Notes & Quotes: Own the Day, Own Your Life by Aubrey Marcus

The following are my favorite notes from Aubrey Marcus' Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex.
  1. To own your life, you gotta own the day.
  2. Small things, when compounded over time, tend to have big consequences. That, after all, is the essence of evolution.
  3. Focus on the micro and the macro takes care of itself.
  4. Morning cocktail:
    1. 12 ounces filtered water.
    2. 3 grams sea salt.
    3. 1/4 lemon, squeezed.
  5. Our entire culture is built on the elimination of the difficult and the pursuit of the comfortable.
  6. Breath is the rudder of life. We have the choice to either take over conscious control or let ourselves wander aimlessly. If you are going to own the day, you must own your breath.
  7. No sugary stuff for breakfast. Period. Instead, we need to add fats back into our diet in sugar's place. Yep, you heard me, fats. Fat fats fats fats. Get used to the word, because you are going to hear it a lot. Make this simple substitution -- fat for sugar -- and you will have the sustained, balanced energy to power you all the way up to lunch. And if you can't find find a way to make this happen, then skip breakfast entirely.
  8. In 1822, according to Dr. Stephan Guyenet, people consumed on average the amount of sugar currently found in a single can of Coke or Sprite every five days. Today, we consume that amount every seven hours.
  9. Flexibility of thought is one of the greatest attributes any human being can have, scientist or otherwise. It's the ability to take those deeply engraved opinions, and overwrite them with new and better information. Our brains are malleable enough for that task; you just have to bring the goal into awareness.
  10. Know the plants, know yourself, be honest, and decide the terms of your relationship with them. If it can be healthy, it will enhance more than just your performance, and you'll have an advantage in everything you do for as long as you live.
  11. We are built for work. It is never going to go away, nor would most of us ever want it to. It is part of the balance of life, and however you define it, you will always have work to do. To derive as much meaning, pleasure, and value out of this inescapable part of life as possible, you need to know your mission -- whether it's related to the work itself or not. Then you need to own your workspace, and work as effectively as possible. Because what makes work feel less like labor is when you know why you are doing it, and how to do it well.
  12. There is no amount of work you will do that will finally make the work go away, and definitely no amount of money you can make that will solve all your problems. And the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can look for happiness in places where it might actually be found.
  13. Once you embrace the grind, whatever your grind may be, all of the sudden it isn't so bad. It is never pain that is the problem; it is the suffering caused by the resistance to that pain.
  14. With an estimated 75% of the world's food produced from only twelve plant and five animal species, the lack of biodiversity in our diet is failing to support our "second brain."
  15. We've all heard the expression "You are what you eat." Well that's literally true. You didn't grow from magic, or because that's just what babies do. You grew because you ate stuff. But that's only half the story, because the stuff you ate grew because it ate (and metabolized) stuff too. You aren't just what you eat, you're also what you eat ate.
  16. Sugar is the biggest antinutrient of them all.
  17. My favorite study is a 2008 British experiment in which they compared a nap, a cup of coffee, and more nighttime sleep, to see what would happen to people's afternoon energy levels and concentration. The nap -- yes, the nap! -- won.
  18. Fuck exercise. Exercise is for puppies and babies. We need to train.
  19. A healthy body can come in all shapes and sizes, but it does have a certain set of characteristics: the joints are mobile and fluid; the muscles are strong and flexible enough to perform a variety of tasks; the frame is capable of carrying weight, a little more, or a little less, without unnecessary strain; the tissue is healthy and supple. If you meet all or most of those criteria, you are what is called, in evolutionary terms, "fit," and in Aubrey Marcus terms, "sexy AF." I don't care about your BMI or whether you look like an Instagram model. Healthy is sexy.
  20. The Tools of the Trade:
    1. Bodyweight.
    2. Kettlebell.
    3. Steel mace.
    4. Club.
    5. Sandbag.
    6. Rope.
    7. Barbell.
  21. The training pyramid -- your ideal 50 minute workout:
    1. Durability (mobility + flexibility) - 15 minutes.
    2. Cardio - 10 minutes.
    3. Muscular endurance - 8 minutes.
    4. Strength - 5 minutes.
    5. Power - 3 minutes.
  22. Don't confuse owning the day with figuring out ways to squeeze out more and more productivity in less and less time. Owning is not about working more. It's about living a full and fulfilled life -- one that speaks to what our bodies need most, which, yes, includes meaningful bursts of productivity, but also includes the rich and joyful connection that other people give us. If you don't connect with others, then you can't own the day. Plain and simple.
  23. If you are into alcohol and marijuana, you aren't breaking the law, and you still want to own your day, after your workout is the perfect time to have a drink or smoke a little of the sticky icky... The key is: a little.
  24. The general rule with any intoxicating substance, particularly alcohol, is to use the least amount necessary to achieve the desired effect. This has a couple advantages: 1) it's cost-effective, and 2) it limits any negative side effects like toxicity to the liver or lungs. In short, you want to be your own cheap date, and the best time for that is postworkout.
  25. Play. If you believe you are too old to play, you will become too old to play. If you stay young in heart, spirit, and belief, you will stay young in body and mind as well.
  26. The first thing you do when you come home from work, or emerge from the "productive" part of the day, is reset.
  27. Dinner should be a celebration of a day fully owned.
  28. The best timing for bread is dinner, after your glycogen stores have been depleted by exercise, and you're about to head into the winter of your day...sleep. So if bread and butter is your thing, do it the right way, with grass-fed butter on sprouted or sourdough.
  29. If we tell our body something is poison, it becomes more poisonous. If we convince ourselves that it is healthy, it becomes more healthy. This is not to say that the reality of a food or situation doesn't matter. Molecular biology still exists -- it's a real thing -- but the mind isn't a passive bystander.
  30. There is an old saying, attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, that to be healthy you must "Chew your drink, and drink your food."
  31. Have you ever gotten up from the toilet after a bowel movement and inspected your work? Have you ever been able to tell, by its contents, exactly what you ate a few hours earlier? Maybe some corn kernels. Some threads of spinach. Some almond slivers or carrot chunks. If you can see it, it means you didn't digest it, which usually means you ate too fast.
  32. Ginger has the ability to speed up the time it takes your stomach to pass food to your digestive tract by up to 50%.
  33. Here are some foods with high dietary nitrate levels that are easily converted into the biological signal of nitric oxide: beets, pumpkin seeds, Swiss chard, arugula, watermelon, red wine, and dark chocolate.
  34. For overall health and optimal mood and physical performance, you need to pair any sugar you consume with something that slows its absorption into the body -- and the two things that do that are fat and fiber.
  35. "Cheater shooter." Mix one ounce of ACV and a half a teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon into three ounces of room-temperature water and send it down the hatch.
  36. The key to alcohol is only having a little. Not necessarily because I'm worried that you will become an alcoholic; it's more because the last thing you want to do is feel like your owning this day at the expense of the next one. Then you're not really owning the day at all, you're overspending and borrowing from tomorrow.
  37. Before you eat, prepare the very best bite on your fork. Take a moment to look deeply at all the food on your plate. Think about where it came from (a reinforcement to eat food sourced in a healthy manner). Think about the energy required to grow that food -- the nutrients, the sunlight, the other plants and animals ingested by your food. Take time to bring yourself to a state of mindfulness and reduced stress. Think about how that energy will translate to energy in your own body and what you are going to need that energy for (a reminder about portion control...and that you're about to bone down!). As you put the bite in your mouth, if the food is lacking in any of these categories, forgive it. You never want to think that what you're about to eat is poison, or bad for you, or will ruin your diet. Instead, tell your body that what it is about to eat is nourishment. Then look at the food, smell the food, and savor it. When you taste it, chew it until there is nothing left, and your tastebuds have flirted with every ingredient in this orgy of flavor. That should be your first bite, and how you say grace: it's a piece of mindfulness, a nutrition reinforcer, and a way through the placebo to ensure that your food will be digested and absorbed optimally.
  38. Build upon your successes rather than complain about your failures.
  39. Do it well, or not at all.
  40. The only rule you should follow is that if you start a book, and you don't like it, do not continue to read it just because you bought it.
  41. The bottom line is this: if you wouldn't eat it, you shouldn't put it on or in your body.
  42. You shouldn't count how many hours of sleep you get in a night, but rather how many ninety-minute sleep cycles you get in a week (thirty-five cycles should be your target).
  43. For that knowledge to turn into wisdom you have to forgive yourself for all your past failings. You did your best then, and your best now is different.
  44. Whether in love, or in business, or in health, if we don't feel like we deserve a positive outcome, or even worse, like we deserve to be punished, we will manifest that outcome with the subconscious choices we make.
  45. If we allow the inner critic to punish us every time we fail to meet the standards of perfection, we'll stop trying altogether. We'll decide that it is better to pretend that it's someone else's fault, hiding behind excuses and rationalizations. If we know that when we fail, we will forgive ourselves, then we get to play from inspiration rather than fear. We'll be able to look our mistakes in the eye, take the medicine, and move on.
  46. Psychologists agree that there are four keys to compelling positive action: 1) know what to do and how to do it; 2) believe it will work; 3) see the value; and 4) get support from your community/tribe/family.
  47. I want you to imagine yourself a year from now. You know that in a year you are going to be different, whether you do nothing or something. And the choices you make between now and then will determine that difference.