Angelina Jolie reveals how she avoids an ‘empty life’

There’s a good reason Angelina Jolie never seems to slow down. The Oscar winner does everything she can to make herself useful in order to avoid living an “empty life.” 

“You have your creative, and you have your work, and every day of your life is going to be about somehow growing as a person,” Jolie, 42, told Deadline Hollywoodon Wednesday, February 21. “Somehow feeling you can contribute to the extent that you can get tribute.” 

The mother of six — she shares Maddox, 16, Pax, 14, Zahara, 13, Shiloh, 11, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 9, with ex Brad Pitt — believes that all people are trying to find balance. 

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Angelina Jolie and Jon Voight at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood, California (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Angelina Jolie and Jon Voight (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie (Photo by S. Granitz/WireImage)
Actress Angelina Jolie at National Board of Review Awards. (Photo by Dave Allocca/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Actress Angelina Jolie attends the world premiere of 'Girl Interrupted' on December 8, 1999 at the Cinerama Dome Theater in Hollywood, California. (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton during 'Gone in 60 Seconds' Los Angeles Premiere at National Theater in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by S. Granitz/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie Attends The 'Mission:Impossible-2' Premiere In London'S West End. (Photo by Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)
Actress Angelina Jolie wearing black leather pants and holding flowers at the London premiere of her film Gone in 60 Seconds. (Photo by Duncan/Goff/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie attends the Vanity Fair magazine party at Morton's. (Photo by Jody Cortes/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie at the Mann's Village Theater in Westwood, California (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage)
LONDON - JULY 03: Actors Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton attend the premiere of Tomb Raider on July 03, 2001 at the Empire in Leicester Sq, London. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie during 'Bandits' Los Angeles Premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie (Photo by Jon Furniss/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MAY 1: (U.S. TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Actress Angelina Jolie attends the Vanity Fair 2003 Tribeca Film Festival launch party at The State Supreme Courthouse May 1, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie during Angelina Jolie Visits MTV's 'TRL' to Promote Her New Film 'Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life' - July 14, 2003 at MTV Studios- Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie Bei Der Deutschlandpremiere 'Tomb Raider 2 - Die Wiege Des Lebens' Im Math�er Kino In M�nchen (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 15: Actress Angelina Jolie attends a promotional photocall for her new movie 'Beyond Borders' October 15, 2003 at Hotel Palace in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 15: Actress Angelina Jolie attends the world premiere of her new movie 'Beyond Borders'. October 15, 2003 at Capitol cinema in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie during World Premiere of Beyond Borders - Outside Arrivals at The Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 8: (U.S. TABS OUT) Angelina Jolie and Olivier Martinez appear on stage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios March 8, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Actress Angelina Jolie arrives for the premiere of Shrek 2, at the Palais de Festival during the 57th Cannes Film Festival in France. (Photo by Anthony Harvey - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie during 'Hotel Rwanda' Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals at Academy Theatre in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Angelina Jolie at the 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' Los Angeles Premiere at Mann's Westwood in Westwood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Angelina Jolie (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: Actress Angelina Jolie attends the World Premiere of 'The Good Shepherd' presented by Universal Pictures at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 11, 2006 in New York City (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt during 2007 Cannes Film Festival - 'A Mighty Heart' Premiere at Palais des Festival in Cannes, France. (Photo by Yasky/WireImage)
Angelina Jolie during 'Ocean's Thirteen' Los Angeles Premiere - Red Carpet at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc for Variety Magazine)
FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 03: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for the film 'The Assassination of Jesse James' In Deauville, France On September 03, 2007- Deauville American film festival: Photocall Brad Pitt for the film 'The Assassination of Jesse James' of Andrew Dominik with Casey Affleck. (Photo by Pool BENAINOUS/LEFRANC/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
LONDON - NOVEMBER 11: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt attend the Beowulf European premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square on 11 November, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/Wireimage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 23: Actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrives at the 2008 Film Independents Spirit Awards at the Santa Monica Pier on February 23, 2008 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
Actress Angelina Jolie attends the 'Kung Fu Panda' premiere at the Palais des Festivals during the 61st Cannes International Film Festival on May 15, 2008 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)
FRANCE - MAY 20: Photocall of 'The Exchange' at the Cannes film festival In Cannes, France On May 20, 2008- Angelina Jolie. (Photo by Pool BENAINOUS/SANCHEZ/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Actress Angelina Jolie arrives at the 'Moneyball' Premiere at Roy Thomson Hall during the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2011 in Toronto, Canada.
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 14: Actress/Director Angelina Jolie arrives at American Cinematheque's Golden Globe Foreign Language Nominee Series at American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre on January 14, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29: Actress Angelina Jolie arrives at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor Angelina Jolie arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at Hollywood & Highland Centre on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Actress Angelina Jolie attends the 3rd Annual Women in the World Summit at David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center on March 8, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Honoree Angelina Jolie arrives at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 16, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Angelina Jolie arrives at the 86th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 28: Actress Angelina Jolie attends the World Premiere of Disney's 'Maleficent' at the El Capitan Theatre on May 28, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Angelina Jolie attends the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict at ExCel on June 11, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 17: Angelina Jolie arrives to the world premiere of 'Unbroken' on November 17, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by KHAP/GG/GC Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 18: Angelina Jolie poses at the photo call of Unbroken at Sydney Opera House on November 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Actress Angelina Jolie attends The 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Writer-director-producer-actress Angelina Jolie Pitt attends the opening night gala premiere of Universal Pictures' 'By the Sea' during AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on November 5, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 18: Actress Angelina Jolie, with her son Knox Jolie-Pitt are seen on June 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by XPX/Star Max/GC Images)
Actress Angelina Jolie attends the premiere of 'Faces Places' at the Pacific Design Center, on October 11, 2017, in West Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Honoree Angelina Jolie attends the 21st Annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 14: Angelina Jolie is seen out in Manhattan on December 14, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: 75th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: Actor/director Angelina Jolie arrive to the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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“I think to be a balanced person, you have to find those things that you just purely enjoy. But, of course, if you aren’t participating in the bigger picture of life, and in being somehow useful, and you aren’t doing something and growing, then really, you’ll find you’re not very happy,” revealed the By the Sea actress. “Really, you’ll have quite an empty life.”

But Jolie doesn’t have to worry about that. In addition to her humanitarian work, Jolie is currently a visiting professor at the London School Economics and Political Science. On Monday, February 19, she taught a seminar called “Women, Peace, and Security.” The lecture focused on human rights violations against women in conflict and their links to gender inequality. Later, she took questions from students!

Jolie taught her first class at the prestigious London-based school in March 2017. “I’m a little nervous, feeling butterflies,” she told The Evening Standard at the time. “I hope I do well. This is very important to me.” 

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