Arianna Huffington: The Early Years of the Prolific Author and Founder of The Huffington Post
Arianna Stassinopoulos, better known as Arianna Huffington, is a revolutionary woman, a world-class innovator. Born in Athens, Greece, on July 15, 1950, her parents divorced when she was eleven years old. She was raised by her mother, Eli, in a one-bedroom apartment, where they lived with her sister Agapi. Arianna’s mother taught her valuable life lessons, such as “living in the moment,” keeping a good “health bank” account and trusting her abilities. Despite not having gone to college, she was able to pass on a great deal of wisdom to her.
When Arianna saw a picture of Cambridge University and decided she wanted to study there, her mother fully supported her despite not having the financial resources. Eventually, she achieved her goal. She entered Girton College at Cambridge University to study economics and became President of the Cambridge Union Society’s debating society. This prestigious institution had been presided by only two women in its nearly two centuries. She then moved to London and wrote her first book – The Female Woman – published by Random House.
World-Class Author and Innovator
She has written numerous books on diverse topics. These range from the biographies of iconic figures like Maria Callas and Pablo Picasso to books on political issues such as how to overthrow a government, to books on current affairs such as Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America, a New York Times bestseller, as well as on crucial personal development topics. Some such books include Thrive and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming your Life one Night at a Time.
A few years later, in 2oo5, Arianna Huffington teamed up with Kenneth Lerer, a former America Online executive, and Jonah Peretti, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, and founded The Huffington Post. This company began as a blog and ended up revolutionizing the world of journalism.
The Call to Awaken
Before selling The Huffington Post to America Online (AOL) in 2011 for three hundred and fifteen million dollars, Arianna was already a prolific author and a renowned columnist in the United States. An extremely influential woman who had run for Governor of California in 2003 lost to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
However, on April 6, 2007, something happened that shook her and made her question her definition of success. She was sitting at her desk and collapsed on it, to the point of breaking her cheek. She had to undergo several medical tests to rule out a severe illness. Fortunately, she did not. Huffington believes the cause was what many define as “success”: endless work hours, a very high degree of stress, and an increasing lack of sleep.
In Search of a New Definition of Success
This event led her to question her concept of what it meant to be successful and to write the book Thrive, where she explains her vision of how to create a life of well-being, wisdom, and passion. In this way, she demolishes the commonly accepted notion that to be successful is to have a big salary or a life full of luxuries. If we have money and power, but exhaustion leads us to lose health or harmony in our relationships, what good does it do us?
In addition to the notions of money and power as measures of success, Arianna Huffington defines a third notion of success, which transcends the previous two and has four pillars: (1) Wellness, (2) Wisdom, (3) Wonder and (4) Giving.
Her book Thrive bridges the gap between knowing what to do and doing it. It is a book based on scientific and academic research, which provides tools and techniques to help us have a successful life. In addition, she launched the Thrive Global platform, from which she is reforming the culture of corporations so that people can achieve greater professional and personal balance.
Arianna Huffington has received important recognitions, such as being part of Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people globally and Forbes magazine’s list of the 100 most powerful women. The Huffington Post, in turn, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012, thanks to journalist David Wood.
The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep
In 2015, communications company Verizon bought America Online and became the owner of the Huffington Post. When Arianna Huffington left the company to pursue her new venture of promoting life balance and the importance of getting good sleep, the company’s name changed to the Huff Post.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for well-being and sound decision-making. Lack of sleep affects vital aspects of a person’s life, such as personal relationships and health. Moreover, if the person is in a position with significant responsibilities, the consequences can worsen. A burned-out leader is prone to make serious mistakes that can have a very high cost to society.
In her latest book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming your Life one Night at a Time, Arianna Huffington reveals the keys to restful sleep in a world where work and social pressures have made it a scarce commodity.
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