Founder of The Kabbalah Centre, Karen Berg, On A Quote That Gives Her Strength

'I fail every day. I try not to make too much of it; to learn the lesson from the experience and move on, hopefully the better for it.'

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?
Karen Berg: I try to always remember to give thanks for another day…then I have my coffee.

TG: What gives you energy?
KB: People give me energy. Engaging with people is life: Listening to others, learning from their ways, feeling them, sharing with them… this gives life meaning and energy.

TG: What’s a daily habit or practice that helps you thrive?
KB: Being on the move. The Rav used to say where there is movement there is life. I make a joke when people ask me how I stay so young, I tell them I don’t stand still long enough for time to catch up with me.

TG: Name the book that changed your life?
KB: I would have to say the Zohar. The wisdom found in it is life changing and Light filled. The Rav would say when we turn on the light in a room the darkness goes away. The Zohar is known not only to be a book of wisdom but it is a book of Light, and when we read it or study from it, or even have it in our presence, it illuminates our consciousness. But for me personally it is the impetus to my own destiny. For in bringing Kabbalah to the world I really helped to bring the Zohar to the world.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
KB: I don’t have my phone with me all the time. I am not a technical person, so for me the phone is important as a way to stay connected to people. My phone allows me to remove the space between myself and others. It keeps friends and family close.

TG: How do you deal with email?
KB: I do the best I can to keep up. But I don’t always succeed.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
KB: Generally, I try to study something spiritual. I will go to YouTube and watch some interesting lectures from people of different faiths, or I will study something from the Zohar. I feel that these little moments are a gift given to me by the universe to expand my understanding in some way.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
KB: I am not sure about the term “burned out”. I can get tired from all the traveling, so I will take a few days to rest. I am blessed to be doing what I love and what I believe I came into this world to do, so I don’t really get burned out. And while I do move around a lot and it gets tiring, I am used to it. I moved around a lot as a young child, and the Rav and I were always traveling, too. So, I think it is in my constitution to be on the move.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
KB: I fail every day. I try not to make too much of it; to learn the lesson from the experience and move on, hopefully the better for it.

TG: Share a quote you love and that gives you strength or peace?
KB: In the words of the prophet Malachi: “Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God?”

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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