The One Piece of Advice Simon Huck Would Give His Younger Self

In his Thrive Questionnaire, the JUDY co-founder explains the role social connection plays in his life, and how it helps him deal with stress.

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.

Over the last decade, Simon has witnessed close friends and family deal with emergencies across the country. From floods in Florida, and storm surges along the coast, to household fires destroying years of memories — the resulting anguish, anxiety and vulnerability are a shared traumatic experience. After Huck spent a year learning from leading preparedness experts and first responders, JUDY was born with a simple yet powerful mission — empower families with the knowledge and tools to be prepared for the unexpected. In his Thrive Questionnaire, he opens up about dealing with stress, his relationship with his phone, and the tip the advice he would give his younger self.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Simon Huck:
Coffee enters my body within five minutes — scary, but factual. I’m an earlier riser, so I’ll sneak over to Starbucks and read the paper at 5:45 a.m. for 15-20 minutes while inhaling my soy latte. 

TG: What gives you energy?
I get the best energy rush when I meet someone that inspires me. I’ve been lucky to have several mentors in my life who have this uncanny ability to inspire me everytime I sit down with them. 

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
Be curious.

TG: Name a book that changed your life. 
The Sleep Solution by Dr. Chris Winter. It helped me overcome a 20-year battle with insomnia. I re-read it every year to remind me of how important sleep hygiene is. 

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
My phone comes to the bedroom with me but for alarm purposes only. It exists in airplane mode from 8:30 p.m.-6:30 a.m., seven days a week. This has been critical in helping me turn my brain off and force me to be present with friends and family. 

TG: How do you deal with email?
I’m the rapid responder of the group, which is part of the reason I implemented “airplane mode” from 8:30-6:30 a.m.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
Facetime a friend. 90% of my communications with friends exist on Facetime. I am THAT friend.

TG: What advice would you give your younger self about reducing stress?

SH: Find balance. Don’t forget about your personal relationships (friends, family, loved ones)… social connection is what gives us life and makes all of our hard work worth it. In my 20s I lost track of that and it had a significant impact on my stress levels. 

TG: What’s your personal warning sign that you’re depleted?
I feel it in my gut… It’s an instinct that kicks in and says “SIMON SLOW DOWN.” I’ve had to learn to say no to things which (like many people out there) is hard to do when you’re a people pleaser.

TG: What’s a surprising way you practice mindfulness?
SH: Podcasts with Brené Brown, Oprah, Gabby Bernstein… I’m a sucker for all of it.

TG: Fill in the blanks: 
SH: People think I/I’m “going out kind-of-guy”, but really I/I’m a major homebody, borderline hermit. 

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