Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen: My Email and I Are in Relationship Therapy

'I think it needs to play harder to get if we are going to make it in the long term.'

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 gives you energy? 
Laura Arrillaga-Andreesen: Giving to others, my family and best friends, laughing, having dance parties with myself or my work team, teaching my Stanford students about strategic philanthropy and social innovation, academia, reading, learning and my faith. Wait… did I mention dance parties?

TG: What’s your secret life hack? 
LAA: Living a life of service and experiencing every circumstance in a state of gratitude. I find it impossible not to be happy when I consciously live a giving life and seek out the blessings in every experience — brutal or beautiful. Also, my mind unwittingly generates comedic commentary about almost everything, so I have a never-ending battle to filter my thoughts and restrain my ‘unexplainable’ laughter.

TG: How do you deal with email? 
LAA: My email and I are currently attending relationship therapy together. It doesn’t seem to understand that I need a bit more space and time apart. I think it needs to play harder to get if we are going to make it in the long term.

TG: Share a quote that gives you strength when times are tough. 
LAA: “You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.” Maya Angelou.

Laura is an educator, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and author. She is the founder and president of LAAF, the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation, which pioneers practices in strategic philanthropy.

Originally published at

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