Fitness is the new normal. Physical, of course, is the overt manifestation of this attitude. The less visible but more forceful change has taken place in the mind.
It is fuelling the body, the heart and the soul to find a balance that urban, up-and-coming India had forsaken in its quest for more.
The quest continues but this more is becoming redefined. It is no longer measured in material success alone but also in individual wellbeing.
Happiness, simply put, is the new cool.
This is backed by scientific research. Take this study by Shawn Achor, the NY Times best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage, according to which we are 31 percent more productive when our brain is in a positive state. The same study has also shown that happiness and success have been consistently correlated—not just in that successful people are happy but that happy people tend to find more success. (Unfortunately, India’s happiness ranking has dropped to 140, as per the World Happiness Report; way behind neighbours Pakistan, China, Bangladesh.)
Thrive Global draws on science, digital tools, and technology already in use to help people find more happiness. To unlock their maximum potential, by creating one sustainable habit at a time and incorporating these at work and home.
More importantly, Thrive research indicates that change is scientifically possible. Consider the concept of neuroplasticity, which is the process of creating new neural pathways in the brain that are stronger and more resilient than our previously held habits, behaviors, or beliefs. When a new habit is practiced long enough it becomes embedded deep within the brain and can replace a former habit or way of thinking. This is a key physiological component that Thrive utilizes to help individuals going from knowing what to do, to actually doing it. The goal is for people to focus on WHO they want to BE, rather than what they want to DO or HAVE in life.
That people are ready for this change has been reaffirmed in the six months since Thrive Global’s India media platform launch. Think work-life balance, stress management, life coaching, meditation, spirituality, mental health and more: A burgeoning community of contributors—de facto Thrivers—has showed a thrilling willingness to share its stories, experiences and learnings. In doing so, it is normalising difficult conversations and making it easier for others to bring positive changes into their lives.
The remarkable openness of Thrive Global’s influencer collaborators has had particular impact, giving a wider reach to the message. Take actor-entrepreneur Sonam K Ahuja, Thrive India’s first guest editor, who spoke about how her personal well-being mantras included “satsang”, or positive company, and seeking help from a therapist when the need arose. Politician Milind Deora didn’t hold back on his battle with depression and mental health activist Neerja Birla—now a regular columnist with Thrive India—recounted her journey back from hitting “rock-bottom” a few years ago.
An integral part of the Thrive approach is to go back to India’s roots: its rich repository of ancient wisdom that, in fact, became a trigger for Thrive founder and CEO Arianna Huffington to make India the platform’s first international home last year. Fittingly, India’s leading spiritual voices are helping spread the good word: Sadhguru was Thrive’s guest editor this January; Sri Sri’s is a regular voice of reason; BK Shivani is an early partner; and Gopal Gaur Das a true believer in the cause.
The Thrive philosophy has found kindred spirits in corporate India too, creating impactful, engaging, nuanced campaigns for major brands like Procter & Gamble, Amex, Vodafone, Welspun and AirBnB among others. The purpose for the brand is simple: To showcase its affinity with a message of hope, wonder, wellbeing and purpose.
With Vodafone, for instance, we partnered to create a healthier relationship with technology and empower millennials to lead the way by amplifying Vodafone’s message of #LookUp. (Thrive amplified the message of ‘Look Up’ by reaching around 14 million people, garnering more than 7 million views for their hero asset (short movie) on Facebook).
Our partnership with Ariel, a P&G brand, underscored their gender-positive messaging: Women are expected to balance both home and office, and P&G’s ad campaigns have been highlighting the resultant stress. Thrive helped add another layer to this much-needed conversation by talking about “Sharing the Load for a Thriving Partnership”. (The message of ‘Sons Share The Load’ was pushed by Thrive, by reaching 8.8 million people by garnering 3M views for their hero asset (short movie) on Facebook).
In an ongoing association with Airbnb, Thrive India curates wellness retreats and business offsites, recognising the increasing impact of stress in the lives of Indian professionals.
Thrive is also currently working with Welspun’s SPACES, a premium home linen brand, for a campaign around getting adequate rest, sleep and wellness with SPACES product experiences to empower consumers to #StayWell.
It’s easy to understand why Thrive strikes a chord: The problem it addresses is all-pervasive. In our homes. At our workplaces. A sample data point:
India stands to lose $4.58 trillion due to stress-related chronic diseases before 2030.World Economic Forum (WEF)/Harvard School of Public Health study ( 2014 )
According to a study by Cigna TTK Health Insurance, 89 percent of India is said to be suffering from stress compared to a global average of 86 percent. Thrive seeks to help put the brakes on this rampant stress epidemic by not prescribing or patronising, but by sharing real stories and honest wisdom.
After all, no one is alone in this battle.