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?
Teri Hatcher: Before I get out of bed I go through a gratitude meditation list. When I get out of bed it’s not always the same, but usually I make my bed. I enjoy the order of that. I open curtains if they aren’t already, I turn on a pot of water for tea…and I’m off. I love waking up early when the world is still quiet. It’s probably my favorite time of day.

TG: What gives you energy?
TH: Believe it or not, meditation and exercise. A lot of people assume it’s a good cup of coffee, or that meditation is just for relaxation. I have found that even a 10 minute focused breathing meditation, concentrating on the breath, letting thoughts float by without judgment leaves my mind clear and ready to go. And exercise…well, as much as I always dread getting started I’m alive and full of happy energy afterwards.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
TH: Since I’ve already said meditation (which is a significant life hack,) I’m gonna say, talking to strangers. I’ve always been that person that talks to the person next to me in the grocery line about what’s for dinner, or I’m likely to have an exchange at a clothing store with the clerk on women’s body issues and the wasteful energy of how hard on ourselves we women are. It’s one of the things I’ve been loving most about my new Youtube show, “Van Therapy.” I am talking to total strangers about anything and everything, big and small, in the comfy, cool space of my vintage VW bus camper. I think by talking to people, being connected, you realize you are part of a community and that people are all just trying to do their best. We are a lot more similar than we are different and that gives me peace and hope.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
TH: I love reading, everything from comic books like “Paper Girls” to the quarterly literary magazine Cabinet, and I often read through my extensive collection of cook books, Kitchen Creativity being my latest focus, but to just pick one?, It would have to be Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. What a gift she gave us by sharing so beautifully such a vulnerable and difficult experience that every human shares. I’m going to go reread it again right now. Thanks

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
TH: I am in a constant battle with my phone. I’d love to do without it but it seems there are too many attachments to get away with that. I long for the days of busy signals and maps. In brief while it has offered us the world it has somehow also stolen it in the one swift move.

TG:How do you deal with email?
TH: Not well I fear. It seems email can be a quick one sided monologue disguising itself as a conversation. I have written many I wish I could take back and am constantly trying to call people more often, but alas, I use it a lot.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
TH: I like to brush my cats. Something about getting the shedding hair off of them as they gleefully purr away hits the same weird satisfying spot as picking the scab off your skinned knee as a child. I have three rescues and they are very spoiled.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
TH: Funny enough, I can feel that way coming home from a vacation that included too much fun with friends and wine, or I can feel that way when my negative voice seems to be building a new condo in the front of my mind with a jackhammer and trucks of cement. My resolution for both of these phases? My infrared sauna, a lot of water, exercise and sleep, going to bed early. Good healthy veggies and clean organic proteins. It only takes a day or so and I’m back on track.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
TH: I’m laughing cause I’ve failed at a lot. And I hate that. Who doesn’t hate failing?! But I tell my daughter and of course myself, that if you don’t try, if you don’t put yourself out there and try, then you’ll never have lessons to learn from your failings. Those lessons are so valuable. And I have grown from them and that feels good and right. We all go through life with our own tool box, and our acquired tools may serve us or we may need to get new ones. Failing is one way to figure out what tools you need. I have gratitude and some sadness for I’ve failed at two marriages, a couple of professional relationships, but most recently I failed on the mirror glaze of a two tiered 12 layer cake and it was heartbreaking because the rest of it tasted so good. Now I know to use only one pack of gelatin and not too let it cool too much!

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
TH: “Things don’t happen to you, they just happen.” I don’t know who said it. Maybe I said it, but I do believe it’s true and also at the core of the problems we have when we take things too personally. People in general, even people we greatly disagree with, are for the most part just trying to do the best they can for their families and themselves. They aren’t really actively trying to hurt you. If we empower ourselves by not taking things personally, we can heal from wounds easier, we can deal with an outcome less emotionally and just fix it or move on. We don’t get as stuck in the spin of asking why. We can let go and move on to something better.  

Award-winning actress and Chopped Champion Teri Hatcher is bringing positivity and wellbeing to the world with her new YouTube channel, Hatching Change, which features funny, informative, and down-to-earth content designed to bring good positive energy to your world , your community, your kitchen and you. Click HERE to visit the Hatching Change homepage.