The Third Metric

The Third Metric & the Huffington Post

third metric

Last week on July 30th I was privileged enough to attend the Third Metric event hosted by Arianna Huffington, Editor-In-Chief of the Huffington Post. It began as a nice evening with a champagne reception, but as this influential woman started speaking I shortly realised how important it was that she’d gathered us there.

Her movement, or the third revolution as she calls it, may be driven by women recreating a man’s world, but there’s many a good boy on board.

So what is it? Arianna Huffington decided that success needed to be defined by more than power and money. After a nasty accident she suffered at the hands of sleep deprivation and burnout syndrome from work, she realised that the way we work is not only unnatural but unsustainable.

I think partly this does come from the economy. I know as a young starter that if I don’t work hard, someone else will work harder , longer hours than me. Arianna made the point that we should commend people on the work they do when they’re there, not applaud them for being great employees because they’re always available, but there are some people that are constantly working at full steam to hold down competitive jobs.

Despite this trap, the event proved that there are daily tasks we can do, like blogging for example, to find a better balance between work and life, but this movement needs to start at the top to filter down. Huge companies, like The Huffington Post, are already re-assessing the way people work, introducing sleep pods and other creative ways to make the work environment a happier place to be, and inherently creating happier staff.

After Arianna’s talk, a panel of very successful entrepreneurs and business men and women sat down to lead a discussion. The panel members were incredibly honest about their experiences and whether they’d managed a healthy work-life balance. Creator of Headspace, Rich Pierson, spoke about not inviting technology into the bedroom (though I write this on my laptop in bed!), investing in a traditional alarm clock and taking the time in the morning to look after ourselves mentally, the same we do physically.

I get it, you probably think this is all for hippies. But honestly, they were all normal people who have managed extraordinary businesses through mental wellbeing. And this is the issue, when people start talking about mental health, it’s uncomfortable for many or we brush it off as ‘new age’. We need to view it as a part of our daily routine and not just something we address when we’re over the edge, and that’s what the event was all about. Prevention. 

Arianna also made a good point too with the quote, ‘There’s a special place in hell reserved for women who don’t help other women’. Despite the laughter in the audience, it is incredibly true. If there is going to be a movement to re-design the world, woman and men are going to have to work together. I’m not saying healthy competition isn’t beneficial, but I know women in the work place can be threatened by other women mirroring their success, as with men.

Overall it was an amazingly thought-provoking evening at the stunning BAFTA venue, which despite my youth, has made me really consider my work ethic. Already. 

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