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?
Ian Bremmer: Listen to NPR for about 30 minutes. With my eyes closed. While still in bed. I think that counts.
TG: What gives you energy?
IB: Working out every morning.
TG: What’s your secret life hack?
IB: Not taking myself too seriously.
TG: Name a book that changed your life.
IB: Flatland by Edwin Abbott. At a really young age made me realize the world looks completely different from different people’s perspectives. I’m not sure there’s a better lesson out there.
TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
IB: No. It’s in it’s own room, recharging. Just like me.
TG: How do you deal with email?
IB: If it’s a workday, I respond when I see them. Otherwise, not.
TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
IB: Am I playing tennis? Then I play more tennis. Am I on a plane? I meditate a little. Am I on stage? I take some more questions from the audience.
TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
IB: My last trip to Tokyo. Too many meetings and I’m lousy with jetlag. International travel is the major thing I haven’t figured out how to “life hack”.
TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome
IB: Trump’s election. Completely didn’t see that coming—I was convinced he couldn’t get the nomination, then that he couldn’t win. I did a complete hot wash of every piece of analysis that formed that opinion—both for me and for my folks. I didn’t overcome—I get to own that one. But I think I learned quite a bit from it.
TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
IB: The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.
Link to Ian Bremmer’s new book here: https://www.amazon.com/Us-vs-Them-Failure-Globalism/dp/0525533184