Aubrey Marcus: What Makes a Good Life? – Modern Wisdom

Key Takeaways

  • External achievements never create lasting happiness 
    • Sadly, the best way to internalize this is actually to obtain those achievements 
  • We were put on Earth to live our life to the fullest – fulfill your desires, collect new experiences, and try new things (just don’t go crazy)
  • Open relationships are HARD
  • The pillars of a good life:
    • Take care of your body
    • Lean into discomfort
    • Cultivate and maintain a healthy community
  • Quotes to ponder:
    • “Truth is love. Tell the truth and loving everyone is the same thing. You can’t love someone without telling them the truth.'” – Aubrey Marcus
      • “Our purpose here is to wake up to the truth of who we are, and all of the truth around us… If we’re all here to wake up to that truth, and we’re shielding that truth from somebody, we’re doing them a great disservice.”
    • “In a healthy relationship, instead of serving someone from your cup, you actually serve them from the overflow that fills the saucer around the cup. That way, no one else is ever drinking from your own cup of love, resources, or energy. Aubrey Marcus

Books Mentioned

Products Mentioned

  • The only nootropic that Chris recommends: Onnit Alpha Brain
    • “When I need that extra kick, it really helps”

Intro

Who is Aubrey Marcus?

  • Sure he founded Onnit, but…
    • “I’m just someone who’s trying to learn a little bit more today that will make me a little bit better tomorrow. I’m on the path of learning, exploring, and asking questions.” – Aubrey Marcus
  • Side note – Isn’t it interesting that when asked who we are, we identify with our jobs and past accomplishments?     
    • But realize: What’s happening in your life> what happened in the past

Let’s Go Deep

  • Humans have an innate desire to fit in
    • Don’t get addicted to acceptability, honesty and truth wins every time
  • “The persona is inapplicable of receiving love. It can receive praise, but you’re not going to feel it because it’s not you.” – Aubrey Marcus
    • This is similar to an actor/actress – they can be appreciated for their craft, but they won’t actually feel love
    • “We’re denying ourselves the ability to have that genuine human connection we really crave unless we lead with our vulnerability. That’s what allows us to feel all the good stuff.”

The Sticky Traps

  • “I think my sticky traps are the traps of binding myself to a certain expectation of progress, or the expectation of doing more… I don’t really celebrate the things that have happened; I’m always looking towards the new thing.” – Aubrey Marcus
    • When Own the Day, Own Your Life became a New York Times bestseller – “I took like one minute and said, ‘That’s pretty cool.’ Then immediately, I didn’t give a sh** and was on to the next thing.”
    • Aubrey is on a continual journey to slow down, be at peace with the present, while still maintaining an ambition for future success
  • The sooner you realize external achievements will never make you happy, the better
    • But this often can’t be internalized – the best way to transcend this is actually to obtain those achievements 
      • Just think: Would Buddha be Buddha if he didn’t grow up in a palace of luxury, feasts, sex, and orgies? 
    • “I love podcasting, I love writing, and I love running Onnit, but I recognize that no external thing is actually going to make me happy. It’s internal work that’s going to level me up to a place where I have a deeper satisfaction and engagement with the world.” – Aubrey Marcus

What does a good life look like to Aubrey?

  • Simply put, you have to really live it
    • “We’re here on Earth to really experience everything – to eat the food, to try the drinks, to try the drugs… not all the drugs, but some of them at least… Do the things; don’t abuse them or go wild, but experience all the things. Go visit the beautiful places. Go take a dip in a cold waterfall, feel rainfall on your face, head to a desert, climb a snowy mountain, surf, play, dance, and make love. Do all the things we were meant to do.” Aubrey Marcus
      • Go ahead and fulfill your desires, just don’t go crazy
  • Have a spiritual side – feel your connection to the world (or God)
  • “The other thing is to make sure that you’ve left the world and everybody you touch a little better for you having been here” – Aubrey Marcus

Open Relationships Are HARD

  • Aubrey recently ended his open relationship with Whitney Miller
  • “People think I’m this open relationship champion. I’m not. It has tons of perils and challenges. It’s a very hard path.” – Aubrey Marcus
    • “I’ve done every different psychedelic, every different sweat lodge, a ton of different initiation rituals and grueling workouts, and founded companies. There’s nothing that comes even close to the challenge of being in an open relationship.”
    • “I’ve been in places where I’m crawling around on the ground, not knowing if I should vomit, cry, run, or punch a wall… It’s way, way harder than you might think.”
    • That said:
      • “Through all the challenges, those are parts of yourself that you’re breaking open so you can re-heal. If a bone forms wrong, you have to re-break it for it to form again correctly. Some parts of our ego have been formed wrong. You almost have to re-break the bone of the ego to allow it to heal properly. But that re-breaking of the ego is a hell of a process.”
      • “An open relationship has probably been my greatest teacher out of everything I’ve done. It’s what’s allowed me to learn the most about myself and heal my insecurities and needs for validation.”
  • On relationships:
    • “The only message I’d give: don’t feel like there’s only one way. Be open to explore. Always be looking and asking, ‘Is this serving me in the best way possible?’ and, ‘What am I learning from this?'” – Aubrey Marcus
      • For his third book (after his second, in which Aubrey plans to tackle the nature of the mind) Aubrey intends to explore this topic in more detail  

The Pillars of a Good Life

  • “Anyone who hasn’t, please go and read Atomic Habits because it’s fantastic” – Chris Williamson
    • James Clear, the author, has a quote in the book which says: “We don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems”
  • Take care of your body – this is the low-hanging fruit
    • If your body is out of alignment, your mindset will be out alignment
  • “Stop f***ing eating sugar. Get some sleep. Move throughout the day. Get some sunlight. Drink some saltwater and hydrate… Take care of your shit. Get the basics down.” – Aubrey Marcus
  • “If I see something that I’m afraid of… I head towards it, not away from it.” Aubrey Marcus
    • This is similar to a quote Chris recalls: “Lean into discomfort as if you’ve invited it through the door”
    • Aubrey adds: “If you run from your discomfort, it’s going to chase you down like a grizzly bear. You know what a grizzly bear does when it catches you? It starts to eat you while you’re alive, a**hole first.”
  • Cultivate and maintain a healthy community (people you’re comfortable being vulnerable around)
    • “I don’t think we’re capable of doing this thing alone. It’s too hard. Life is too hard to do all by yourself.” – Aubrey Marcus
    • “If you have a genuine community and many people you can talk to about anything, it’s going to help so much” – Aubrey Marcus
    • Aubrey, looking way down the line, plans to eventually write a book about the importance of this subject
  • “These are the pillars of a good life. Take care of the body. Understand the mind, how to open it up, and look into your shadow. Align yourself to love in a relationship that’s in best accord with yourself. Then, cultivate and build a community.” Aubrey Marcus

The Deep Wisdom is Simple, Not Easy

  • Take the above, for example
  • Or, take a teaching from Maharaji – “Love everyone and tell the truth”
    • Aubrey adds: “That’s simple, but f***ing good luck. That’s not going to be easy.”
      • “Truth is love. Tell the truth and love everyone is the same thing. You can’t love someone without telling them the truth.'”
        • “Our purpose here is to wake up to the truth of who we are and all of the truth around us… If we’re all here to wake up to that truth, and we’re shielding that truth from somebody, we’re doing them a great disservice.”

The Art of Communication

  • 55% of what you’re communicating is received by body language, 35% is received by tonality, and <10% is received by the actual words you say

It Starts With You

  • “To be of service, you have to be fit for service” – Don Howard, Aubrey’s late spiritual teacher
    • “Take care of yourself. Be overflowing with your own abundance of energy, love, time, resources, and everything else to actually be of real service to anybody or the rest of the world. It begins with yourself.” – Aubrey Marcus
  • “In a healthy relationship, instead of serving someone from your cup, you actually serve them from the overflow that fills the saucer around the cup. That way, no one else is ever drinking from your own cup of love, resources, or energy.” Aubrey Marcus

What’s Aubrey working on right now?

  • Mainly his podcast
  • His Fit For Service Mastermind group
  • Running Onnit
  • He’ll soon start writing his next book (on the nature of the mind)
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