The Thrive Questionnaire with Christine Lahti

The actress talks about the importance of taking breaks from her phone and the thing that gives her lots of energy.

Courtesy of Christine Lahti
Courtesy of Christine Lahti

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?
Christine Lahti: I’d love to be able to say that I review all that I’m grateful for while doing three Sun Salutations but the truth is, I do a quick check of texts and emails. Then during coffee, I also check Huffington Post which I love even though I was skeptical when Arianna first shared the idea with me on a hike many years ago. Read my news on a computer? Blogs from celebrities? Really? Nah, that will never catch on, I thought.

TG: What gives you energy?
CL: Besides caffeine, working out and working hard give me incredible energy. I love indoor cycling, outdoor cycling and going to the gym. I exercise at least 6 days a week doing something. Endorphins are my favorite addiction. After popcorn. I also find when I’m the most creatively stimulated, I have tons more energy.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
CL: I can’t name just one. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, Sisterhood is Powerful by Robin Morgan, Against Our Will by Susan Brownmiller

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?CL: No, it’s as far from my pillow as possible while still being to hear the white noise app that I use; Simply Rain. It’s really important to me to take breaks from it; during long hikes with friends, while writing, when reading a good book.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
CL: If I’m home in LA, I might play catch with my dogs or take a quick walk to the ocean (it’s close). I find the sound of the waves very meditative.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
CL: I hit my early 60’s and got hit with a tsunami of sexist ageism in Hollywood. I despaired at the lack of exciting parts for awhile and felt like a failure. But then, with the encouragement of my kiss-ass feminist daughter, my feminist husband and girlfriends, I decided to write my own stories down. I first started outperforming them. I thought…who knows, maybe a one-woman show? Then I decided to write a book; a collection of my personal life-stories. The highest, lowest and most humiliating moments of my life. It was an empowering, healing, scary and humbling experience. (True Stories From an Unreliable Witness: A Feminist Coming of Age)

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace. 
CL: I love this one by Gloria Steinem “Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke…she will need her sisterhood.” Also one from my parents…”If you work hard enough, the sky is the limit.”

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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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