Interview with BORIS KODJOE | LIVING IN JOY AND GRATITUDE
There are several eternal universal laws that exist, whether we are aware of them or not. They affect not only us—human beings—but every single living organism on the planet Earth and in the universe at large. Abraham Hicks says that the most powerful universal law is the Law of Attraction, explained as “That which is like unto itself is drawn.”
We are vibrational beings, translating our emotions and physical senses through energy. Our thoughts become the bases of our beliefs, which in turn trigger emotions that define the way we feel, and how we feel reflects in how we experience our existence. Often, we argue for our own limitations as we bring attention to the physical reality that is opposite to what we want. The formula is simple: when we feel unhappy, we attract more of that; when we feel good, a beautiful world opens up in front of us, and we feel invincible. In that sense, true success does not lie in attaining things, as we evolve by always wanting more, but in the journey of deliberately caring about how we want to feel.
German actor and entrepreneur Boris Kodjoe, who resides in the US with his wife, also an actress, Nicole Ari Parker, and his two children, says, “Joy and gratitude are catalysts for a heightened energetic frequency, which manifests positive results through the Law of Attraction.”
More than words can express, Boris is an example of his own inner fulfillment, feeling his way through life in joy and appreciation. He knows that controlling external events is an impossible task, but embracing his innate strength by reconnecting with himself through meditation and the practice of gratitude is always in his power.
Boris was born into a multicultural environment; this not only allowed him to integrate easily in the US and speak American-English as his native language, it also naturally gave him the clarity that we are all unique and equal. Celebrating his roots and honoring his African heritage, Kodjoe every year hosts the Full Circle Festival in Ghana, bringing with him many Hollywood celebrities. This festival turns into a spiritual journey.
Besides the Kodjoe Family Foundation, which supports wellness and health initiative in diverse communities, his infinite romance with his wife Ari and the love for his family inspired Boris to launch the KOFIT app. He and his brother, Patrick Kodjoe, created a program that includes exercise, nutrition, and inner well-being practices, not only for adults but also to engage children, aiming to connect the entire family together in playful and fun activities.
In this uplifting interview, you will discover Boris Kodjoe’s professional and personal path towards living a joyful life in gratitude.
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Boris Kodjoe?
Boris Kodjoe is a husband and a father of two who has been blessed with opportunities to travel the world and engage with people all over the world.
- You were born in Austria of German and Ghanaian descent and now live in the US. How has such a rich exposure to different cultures shaped your sense of self and influenced your life perspective?
I was raised to believe that everybody is different but equal, which taught me to be curious about the next man, to embrace our individualities, while respecting and defending everyone’s right to equality. I love exploring different cultures and learning more about my own. It fills me with pride and a deep sense of identity to know where I come from.
- As in any other professional field, the entertainment industry can be challenging. Do you have an inner practice that inspires you to be the best self when you want to manifest a desirable outcome?
The entertainment industry isn’t different from any other business. It’s informed by decisions based on supply and demand, P&L, ROI, and leveraging assets. The problem is that many entertainers forget that it’s a business and get blindsided by decisions they don’t control but take way too personally. I use morning meditations as a way to practice gratitude and inner strength and to disconnect from the need to control things that are not in my hands.
- All human beings seek to achieve more once they have reached a certain point of success; there is always a new idea, a new desire, a new dream. What is your definition of success at this moment, and how do you continually feel fulfilled?
Fulfillment to me is more important than happiness, because happiness is transient and ever-changing. I’m successful because I have an amazing family, and I’ve been blessed with meaningful relationships that nurture and inspire me. Fulfillment is something you discover while finding your purpose in life. I believe mine is to be a husband to one, a father to two, and a friend and mentor to many.
- As your life and career have evolved and expanded, how do you remind yourself of how far you’ve come to reaffirm your own abilities to experience the success you envision for yourself?
I try to consciously live in celebration and gratitude of the present moment. When I’m able to focus on the highest possible vibration, I am completely free of any fears and worries. As a result, I can be more creative and effective in the pursuit of my goals.
- Captain Robert Sullivan is the role you play as a regular on the ABC drama series Station 19. How has your character integrated so far within the Seattle firefighter’s team, especially after Sullivan replaced the team’s much-beloved former Captain Pruitt Herrera, who was forced to step down due to his health?
I believe Captain Sullivan had to earn his stripes in his new home. Anytime you join a family, there’s a period of feeling one another out. Being firefighters is predicated on trust and loyalty. Sometimes it takes a while for people to get there. I think we have all gotten there.
- The Seattle Fire Department Station 19 team members work tightly together, risking their lives constantly to save others in various dangerous situations. Have you personally discovered anything new for yourself about interpersonal relationships in a co-creative environment by being part of the series?
Being a part of a team comes with a keen sense of responsibility and loyalty, especially amongst first responders. I am definitely conscious of being a part of a special kind of group. When I see a firefighter in real life, I’m always ready to introduce myself and show respect. My kids, of course, are usually mortified.
- How has Sullivan’s inner perspective of himself and his life influenced the way he interacts with his team and his job as a firefighter?
Sully is an alpha male who knows how to lead. He wants others to maximize their potential, and he isn’t afraid to challenge his team to achieve that.
- Even though the series’ writers decide the development of the storyline, how would you like to see Captain Sullivan evolve in the future if you had some input?
I’m glad it’s a very collaborative process, being that the producers want the characters to ring true and be as authentic as possible. I want Sullivan to start feeling the effects of his past, why he left Montana, and the weight of having to get over a traumatic experience.
- Outside of film and TV, you have also acted on a Broadway stage. How does your work on screen and stage complement each other?
I believe theater work forces you to let go of patterns that were effective in TV or film. The stage requires the three-dimensional embodiment of a character without cuts or retakes. The work helps you listen to your co-stars and connect with the energy of the audience. It makes you a better actor.
- Recently, you and your brother, Patrick Kodjoe, launched the KOFIT app, a fitness and nutrition app that simplifies all things exercise and food. What inspired you to start this endeavor together?
We all know that our collective health has been declining in recent years, especially amongst children. We found that a lot of families weren’t exercising because they didn’t have either the time to work out or the money for expensive gym memberships. Even nutrition was confusing for most people because of all the different opinions on the subject. We decided to share simple and effective tips on exercise, food, and mindfulness and to focus on the entire family.
- You met Nicole Ari Parker during the filming of the TV series Soul Food and have since then fallen in love, created a beautiful family, and continued to work together on other projects. How do you maintain the balance in enjoying your relationship and focusing on what you love in each other?
A successful relationship requires a commitment to effort and communication. Every day you have to put each other first and find new ways to actively love and care for each other, almost like you’re dating each other again. I like to say ‘I make my wife my girlfriend.’
- You and your spouse founded the Kodjoe Family Foundation in honor of your daughter Sophie, who was diagnosed with spina bifida at birth. What is your intention behind the establishment of this foundation, and how can our readers contribute to this cause?
The Kodjoe Family Foundation (www.KodjoeFoundation.org) supports global health and wellness initiatives in multicultural communities. We advocate for the prevention of neural tube birth defects through folic acid fortification and supplementation, and we support the Center for Spina Bifida Research and Public Policy at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is the essence of joyful living. How does joy during the creative process affect your own experience, and consequently the final manifestation of your actions?
Joy and gratitude are catalysts for a heightened energetic frequency, which manifests positive results through the law of attraction.
- When you hear: “You can be, do, and have anything you want,” words from the teachings by Abraham-Hicks, what is your take on such a statement?
Years ago I would have shrugged such a statement off as a bumper sticker. Today, having grown in awareness and alignment, I absolutely subscribe to the notion of having the ability to shape your life by way of setting an intention.