DARIEN, Conn. – Arianna Huffington spoke about the importance of personal well-being Wednesday at the Center For HOPE's fundraising luncheon at the Woodway Country Club in Darien.
Huffington is the co-founder and editor in chief of the Huffington Post. At the luncheon, she discussed and signed copies of her new book “Thrive.” In it, she writes about how success should be defined not only by the metrics of money and power, but also by personal well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving.
"The messages of the Center for HOPE and Family Centers and the message of 'Thrive' are very connected. Because what I'm saying in 'Thrive' is when we define success just by the first two metrics of money and power, we're never truly fulfilled,” she said.
Huffington said the luncheon, which raised funds for Family Centers’ Center for HOPE and the Den for Grieving Kids, exemplified the idea of giving. She said the work of Family Centers volunteers showed that giving is important to a well-balanced life.
“It's really essential, not just for the communities and the people in pain who are being helped, but also for the people helping,” she said. “Because it really completes the circle of life, and we are meant to live lives that are not just about ourselves. And when we live life simply for ourselves we pay a price, whether we realize it or not.”
Huffington was inspired to write the book after collapsing due to exhaustion. She said people become so focused on money and power that they become stressed and burnt out, and need to take time for their own personal well-being in order to truly thrive. In her new book, she discusses steps that people can take to achieve happiness and self-fulfillment. These steps include getting more sleep and resisting the urge to constantly be connected to smartphones. She also talked about tuning out what she calls the “obnoxious roommate” – negative thoughts in one’s own head that can lead to self-doubt.
“If we are taking care of ourselves, reaching out to others, remembering what we are grateful for, then our lives are transformed. And truly, we can live our lives with more joy and more compassion and yes, more sleep,” she said.
Family Centers also awarded the Ray of Hope Award to Barbara Netter. Netter is a retired psychotherapist who founded the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy and has worked as a volunteer facilitator at Family Centers’ Den for Grieving Kids for the past 12 years.
“In her dozen years with the Den, Barbara has helped countless families to deal with the loss of a loved one,” said Bob Arnold, president and CEO of Family Centers. “To my good friend Barbara, I say you inspire us with your bountiful efforts that continue to fill our world with hope and compassion.”