Good morning! Welcome to Sophia – Part Three! 🙂 If you’ve missed the first two installments explaining what the actual H I am doing here, this is it:
Think of someone you admire — a talented artist or scientist, entrepreneur or adventurer.
Do you know what their great regret in life is? What advice would they share about parenting, or aging, or finding fulfillment? What book has had the greatest impact on their life?
Chances are you don’t know. Which is why we’ve created Sophia, a project to collect life lessons from fascinating people.
Here’s how it works. We’re conducting hundreds of long-form interviews with accomplished individuals, asking them to share stories and advice about topics that are central to a well-lived life — happiness, relationships, aging, work, parenting, habits and routines, to name a few.
We’ll publish these personal conversations on HuffPost, and we’ll also use the lessons our guests share to build a special platform (think of it as ‘Yelp for wisdom’) that organizes their collective insights by topic.
In the coming weeks we’ll feature life lessons from Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, successful executives, engineers, authors and athletes, dynamic thinkers and doers of all stripes. If you want their practical wisdom delivered straight to you, follow Sophia on Facebook or subscribe to our email newsletter.
The heart of this project is the set of questions we pose to each guest. Some of the questions elicit weighty responses, i.e., Have you had any recent realizations about living a rewarding life?
Other questions are more practical, i.e., What’s the greatest travel journey you’ve taken that you’d recommend to others? What’s the most meaningful gift you’ve received?
Each individual’s answers are personal and unique, but they are all also broadly useful. So follow or subscribe for lessons, ideas and insights you can apply to your own life. Get in touch with us at sophia [at] huffingtonpost.com; we read every note. Also, we’re always on the lookout for new guests. If you have suggestions, including someone wise and insightful in your own life, let us know.
Yaaa! Fun!!! That last section on relationships and love was a real arse-kicker for me, so I’m happy to move on to….
Health, habits/routines, hobbies and travel:
- Do have any helpful habits or daily routines? I wake up really early every day – even on weekends and holidays when I don’t have to. Part of this is because I’m just a natural early riser and a real morning person, but I also do it because it’s a good habit to get in to. I never swear and complain when my alarm goes off because I keep pretty much the same schedule every day. I like being awake in the early morning, with the entire day looming ahead of you, brimming with possibilities. 🙂 It’s awesome. 🙂
- Do you have any tips or tricks regarding productivity or health? Sadly I am not the picture of health – I wish I was. My problem is I work too much, don’t exercise enough, and eat take out entirely too often (because I work too much). I do make it a point to ride my bike for 30 minutes every day without fail, and I do yoga at least twice a week. I have completely quit smoking (but not a day goes by that I don’t miss it with every ounce of my being. I friggin’ LOVED smoking); however, it was finally starting to make me feel crappy, so…I stopped. Unfortunately, I took up eating as a replacement, but I will get that taken care of one of these days soon. 🙂 Otherwise, I’m surprisingly healthy for someone with the stress and workload that I carry. Yaaa me! 🙂
- What advice would you give those currently 10 years younger than you about how to make best use of the next decade? Don’t smoke! It ages you! Wear sunscreen all the damn time! Yes, I do look better with a tan and some color, but there are plenty of lotion products out there to help with this. I don’t need to keep burning/blistering/damaging my skin and myself as I’ve done….what a dumbass. I would also advise myself to get a bloody handle on the worrying fast food habit that I’ve got going on (damn you In-n-Out Burger!!), and I would just take better care of myself in general: splurge on massages and facials, go to bed early, quit taking on too much and just take it easy…engage in the act of self-care as much as possible. I am happy that I’m at this point now, but I wish I had picked it up earlier in life!
- Did you have a negative trait or habit that you overcame in a novel way, and if so, how’d you do it? I’m a weirdo…when I decide to make a change, I just make it. That’s it, no muss no fuss. I wish I had some great story about overcoming adversity through meditation, prayer, and a devoted schedule of vigorous jigging – but no such luck. I’m pretty stubborn…and it serves me well. 🙂
- How is your sleep? What do you do to get your best sleep? I’m a terrible sleeper, sadly. I used to be so great at this, but the years of disordered sleep that I endured when the Muppet was so ill completely ruined me for slumber. I’ve had to resort to taking small bits of Ambien when things get really bad, which thankfully is getting to be less often. I recently bought a new mattress, which is turning out to be friggin’ AWESOME!!! I got a Casper, which I ordered online – and, as bloody bonkers as that sounds, I highly recommend it. Casper mattresses are FANTASTIC!!! 🙂 I’ve tried every bedtime ritual under the sun, but have found that this works best for me: shower, jammies, bed, a smidge of mindless TV, then everything off. Yaa!!! Counting sheep = Awesome! 🙂
- Do you have any unique hobbies or ways that you spend your downtime that are out of the ordinary? I do a lot of writing, for Pretty Thing, for work, for school – and for pleasure. I read A LOt, which is great…I’m happiest when I’m in a good book. 🙂 I do yoga a couple times a week, and I also have been known to bust out my strip-tease exercise videos (not for the exercise as much as for the attempts at not being so bloody clumsy my whole life). I’ve yet to unleash my performance on the world, but….perhaps someday! 😉 I watch movies and TV (although nowhere near as much as I used to watch), and I spend a lot of time with my Wee One – playing Wii Just Dance, singing karaoke, holding hands, and being best friends. I’ve recently got in to painting, which I absolutely LOVE and find magically relaxing…I so want to keep up with the painting. I love it. 🙂 I used to love to golf, but it’s too hard on my busted-up arm, so…now I’m a spectator. I still play piano at least twice a week – again, it’s not the best for my arm, but it brings me joy, so….I suck it up, Buttercup. 🙂
- What’s the most memorable travel journey you’ve taken that you’d recommend to others? This question is nearly impossible to answer, because I have made a lot of WONDERFUL trips over the years. Greece will always hold a special place in my heart – especially the island of Crete, which is how I believe heaven looks. The trip that I took to Paris with my little one last year will be forever so important to me because it was something that we did together, and we had an awesome time. 🙂 I believe that everywhere you go has so much to offer – the people, the food, the sights, the sounds, the smells….it’s all there for you to experience. Get off our couch (and off your arse) and give it a shot! 🙂
- What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? Now this is a reallllllly tricky question. I love love LOVE Paris, Greece, Luxembourg, and a ton of other places in Europe. I think Quebec City is a magical, gorgeous place – and New Orleans holds a massive piece of my heart. New York is a magnificent city, and I have loved every single visit I’ve made there (with many more to come, I hope!)…and there’s nothing quite like the beauty of the homeland. Canada is a beautiful country, with so many gorgeous sights to see (and some of the very best people you could ever hope to meet!). There is beauty all around us, even if it takes a bit of looking to find it….it all comes from how you see it. 🙂
I loved today’s questions….and I can’t wait to hear your responses! Keep sending them in to me – I read every single one. I’m loving this!!! 🙂 As always, I’m loving you, my darlings! 🙂