Ayman Mohyeldin On Finding Energy Through Creativity

The MSNBC anchor shares how he empathizes with others and his approach to answering emails.

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?
Ayman Mohyeldin: More recently check on my newborn daughter, before she was born check my phone/messages.

TG: What gives you energy?
AM: When I am doing something creative I feel inspired and energetic.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
AM: Through my life experiences I have developed an acutely painful ability to empathize with people, for good or bad.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
AM: The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
AM: My phone is an extension of my physical and mental being. I’m a hyper connected person. Yes my phone sleeps by my side on a charger.

TG: How do you deal with email?
AM: I try to respond to work emails within an hour, personal emails within the day.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
AM: Take a power nap or check Instagram for inspiration or to depress myself further.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
AM: Anchoring overnight coverage of President Trump’s first overseas trip. With the time difference the hours were brutal and long.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
AM: When I realized that a creative idea that I had years ago was being developed into a TV series. I was depressed for a few days and then channeled my energy on to the next idea.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
AM: I live by two quotes: 1) “Know Pain, Know Life. No Pain, No Life” 2) “He who conquers himself is the noblest victor” — Buddha.


Ayman Mohyeldin is an MSNBC anchor. Most recently, he has been hosting the network’s morning show ‘Morning Joe’s First Look’. Since joining NBC News, Ayman has anchored some of the network’s coverage of major international and domestic events. In addition to reporting for the network, Ayman provides analysis to NBC News and to all of MSNBC prime time and dayside programs and digital platforms. Ayman has lived in the US, Europe and the Middle East and has reported extensively from across the globe covering wars, revolutions, natural disasters, politics and more.