Soren Gordhamer On the Power of Being Present

The founder and host of Wisdom 2.0 discusses his favorite quote and the book that changed his life.

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?
Soren Gordhamer: Before getting out of bed, I cuddle with my wife. Then I generally meditate for 20 minutes, and stretch for about the same amount of time (and do my best to not check my email beforehand!).

TG: What gives you energy?
SG: Spending time in nature, hanging out with friends and appreciating all that is present in my life.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
SG: Knowing all you have is this present moment.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
SG: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
SG: We have an intimate relationship and I likely carry it far more than I need, but it generally sleeps in my office, not in my bed.

TG: How do you deal with email?
SG: Depends on the day, and some days I need to be on it more than others. I’ve realized, though, that after a certain amount of time tending to email, my attention and energy begin to wane. I am generally more creative the less I am focused on it. Though it is still my primary mode of communication in a day.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
SG: Spend time in nature.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
SG: After the last Wisdom 2.0 Conference I organized, I was beat afterwards, trying to do too much in too little time. I needed more down time. Taking on too much tends to be my weakness.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
SG: I feel like I fail all the time. I fail being present with those I love often. I like a phrase I learned from my friend Graham Betchart of Lucid called “Next Play Speed.” Notice what happened, then be present for the next play, be it in a game or life.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
SG: “There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” — Rumi

Soren Gordhamer is the founder and host of Wisdom 2.0, the annual event exploring living with greater mindfulness and wisdom in the digital age.

The author of the book, Wisdom 2.0, Soren has interviewed many of the leaders in the technology community, including founders of Facebook, Twitter, and eBay, on ways to consciously engage in our time.

Soren has spoken on or taught mindfulness to people around the world — from youth in New York City’s juvenile halls, to trauma workers in Rwanda, to staff at Google’s corporate headquarters.

Originally published at

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