The Thrive Questionnaire With Sarah Elzeini

"Balance faith and peace, with movement and action."

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Sarah Elzeini looks out from The Shard, London, UK.
Sarah Elzeini looks out from The Shard, London, UK.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most unique 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 of all ages and spaces.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Sarah Elzeini: I’m a morning person, so around 5:00 AM within 20 minutes of waking up I’m at the gym downstairs sending emails, reading the news, and brainstorming ideas. 50% of my work is accomplished before 9:00 AM.

TG: What gives you energy?
SZ: Getting lost in a dream, that always pushes me. During the daydream it feels so real. Then reality hits and it is lost in a moment.. and you just want it back. So you take that energy you experienced, and execute the dream with all you have.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
SZ: I travel for therapy or when I need to snap out of a negative moment. It can be anywhere. It should be by train or flight, where you have time to sit alone, confined to yourself and reflect.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
SZ:  The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. My dear brilliant friend, Donte Stallworth, Former NFL Player, and myself would joke and say that it was sacred, because of how powerful it was. We would continually reflect over the years on it, and refer back to it. There’s always a chapter applicable to anyone at any given time.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
SZ: It remains on ‘Airplane Mode’ but I check when I wake up for urgencies or emergencies.

TG: How do you deal with email?
SZ: I stay on top of them. I go through them at the start of each morning. I prefer person-to-person interaction so I try to avoid meaningful long conversations there.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
SZ: I usually call a family member. If they are okay, then I feel happy and confident to carry on with the day.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
SZ: Whenever I do not sleep! The next day I am burnt out. Arianna Huffington’s book ‘The Sleep Revolution’ is spot on.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
SZ: As humans we fail everyday at something, it would be silly not to accept that. I can say the times when I have felt I have failed, it was not as much as failure, but a wake up call of some nature. It may be to try another way harder, or, a redirection into a better and bigger path destined for you.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
SZ: Well, it is in Arabic (اعقلها و توكل) which is simply, ”Trust in God, but tie your Camel.” This is a saying of the Prophet Mohammed, that means to trust in God and have faith that everything will work out, but at the same time to accept responsibility for the space you hold, by taking action to the desired outcome.

This quote gives me strength and confidence to put my greatest effort unapologetically, but gives me peace, insofar as once you exert your best effort leave the rest to the higher power.

Balance faith and peace, with movement and action.

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