great answers from arianna huffington:
1. What advice would you give your graduating self?
In college, just before I embarked on a career as a writer, I wish I had known that there would be no trade-off between living a well-rounded life and my ability to do good work. I wish I could go back and tell myself, “Arianna, your performance will actually improve if you can commit to not only working hard, but also unplugging, recharging and renewing yourself.” That would have saved me a lot of unnecessary stress, burnout and exhaustion.
2. What advice do you have for this year's graduating class about holding on to your passion when you are met with the real world reality of having to find a job?
Remember that your first job may not be directly linked to whatever it is you’re most passionate about -- and that’s ok. Happiness in its full sense -- what the Greeks call eudaimonia -- is thriving and flourishing. This full definition of happiness includes moving beyond our own personal passions and pleasures and being part of something larger than ourselves.
3. Because of this generation’s deep relationship with technology and the instant gratification that comes with it - what advice would you give to those who are seeking the same instant gratification with their passion?
There are benefits -- not only for our careers but for our lives -- to experimenting, taking risks and failing. I failed many times in my life. I watched HuffPost come alive to mixed reviews, including some very negative ones, like the reviewer who called the site “the movie equivalent of Gigli, Ishtar, and Heaven’s Gate.” But my mother used to tell me, “failure is not the opposite of success, it’s a stepping stone to success.” So at some point, I learned not to dread failure. I strongly believe that we are not put on this earth just to accumulate victories and trophies and avoid failures; but rather to be whittled and sandpapered down until what’s left is who we truly are.
4. If someone graduating college now wanted to start their own business - what advice would you have for them?
I would advise them to pick an idea that differentiates them from others and put their heart and soul into it--but not at the expense of their health and well-being. There was a recent piece on Forbes.com by Michael Thomsen connecting the fact that three-quarters of startups fail to the prevalent burnout culture in which sleep deprivation is a badge of honor. As Thomsen wrote, "How can any work ethic connected to such dimming of cognitive function produce anything worth having?" Don’t fall into the trap of chasing only the successes built on money, status and fame. When this happens, we miss out on the happiness, purpose and meaning that come from reaching out to others, pausing to wonder, and connecting to that place of strength and wisdom within us from which everything is possible.
5. Many times people become successful later in life because they spend their 20s and 30s distracted from what matters most to them. What advice would you give today's grads about staying focused on what matters most?
Staying focused on what matters most is ancient wisdom that has now been validated by modern science. One of the steps I recommend in my book Thrive is disconnecting from our devices in order to reconnect with our wisdom and focus. I love what Eric Barker wrote: "Those who can sit in a chair, undistracted for hours, mastering subjects and creating things will rule the world — while the rest of us frantically and futilely try to keep up with texts, tweets and other incessant interruptions."
6. What would you say to grads who are interested in personal growth and living the Thriving life, but their peers aren't? What if they feel alone and like there's no tribe for them?
The worst thing you can do is give in to peer pressure and buy into our current notion of success, in which we drive ourselves into the ground, if not the grave, and in which working to the point of exhaustion and burnout is considered a badge of honor. Before too long – hopefully before they experience a painful wakeup call -- your burned out, sleep-deprived peers will be begging to join your tribe!
7. What do you have to say to those graduating college that feel like they aren't wise enough to begin leading?
Wherever we look, we see a lot of smart leaders making terrible decisions. What they are missing is not IQ but wisdom. So it's time for each one of us to look in the mirror to find the leader within and make sure we stay connected to that place of wisdom, strength and leadership.
8. Finally, what advice would you have for today's grads to hold on to wonder?
Einstein defined wonder as a precondition for life. He wrote that whoever lacks the capacity to wonder, “who ever remains unmoved, whoever cannot contemplate or know the deep shudder of the soul in enchantment, might just as well be dead for he has already closed his eyes upon life." Remember that while the world provides plenty of insistent, flashing, high-volume signals directing us to make more money and climb higher up the ladder, there are almost no worldly signals reminding us to stay connected to the essence of who we are, to take care of ourselves along the way, to reach out to others, and pause to wonder. One simple thing you can do is pick an image that ignites the joy in you. It can be of your child, a pet, the ocean, a painting you love— something that inspires a sense of wonder. And any time you feel contracted, go to it to help you expand.
Posted by laure at 10:15 AM