The path that leads to career success can be a rocky one, fraught with difficulties. Recovering from a job setback can be tough as you grapple with your self-esteem and place in the world. But without failure, there would be no triumph. Some of the women we most admire have had to endure their own battles before becoming the inspirational powerhouses they are today, notably JK Rowling and author, founder and CEO of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington.
There’s little as motivating as hearing wise words from the women who kept on going, even when they struggled to see a silver lining. And in the case of Arianna, she said she experienced many bumps along her road to journalistic glory; she was rejected almost 40 times before getting her (now hugely successful) second novel published.
“My career, and I would say the careers of most people I know, has not been linear,” she said. And what kept her going? The advice her mother gave her:
Failure is not the opposite of success; it’s a stepping stone to success
“I remember when my second book in my 20s was rejected by 36 publishers — by which time I was tempted to change professions — I went and got a loan from a bank and kept going.” Her determination paid off. She’s had 15 books published since and her book, Thrive is now considered a modern-day bible for its compelling arguments against the traditional notions of success on the career ladder, and why it’s more important than ever to take time out.
In her latest book, The Sleep Revolution, Huffington argues that sleep is also a vital tool for success.
She argues that we need to “dispel the myth that we can function perfectly on four or five hours” sleep a night, and welcome napping back into our working lives. Once chronically fatigued herself, she embraced a different way of working – focusing on her wellbeing first and foremost – after collapsing in 2007.
“Having a nap in the middle of the afternoon is actually a performance-enhancing tool,” she explained. Studies have shown that a nap in the morning can boost creative thinking while afternoon naps can help people feel better physically.
She added that nap rooms in offices will one day be “as common as conference rooms.”