Arianna Huffington’s message for older Americans: Don’t define yourself in terms of money and power because someone always has more, she says. What’s way more important is your sense of well-being, wisdom and wonder.
Huffington spoke to an overflow crowd of attendees today at the AARP Ideas@50+ conference in San Diego.
“I love what happens when we age,” says Huffington, who started the Huffington Post after the age of 50; we stop listening to that inner voice of self-criticism that only saps our energy, she says.
Aging makes life richer, she says. Getting older is not a contraction, it’s an expansion.
Huffington is best known as founder of the the Huffington Post, a news and blog website. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
Huffington has been named to Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the debating society, the Cambridge Union.
Her 14th book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder was published by Crown in March 2014 and debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list.
Huffington echoed themes from her book in her talk, telling listeners that we need to retire the word "retirement." Life goes on in amazing ways, and she says you need to take advantage of it and be prepared for it.
Ways to improve your well-being, wisdom and sense of wonder include:
- Taking your electronic devices out of your bedroom. We are too connected to technology, Huffington says, and we need to reconnect with ourselves.
- Finding the time for inner renewal or meditation.
- Finding a way to let go of things. It could be as simple as getting rid of clothing you are never going to wear or projects that may never get started, let alone get done.
- Ending multitasking and taking the time to be present with your environment.
Huffington invited people to write for HuffPost at 50, a channel on the website. Share your stories, she asked the audience. Life is scenery, she says, and most of it is beautiful.
Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images