Aug. 12, 2021

Aubrey Marcus’ Comeback Story - The Alchemy of Gratitude

Aubrey Marcus’ Comeback Story - The Alchemy of Gratitude

Aubrey Marcus, the CEO of Onnit, talks about how some of the lowest points in his life and relationships revealed what he was struggling with internally and what he needed to let go to move forward. Aubrey shares some incredible wisdom and discusses...


Aubrey Marcus, the CEO of Onnit, talks about how some of the lowest points in his life and relationships revealed what he was struggling with internally and what he needed to let go to move forward. Aubrey shares some incredible wisdom and discusses why gratitude is the ultimate choice, why truth comes as a whisper and how you can calm your mind so you can hear it, and why fear is the cage we all construct for ourselves.

  • One of the things that stands out to Aubrey about how he grew up was that his parents split up early on and he quickly had two step-parents as well. Every single one of his parents was exceptional at what they did in the world and this gave him a unique, well-rounded environment and a lot of pressure to perform.
  • His earliest memories of pain involved his father and certain moments of intense rage. These experiences shaped how Aubrey communicates and the language he uses to be effective. Another challenge was the level of expectation that Aubrey had for himself growing up. He still struggles with his internal judge and tries to make it more of a coach instead of a critic.
  • The internal judge is often a driver for high performance, but there’s a good chance that high performers would still achieve at that level without it. What could you have accomplished with a more positive mindset?
  • Aubrey’s first real spiritual mentors outside of his parents include Don Howard, Ted Decker, Joe Rogan, and Bodie Miller. Aubrey also looks to some of the great mentors of the past to learn from as well.
  • Adversity was more of a compounding series of events for Aubrey going into 2018. He had challenges in his relationship, health, business, as well as issues with his friends and it all culminated with a car accident. That six-month stretch of his life was the most challenging he’s ever experienced.
  • In the depth of his struggle, Aubrey turned to prayer and letting go of his attachment to his business’s success and accepting the possibility of failure. All the issues in his life became pearls of insight that he could share with others, and the act of sharing was one of the things that helped the most.
  • Aubrey’s podcast was initially inspired by being one of the early guests on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
  • Aubrey’s clothes business developed out of what they were doing with Onnit, but the nature of a cut and sew business is very challenging. One lesson he learned along the way was that if you want to be successful, you have to back it with a lot of chips and really go all in.
  • Every time that Aubrey has shared something vulnerable, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
  • As bad as the car accident was for Aubrey, it was the turning point for a lot of the issues that he was experiencing. His greatest challenge was in his polyamorous relationship where he felt overwhelmed by the pain of knowing his partner was a guy that he couldn’t deal with. 
  • There was another moment in the business where the CFO of Aubrey’s company walked out in the middle of a meeting. As rough as that was, the relationships in his personal life were the hardest aspect to deal with.
  • Struggling with the other guy his partner was going out with revealed to Aubrey that he entangled sex and love and needed to separate the two.
  • Aubrey is grateful for his wife and his health. He feels like an unseen hand has been guiding his life and moving him forward.
  • Gratitude is a choice, and it’s one of the most important choices you can make. It changes the way you see the world and it’s something that you have to practice every single day.
  • The mind is noisy, and the truth often comes to us as a whisper. To hear that whisper you have to quiet what your body is screaming for, which is where meditation practice comes in.
  • One of the easiest ways to hear those whispers is to get into the flow state in whatever way works most effectively for you. 
  • People have categorized psychedelic medicines as a drug which is part of the stigma, but in the right context, they can create hybrid sobriety and free you from the habit of being yourself.
  • That doesn’t mean that plant medicine can’t be abused if they are used like drugs, but when used properly they reveal your true self which isn’t addicted to anything.
  • Addiction is an attempt to solve a problem according to Dr. Gabor Mate, and studies are showing how plant medicine can help solve some of those problems.
  • Sobriety won’t necessarily solve your issue, but you usually need another practice to help you get to the root of the problem.
  • Finding the right guide is crucial to using plant medicine correctly. Do your research and come with the right amount of respect before jumping in with both feet.
  • If Aubrey could speak to his younger self, it would be to tell him to enjoy it more and know that it will all work out. But after five years of giving that answer, he’s not sure he has been taking that advice. He’s still trying to find the time to enjoy his life and do his best.
  • Today is a good day to die is a philosophy of living in such a full way that each day is a good day to die. Living with a fullness of life and heart is a philosophy that Aubrey has embraced and an ideal that he tries to live up to.
  • The thing that is holding us back is always ourselves. We live in prisons of our own creation, the trick is to let ourselves out. There are now more cages than ever for us to place ourselves in and there’s never been more fear in the world than there is today.
  • Coincidentally, the people most afraid to die are the most afraid to live. Fear is the real virus. Stop fearing the conversations you know you should have, stop fearing putting down boundaries in relationships that are unhealthy, stop fearing to be yourself.
  • Aubrey’s comeback story shoutout goes to his mom and her unconditional love. 

Aubrey Marcus

Founder of Onnit, Host of the Aubrey Marcus Podcast

Aubrey Marcus (IG: @aubreymarcus) is the founder and CEO of Onnit, a lifestyle brand based on a holistic health philosophy he calls Total Human Optimization. Onnit is an Inc. 500 company and an industry leader with products optimizing millions of lives, including many top professional athletes around the world.