When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.
Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Danielle Canty: I start every morning with a hot lemon water and sit out on my balcony. It’s super cleansing and really grounds me for the day.
TG: What gives you energy?
DC: Listening to music, walking in nature, and also my work. I love what I do and achieving and accomplishing things everyday lights me up and gives me energy.
TG: What’s your secret life hack?
DC: Writing everything down. If it’s written down I don’t have to worry about remembering it. And if I don’t have to worry about remembering it, my mind is free to explore and play with new ideas.
TG: Name a book that changed your life.
DC: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. I don’t come from a wealthy background. When I read this book in my early 20s it completely changed my relationship with money.
TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
DC: I will confess my phone is next to me on my bedside table as I use it as an alarm BUT, it is on airplane mode. I read a report about the negative effects of EMF so I’m pretty obsessed with doing this and ensuring my WiFi is off too.
TG: How do you deal with email?
DC: In my own time! I’m definitely not one of those people who are obsessed with getting their inbox to zero every day. I see my inbox as other people’s priorities. To ensure I remain focused and don’t get distracted, I choose to do at least half of my own to-do list first before addressing my emails each day.
TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
DC: I’m not great at doing nothing so I’ll normally fill it with something productive, whether that’s reading a few pages of a business book or going live in our BossBabe membership Facebook group.
TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
DC: I’ve never actually felt burned out. However, I do become pretty exhausted if I don’t have at least one full day off each week.
TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
DC: I do things wrong all the time, but I don’t like to use the word “fail.” To fail sounds so scary and final — I personally love the quote “If you don’t quit, you can’t fail,” and so I never fail because I always pick myself up and try again.
TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
DC: In true BossBabe style, I’m pretty obsessed with quotes so i find it hard to pick, but one that always gives me strength is “Everything is happening for me, not to me.”
TG: How do you prioritize when you have an overwhelming amount to do?
DC: I write everything that’s on my mind in a long to-do list. I then go through and mark which ones I can delete or delegate. The aim here is to shrink the list by 30%.
TG: What advice would you give your younger self about reducing stress?
DC: Don’t stress about what you can’t control and don’t try to control the uncontrollable.
TG: Do you have any role models for living a thriving life?
DC: I really love the way Richard Branson appears to live his life. He loves business but also has fun whilst doing it. Also, he doesn’t take himself too seriously, which I think is important.
TG: What’s your personal warning sign that you’re depleted?
DC: When I struggle to make decisions, I know I’m depleted and not in flow.
TG: When you notice you’re getting too stressed, what do you do to course-correct?
DC: Breathe. It’s ridiculously simple and it works. I do box breathing where you breathe in to the count of five, hold your breath for five, breathe out for five, and hold your breath out for five. It lowers your heart rate and you instantly feel calmer.
TG: What’s a surprising way you practice mindfulness?
DC: I have about 10 silent alarms on my phone everyday either sending me some inspo, reminding me to breath or reminding me to meditate. I will say they don’t have sounds associated with them; they just flash up on my phone so that the next time I look at it they are there ready and waiting.
TG: How do you reframe negative thinking?
DC: I ask myself, what I would tell someone else in my situation? This always helps me remove any negative emotions that might be clouding my judgement too.
TG: What brings you optimism?
DC: Peaceful surroundings, amazing people, and good food. When I have these three things, I know that I am exactly where I need to be and that life is good.
TG: Tell us about a small change you have made in your life to improve your sleep. What did you do, how long did it take until it became effective, and how you sustain this habit?
DC: I bought an Oura ring to track my sleep and this made me aware that I wasn’t getting enough deep sleep. I heard CBD could help, so I added that in as a supplement before bed and it’s really helped it increase.
TG: Tell us about a small change you have made in your life to improve the way you connect with others. What did you do, how long did it take until it became effective, and how you sustain this habit?
DC: It sounds basic, but I don’t think enough people do it: I ask about them rather than telling them about myself. Especially when meeting people for the first time, asking and listening is such a powerful way to build connections.
TG: Tell us about a small change you have made in your life to improve your focus. What did you do, how long did it take until it became effective, and how you sustain this habit?
DC: I always work with a bottle of water on my desk. Staying hydrated is known to increase productivity and focus and so without fail I drink two bottles a day. The benefits are instant and it takes no effort to sustain.
TG: What was the biggest turning point in your life?
DC: My dad had a skiing accident three years ago; not being able to be by his side when he needed me made me reevaluate my freedom and what it meant to me. After that, I made it my mission to create more freedom in my life.
TG: What’s your secret time-saver in the morning?
DC: I meditate before I do anything, this helps me get super focused and save time throughout the day.
TG: What’s your evening routine that helps you unwind and go to sleep?
DC: I wear red lenses glasses the hour before I’m ready to sleep. These naturally help you increase your production of melatonin and slow brain wave activity, so by the time I’ve showered whilst normally listening to a podcast I’m asleep as my head hits the pillow.
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