BY DONNA FREYDKIN
At this point, Hoda Kotb has been awake going on 12 hours. You'd never guess. The author of Where We Belong: Journeys That Show Us The Way is upbeat, outgoing and thoughtful.
There's a method to her kindness. Kotb, who co-hosts the 'Today' show's fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford, wakes up at four in the morning. Sometimes, she hits the sheets at seven. That's on a night when she doesn't have a charity gala to attend.
"I have one hour in the morning matters to me more than any other time in the day. I get up, I walk the dog, I get my journal. I started writing three things I was grateful for, and one great thing that had happened the previous day," she says. "When you do that, you don't wake up and go, '(Expletive).' You look at the world differently. And you're happy."
She wrote her book to help others find their way.
"The cool thing about this book is that everyone in there has figured it out," says Kotb. "These people are shining examples. They make you feel good."
Once she graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in journalism, 27 news directors rejected her. It only made her tenacious. Plus, it helps that Kotb doesn't dwell on the negative. She moves on.
"I wanted to be a journalist because the news was always on in my family -- and I wasn't good at math or science," says Kotb. "I'm like a dog with a bone once I pursue something. Risk is like a muscle. Once you use it, you're not so scared the second time."