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Pillow talk with Mika: Working women defining success beyond money, power

Katie Couric, Ali Wentworth, Susie Essman talk redefining success beyond money and power—in Arianna Huffington's bed.
/ Source: Morning Joe

Katie Couric, Ali Wentworth, Susie Essman talk redefining success beyond money and power—in Arianna Huffington's bed.

Forget money and power–there has to be something more to success. To figure out what that something is, Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski got cozy with Katie Couric, Ali Wentworth, and Susie Essman—all high achieving women with successful television careers.

To find a different, more sustainable definition of success, Couric, Wentworh, and Essman shared insights from their professional and personal lives. The conversation took place at “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power,” a women’s conference hosted by Brzezinski and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington earlier this month. In between panel discussions, the women jumped into Huffington’s bed for a on-camera chat.

“We’re all so busy, stressed, anxiety-ridden on this hamster wheel of life,” said Couric, a journalist and talk show host. “There’s got to be a way to incorporate some of the things from a well lived life, a more purposeful life, a more connected life, a more present and mindful life, along with also wanting to find fulfilling work and contribute to the greater good.”

For actress and author Ali Wentworth, her secret to achieving that Third Metric is good night’s sleep. “I think when I’m well rested I do better work, I don’t make mistakes,” Wentworth said. “I think I’m a better wife, a better mom. I think across the board I’m a better person.”

Along with their own well-being, the women hoped to redefine success for the benefit of their daughters and generations of women to come.

“There’s something my daughters have seen that I hope they don’t experience, which is their mother always scrambling, barely making it across the finish line,” said Brzezinski.

And to make matters worse for young girls, society constantly bombards them “about being pretty or too thin,” added Wentworth. To avoid adding to society’s pressures, Wentworth said she is sensitive about discussing body image with her daughters.

Additionally, part of making the Third Metric a reality for young women is to “support and help other people have a healthy perspective and a balance,” Couric said. “It’s really about how we relate to each other and look at ourselves.”

Curb Your Enthusiasm actor Susie Essman brought some laughter to the Third Metric.

“What is a metric? Is it because [Arianna Huffington] is European and does the metric system?” joked Essman.