The architecture of how we live our lives is badly in need of renovation and repair. What we really value is out of sync with how we live our lives. And the need is urgent for some new blueprints to reconcile the two.” Arianna Huffington

Reading Arianna Huffington’s new book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder made me think about how we glorify being busy and the toll that this path takes on our lives.

Our two main metrics for success are money and power, and they drive us to work longer hours, sleep with our phones and tablets, miss important moments with our families, and impacts our health. Arianna proposes a third metric for success: thriving. When you thrive, you take care of your health, get enough sleep, and do not live to work.

Here are ten tips from Arianna and Thrive for creating a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder:

1. Redefine success.There’s no prize for working the most hours per week or making the most money. At the end of our lives, we’re all about the same amount of dust, so the question is how much joy you’ve brought into people’s lives and how much have you made the world a better place.

2. Avoid burnout. Burnout, stress, and depression are worldwide problems. At Arianna’s Third Metric conference in 2013, she learned that burnout is not only affecting Americans but also workers in Germany, the United Kingdom, China, and the rest of the world. Working harder doesn’t necessarily mean better results–in fact it can have the exact opposite effect.

3. Nurture your well-being. Make time to take care of yourself in terms of exercise, meditation, music, art, and family life–this isn’t selfishness, it’s good sense. My escape valve is hockey. I play hockey four to five times a week. I also ride a stationary bike and do some yoga four times a week. And I’m not sure all this is enough!

4. Sleep your way to the top. Get more sleep. Not getting enough sleep is associated with health risks and higher stress levels. Every element of your life can be improved by getting the proper amount of sleep. Mea culpa: this is an area that I need to improve because I only sleep six hours per night.

5. Take a digital detox. We all see the people in restaurants spending their time focused on a screen instead of the faces in front of them. When’s the last time you turned off the cellphone and focused 100% on the people you’re with? Challenge yourself and your loved ones to turn off the digital interruptions. The email will be there when you turn your phone back on.

6. Keep learning. We learn many of our life lessons from our parents, relationships with our spouse, and our children. We may not have appreciated or understood all the lessons our parents shared but remembering the advice can shed light on a difficult challenge you’re facing. Learning shouldn’t stop when you’re out of school–indeed, that’s when learning may truly begin.

7. Listen to your inner voice. Have you ever had a hunch about something, ignored it and in retrospect you knew that you should have followed it? We all have. The next time this happens, listen to your gut feelings and be in touch with the perspective of your own thoughts.

8. Act like a child. Spend time with your kids or grandkids and see life through their eyes at a museum or art gallery. Take a trip to your bucket list location that you’ve always wanted to see. Every action doesn’t have to advance your ability to earn money or exercise power.

9. Find solitude. Meditation helps relieve stress and helps us tap our inner voice. If you don’t like being with yourself, how can you expect others to like being with you? Many of my best ideas have come to me when I am driving alone. I’ve often thought that my creativity has declined because I do not take long drives as often!

10. Give back to your community. Being a compassionate person and helping others can help solve some of society’s biggest problems. Find a way that you can share your unique talents or time with a local shelter, an elderly home, or at your children’s school.

As you can see, opening up to this third metric, thriving, touches many parts of our lives. To tell you the truth, on a scale of one through ten where ten is doing a great job with this list, I’d give myself a seven. But everyone has to start somewhere.

The question is, Are you ready to stop the glorification of busy and start redefining success?

Doug Barry- Miami Twp. Newest Trustee

By Breaking News Staff and Nick Blizzard


The newest Miami Twp. trustee — the third to join the board since January — was sworn in Tuesday night.

The trustees appointed Doug Barry to replace Charles Lewis, 68, who cited health reasons in resigning last month.

Barry, 42, was chosen from five candidates to succeed Lewis, who stepped down in midterm after serving 10 years. The other candidates were John Barber, Will Bach, Eric Flasher and William Brent Pyle

Barry will fill the unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2015, according to Jan Kelly, Montgomery County Board of Elections director. Compensation is $20,568 annually, according to 2012 records, she said.

Barry was the candidate best suited to meet the board’s needs, said Trustee President Andrew Papanek, who joined Trustee Vice President Robert Matthews in taking office in January.

Barry has been a township or Miamisburg resident since 1998. He owns BarryStaff Inc., a business recruitment service his father started in the 1980s, when it operated as Norrell Services, and now has four offices. Barry’s experience has given him leadership skills the township needs as it continues to attract development while serving its existing businesses, Papanek said.

“He also possesses excellent business practices and brings to the current board an excellent background in marketing, which the board can take advantage of as we move forward with the development of Austin Landing, The Exchange, Dayton Mall revitalization along with the continued upgrading of (Ohio) 741 from Kingsridge to the northern edge of Miami Twp.,” Papanek noted.

Barry sits on the Miami Valley Fire District board, which oversees joint fire operations of Miamisburg and Miami Twp.

Barry said he wants to get past the leadership upheaval in the township. Aside from having three new trustees take office this year, the township in the past 18 months has undergone changes with its administrator, police chief and deputy police chief while abolishing the job of human resources director.

Barry said he is “going to perform and do things the way I think is right. I don’t care who gets the credit for the victories. It’s the same mindset I have with my business.”

Improving the relationship between the township and its existing businesses is another priority. Barry said he sees a disconnect between the two entities that he’s not comfortable with.


How Improv Comedy Helps Employers

“The skills we apply on stage — things like working as a team, building on ideas, thinking on our feet, communication — those apply to more than just comedy. We can also apply them to the business world,” says Lillian Frances, owner of Chicago Comedy Company, where she runs corporate training and development workshops for businesses based on the rules of improvisational comedy.

For those unfamiliar with it (or who’ve never seen “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”), improvisational comedy — or improv, for short — involves a group of people creating comedy on the spot, getting suggestions from the audience and immediately creating a scene. Because it is unscripted, improv teaches those who practice it how to think on their feet, listen to others and be team players — skills that come in handy in the business world as well.

It’s no wonder so many companies rely on improv as a way to train their employees with crucial business skills and build stronger teams. Chicago Comedy Company is just one of many companies that offer corporate improv workshops for companies of every size and industry. (Second City, iO and UCB are also known for their corporate training programs.)

Saying “Yes, and…”
Perhaps one of the most valuable skills improv teaches is the ability to say “yes,” a concept that has become foreign to many of us today. “In the real world, people tend to say ‘no’ a lot, so when we talk about “yes, and…” [one of the basic tenets of improv] and embracing a new idea, it’s pretty mind-blowing for people,” Frances says.

To help people understand the “yes, and…” concept, Frances pairs people up and asks them to start a conversation where every time someone speaks, they must start by saying, “No.” Then they start a second conversation, where every sentence must start with “Yes, but…” Finally, a third conversation starts, wherein every sentence begins with “Yes, and…” The point of the exercise is to help people see what it feels like to hear “no” all the time — and how powerful saying “yes” can be in opening up the lines of communication and generating ideas.

At Chicago Comedy Company, the customizable workshops can last anywhere from a few days to one hour. No matter the length, however, the results are pretty powerful. Frances says the transformation she sees in people from the beginning of the workshop to the end is “amazing.”

Not your ordinary training program
One thing that makes improv so effective as a business training tool, Frances says, is the fun, interactive approach. “With these workshops, employees aren’t just listening to a lecture — they’re actively doing these exercises, so they remember it more.”
Still, these trainings are most successful when they reach all parts of the organization. “You can teach all of HR about ‘yes, and…,’ but if it’s not ingrained in the entire corporate culture, it’s not going to be as effective,” Frances says. And that includes leadership as well.