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?
Sheri Salata: Since I committed to infusing my life with radical self-care, I’ve become a morning person. I get up early, focus on something I appreciate, set my intention for the day, and do transcendental meditation for 20 minutes. (And by the way, I never thought I would be able to do this.)

TG: What gives you energy?
SS: I get an incredible energy bump from dreaming. As I begin to focus on possibilities, my deep desires and all the wonderful things I’ve manifested so far, I can feel my energy level gather momentum and literally rise.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
SS: Candle lighting. Morning. Noon and Night. The act of lighting a candle automatically puts ritual and reverence in to your day. It’s a quick hit of mindfulness.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
SS: “Ask and It Is Given” by Abraham-Hicks opened up the universe to me. Esther Hicks is one of the great spiritual teachers of our time. 

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
SS: My phone and I are in the midst of redefining our relationship. He is too demanding and too self-involved. However, he is also my alarm clock so he is waayyyy too close to my bed. I will be transitioning to a new system. 

TG: How do you deal with email?
SS: Answer what I wish to, when I wish to. I am overcoming my need to be polite and pleasing to others so that my agenda for myself stays top priority. It’s enormously helpful to understand that my happiness is my contribution to the world. It is the most powerful thing each of us has to offer.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
SS: Meditate again.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
SS: Happily, I have long last transcended the fear-based thinking that leads to burnout.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
SS: I spent decades on diets and dozens of weight-loss plans that always brought success and inevitably failure. I failed over and over again until I decided that happiness was going to be my compass in all things. Now I eat what makes me feel good and I’ve given myself the chance to see that plant predominant and unprocessed foods are key for me.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
SS: “The stories we tell ourselves are what make our dreams come true.” (Our company motto.)

Sheri Salata is cofounder of STORY, a media company producing print, digital, TV and film. Sheri’s life-altering 20-year career with Oprah Winfrey included executive producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show, co-president of Harpo Studios and the OWN network. She’s been named Fast Company’s Most Creative in Business and The Hollywood Reporter’s Power 100.


  • Sheri Salata

    The Pillar Life

    Sheri Salata’s first book, The Beautiful No: And Other Tales of Trial, Transcendence and Transformation has been named an Amazon best-selling new release and an Apple “must listen” audio book. Sheri is also the cofounder of the inspirational lifestyle brand, thepillarlife.com and cohost of the popular podcast The Sheri + Nancy Show. Her current ventures are the evolution of her 20-year career with Oprah Winfrey. Sheri served as Executive Producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show and Co-President of Harpo Studios and OWN.