Jennifer Rudolph Walsh on Telling Yourself a New Story

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?
Jennifer Rudolph Walsh: Even before I get out of bed, I sit up and meditate for at least 10 minutes. From there, downstairs to make coffee.

TG: What gives you energy?
JRW: Brainstorming and co-creating, deep conversation, laughing.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
JRW: No incoming in the early morning — I read, I dream up ideas, I write letters, I exercise, all proactive. I don’t become reactive until 10 am.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
JRW: Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you? JRW: Are you kidding me?! No way!! Arianna would have me excommunicated! My phone sleeps in its bed and I sleep in mine.

TG: How do you deal with email?
JRW: Immediately if possible. I communicate even if to say I don’t have an answer yet. I find silence to create more misunderstandings than an update with little or no change.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?JRW: Call my mom or sister.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
JRW: Three years ago because I was working full on but not making the impact I envisioned. I had to get still and listen to the sound of my breathing, I had to recognize a story I was telling myself that no longer was true or served me, I had to tell a new story. And that required patience that I had to learn.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
JRW: See the above! Through the process of meditating, rewriting my narrative, and finding self compassion, I was able to find a new way forward for my dream of bringing people together through storytelling and finding purpose.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
JRW: In the words of St Julian of Norwich, the great 14th century mystic, “All shall be well, and all shall be well. All manner of things shall be well.” Those words have found me at my most scared like a search and rescue team on the top of a mountain. They remind me what my deep knowing already knows — that it’s all unfolding perfectly in divine time.

Jennifer Rudolph Walsh serves as the head of WME’s Worldwide Literary, Lectures, and Conference Divisions. She spearheaded the launch of WME Live, most recently launching Together (www.togetherlive.com), a nationwide tour focused on purpose, community and action.

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