"Those who will win the future are those who can find quiet in a noisy world," she said.
The president and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group led a minute-long meditation session in a hall with about 6,000 Dreamforce attendees. Huffington's breathing exercises were meant to prove a point: We could all use a moment to sit back, unplug, recharge, and find our center.
The meditation was part of Huffington's nod to the recent trend to practice "mindfulness" (yoga or meditation) as a way to combat stress. That's not just mumbo jumbo: According to a recent study by the British Psychological Society, employees who practiced mindfulness on a regular basis had lower stress levels and better sleeping patterns.
"You don't need to burn out to succeed," said Huffington, who also criticized companies that reward workaholics. She even suggested that going to work sleep deprived was comparable to going to work drunk. Instead of rewarding the nonstop work cycle, Huffington urged business leaders to redefine success so that it's not only measured by money and power, but also considers personal well-being.
"We take better care of our smartphones than we take care of ourselves," Huffington said. To achieve a better work-life balance, Huffington has made her bedroom a smartphone-free zone and suggests that other entrepreneurs establish these types of limits so that their work life does not interfere with their personal life.
"Even God took a day off," she said, acknowledging that there will always be one more email to answer unless your phone is shut off.
Toward the latter half of her session, Huffington was joined onstage by Eckhart Tolle, an author and spiritual guru. Tolle echoed Huffington's points about the importance of downtime and striving to achieve a better work-life balance, not only for our personal satisfaction but also for a well-rounded social life.
"If we are always focused on reaching our goals, then every person we meet is just a stepping-stone to the next point," Tolle said. "We need to evaluate what is our relationship to the present moment."