves, my life improved in pretty much every way. Now, instead of waking up to the sense that I have to trudge through activities, I wake up feeling joyful about the day’s possibilities. And I’m also better able to recognize red flags and rebound from setbacks. It’s like being dialed into a different channel that has less static.

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  • What about your job most excites you?

    At HuffPost, we have more than 800 journalists, editors and engineers. And the most exciting part of my job is getting to work with them every day -- sharing ideas, solving problems, coming up with new ways to fulfill our mission of informing, inspiring, entertaining and empowering audiences around the world. If you’d told be back when we founded HuffPost in 2005 that we’d be in 15 countries, with 100,000 bloggers, I wouldn’t have believed it.

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