Boy, do I wish Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder had been around back when I was in grad school.
I’ll skip the gory details, but in April 2007, just as she, the founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, was lying on her office floor having collapsed from exhaustion, I was preparing to end a 15-year career in education for much the same reason. I loved education, and still practice it as a writer, editor, and green living consultant, but the time had come to close that chapter so that I could start the next one. And what an opportunity for my own education it has been!
I’ve had to learn how to put the brakes on, re-evaluate, and stop doing things that aren’t contributing to my happiness (and remind myself that it’s okay to think about my happiness). I’ve had to recognize that if I feel like a doormat, I’m probably being one and learn how to pick myself up off the ground, take a deep breath, and walk right through that door.
Having control over your work-life balance is very helpful in that process, but for people like me — call us perfectionists, Type A, whatever — with years of bad habits under our belts and a natural tendency toward “monkey mind,” that voice in your head constantly chattering about what you haven’t done or could do better, that control can be a double-edged sword. It’s been helpful to accept that thriving isn’t a destination, it’s a journey of continual re-evaluation and learning.
In fact, just recently I had once again tied myself in knots trying to do too much and be too many things to too many people who were all too happy to let me. Coincidentally, that was when Arianna told me about her new company, Thrive Global, and the mission of encouraging a definition of success that is a product of well-being, passion, and connection, rather than the other way around.
I’m so excited to be part of this effort to move beyond work-life balance lip service and into actually gearing you up with the strategies needed to make that happen, whether you’re a freelancer like me or not. So, bring on your questions, thoughts, and concerns, and let’s thrive together!
Originally published at medium.com