The Thrive Questionnaire//

The Thrive Questionnaire with Jay Kim

This businessman and popular podcast host shares his trick to instant energy.

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?  
Jay Kim: This is terrible but the first thing I do when I get out of bed is turn off my phone alarm and check any missed calls, my Whatsapp messages, overnight emails and scan the latest news headlines. Initially it was to make sure that none of my family members living overseas were in danger but one thing always leads to another and I end up spending around 30 minutes catching up with news.

TG: What gives you energy?
JK: Exercise. And coffee!

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
JK: I exercise 6 times a week in the mornings before work, and it is the single best habit that I’ve formed for myself in my adult life. Fitness is what is called a keystone habit in that it will trigger change in many other areas of your life. For example, an exercise routine can help you cut out bad habits such as smoking. When you begin to see your body change due to exercise, you’re automatically going to want to eat better so as not to undo all of that hard work. Busy entrepreneurs swear by fitness as their number-one daily productivity hack. Start your morning with exercise, and you’ll be more productive and better organized for the rest of your day.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
JK: Mastery by Robert Greene. This book completely changed my perspective on time preference and being long term greedy. It opened my eyes to the fact that becoming a master, in whatever field you choose, has nothing to do with luck but everything to do with patience, faith and process.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
JK: I have a love/hate relationship with my phone and I admit that I am addicted to it. It is something that I know I need to limit but I still haven’t found the willpower to successfully sleep without it. I am eager to try Arianna’s phone bed.

TG: How do you deal with email?
JK: My email inbox serves as a “to do” list for me. In addition to the external emails I receive from others, I always email myself with reminders and tasks that need to be completed.  As an inbox zero person, I find this to be a highly effective way to organize my life.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
JK: I would spend that extra 15 minutes with any (or all) of my three children, who I do not see enough of during the day. If that is not possible, I would likely continue listening to whichever podcast or audiobook I am working through at the moment.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
JK: I usually don’t feel burned out unless I introduce something into my life that is not part of my regular routine. A perfect example of this is alcohol, which I rarely drink. The last time I felt burned out was the morning after having one too many drinks at a recent holiday party. The simple solution was for me to get a good workout in to get rid of the alcohol in my body and to get back on the wagon!

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
JK: As a full time investor I fail almost every day. Whether it is an investment decision that goes wrong or a cognitive error made when trading financial markets, failure is something that is a regular occurance in my life. The most important part of failure is recognizing how important it is to actually make progress. Once I was able to reframe failure as a positive force that provides me with invaluable lessons learned and knowledge versus a negative occurrence in my life, I was finally able to truly be successful.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace. 
JK: Never give up what you want the most for what you want today. — Neal A. Maxwell 

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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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