Mike Posner: ‘End Goals Are Overrated’

The Grammy nominated singer-songwriter on how he views achievement.

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?
Mike Posner: Drink an absurd amount of water.

TG: What gives you energy?
MP: Energy seems to come to me in waves that don’t follow any certain pattern. I’ve spent that better part of the last five years trying to decode my energy patterns in an effort to feel more energy. I have not been successful .

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
MP: One is that life isn’t meant to be hacked. That is to say, a “hack” indicates one is trying to circumvent some difficulty in order to go straight to an end goal. But once you achieve enough of them, end goals are overrated. The path actually is your life. The path is your life.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
MP: Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
MP: Sometimes in airplane mode. I like to use my old phone which isn’t connected to the internet as my alarm clock. Though I sometimes cave in, i prefer to not take my phone off of airplane mode until I’ve meditated, exercised, and launched into my goals for the day.

TG: How do you deal with email?
MP: Usually in bunches. I don’t have an email app on my phone.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
MP: Read the Bible or ride my bike. This answer will change when I finish reading the Bible and when I am traveling.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
MP: Today! I’m blessed to have experienced some incredible events in my short life: achieving some level of notoriety and realizing that wasn’t going to solve my problems, being able to spend a week in total solitude with no human contact, learning to meditate, haphazardly studying philosophy, etc. Recently, I’ve been trying to share these experiences with as many people as possible: to cab drivers, strangers, friends, everyone. Sometimes I get exhausted from sharing but I’d rather be tired from sharing than energized from not.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
MP: I’ve struggled a lot with my physical appearance. I used to look in the mirror and feel fat or ugly or imperfect in some way. I overcame this by taking ownership of the fact that I was choosing to feel fat or ugly or imperfect. My mind made the decision to attach those words and emotions to the way I looked. Once I took responsibility for that I had the power to change it.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
MP: My smiles don’t result from good things, they result in good things.


Mike Posner is Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, producer, and poet.