Marina Abramović: When Everything Falls Apart, I Try to See the Big Picture

The performance artist opens up about morning routines, managing email, and burnout.

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?
Marina Abramović: Look at myself in the mirror, weigh myself, and take a shower.

TG: What gives you energy?
MA: Having a good and dark sense of humor about myself.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
MA: To see the big picture even when everything around you seems to be falling apart.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
MA: It did before, but lately I put it in another room.

TG: How do you deal with email?
MA: Difficult question. I try to answer them once a day.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
MA: Take a hot bath.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out?
MA: Right now.

TG: Share a quote that gives you strength when times are tough.
MA: “When you say no to me, it is just the beginning.”

Marina Abramović is a performance artist whose oeuvre includes sound pieces, video installations, photography, and solo performances.

Originally published at

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