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.
Senator Gary Hart was first elected to the Senate in 1974, having never before sought public office, and was reelected in 1980. During his 12 years in the Senate, he served on the Armed Services Committee, where he specialized in nuclear arms control and was an original founder of the military reform caucus. Since retiring from the United States Senate, Gary Hart has been extensively involved in international law and business, as a strategic advisor to major U.S. corporations, and as a teacher, author and lecturer.
In his Thrive Questionnaire, he talks about the book that changed his life at age fourteen, his stress-free email strategy, and what continually gives him energy.
TG: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
GH: I read the New York Times online.
TG: What gives you energy?
GH: New ideas, creative people, and breakthrough proposals.
TG: Name a book that changed your life.
GH: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I read it when I was 14 and it completely changed my life.
TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
GH: I only use the phone when I’m traveling internationally.
TG: How do you deal with email?
GH: I try to prioritize in terms of importance. I answer the most important ones first, and then work my way down.
TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
GH: I read! Always.
TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
GH: Luckily, I haven’t had that sensation.
TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
GH: It was May of 1987. I was at my office desk 48 hours later, and have never stopped.
TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
GH: “Count where man’s glory both begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.” –– W.B. Yeats
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