10 Questions with Anne Trager
Anne Trager is obsessed with optimizing energy and presence in a quest to lead a fulfilling, well-rounded life. She loves working with individuals and organizations to change the conversation around managing energy and prioritizing balance to take personal and professional performance to the next level. She has spent thousands of hours exploring how to release untapped energy and to live fully present in who we are and the body you have. She shares her expertise as a Certified Human Potential Coach and biohacking advisor.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED AND WHY?
I learned very early on never to take anything for granted. In a word, to be grateful. It's one of my wedding vows, with long-reaching implications. Even 16 years into the marriage, I still thank my husband for doing the dishes or just for being there. It's a fabulous, contagious habit, sometimes easier than at other moments, and it always smooths out the rough edges of the day, shifting my attention from any frustration to the gifts I have in my life. There’s nothing quite like it.
WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU AND WHY?
Two people come to mind. First, my first boss, an elderly woman who owned a beautiful ranch in Colorado. She hired me as a cook when I was still a teenager and we quickly became dear friends. She was such an inspiration to me—very much her own woman, with a distinctive voice and the courage of her convictions. The second person inspired me more recently, for those same reasons. Dave Asprey is “the father of biohacking,” an entrepreneur who systematically improving his health and life and then popularized biohacking. He too has a distinctive voice, strong convictions, and the honesty and humility to constantly question beliefs and evolve.
WHAT IS THE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD SHARE WITH OUR READERS TO UPLIFT THEM IN LIFE AND CAREER?
I may be the queen of the lengthy morning routine and obsessed with the latest biohacking techniques, and yet, ultimately, I follow the Simple Pleasures Rule. It’s about paring away what drains your energy and focusing on what gives you the most punch. It’s a rule that you can apply to everything. You just ask: “How simple is this? —I didn’t say easy—and “What do I get out of it?” The latter could take the form of delayed gratification, overall life satisfaction, fulfilment of doing something for someone else, contribution to a larger goal, etc.
I would add that the trick is to really listen to yourself, more closely. Tune into your own instant feedback system. You know what’s best for you.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK AND HOW DID IT INSPIRE YOU?
In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki is one book I’ve carried with me for a long time. It’s an essay about Japanese esthetics that opened my eyes to stepping into different perpectives—instead of looking at the light, exploring the shadows, for example—and finding the beauty in the subtle and subdued, in nuance. I suppose it was my first introduction to a sort of appreciative mindfulness, another way to perceive beauty, to embrace imperfection, to pay attention to what is emerging, to look for meaning.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
I move. I’m always moving—I start the day with movement, get up and walk when I work, do inverted yoga postures before making phone calls, carry around kettlebells between meetings, schedule in a brisk walk after lunch, do a workout late afternoon. This is how I relax. Intense martial arts works wonders to release the tension. Watch out when I haven’t had my daily dose.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU OR YOUR INDUSTRY FACES, AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THOSE?
There is a lot of noise in the self-development, learning and coaching world, with everyone and their cousin being the latest expert in something or another. On one hand, this is fantastic, because we are all so unique with life experiences to share. On the other, it means learners need to be discerning and coaches and advisors need to provide real, lasting value. What am I doing about it? I’m constantly returning my focus to how I can help others become their best self. I’m really passionate about the journey, and I keep learning and exploring how I can make that easier for others.
WHAT IS ONE TREND IN YOUR INDUSTRY THAT EXCITES YOU?
I’m excited about how technology can help us to be more human and better humans.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU DO EVERY DAY THAT ADDS TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I learn something new every day.
WHAT TECHNOLOGY PRODUCT CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?
Storytelling. I know, I know. It’s not a “technological product” but it is, by far, the most powerful technology that exists. I’m very attentive to the stories I tell myself, first and foremost. When my daughter was born, I remember the great Not Knowing, a desperate desire for a guidebook, a longing for my own mother—she had died when I was seven. I also recall the almost-immediate crystal-clear realization that my daughter and I would be making up our story as we went along. That’s what we are all doing. We’re creating stories for ourselves and for others. All the time. And these stories are powerful, lighting up more of the brain than facts ever will.
PLEASE, FINISH THIS STATEMENT: LEADERSHIP IS...
about getting your energy and concentration online in service of a vision that stems from a place where everything is possible, that is based on the values that matter most to you, driven to transform limiting beliefs, making room for shared aspiration. It involves:
- Listening deeply
- Engaging your intention
- Allowing the whole spectrum
- Doing it—taking one step, then another
Leadership begins with leading yourself. Only then can you lead others.