“Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power”

During her recent commencement address at Smith College, syndicated columnist and author, Arianna Huffington emphasized the need to redefine success:

“At the moment, our society’s notion of success is largely composed of two parts: money and power. But it’s time for a third metric, beyond money and power—one founded on well-being, wisdom, our ability to wonder, and to give back.… Money and power by themselves are a two-legged stool—you can balance on them for a while, but eventually you’re going to topple over.”

On June 6, Arianna Huffington and Mika Brzezinski led a day of discussions with experts in a wide range of fields, from business to media to wellness, around developing saner, more sustainable paths to achievement and success—for both women and men.

The conference was entitled, “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power,” and focused on how to redefine success to include well-being, wisdom, the ability to make a true and lasting difference in the world.

One of the speakers–George Stephanopoulos, chief political correspondent for ABC News, and host of the popular “Good Morning America”—spoke about the role of the Transcendental Meditation technique in helping achieve these goals.

Click on the two-minute video below to watch his discussion about the TM technique with conference host, Arianna Huffington.

George Stephanopoulos on meditation:

“It’s been a lifesaver. I’ve been meditating for about two years now — consistently. I did it for reasons that we’re discussing here—to manage a frenetic life…

I was always over-tired, over-stressed, feeling that kind of constant low-level impatience that is always ready to burst out, and I didn’t like it. I had been leery of meditating… but friends talked to me about it in a very scientific way, and talked about the health benefits of meditating. So I took the training and started, and I haven’t missed a day since the day I started, and it has made a tremendous difference in my life.”

Arianna Huffington on the value of meditation:

“One thing that I find with meditating is that it helps me make better decisions. It makes me less rushed in my decisions. I’m more creative too. So there’s the element of reducing stress, reducing tiredness and all those feelings, but there is the positive element as well.”

Highlights from other speakers at this conference:

Mark Bertolini (CEO of Aetna) on balancing life and work:

“When your work defines what your work-life balance is, you’ve lost control.”

Padmasree Warrior (CTO of Cisco Systems) on hiring and promoting:

“We never say we want people who are empathetic, who are creative, who are good listeners. And I think we need to change that.”

Dr. Mark Hyman on stress:

“If you really knew what was happening when you’re stressed, you’d freak out. It is not pretty.”

Amishi Jha, Ph.D. on multi-tasking:

“Multitasking is a myth — what we actually do is task-switching… Out of all the things our mind does, that switching function is the most depleting.”

John Mackey, (CEO of Whole Foods Market) on which employees to reward:

“I tend to promote people who are more spiritually awake… because I know they’ll be better leaders.”