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AARP Bulletin

A Conversation With Arianna Huffington

The media mogul is out with a new book on redefining success, navigating change — and knowing when to unplug

Arianna Huffington is a media mogul.

Arianna Huffington dishes on the motivation behind her new book, "Thrive." — Jeff Lipsky/CPi Syndication

En español | Call her a press baron for the new century. Arianna Huffington, 63, rules the Web with the online news site the Huffington Post. Her 14th book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, is just out.

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Talk about the 2007 collapse that led you to embrace a more mindful life and write your latest book, Thrive.

I fainted from exhaustion and literally was in a pool of blood in my own office. I had been working around the clock. I went back to the Greek philosophers that I had studied as a little girl, and they always ask the question: "What is a good life?" In our society we define success as money and power, which is a little bit like trying to sit on a two-legged stool — sooner or later, you're going to topple over. I felt it was time to redefine success and have a big, national conversation about what makes life really fulfilling and meaningful.

You write that "your smartphone isn't making you wiser" and urge readers to unplug. Isn't this ironic advice from the Huffington Post's founder?

Yes, but we are practicing what we are preaching. The Huffington Post is a 24/7 operation, but we have a policy of people not being expected to answer emails after work, except for the people who are obviously on duty at the time.

You were born in Greece, attended Cambridge University, were the wife of a congressman, have two daughters, run a global media company. How do you navigate change?

I have made many, many fundamental changes. The first one was going from four to five hours of sleep a night to seven to eight hours of sleep a night. That has made a huge difference. Also, I start my day with meditation. My bedroom is a device-free zone. I never take my iPhone or my BlackBerry to my bed, to my bedroom.

Next page: The best advice Arianna Huffington has ever received. »

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