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HuffPost's Week That Was: The Third Metric

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On Tuesday evening at Bafta in London, nearly 300 women - and a 'few good men' - gathered to discuss how we redefine success in the 21st Century.

Hosted by myself and Arianna Huffington, HuffPost UK's inaugural women's conference addressed an issue facing both women and men across the globe: how do we strive for success in a world where money and power are the only metrics of success, and yet those metrics are to the detriment of so much else human beings hold as important. Where is the place for wellbeing, for giving back, for mindfulness, for health and happiness?

Our panel on the evening comprised women at the top of their careers, alongside wellbeing and mindfulness experts, while the audience spanned ages and experiences, careers and gender.

Why the focus on women? The two key pillars of success - money and power - were defined by men, and it is up to women to lead the charge in changing that... to everyone's benefit.

The results were extraordinary: not only did Twitter go into a state of high alert, but afterwards in the bar, people weren't discussing where to head for drinks next, their plans for the weekend, or the annoying thing that had happened at work that day. Instead, they were debating how they could put into practice the ideas and suggestions that had been the topic of the evening.

I heard one head of a creative agency debating turning off his computer servers every weekend to ensure his staff stop emailing out of hours, and another CEO suggesting daily yoga classes for her staff, while all around me people were downloading Headspace meditation apps to their iPhones.

This topic, which we have dubbed The Third Metric, is not unique to HuffPost. This week alone, the Guardian reported on the lack of women in leadership positions; ESPN wrote about finding your zen; Mashable blogged on taking a break from social media during holidays; while last week, the Daily Mail wrote about how stress-related illnesses are costing the UK up to £10 billion every year.

Over the coming weeks and months, HuffPost editors across the globe will be bringing such stories together, linking to them from our Third Metric sections, and inviting our readers to blog about their experiences in the workplace, and at home. We want to know how you define success, how you switch off, how you balance work and home life, and the best places to buy good old-fashioned alarm clocks (we're on a mission to rid the world's bedrooms of phones, computers and iPads).

Confession time: I am not good at switching off. I push myself until I reach breaking point and then I curl up in a corner somewhere and recharge enough to start all over again.

Along the way, I am plagued by migraines, my skin breaks out, I lose weight and the circles under my eyes get darker and darker, until no amount of Touche Eclat can hide the fact I need a break.

And I have no excuses! When your boss is telling the world that she doesn't expect her staff to reply to emails at weekends, your friends quickly catch on that there's absolutely no excuse for the Blackberry on the table when you're enjoying Saturday evening drinks.

The time to change is now. For all of us.

 
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