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?
Megha Mittal: I check my SMS (only) to see if there are any changes to my morning schedule before heading off to the gym. I do not check my email. I weaned myself off it so that when I am in the gym I have a clear head instead of thinking about work issues.
TG: What gives you energy?
MM: Eating a wholesome home-cooked meal, a meaningful conversation with a good friend, a brisk walk, sunshine.
TG: What’s your secret life hack?
MM: Fill your tank first.
TG: Name a book that changed your life.
MM: Nothing special, Living Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck. It is a series of dialogues between a zen master and his student. It explains the philosophy of ‘living in the moment,’ which we all know, but explains it really well. It changed my perspective on life.
TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
MM: I have made a conscious effort to not have my phone with me in the evenings when I am with my children because they deserve my undivided attention, which is impossible around one’s phone! I have also stopped sleeping with my phone. I still check my phone too many times during the day. So this is work in progress.
TG: How do you deal with email?
MM: I check it regularly during work hours and try to respond to most emails as soon as I receive them.
TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
MM: Probably call my mom who lives in India.
TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
MM: I have noticed I get more tired during the winter months, especially towards the end of the winter.
TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
MM: I tried to get back into running after a long gap. I found it very difficult and gave up several times, until I discovered the Japanese technique of Kaizen — which is essentially to take small steps to make big changes. I started running little and often and have really made good progress. Kaizen can be applied to anything in life.
TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
MM: ‘I am rich because I do what I love each and everyday.’
Megha Mittal is the Chairman of ESCADA. Escada is an iconic luxury and lifestyle womenswear brand. Megha has formerly worked at Goldman Sachs in Investment Research, in the Pan-European Technology Sector. She graduated from the Wharton School of Business with a concentration in Finance and Management.