The Courageous Truth of Authenticity W/ Kyle Creek | AMP #377

By Aubrey Marcus August 31, 2022

The Courageous Truth of Authenticity W/ Kyle Creek | AMP  #377
Do you ever withhold your truth in favor of how you think you’ll be perceived? The danger of doing this is that eventually you lose touch with your authentic self. Today’s podcast is with the prolific author, previously known under the alias “The Captain”, Kyle Creek. Although we just met, we had a powerful and wide open conversation that included the topics of authenticity, vulnerability, the impact pets can have, and fatherhood, among other things.
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KYLE: I'm all for changing your opinion when you're presented with new information. It's changing your opinion based on what you believe is public opinion that is the big mistake.

AUBREY: You start to lose yourself.

KYLE: That's when you're building an avatar. You're responding with what people want to hear. And you do that long enough, for a couple years, you're going to get to a point in your life when something really traumatic is going to happen and you need yourself to fall back on and you don't know who that person is. And you're not ready. And you haven't been putting in the work to actually support yourself through it.

AUBREY: Kyle Creek goes by the online moniker The Captain and I was initially drawn to having a conversation with him because he just seems one of those guys that's willing to talk about anything and talk about it vulnerably. And so, this is one of those podcasts where him and I just go into any topic that's on our hearts and minds, covering a wide range of things from parenthood, to vulnerability. And it's just a great conversation with a really good guy. And you get to have an even deeper insight into myself and into Kyle, and into what's underneath this idea, this veneer of The Captain and why he decided to come out as Kyle Creek. He's also a prolific author, published many different books. And it's just a great conversation. So, enjoy this podcast with Kyle Creek. The truth is that we're all the master, we're all the healer, we're all the mystic.

ANNOUNCER: Give it up one time for Aubrey Marcus.

KYLE: The coolest thing about Maine Coons, if you see those big, grey ones, they look a wizard that would quiz you to cross a bridge. If you were walking and you're on a trek and someone had to ask you three questions, it would be a gray Maine Coon.

AUBREY: Dude, just take enough mushrooms and talk to your Maine Coon and understand the secrets of the universe.

KYLE: Maybe that's what's going to happen to me.

AUBREY: We just started this podcast. Podcast was rolling. You were explaining one thing that I think is worth talking about. We were talking about pets. And I just popped open your book and I found this thing about death of a pet. And it's “SPEECH THERAPY: 52 Pick-Me-Ups to Get you Through Many of Life's What The Fucks.” I actually just helped bury my sister's boxer. And so, that got us on the conversation. I want to talk about that. But first, I want to talk about you being a revised cat hater. You're moving from cat hating to a new more evolved mentality.

KYLE: It's a more mature self for sure. Growing up, I was always very anti-cat. And then in 2019, I had a real depressive spell, and my girlfriend had a cat at the time. And I had never had an animal be there for me like that cat was. That cat was just always on my lap. And it could just sense when I wasn't feeling right, and it would come lay on my chest. Or I'd be in bed at night and wake up and the cat would be sleeping on me or be nestling up my beard. And before that, I was reviled by cats.

AUBREY: What is it? Because that's something that you find in men, particularly, sometimes some women.

KYLE: I think it's mostly men. I think it's because it's easy. I think because as a man, you feel you need to have a rebellious spirit around you. And it's easy to pick on something like a cat because they're very polarizing. And so, if you want to come across as someone who is, I'm very steadfast in my beliefs, she can't change them. It's easy to be like, fuck cats.

AUBREY: So, it defines a certain aspect of your identity?

KYLE: It does.

AUBREY: I have another theory. My theory is that most men are frustrated by their longing and desire to be loved by the feminine. We all have those people, especially when you're going to school. You're a freshman and there's a freshman girl in your class and you fucking really are into her. But she's into the junior, or somebody a little older. You're always a little frustrated. Whether it's freshman in high school or freshman in fucking college, there's this frustration that you love something, but they won't return that love, something beautiful and it won't return that love. And cats can have that spirit. It sounds like your cat was very loving and probably provides that but it's like, I love you. Why don't you love me? And the cats like, I don't fucking care. I'm out of here.

KYLE: That's one of the things I admire about cats now is you have to earn their affection. And even, they'll be very selective with it. So, it makes you appreciate when the cat... Everyone says you go to a party and the dog chooses you, you feel like you're the chosen one in the room. If a cat will choose you, that's a next level of attraction in your life.

AUBREY: Then it's like the goddess chose you. Then it's like finally, the woman chose you. And so, you can reverse that. And if you're interested in getting love from something that isn't so easy, that's actually the exact reason why I love cats so much is because, wow, this feels special. This feels special when either Cyrano and Neytiri, one of my two cats, comes up and nestles between me. My energy must be real good today.

KYLE: I can see that. I can see that. And I think that probably is something to what you're saying. For sure. I think a lot of people don't want to put in the work to be liked by a cat. Whereas a dog if you feed it and you're fairly affection, the dog's going to love you, which also has its upsides. But it's like what we talked about before this. People don't want to put in work these days to have a reward. A lot of people want things that just come easy to them. And you actually have to work to develop a bond with a cat.

AUBREY: I remember my ex-partner had an Alaskan Klee Kai named Lobi. And it was pretty special. Every morning, I would wake up and Lobi would always wait for me to wake up. So, I'd actually be awake. Wouldn't wake me up, and then would just start relentlessly licking my neck. And it was just a little love bomb every single morning. And the consistency of that was actually really cool, too.

KYLE: I wish my dog would wait. My dog won't wait until I'm awake. If I don't shut the bedroom door, he's a Great Dane too, if I don't shut the bedroom door, he'll come in and he'll start nestling me with his nose, and he's a big dog. He can push me out of the bed. He'll just push me until I get up. So, we have to remember to always shut the door. And then he'll start pawing at the door when he wants to go out. But I think it's why you got to have both. I think it's what you need a dog and a cat in your life. I think it's the balance, for sure.

AUBREY: Recently, helped to bury my sister's boxer. And I wasn't particularly close with that animal. But through my sister, of course, I wanted to be there. And one of the things that I've realized is that there's a lot missing from rituals around death and how to actually deal with it. Rituals around birth, rituals around marriage. I think everything needs a good healthy revision. But around death, it's something that I've seen, I think we're really missing a lot. And so, I tried to offer that in that experience. But I haven't had a chance to read because I just opened up your book to check out that spot. What are your what are your ideas and what are your thoughts on death of a pet? And then I'll add myself to it as well.

KYLE: That book, the way it's written is the premise of, we're all going to have these things happen in our life. And no matter how emotionally equipped or prepared we think we are, there's things that are going to derail us. It can be something as simple as losing your keys. That'll drive me nuts. I can be in a good mood, I can lose my keys and 10 minutes later, I'm in a horrible fucking mood. And if I don't quickly get myself out of that, I can derail my day. And so, that was the premise of the book.

AUBREY: What's the self-talk that happens when you lose your keys? What do you start saying to yourself?

KYLE: I think I'm a fucking idiot. I start questioning myself, say, where did you put it? Why can't you remember this? Why are you this stupid kind of thing? And that's a lot of the negative self-talk that too many of us have, unfortunately. And so, it's that self-talk that will drive me crazy when it comes to something as small as that. And then when it came to something as large as the death of a pet, what I wanted to do in that book is lend my perspective from it. And when my dog died, which the dog that inspired that actually was a boxer too, it was the first animal that I'd really bonded with. I'd never had that connection. I grew up on a farm with chickens and stuff like that. But you don't bond with them the way you do with a dog. And when he died, I remember my mom saying to me, this is a chance to thank him. Thank him for what he was in your life. And that really changed the way I looked at it. And I started interpreting that. And later, I had a friend who had a dog die as well. And she’s telling me the same stuff I remember feeling. And I told her, I said, what you got to keep in mind is who you were with that dog, what that dog taught you, that dog allowed you to be a version of yourself you likely aren't with people because you know that dog's not going to judge you. And that's why people will baby talk their animals. They act totally different around their pets because they feel comfortable with them. And I told her, I said, it's a time to thank your dog for allowing that side of you to come out. And then as you move forward, just try and keep that mindset of being that with people, being who you were with your dog with people. You don't have to baby talk or any stuff like that. But that version of yourself that wasn't afraid to be judged or wasn't afraid to show affection. And that is what I think pets do for us. And that's why I think it's important that people were raised with pets. My son right now, we have two cats and a dog. And watching him interact with the pets is probably my most rewarding part of being a dad. I like seeing that bond they have at such a young age. My dog's a big dog and he knows my son's a baby. He knows to be gentle with him. The way he roughhouses with the cats and the way he roughhouses with my son are completely different. He knows my son can't roughhouse the way the cats can. He can't push him off the couch and he'll push the cats off the couch. Can't do that with my baby. But seeing a dog do that, it just opens up your eyes to the fact that animals I think are more intelligent than we give them credit for.

AUBREY: For sure. Intelligent in a different way. We quantify our intelligence in certain particular ways of speech patterns and intellectual capacity, but the ability to read energy, most of us are absolute idiots when it comes to that. Whereas animals are fucking experts at reading that.

KYLE: And I had someone tell me that about cats. They say, have you seen the reason why a cat will be chilling and suddenly just take off? It's because they can feel the energy in a room unlike anything else can. And so, the reason cats are so spastic, which is what turns people off to them, is they're reading stuff in the room that we can't. And had you told me that prior to 2019, I would have told you, you were a fucking idiot. But now, as we talked about, once I opened myself up to this more energetic connective way of living, I can completely understand why cats would be like that.

AUBREY: One thing I notice about the way that people can interact with pets is, there's so much judgment that prevents us from any type of approximation of unconditional love with each other, especially an adult. We feel that they're culpable and responsible for every decision they make, every flaw they have. And to some degree, yes, we do have choice and we do have agency. But there's so much judgment that comes as somebody gets older. And we see that with kids as well. It's an abomination when you see parents overly castigating and punishing a three year old, or a four year old. What the fuck are you doing? That's a child. And so, the more sentient of us realize that, but at a certain point, our boy's like 10 and they do something. How dare you fucking do this? You have so much judgment.

KYLE: And you tell them you should know better by now. Or you're a big boy now. And you use that terminology that I think just creates shame in their life.

AUBREY: Of course. And with pets, you can still have some of that. But you see it even with the difference between a puppy and a dog. If the dog's been trained and they do something, then you can get real mad at them. But the beauty of it is that, ultimately, if you remember they're a dog, it always allows you to actually love them a lot more unconditionally. Fuck, you're just a dog. And if we could actually learn that with humans too. Fuck, you're just a human. It would soften some of the sharp edges of our judgment.

KYLE: I had a buddy of mine who was very successful in life. And he ended up moving to Montana to go off the grid for a bit. And he fell into a lot of deep depression. And he got stuck in his old ways like an old man would, but he was still young in his 30s. And one of the things I told him, I said, you need to get a dog. You need a dog up there. Because for one, you need the companionship. But two, you need something that'll fuck your days up. You need something that I'll show you can't control everything. I told this story before. My Great Dane one night ate a bunch of avocados out of the avocado tree in the backyard.

AUBREY: Skin and all.

KYLE: Yeah, everything.

AUBREY: He's going to shit himself.

KYLE: In the middle of the night in the guest room, 160-pound dog has violent diarrhea. And I woke up the next morning and I walked in and I was like, what the fuck just happened in here? It looked like somebody had tried to paint the room. And I felt bad for him. I wasn't mad. Damn, how did I not pay attention to that for you. And he was covered in it himself. And that completely derailed my day. I had to go rent a carpet shampooer and it spent me all day. And then I had to rent another one a second or third time. And I'm honestly glad it happened because every day that I wake up, my dog hasn't done that, it's an easy day now. When you have things like that, they re-calibrate what you consider an easy day or a hard day. And so, I told my buddy, you need a pet. You need something that will chew on your phone cord, you need something that's going to knock something over when you think you put it perfectly there because... And I believe a lot of causes of depression, particularly with people that isolate themselves like that, is they try to control everything. And when you do that, you feel like the world doesn't understand you or you feel like—

AUBREY: I think one of the signatures of depression is hopelessness. And if you're trying to control everything, that's a fucking hopeless cause. You are in the epitome of hopelessness at that point, because you got no fucking chance. The world is going to do what the world is going to do.

KYLE: And so, there's just so much benefit to having pets for just various reasons, I think.

AUBREY: I agree. So, to just close the loop on the burying a pet. For me, I think gratitude is absolutely right. So, I had my sister, and my niece, and my nephew, and my other sister, my mom, and my stepdad and we're bearing it out on a ranch. And so, I brought some tobacco and traditional Amazonian culture and a lot of other cultures. Tobacco is called a Chaka-Runa. It's a bridge. So, we had some tobacco leaf in our hand and then we sprinkled it over Kiuro the dog. And as they did it, I had everybody talk about their favorite memory of Kiuro in an act of gratitude. And it was really emotional just to hear everybody express what they loved and an experience that they really loved about it. And it was a celebration of the relationships that were formed. And even me, who didn't have a strong relationship, I remember at the end of his days, he had dementia and he couldn't control his bowels. And it was his time. It was an old boxer, 14 years old. But his fight to love life and to go, if we were going walking, even though his hips didn't work right, he would be clawing and he'd get himself up and he'd have bright eyes. If we could all love life just a fraction of how much that that dog showed us that he loved life and how excited he was just for the simplicity of going on a walk, if we could learn that, that lesson we could carry with us forever. So, in that gratitude, it was able to really help close the loop of a deep appreciation. And I think that's an element of grief that we overlook. We think grief is just about being sad. And I think part of the funeral rites of anything should be an absolute fucking celebration. And yes, cry the tears, sing the songs and wail into the night. Do whatever else you want to do, but also celebrate. Celebrate the life that was.

KYLE: I think, what's a cool thing about your story, too, is if you were to eavesdrop on that and didn't know it was a dog people were talking about, I'm sure a lot of the bonds that were formed, you would think it was an individual person. And that just goes to show you that, like you're saying, when you're open to connecting with an animal, it's very possible have a relationship that can be just as close to a human to human one.

AUBREY: You've referenced a period of depression that you had in 2019. Let's go into the dark days.

KYLE: Let's do it. I'm more than happy to talk about. It's something I've actually told myself I would talk about often. So, for those of you that don't know, or people listening that don't know who I am. I had this persona online for a long time as The Captain. And it started as something that I created to separate my personal life from my professional life. At the time, I was working in advertising, I had a lot of clientele. I didn't want to lose for fear of saying something, or tweeting something, or writing something they would find off-color. Because a lot of what I write is very on the nose and unapologetic in my opinions. And in having that character for so long and maintaining that character and starting to become known as that character, for example, when you go out and people start referring to you as The Captain. If someone recognizes you at a coffee shop, they don't call you Kyle, they call me The Captain. And I thought it was cool. This is awesome. People are recognizing me.

AUBREY: Captain. Captain.

KYLE: And then after a while, you start to feel really almost sickened by it. And you start to question who you are as a person more and more. What is happening to this Kyle part of my life? Aside from my friends, more people knew me as that than Kyle. And when I came to terms with it and realized for the past couple years I've been feeding essentially this beast, it left me just completely lost. And I told you before this, I'd used The Captain. For the most part, everything I wrote under that moniker which, very much is me. But it was a veil to protect me because if someone disagreed with something I said, or if I said something vulnerable, it's not me, it's The Captain saying that. So, it was very easy for me to separate that. And so, then when it came time that I got in a very serious relationship with my girlfriend, now we actually end up getting back together after this depressive episode. But when I had to actually be there for a partner and show up as Kyle, I found it very difficult. And I questioned a lot of what I did. I had a lot of shame and a lot of guilt. And some of that was possibly from my Mormon upbringing. And I just felt so lost. I never felt so lost and so purposeless. And I was in LA, and I was grasping for TV opportunities. I wanted to write in TV. And I remember a producer said to me one time, they were wanting me to host a show and he was calling me about it. And I told him that we're going to go to cocktails, can my girlfriend come? And he said to me verbatim, he said, that kind of sucks to know that The Captain has a girlfriend. That's not on-brand for you. And I was like, oh man, this is not good. Now my personal desires are interfering with my professional life. And it just spiraled me out of control. And I couldn't do it anymore.

AUBREY: It's almost like you think that in creating this avatar, it's a path to get you what you want. And then the universe is like, sure, if this is what you want, go for it. And then you realize, fuck, it's not what I want actually at all.

KYLE: It made life so much harder than it needed to be. And it's something that I don't think I'll author another book under that name. The only reason my last book was still under that name is because I have a publishing agreement with that name, because there is some weight to it. And I don't really want to be seen as that character anymore. And it's been very freeing, especially with becoming a dad, with realizing I don't want my kid to call me The Captain. I want to be called dad. I don't want to do this character with my son. And it's helped me a lot in embracing Kyle. Just in wanting to raise my son without the fear, without the shame, without the guilt that I had, I've gone back into my own childhood. In raising my son, I feel like I'm re-parenting myself in a way because I'm going back to those time periods in my life and thinking, what did I do that caused me to start to think like this? When did I first develop this insecurity in my life? Or when did I first start to worry about this? And in going back and doing that, I feel like I've just discovered so much about myself that I'd lost.

AUBREY: One of the Ayahuasca facilitators who sits with us when we go down and work with El Dragon, his name is Valco. Someone was commenting on a really challenging relationship that they had with their father and how that made their childhood very difficult. And how the Ayahuasca was helping to repattern that. And he said, it's never too late to have a great childhood.

KYLE: I love that.

AUBREY: I was like, damn, that hits deep. Because as you're saying, we have the ability to re-parent ourselves. To re-understand mother and father, take that onus off of the two individuals, flawed humans as they are, however dope our parents were, they're flawed humans, and say, I understand mother and I understand father. And I can use those energies to re-parent myself now. And I can step back into that childlike state of wonder, and learning, and growth and redo this whole thing, and re-pattern my programming. I think that's one of the flaws of psychology is they're always trying to anchor you back to the childhood as if that childhood is fixed. And that's going to dictate things in the future. Sure. But what if you just redo it? What if you reimagine this and re-pattern? And it takes a while to re-pattern things in the brain, but absolutely, you can. That's what neuroplasticity is for, is the ability to actually re-pattern a new story. It sounds like that's a lot of what you're doing.

KYLE: I like what you said about seeing your parents for who they are, because that's one of the things I struggled with. Up until a couple years ago, when people would talk about their childhood, I'd always joke and say, my parents would never do that to me. They love med, they wouldn't do that to me. And I had a hard time separating my parents from the parts of my childhood that I think did affect me. And that was the religious aspect of my childhood days. And it wasn't till I came to understand that my parents were just doing the best they knew. My parents are still very active LDS, they're still Mormon, we have a fantastic relationship.

AUBREY: And LDS as Latter-day Saints for those who don't know.

KYLE: And we have a fantastic relationship. And I don't hold anything against them as far as the way I was raised. They thought they were doing what was right for us. But once I was able to just view my parents as people, I was able to go back and be like, wow, this is why I'm so closed off or why it was so hard for me to open up. Because growing up, if I wanted to talk to my dad man to man in my teenage years when everyone's confused, and I wanted some advice, the advice was typically, pray about it, read the scriptures. And I didn't want to hear that. I needed to hear a human response. I didn't need to hear this religious response. And it closed me off and it made me feel so misunderstood.

AUBREY: Interesting corollary between that and you being The Captain and being misunderstood. It's almost like Kyle was always seeking to be seen and to be loved for who you were as the flesh, and blood, and spirit animal that you are.

KYLE: I was just going to say I think that's why I developed The Captain later in life and gravitated towards it so hard is because I'd almost taught myself to do that through my teenage years. I felt misunderstood so I didn't talk about things. And The Captain was my ability to start to talk about things but test the waters first to see, how am I received when I talk about something vulnerable? Or how am I received my talk about something I typically wouldn't want people to know about myself? And it allowed me to test the waters, but it's still kept that barrier up. And so, I absolutely think that my childhood and the way I was raised affected 15, 20 years down the line, the way I ran my career and basically my relationships at the time with my friends, who were still very guarded too. And my friends now, the ones I have that have been good friends with me since high school will tell me, oh my god, you're such a better person now. You were fun to hang out with. We liked going to party with you and stuff in your 20s but you were just, you were AWOL. You were not an easy person to be around sometimes.

AUBREY: The creation of an avatar is something that we don't actually need another moniker to do. I think so many of us are trapped in a prison of our own identity complex. And you could be going by your name, but you've put on a persona that people expect. I remember when I was partying hard in my late 20s and even into my early 30s a bit, but particularly my late 20s, that's when I was probably the most unhappy because I hadn't started Onnit yet. I was still at this marketing company. I was helping my stepdad's company Fleshlight, sell fleshlights. I was like, this is the most pointless thing in the world that I could possibly do. And I was working for investment banking, little projects about pharmaceuticals that I didn't really care about or a gold mining project, or a natural gas project, or some beauty nutraceutical type situation that I was like, I don't even know if this even works but I have a marketing company, so I'm going to do it. And I had no sense of real purpose. So, I was just fucking partying. And I had fun. I had a great time. I was with my partner at the time, Caitlyn. And we were good at partying. We could throw a good party. We had a lot of that energy, where we would stand on top of a table and cultivate this cyclone of energy that would make everything more fun. When somebody is really getting it and putting out that energy, it's contagious.

KYLE: And then when you hear people say stuff like, you throw the best parties.

AUBREY: That was it.

KYLE: That's exactly what, it reassures and you're like, alright, I'm going to keep doing this.

AUBREY: So I would go out to the club one day and I just wouldn't have that kind of energy, but I'd be enjoying myself, would just be more chill. They'd be like, what's wrong with you, man? Are you alright? What's going on? I'm fucking fine. You stand on the table. I'm not going to do it today. But it was this persona that I had that I was going to be the dude with sunglasses on the inside, or whatever the fuck it was, and be fucking raging. And when I wouldn't, people would be like, what's up, man? What's going on? And so, I was trapped, even in my own name, even just by the persona that I had created. And that wasn't fun at all.

KYLE: That's exactly how I felt. I think the most unhappy I ever was when I was living in New York City in a luxury tower, making a good salary, working in advertising, and I traveled all the time for work. Primarily, my clientele base was bars and hotels. And so, my job just revolved around going out. I remember one time being in a club, and I overheard someone say, I like hanging out with Kyle because he pays for everything. And it just hit me in the gut. And I remember starting to tear up in the club. And I was like, is this is what my life has become? If I become these guys that I used to make fun of when I was first going out, and you can see the guy that everyone's just taking advantage of, am I this person now? And I just walked out on the check. I didn't pay it. I walked out and left. And everyone's calling me. I didn't answer my phone. I just went home and laid in bed and just broke down and thought, wow, this life is so empty. And it was the same thing you're saying. If I didn't want to go out on like a Thursday, they're like, what's going on? Why don't you want to come out? Especially at the time, I was really big into cocaine. And if I wasn't either getting it or I wasn't using it, everyone's like, do you not want to party tonight? Why don't you have cocaine with you? It was just such an empty existence. And it was so hard to feel like I could be myself in any scenario. I felt like I always had to be on. And like you said, it was fun. But I would never want to go through that again. There's nothing you could do that would make me want to live that lifestyle again.

AUBREY: So, this podcast and pretty much everything I do is made possible by Onnit. And the great thing about Onnit is it's a company where I created all of the best products that would support me in a holistic life, physically, mentally, through all of the human optimization technologies that Onnit offers and is available. And this ranges from kettlebells, to the steel clubs, the steel maces, to the Alpha Brain which I used before every podcast, and the Shroom TECH which I use before every workout, and the Total NO that I use when I want to flex in the gym and have a really good workout. Really everything that I've ever wanted from a human optimization standpoint is offered through Onnit. So, I encourage you guys to check it out. Go to and you'll save 10% off absolutely everything. And thank you for your support of Onnit which is directly support to me. Thanks, fam. People will say, Aubrey, it's so admirable how vulnerable you are. It's something that I'm known for because I'll just... After that, I decided, this is not the way. I'm just going to talk about everything when I had a podcast. Whether it was going on Rogan's or my own podcast, or my own posts or whatever, I would just really try to let people open the shutters into my inner life. People are like, wow, it's so courageous. I'm like, kinda, but not really. Because when people actually see you, then you have the chance to actually be loved. And then you have the chance to actually be free. So, it's actually a self-preservation model.

KYLE: One that helps you as much as it's helping them.

AUBREY: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, you're doing something that's of service to everybody around you and giving them the permission to be vulnerable. And it breaks down the trap that you've laid for yourself, where people can actually see you in your totality. And it's actually a very liberating thing. I get that it might be scary at first when you start down that path. But once you start getting the feedback from it internally and externally, you realize oh no, this is the only way. This is the only way to exist. And yeah, sure, when you were in, I don't know, middle school or something, vulnerability was dangerous because there's so many bullies who are afraid of this and the dynamics of potentially being bullied or made fun of, but it changes.

KYLE: And you hear this masculinity movement, where I heard someone say the other day, don't call it vulnerability, call it humility, because vulnerability means you could be attacked. And I was like, what a pathetic way to look at it. And it was one of these alpha male individuals who is all about trying to promote this modern alpha male persona. And what you're saying about it being liberating is after I had this moment in 2019, I came back to using social media again. I put my real name on social media. Up until that point, no one really knew who I was. I didn't have a personal Facebook or anything early in life. Social media never really appealed to me. So, people literally couldn't find out who I was. And so, when I came back with my name on there, I had people just write me that were blown away that I did that. And then when I came back, I admitted that I had been in a dark place where I started romanticizing suicide. And I think it's common for people to start to romanticize it. But then I started to actually really think about how, when, and where kind of stuff. And that's when I knew I was getting pretty dark. And I came back, and I wrote a long caption about it on Instagram. And I had so many, thousands of messages from people saying, because you admitted that, my husband decided to go to therapy. I don't feel so alone. I thought I was never going to get past this. But seeing you living the lifestyle that I thought I wanted to live or willing to talk about that, now I'm willing to explore healing myself. And I had an individual write me that was a Navy Seal. And he and six of his buddies that were all veterans got together and started their own therapy group, reading circles and stuff that. And I saw the ripple effect that I had. And it's kind of what we talked about before this podcast where I do feel I'm called to do more at this point in my life with the platform I've built. I just don't know what it is yet. And I have people say similar things to me, how are you so vulnerable? How do you talk about this? And I tell them, well, when you've admitted to half a million people you want to kill yourself, nothing can really hurt you after that. There's very few things that can get out that are more embarrassing than that. Because a lot of people feel it's embarrassing to admit they were that dark. But after so many people know that about me, you don't have much more dirt on me that's going to make me feel worse than I did at that time. So, it's very easy for me to talk about topics that other people wouldn't. Before I do a podcast, the host says, is anything off limits? No and it'd be very hypocritical of me to say there was something off limits. Because as a writer, I don't think you can be a good writer with a guard.

AUBREY: I don't know if it was Stephen King or some great writer who said that for every person that you were worried about reading your writing, you can take 10% off the greatness of your book.

KYLE: I think it's Stephen King. I actually think it's in his memoir on writing where he talks about that. He talks about what's helped him. I'm pretty sure that's where that's from.

AUBREY: Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is too. That's really, really accurate with any part of your art. When your art is constricted by, what if my mom reads this? Or what if my dad reads this? Or what if the world sees the truth about me? You're never going to be able to actually produce art that's worth a shit.

KYLE: It's one of the things I talk about a lot too. I hate artists, and writers, and creators calling their work content. It's a dirty word to me. And I think it diminishes your own creativity and your own power. It's really disheartening for me when you hear someone say, I just wrote this great piece of content. It's not fucking content.

AUBREY: Then it's about the function of it not about—

KYLE: How's it going to feed the algorithm? Content, the name alone is meant to be something that gets seen and shared and viral. And that's not a way to create art. And admittedly, in the past, I did that often when I was first building my online presence, particularly when because I was working in advertising at the time, in early 2014, '15, when I was figuring out how these social channels worked. I was a writer. I wrote for commercials for TV. And so, I knew how to write stuff that got interaction. I knew how to write stuff that got people to share it. And I utilized a lot of it to grow my following the way I did. And then it got to a point where it just felt so dirty, because the whole reason I wanted to have a presence online was so I could write stuff I wanted to write. Stuff I couldn't write on TV, stuff I couldn't write for a client. And so, once I realized I was doing that, I was like, this is just making this side work too now. Now I'm just writing work on both ends. It's not motivating to create with that mindset. And there's still far too many people out there that have that, especially when you see these younger individuals trying to find ways to be relevant with their art or their content, as they would say. You can just see how empty it is. People can see right through that shit. People can see when vulnerability is actually just oversharing or when it's actually a strategy. People can see that.

AUBREY: I don't know if you've ever found this but one of the other traps too, is if you get into those comparisons of other people who are doing something and you're like, I can fucking see through that. But look at those millions of followers. And look at them in the top 50 of the iTunes podcasts. You just see something that isn't quite... And it'll work. And I think that's the trap that it'll, quote, work in some way. But it just depends on the metrics that you look at. And then you could say, fuck, they're doing it better than me. But it's just a trap.

KYLE: Yeah, I know the feeling well. I think the worst is when you can see someone and you're intelligent enough to see them as a fraud and other people can't yet. And you're just like, fuck, man, how can no one see this? This is so fake. And you know from your experience that it is and it's frustrating to watch. And too many people are going to fall into trying to be just like that person, which just perpetuates that cycle of fake creation on social media. I don't even know where I was going to go with that. I got lost. I just started thinking too much about people that I think are frauds online. I got distracted.

AUBREY: It's definitely a trap and you can get stuck in that cycle. And then you can get bitter and then you can get resentful. One of the challenges is it can actually start to affect how much you love the world. Because you can hold this resentment, world, you're so stupid. You're going to appreciate this, well, fuck you then, world. And it's this somewhat self-righteous, entitled, and also judgmental attitude that will actually also sap your ability to create and ability to produce art and actually sing your own true name song and really offer your medicine in a way because you'll start to get this bitterness in you. And that bitterness is something that I think we also have to be really mindful of, because it's only going to be a hindrance to our ability to actually do what we're here to do.

KYLE: When he talks about that bitterness, when you look at the last two years, a lot of people, my girlfriend says this very well. When you operate with the idea of being against something, you don't create at the level you would if you're for something. And so, she always tries to say be for something, be for something. And she can tell when I start to slip into those bitterness realms and cynicism. And there's a lot of people who falsely believe cynicism is a sign of intellect. And so, I'll fall into that trap every so often. She'll be like, no, you got to be for something. Stop being against something. And I think a lot of people have found their identity in being against something. The past few years, you can see it. They just can't let things go. They will harp on the exact same subject or topic for two and a half fucking years because it's continuing to get them relevancy. And I just don't understand how you can do that and consider yourself any kind of artist, or writer, or creator.

AUBREY: Some people believe that just highlighting the darkness over and over and over again and pointing to the darkness is the way that you actually heal the darkness. And there's a good place for it. Bringing light to the darkness is one path. But also, what's dark, as in, in the shadow, as in not revealed, is the light that's within all humanity, the light that's within every bit of darkness. That's the sparks of love and the sparks of humanity that are within everybody. And so, I think you can choose which way you want to go. And I actually had this conversation recently where I passed on participating in content, the art producer, content producer, I don't know exactly, I'm not going to make that judgment call. It's not that I disagree with what you're saying. I actually agree with most of what you're saying. But your platform and your dharma is right now, to be continually pointing at the darkness. It's an all you can eat buffet, if you want to do that. It's fucking everywhere. But I would much prefer to find the commonality of light and beauty that's within everybody, and then bring harmony through the recognition of the light that's within all of us, even those who we judge as the darkest. And I think that's the way to actually heal rather than create additional divisiveness.

KYLE: I think that's something you do very well with your platform, just from listening to it. But a good analogy would be, just calling attention to some things. Like apologizing, but not actually changing what caused the problem in the first place. You can apologize all you want, but unless you actually change that behavior, that character trait, it's pointless. That's the same as what you're saying. Just shining light on the dark all the time, what's the solution? How do you eliminate that? How do you get rid of that darkness? And without being for something, you won't find that?

AUBREY: I want to touch back on something you said from that alpha male perspective. If you say you're vulnerable, that means you're going to get attacked. The question that I would want to ask is, then what? You know what I mean? Then what? So what? So, you're attacked. That's where you actually decide whether you're vulnerable or not, because you're not going to avoid being attacked. Nothing you fucking do is going to prevent that. And now what? And now what? Now what happens? How do you respond when you actually are attacked? What are you really made of when shit gets gnarly? And when that happens, are you vulnerable then? Are you going to be brittle? Are you going to break? Are you going to resort to rage and the violence of mind? Or are you going to be able to assimilate that and withstand that and bear it? And that's, to me, true strength. That's true masculinity. It's the ability to hold a fucking mountain and say, wind and tempest and lightning, do your worst. And whether the fucking fire comes and sweeps across all the brash, that's all right. I'm the fucking mountain. I'm the rocks that are underneath that that have been there for eons and I'm going to be here for eons. And I'm actually not vulnerable, because I'm willing to withstand the attack. And I think that's just a whole way to reframe this very brittle understanding of masculinity. It's funny. It's almost another type of facade.

KYLE: And I think someone who'd say they're afraid of being attacked knows they can't weather that storm. You're essentially admitting that you can't weather it when you say that your fear. If you're a fighter, for example, and you're afraid of getting punched, you're never going to be a good fighter. So, I think that's almost, in a way, trying to be an alpha male, you're admitting that you're not.

AUBREY: Yeah. I'm big fight fan and I remember watching a lot of fights back in the day. And all love and credit to anybody who steps in the cage. The amount of courage that it requires to actually go and do that. But you could see the people who really didn't like to get punched. I don't know. I feel bad even naming names, but there's some big heavyweight fighters, oh damn, this guy's the fucking manliest man of all. But then you watch him get hit and you see them wince in the way of, oh my God, what just happened to me? And this is all the way back to the pride days. The biggest, the biggest fighters that you could possibly imagine. Fucking muscle bound, steroided to the hilt. And then you watch them get hit, and they're like, oh my God, what just happened?

KYLE: I'm not as big a fight fan as you are. I've watched a fair share of it. But I would imagine that in being afraid to get hit, it causes you to make mistakes that actually make you more susceptible to losing in general. And spin that back into what we were talking about. If you're going through life afraid to get hit or attacked, it's going to cause you to do things that are going to hinder you even more in life.

AUBREY: I remember one fight on the positive side of this. And it was when Conor McGregor was making his run. And I went to all of his fights and sat down there on the floor sits. That was a fun time.

KYLE: That was a fun time. I was active in watching fights during that time because I appreciated the persona he created around him. I thought it was entertaining. And it made you give a shit.

AUBREY: Yeah, it was magnificent. And I think he's fallen off the rails in a lot of ways, especially after that last fight with Dustin Poirier. Come on, man. This isn't funny anymore. You've crossed the line. When he's talking about Dustin's wife. This is terrible.

KYLE: He needed to get some new writers for his show. It's like a late night host. His shtick was up and he needed to actually admit it and hire some writers to help him.

AUBREY: Totally. But when he was in the red panty night moment of his career. But I remember seeing something really fucking incredibly admirable about that. He had a knee injury, and he was fighting Chad Mendes. So, he wasn't so mobile. But his mind was still fucking impenetrable at that point. And I remember Chad had taken him down. Chad was an amazing wrestler. And grabbed him, threw him down, was taking him down. And I was watching him. He's pressed up against the cage close to where I was.

KYLE: And he had a knee injury.

AUBREY: He had a knee injury in that fight. And Chad was just bouncing elbows off of his face. And I could hear Conor. I could hear him go, I'm going to stand up and I'm going to... And he was just talking shit the whole time. His elbows are just raining down, blood's dripping down. He's like, just fucking wait, I'm going to stand up and I'm going to knock you out. Obviously, he said that in his own Conor way. I'm paraphrasing. I watched him, blocking what he could, but just looking at him, and just telling him exactly what's going to happen. And then sure enough, towards the end of the round, he stands up, moves forward, and then hits him with that strong left hand and drops him and knocks him out. I was like, holy shit. That's the way to fucking do it, is just to weather that entire storm and just be looking through the storm and be like, I got you motherfucker. And Chad's bouncing elbows off his head and totally dominant position. But his will and his... It was so penetrating what he was doing, from a psychological standpoint that he manifested that reality.

KYLE: When it comes to athletes, I've never been an underdog fan. I've always appreciated the individuals who are very outspoken and can back it up. I like watching them lose just as much but someone who can talk shit like that and have that level of confidence and back it up, I think is more enjoyable to watch than the underdog. I just love it. I respect it. I respect that the courage it takes. And if a lot of it's an act or not, I still respect it. It's a belief that very few people ever have in themselves.

AUBREY: That's the intoxicating thing. And you can just look at it based on the Pay Per View buys and numbers. When somebody cultivates that air, then it's intoxicating. And it doesn't matter whether it's Conor, Adesanya, or whoever it is. When they bring that energy, it's like holy shit. Let's go. Let's watch this thing. Tyson Fury, the Gypsy King, I think he's also one of the most exciting people to watch because he just cultivates this air of fucking confidence. And then he wins the bout and he fucking sings a song as his post-fight interview to the whole crowd. He's not a good singer. But there's a certain energy that we can tap into that I think we all want. We all want to feel that. It's a sense of radical aliveness in the moment and sheer unwavering confidence. And when we see that and the brashness. And I think another part of humility, you mentioned, humility. Another part of humility is being humble enough to express how great you are. You know what I mean? That's something that I think a lot of people are shy about. I think humility is expressing the truth. And if you think you're the baddest motherfucker and you're like, I just get in there and work hard. No, we want to hear what they really believe, which is, oh yeah, I'm the fucking baddest.

KYLE: This is something that a friend of mine Andy Frisella talks about often is sharing your wins. Because society nowadays has almost made it seem as though it's just overly cocky or it's out of touch to share your wins when you have been successful. And he's a big proponent of telling people, no, if you've done well, you owe it to the generation below you to talk about it and believe in yourself enough to talk about it because that's how they find inspiration. It helps other people when you're willing to be like that. When you're afraid to talk about your greatness or you're afraid to accept what you've done that's hard, it just shows people that's not possible themselves.

AUBREY: It's another fear of vulnerability.

KYLE: We shouldn't be attacked for that.

AUBREY: Of course. I went to school for a semester in University of Queensland in Australia. And then I dated an Aussie for a while and had a lot of Aussie friends. And they actually have a phrase that they call tall poppy syndrome, which is, they have in their culture, this belief that the tallest poppy is the one that gets cut down. So, if there's a flower that rises above the rest, that's when everybody's coming with the garden shears to cut it down.

KYLE: It's not a wrong belief to have. It's the truth it happens.

AUBREY: It does happen. But then it prevents people from actually, first of all, stepping out and being brave enough to be the tall poppy. And then also, if they are the tall poppy, just naturally by who they are, they're always self-diminishing themselves, which is another seductive, dishonest strategy to not get attacked.

KYLE: It's like you said, there's an air of being holier than now, when you feel like you're being humble. And you see a lot of people do that online too, where they're afraid to... They want to have that underdog story so bad, or they want to tell the story of how they struggled, or they don't want to admit any lucky breaks, because they're afraid it diminishes what they've done. And like you said, it's just another way of suppressing yourself. And self-suppression is a recipe for depression.

AUBREY: Well said.

KYLE: It just is. I talked about this recently on my social media. Faking who we are, whether we fake how we feel, or we fake what we believe, and you've seen a lot of people do this the past two years, where they fake what they believe, because they don't want to be attacked by the mob, or they fake their persona, it's going to happen. There's going to be a moment where you're going to have to come to terms with yourself, and it's not going to be comfortable. It's going to be hard as hell.

AUBREY: I remember during the height of the pandemic, I was just holding back a lot of my beliefs, what I really felt. And it felt I was suffocating, actually. And this was when people were being crazy. It's crazy to think right now, right now, COVID still exists all over the place. People are getting it and just fucking shrugging it off. People are just dealing with it. But then it was such a fucking big deal. And the cognitive dissonance of the difference between now and then is outrageous to look at.

KYLE: It's almost, when you think back on how it was two years ago, it feels like a dream. I remember seeing images of them digging mass graves in Central Park. And I remember all this weird stuff going around. I talked to my friend. Did that really happen, or did I just imagine that? Was it really that bad at one time? The refrigerator trucks full of bodies and all that stuff that was going around. They really had that propaganda, and they had that fear mongering out there. It feels like it never happened, like you're saying it. It was so extreme. And I was like you at the beginning of it too. I was afraid to express how I felt. And then I realized my entire career was predicated on the fact that I was willing to speak out and express my opinion. And if I didn't do it during a time where there was so much blatant manipulation happening, or shame and guilt being pushed on people, it felt like I was just failing everything I'd done as a writer up to that point. And so, I write stuff that, one week, will have people feeling I'm very conservative. And the next week, I'll write something that has people feeling I'm very liberal. And it's a good thing, because it means I'm a person. I think most people are in the middle. And I had someone say to me one time, why aren't you choosing a side? I said, I have chosen a side. I've chosen the side of people.

AUBREY: Team people, baby. Let's go.

KYLE: I'm the side of everyone. I'm the side of humanity.

AUBREY: And people hate that. They want to put you on a team. They want to put you on one team or the other. Which jersey are you wearing? Fucking neither.

KYLE: They want to be able to predict what you're going to think next. I think unpredictability, it's why people try to control their own life. People have a hard time accepting someone who's unpredictable, because they want to know where you're going next with everything. And if they can put a label on you, they feel like they can believe, this is safely what he's going to do next. And so, when you don't do that, it drives people crazy.

AUBREY: I know. I'm rewatching "Game of Thrones" because my wife Vylana hasn't seen it. Fuck, that's a good show, by the way.

KYLE: I actually have the box set and I've never opened it. I've seen a couple episodes on TV.

AUBREY: Man, you'll get into... I'm seeing how genius the writing is. How they foreshadow little bits of things that I didn't catch the first time because I didn't know where it was going. And I see how they dropped little clues all the way. The writing is so good, the acting is so good. Obviously, the story is so unpredictable. And I'm watching her not knowing what's going to happen. Falling in love with the hero and that hero gets his fucking head cut off. And she's like, what the fuck just happened? So many things about it are great. But one of the things that you realize is in that story, much like in real life, in this Machiavellian court of the king or subject to the lynch mob back then, you had to be really careful, because you could literally find yourself under the guillotine if you said the wrong thing. So, everybody was very measured and political and full of shit. Everybody was lying. This is the idea in the main court. It's King's Landing and everybody's a liar there. And they talk about how everybody's just manipulative and lying because there was actual real threat to that. And in some ways, the culture we're in now, there is real threat in that you can get cancelled, and lots of people did and got deplatformed. And a lot of shitty things that could affect quality of life to a certain degree. But it's not the same as it was because nobody's actually coming to kill you, actually. And so, yes, it requires courage. But actually, if we look and say, what are they really actually doing? They're just throwing pixels at me. Pixels that make words on a fucking post. And the people who've been able to stick to their truth and just walk through it, ultimately, they've all walked through it. Unless they've done something actually legitimately egregious, then, of course, there's consequences to that. There's consequences to your actions. But the people who've just said, nah, I'm not going to allow this to diminish me and allow me to suppress myself. I just have such admiration for people who've had that courage and recognizing that it may seem like life or death when the Twitter lynch mob comes after you, half fucking bots anyways, at least. But really though, you're going to be okay.

KYLE: It's a three-day rule. 72 hours, they'll be upset about something else. And I actually talk about in my book "Speech Therapy," how to handle being canceled or people coming after you. And just like you said, I think you have to allow it to happen. I actually think it's a choice people make to allow themselves to be canceled. Because if you just keep going forward, like you said earlier, keep weathering that storm, in three days, five days a week, it's going to be gone. And the people you talk about and I'm sure we can probably name names here, but if you watch how they handled it, it's typically what they did. They kept doing what they kept doing. They kept saying what they kept saying.

AUBREY: Apologize if they needed to.

KYLE: If they did something they felt was truly wrong, they'll apologize. But the worst thing you can do is apologize for something that you don't believe was wrong. Because as soon as you do that, you feed them, and you have given them power over your beliefs. And that's just a whole form of self-betrayal.

AUBREY: It's gaslighting yourself in a way. And really, like you said, complete self-betrayal. And so, holding true and then having that ability to weather that storm and say no, this is what I believe. And also, don't be stubborn. If your belief changes, a lot of times you do learn. A lot of times you'll say something and be like damn, I didn't really think of that. I wasn't sensitive to that thing. So, then fucking acknowledge that.

KYLE: Or like, cats aren't that bad. Cats are actually pretty fucking cool. Why have I been talking shit on these felines for so many years when they're actually really good? And I have no problem admitting that. But I'm all for changing your opinion when you're presented with new information. It's changing your opinion based on what you believe is public opinion that is the big mistake.

AUBREY: You start to lose yourself.

KYLE: And that's when you're building an avatar. You're responding with what people want to hear. And you do that long enough for a couple years, you're going to get to a point in your life when something really traumatic is going to happen, and you need yourself to fall back on and you don't know who that person is. And you're not ready and you haven't been putting in the work to actually support yourself through it.

AUBREY: An interesting meditation that I've been in and a contemplation, I should say, is understanding that there's this idea about power corrupting. And I've never agreed with this idea. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I forget which guy fucking said that. But everybody parrots that same thing. And I strongly disagree with that statement because I think power can reveal your innate corruption that you already have. But it doesn't create anything. It just actually reveals what's really there. And so, I've been contemplating this, and I've believed that firmly from the beginning, but I've been contemplating that as I've gotten more entrenched critics, and haters out there. There's this one group, and I don't want to give them any more light, but they continue to just produce content, just fucking complete bullshit, making shit up about me. Obviously, I have plenty of forays into the magical realm—

KYLE: Someone told me you were a cult leader before I came on this podcast.

AUBREY: Of course.

KYLE: And I told them, I said, that means he sounds like an interesting person to talk to. I want to know who a cult leader is. I don't believe it, but I've heard that shit—

AUBREY: For my donation-based coaching program.

KYLE: Just two friends of mine. Just when I told my friend I was going to go to Austin. What for? I got a book signing. I'm going to go talk to Aubrey Marcus. Oh, that guy runs a cult. No, he doesn't. Have you looked at anything this guy does?

AUBREY: And so, it's ideas that, which are like, what the fuck?

KYLE: Kinda awesome, though, at the same time. Kinda awesome. I think of all the things you could be accused of in life, being a cult leader is near the top of cool things to be accused of. I honestly believe that. It's funny. When I was working in advertising, I said, the ultimate example of being a good marketer is starting a cult. If you can't start a cult, you're not as good as you think you are. And so, I used to joke. When I'm in my 70s, I'm just going to start a cult just to see if I'm as good as I believe I am.

AUBREY: Well, in any case, there's obviously a lot of negative associations with that and a bunch of bullshit that's not there. The root of cult is cultus, which means to worship. And it's also a part of culture. It's creating something that people actually care about. And what people are talking about is our Fit For Service platform, which people fucking care about, because you're going through initiatory practices together. We're doing breathwork and ecstatic dance. But all of the shitty parts about being a cult, which is actually planting ideas in other people's heads that aren't their own, or keeping them stuck or using leverage, there's none of that. People come in and they come out. Whenever they want to go to a summit, they can. And when they don't want to go to a summit, they don't.

KYLE: It's not like a religion where you're requiring tithes every week.

AUBREY: No, or is there a fixed set of beliefs. What do you discover when you breathe? Figure it out, and then talk about it. It's the antithesis of what that is. The people who with malice and also self-interest, who are promoting themselves by trying to tear me down, the contemplation was, if I had absolute power, to be a wizard, be an actual wizard—

KYLE: Like a Maine Coon cat.

AUBREY: Like a Maine Coon cat with spells. I could just cast a spell, and that person would be walking near one of those little parking things and just slip and fall, and then the nuts would crack right on the thing, would I do that? Obviously, I'm not thinking about death or anything like that, but would I be malicious back if I had that power to just cast a spell and do it? And when you receive malice and you have the power to actually be malicious back, and you could do that without any consequences, would you? The question then is, and this goes back to the power, if you had that power, then you would really know how good are you? How I say, receive that. Receive that and see beneath that and find the love that's underneath. And this is a deep part of my belief. But really, only in this contemplation have I realized, fuck, if I was tested in that way, it would be a test. And I would have to pass through the gate at the point of receiving all of this malice. Could I pass through the gate and not use my power to actually be vengeful in that moment? How good actually am I?

KYLE: Sounds like the only way to figure that out is to start an actual cult. You got to actually start it and see what you do with it. You're doing it just to test yourself. Just get to that point and like, I'm good. Now I don't need this anymore.

AUBREY: Yeah. Don Howard, one of my spiritual teachers always talked about that. Anybody on this path has to confront the path of power, and the path of power over other people. And what do you do when you have that? What do you do when you have that power? How do you respond? And that's how you actually get to know yourself. And when you know yourself as powerful and you know that you could, but you don't, then you know yourself as good. Because you've actually had the choice. It's like what Chris Rock used to say about, you're only as faithful as your options. There's something really true about that. Are you faithful? I don't know. Has the Victoria's Secret model hit you up when you're on that business trip at the end of the night and you already said goodnight to your partner, and she's come up to my room with me? Fucking A. That's when you know if you're faithful. You know if you're faithful when you pass that crucible and you pass that test. And it's not like, fuck, I don't know if I'll get caught. But if it's, no, my integrity says no. And then you really know yourself. Jordan Peterson says the same thing. You know yourself when you test yourself. Even if you're doing it hypothetically. Understanding that a lot of us really don't know how good we are, or what we are until we've actually walked through that a little bit and recognize our own personal power, and then decided, I actually know who I am because I've made these choices. And then you start to make those positive choices, then you really actually know yourself. And then that unwavering knowledge of self actually makes you invulnerable to those attacks, because you're like, no. Actually, you're fucking full of shit. If you really know your sexuality, for example.... It used to be an attack, it doesn't happen anymore because people know better. But people would call you homosexual in not those nice words. But if you know you're like, bro, I'm not gay. You really know that, it doesn't hurt. But if you're like, fuck, I was looking at gay porn the other day and I just don't know, then it's, how dare you? I can't believe you. You get all flustered because you don't actually know. So, I think if you get to the point where you really know yourself, and you're like, no, I actually know who I am because I've tested it. I understand what is actually really inside, that's the path to really being strong. And really being free.

KYLE: This comes back to what you were talking about vulnerability. The more you do it, the more you realize it's not as bad as you made it out to be in your head. And you're testing yourself every time you speak out and express your true opinion. And then you feel more comfortable doing it the next time and the next time. And then when it really fucking matters, when something huge happens, you're not even going to second guess yourself because you're so comfortable with who you are and you've been through the crucible of people trying to cancel you, you've dealt with thousands of DMs of people talking shit on you. So, when you need to rely on yourself, you have yourself to rely on.

AUBREY: Yeah. I think people are afraid also in some way of power, because they don't know themselves. They don't know what they would do. They're not really sure.

KYLE: I remember in my 20s, I used to tell my friends, I'm glad I'm not rich because I think I'd be dead. And I meant it.

AUBREY: Because you didn't trust your self-restraint.

KYLE: In my 20s, if I would have had enough income, I would have probably just partied my ass off. I would have done so much stupid shit with that money because I didn't trust myself. I was trying to find myself. I heard someone say once that it's not wanting money that's wrong, it's what you want to do with that money that's wrong. There's no problem with becoming wealthy and successful. But why do you want to be wealthy and successful? And it dovetails with what you're saying about what do you do with power? And at the time, my 20s, I meant it. To this day, I'm very glad I was not that successful in my 20s. We wouldn't be talking today. I know I wouldn't. Because I know the shit I did do. And if I would have had that power because money is power in a way, I would have abused it, for sure.

AUBREY: And you see that with so many child stars, or so many people who come into fame. Fame is even more dangerous than money or—

KYLE: It depends on how you got that fame too.

AUBREY: Of course. Of course. And then at that point, you can see this slippery slope and decline. And it's almost like they haven't been tempered quite enough to reveal the cracks that were innately there. Their own attachment to their ego, their own desire for the darker side of the implementation of power, and they haven't tempered themselves. And so, when that power comes, they're not really ready for it. And they don't have the people around them who also... Because power can create this distortion field where everybody really wants something from you. And I think that's also the other dangerous part. They don't have real friends that'll be like, what the fuck are you doing, man? What the fuck was that?

KYLE: Imagine becoming incredibly famous for lip synching on Tik Tok. If you've built this whole platform. You got these people that have 9, 10 million followers for lip syncing and doing dance videos. And then you suddenly have all this money and all this fame, and you're faced with a moment that requires real integrity. You're not going to have it. Because you didn't come into power by having integrity. You came into power by either being attractive or cute, or silly. Those are the people, you're talking about the child stars, who have the biggest downfalls because... It's similar to, they talk about this in the NFL, they call it helmet syndrome. Where you get these kids that are straight out of college. And next thing you know, they're playing the NFL, they have all this money. And I can't remember what the statistic is, but the majority of NFL players go bankrupt later in life because they never had to manage small amounts of money and they suddenly have a lot to manage. And like you're saying, everyone around them takes advantage of them. And they call it helmet syndrome because they're not as recognizable as, say, a basketball player or a fighter, because they have the helmet on the field. So, when they do go out, they want to be seen and they want to be appreciated. And so, they have a tendency to spend more money. They have a tendency to be the most boisterous. And it comes from what we're saying. You don't slowly build that based on integrity. If you don't have the right people around you to instruct you on how to use that power, that's where people have that mindset that ultimate power corrupts.

AUBREY: Yeah. And the lack of elders. The lack of people who've walked through that fire before. Listen here, young buck, let me tell you about when I was there. Let me tell you about these lessons. And then the respect for the elders, I think we've lost that. There's a lot of old people, but not elders who can really guide us through. That is the beautiful thing about the internet culture that we have now is that people can find real elders that aren't in their family, or aren't someone that they actually know who they can follow, who can talk about the lessons from the road, and the lessons of the journey that people can assimilate that knowledge from.

KYLE: Yeah. Your parents can relate to you to a certain extent, but at some point, your life's going to diverge from theirs. And you need to look to other people that know more than... For example, to use that football example again. If you're the first in your family to ever have that kind of money, you can't look to your parents, you can't look to your grandparents for instruction on that. You need to find other people that have been there. And like you said, that is the beauty of the internet. And it is something that is lost in our culture. Not just financial means but all this spiritual stuff. If you're looking up towards these, quote unquote, alpha males who are saying being vulnerable means you're open for attack, that's not the right person you need to be looking up to. I think you need to take that stuff with a grain of salt too. Look at these guys' lifestyles, the people that are saying this and be like, do you want that life? It's usually always a guy who's been twice divorced and has a couple of kids that he's paying child support for. And he feels like he's been taken advantage of by the world. You look at guys that and go, no. Why would I take advice from that guy, his life's horrible? And I think about that a lot with just these people who become famous on social media. And you look at their life. You don't want that life. That life's horrible.

AUBREY: That's something that my buddy Chris Williamson talks about all the time. You don't get to pick and choose just one aspect of a person. You have to take the whole thing. And when Elon Musk was on Joe Rogan's podcast and he just looked straight at him and he's like, you wouldn't want to be me. And it was this really vulnerable moment of, you may think all of this is badass. He's basically fucking Iron Man. Just the amount that he's wielding right now in the world and the technology he's developing, all of this. But his inner world, for most of us to try and step into that, we would just fucking crack and break. And the amount of tempering that he's had to go through to actually be able to hold and still, even to this day, the discomfort that he expressed that was under the surface of that simple line that he shared. It's true. We don't have any idea what people are actually dealing with in their own private life. Robin Williams seemed like a happy motherfucker to me. Clearly not.

KYLE: You see that with a lot of celebrities. I had a buddy, he's a trust fund kid. And he's the kind of individual that people want to hate on more than ever. Someone who has daddy's money. And he told me one time, we were drinking a couple years ago, having a pretty honest conversation. He said a similar thing as Elon. You wouldn't want my life. My relationship with my dad is so strained and I'm the only male in my family. And I'm the one that's tasked with carrying on the family name. His childhood growing up was very much not what I would consider the childhood that I would have wanted to have. But it's part of stepping into this legacy that his family has built. I remember him saying that to me. At the time, I was thinking, what are you fucking crazy, man? Of course, I want your fucking life. It seems pretty easy. But as I get older and I think about it, especially being a father now, I understand it. And I was like, damn, man, I would not want those wounds that I know he's still carrying. And I see the way his life is now. And he's basically my same age. And I see the way he's still living the way we talked about. He goes top golf and he's one that buys all the bottle service and pays for everyone's good time. And I see him still doing that in his mid-30s. And I'm just like man, he's not sure of himself. He doesn't know who he is aside from the family name, and I can see that in him, and I feel for him.

AUBREY: And I think this will segue into talking about kids, which I know is something that you want to talk about. And it's something that's on my mind as well. My dad was wealthy. He was a commodities trader, he was written about in this book called "Market Wizards." He was one of the early pioneers in commodities trading, which is buying and selling of currencies and metals.

KYLE: So, you say you want to be a wizard, your dad actually was a wizard.

AUBREY: Yeah, a wizard of the markets. He had quite a bit of money. And so, I had a lot of fucking beautiful blessings from that. I didn't have to pay for my college. I've worked in the summers, things that I wanted to do. I was a script reader for a production company and I would explore different things. But it wasn't because I had to fucking earn. I love writing, let me do this. Or I love this, let me do this. So, it was about desire. But not about I had to. So, of course, so many blessings from that and I don't ignore all those blessings. But I'm really glad that there was never any trust, there was never any amount of money that I got from him. I had to earn. As soon as I got out of college, I had to start earning. And there was just never anything that was ever there. And, of course, there was the hypothetical, when my father passed, the hypothetical fucking amount of money that I would get when I was whatever, 55 or 60, or whenever the fuck that was going to happen. But that's not enough to actually demotivate me. But I can imagine that if I had a trust, if he set up a trust where I had a bunch of money that I got when I was 30, I started Onnit when I was 30 and really got going when I was 31. What if there was a fucking $10 million trust?

KYLE: You wouldn't have started it.

AUBREY: Or I would have maybe started it but, fuck, didn't work.

KYLE: Not with the same tenacity.

AUBREY: Not even close.

KYLE: You would have been biding time. I'm basically just waiting till I'm 30. You would have just been taking advantage of—

AUBREY: It could have derailed my whole fucking life. If I would have had a trust, it could have derailed my whole life. So, the fact that I didn't, I'm so grateful for. So, now that I've come into my own wealth.. And actually, my family didn't invest a penny in Onnit at all. I got that from my buddy, Bodie Miller and I got that from this other friend named Howard. And Howard and Bodie put in $110,000, took a chance on me, and then we built Onnit from there. And then obviously, we sold it recently. And so, now I've come into my own money, but I'm thinking about my kids. And I think this, really, ultimately, people talk about, create generational wealth. What are you going to do, fuck up every generation that comes after you? Because you have to be really, really careful with that shit. And to me, I want to tell my kids from the start, I got you. If ever you need something or you're in trouble, or you have an idea that you need some support with or whatever, we can talk about it. And if it's a solid fucking business plan, I'll be there for you. And I got you all the way going through school while you're exploring and learning. But there is no trust and there is no inheritance. I want to end my life having given away every bit of money that I've earned to the places that need it the most. And people are talking about setting things up so that you have this big endowment or this big inheritance. I don't think that's the right model. I think really, the goal should be to accumulate as much as you desire to accumulate and then distribute that energy to make the world a better place and allow your kids to create their own energy. It's something that I want to make very clear from the start, because I know how valuable it was for me not to have had that. Not to have had this easy way out. Because if you have the easy way out, it's tough. It's tough to not take it.

KYLE: I think in a way, when you choose to leave behind a trust or inheritance, you're almost making your child's decisions for them after your death. It's a way of exerting control over their life path. And I can see it in my buddy. I don't think he'd be doing what he does for work if it wasn't the family business. It doesn't seem it's something that really interests him. It's why people say your job as a parent is to give your kids opportunities you didn't have. But your job is not to decide their life for them. And had your dad chosen to leave you behind a certain amount of money at an age, it would have essentially been deciding your life for you. I think the way that you're approaching is the right way to do it. I think the one thing I'd want to leave behind for my posterity is property stuff. I like the idea of having a family house, that's always been the family house.

AUBREY: That is the caveat to that. We have a fucking unbelievable ranch in Sedona. An unbelievable ranch, it's actually part of a nonprofit that's already in Lockhart, Texas here, which is close. And I see these properties as properties that would never be sold. And I would probably actually put those in a trust so that they could never be sold. They'd be fully paid off. The trust would have enough to pay all the property taxes or whatever. But they would be in the family forever. That is the exception to what I'm saying. Because there's certain things that are so special. And to know that I grew up in this place and had all my fucking crazy medicine journeys, and spent all of this time, and have all of these memories soaked in those walls and in this land, and I sweat in the sweat lodge, and I fucking bled out there on the basketball court when I was giving hell to my buddies, and did all the things in this place, and loved, and laughed, I would want that for my kids too.

KYLE: Essentially, when you’re leaving property, you're leaving behind memories. At my age, I would love if my great grandfather had a ranch somewhere I could still go visit. That would be so meaningful to me to be able to go stand in a place where I knew generations before me stood. It's that "Yellowstone" model. I don't know if you watch that show.

AUBREY: I didn't watch that show.

KYLE: That's a show that I got into like you're into "Game of Thrones," I was pretty obsessed with "Yellowstone." They leave behind the property to their posterity, but they don't leave them money really. Because they still have to operate the ranch, they still have to run the cattle on the property, which is what "Yellowstone's" predicated on? That is the right way to leave behind a legacy, in my opinion and memories.

AUBREY: Memories and knowledge and love. Love is the ultimate legacy. How much can you love? One of the things I've been realizing about kids, and I'll be real honest here. A big part of my motivation in life was to be successful so that I could increase my ability to meet the fucking dream girl. I think I actually used a fake ID to get in there. I was in Vegas. And there was a show called "Le Fam." It was like the "Crazy Horse Show" in Paris, but they brought the Paris show to the MGM Grand. And it's just unbelievably beautiful burlesque dancers and this beautiful art and light, topless dancing thing and I was there alone. I was on just a trip out there. I don't know. I don't know why the fuck I was there when I was like 19 or something like that. I had a fake ID that I got from a stand here in Texas that just said fake IDs. I got a Louisiana ID. And on the back of it, it said, not a real ID. But it was printed in the same way that you would print everything. Just all the text, instead of saying the normal text that was on it, it said not a real ID. So, people would look at it, they'd turn it over and it would literally say not a real ID. And that's I guess how they did it legally?

KYLE: I was going to say, that's so they can legally sell it.

AUBREY: People would look at it and be like, alright because they would just not expect to see it. But anyways, I'm in "Le Fam," I'm 19. I'm looking at the women who are on stage. And I was really frustrated as a lover at that point. I never was able to be with the woman that I really liked. I would be so obsessed and writing poetry for some girl that I was just dreaming about being with. And it never worked out. I had some nice relationships, but it was always while I was looking at somebody else, they would be looking at me and they'd be lie, I guess we'll do this. In the meantime—

KYLE: You're biding time. The trust fund was where your was but you're biding time with the other ones.

AUBREY: Totally. So, in that moment, I just started getting tears in my eyes and I made this solemn vow. I will do whatever it takes in this world. I was sipping Crown Royal on ice and that was my drink when I was younger. I had three older stepbrothers. So, I was drinking whiskey from when I was 11. I managed to make it out alright. This is not a recommendation to do that. But anyways, I'm drinking my whiskey and I'm watching this. I was like, I'll do whatever I need to do to be as awesome a human in all categories. From success, to knowledge, to humor, to money, to strength. Whatever the things that make a man attractive, I'm going to be that so that I could ask one of these girls on a date and they would say yes. It was this solemn vow. And some part of me was, yes, I want to... And also deeply wanted to impact the world. I felt like I always had a message to offer the world that was important. That was early, early currents. And it's shifted a lot but those were some of the early sparks. So, both of these things were in tandem, my desire to contribute to the world, and my desire to make myself the type of man that could get the girl of my dreams. Both of those were intact. And actually, through my polyamory journey, which was eight years, and I had an amazing partner, Whitney, and we had a great relationship, but I was still polyamorous. So, the desire to find another beautiful woman that would like me was still a deep part of my motivation. Then I meet Vylana. Holy shit, she is the woman of my dreams. I fucking did it. I won. I won the game. That solemn vow that I made to myself, which was to be the most holistically awesome person, so that when I found the woman of my dreams, she would want me, it worked in some way. And again, it was a holistic desire I wasn't singularly focused on money or power or any of that—

KYLE: I was going to say, because there's two ways that can go. You have a lot of guys that have that motivation, but they do it with the sake of money and power. If I have this car, if I have this house, if I have this club, I'm going to meet these kinds of women. The way you approached it, I would say is the right way to approach it. Because you have a lot of people who, how do I attract this person in my life? Well, you become the person that is worthy of someone like that.

AUBREY: Is irresistible.

KYLE: And worthy of someone like that, honestly.

AUBREY: And if you're attracting, you get what you're fishing with. If you're fishing with money and you're fishing with these other lures, you're going to catch a fish that is attracted to that type of lure. I wanted them to be attracted to my essence. That's the real type of relationship.

KYLE: It's a great way to look at things too, because I always have this similar outlook. The men that try and attract women with money, why do you want that though? Is money all you have to offer? You don't believe you have anything else. And so, you'll see a lot of people lead with the one thing they feel they have to offer. And you'll see people that are very attractive, and they won't develop any other character trait. They'll just focus on their looks. Do you want someone who only wants you for that one thing, though? Because that one thing is likely not, it's not always going to be there. There's a risk, you could lose that one thing.

AUBREY: And you're not going to attract what you actually want, which is someone who loves you for you.

KYLE: And allows you to be you and allows you to grow. And you don't feel that you have to put on a front for them. I think that, you're talking about people with power I see this being an issue if you were someone who's really famous and you were an musician, for example. And you attracted someone because you were in a band. Where are you 10 years from now when you're no longer touring, though? And you're no longer that musician? Do they still want to be with you? Or are they just attracted to the musician, the lead guitar player, and the lifestyle kind of thing? And I can see why someone in that limelight would have a very hard time trusting people.

AUBREY: For sure. You have to be aware of the other side of that, the shadow of that, which is, I just want someone to love me as I am. So, I'm just going to sit around and play fucking video games and not read books, and not go to the gym because I want them just to love me as, be better. It's okay to be better.

KYLE: You want someone just as slovenly as you? Are you attracted to yourself? You want someone that's exactly like you right now. Chances are you don't. The people that are that are probably still looking towards these people, they're looking towards these women or men that are powerful, status, attractive, artistic. And they think, I want someone like that but I want them to love me for who I am. It's not going to happen. Because who you are is a piece of shit right now.

AUBREY: Yep. I'm bringing this all the way back around to kids. So, fundamentally, I meet my dream woman. I'm so fucking happy in this marriage. It's unbelievable. I love her so much. I love her so much. She's amazing.

KYLE: I like seeing the way you champion her. It's cool.

AUBREY: She's the fucking best. It's so easy. And I get emotional just thinking about it. Because literally, this is my dream. And I fucking got it. More than anything else, this was one of the deepest desires of my life. And here I am. And it's fucking there and it's amazing. It's better than I ever could have imagined. And sure, it has its challenges. It's not all—

KYLE: Every relationship does, though.

AUBREY: Fairytale fantasy. It has its own difficulties, of course. But I got there. And so, one of the challenges now that I'm there, this big thing that's been motivating me my whole life, which is to be awesome so that women will like me, I got the woman of my dreams, and she really loves the deepness of my core essence. And so, the desire to be awesome, I can't motivate myself the same way. So, I still have the desire to help the world. But also, I'm doing a lot for the world. And the people who I love are well taken care of. So, it gets me starting to think about... There's sometimes, a crisis of me really caring. I really have this idea to produce this thing or create this thing. And I'm forcing myself to do it out of my own diligence and dedication. But it's a push, rather than a pull, getting pulled by this motivation. But then I think about having a kid. I bet the next thing, the next thing that'll give me that extra bit of motivation, that extra bit of I fucking care even more is when I see my kid, and I think, oh shit, I got to make the world a better place for my son and for my daughter. I feel like in that moment, it will be a whole new paradigm that I'll step into, where I'm going to care in the same way I used to care, but just for a different reason.

KYLE: What you're going to find too and what you're saying is exactly what happened for me. What I found and what I believe you're going to find is when you become a father, you think, if I were to die, what would my kids remember me by? And it almost forces you to step up and be a very courageous individual, and to be someone that your son or daughter would be proud to say that was my dad. And that's one of the things that motivated me. Not so much changing the world, but just being a man of character. Because you don't know how many years you're going to have with them to really imprint memories of yourself. And I would my like son, whenever I do pass, hopefully before him, to be proud of me, and be like, that was my dad. And it's made decisions easier for me. It's simplified a lot of complex issues in my life. Because I no longer am as concerned with how other people perceive me, as long as my child perceives me a certain way. And the analogy I use for this is, I used to be someone who hated when people brought kids to a nice restaurant. I couldn't stand it. I was like, what the fuck are you doing? Especially when I lived in New York City. But now, I look at those people and I'm like, fuck, yeah. That's a person who truly doesn't care. Because they know all of you are going to be upset with them. But what they want to do is they want to have a nice meal with their kid. And perhaps they want their kid to try this dish here that makes the best key lime pie there is. They want that kid to experience that. And they're here to give them that. They don't give a fuck what any of you think about it? And so, I tell people, you want to know someone who truly doesn't give a fuck. It's someone bringing a kid to a five-star restaurant. And so, I'm like that now. I was down on Rainey Street yesterday with my son, walked into a bar with him because I wanted some barbecue food from that bar. I don't care if you don't want a kid in your bar. I'm walking in with him. He's fine. I'm going to hold him the whole time. And it's just made me so much more carefree as an individual, because your whole purpose is trying to give them memories and show them life. And from a writer's perspective, the book I'm working on now is a similar idea. I told myself, if I were to die, what would my son remember me by? I feel the need to write a memoir. I used to think that writing a memoir before the age of 50 was very self-indulgent. Who the fuck are you to write a memoir under 50. You haven't lived, you haven't sailed the world on a ship. You're not someone to talk about it. But now, I just want to write one because I do feel like people can relate to my story. I've had a lot of good feedback from when I have talked about it on various podcasts. But also, I just want to write it so if something happens, my son could read it and get a pretty good grasp of who his dad was.

AUBREY: Yeah, that's beautiful to think about. I also think about too. There's lots of little aspects of myself that I know I want to change. But I can get by without changing them. But if I have a child that I know that I'm going to imprint those characteristics, so many of my dad's neuroses, he didn't try to pass them on to me. He didn't teach me his neuroses. I just got them. He had an intense fear of getting sinus colds and just regular things like that. He was so stressed about it and that passed on to me. If I start to feel a tickle in my nose, I'm like, oh God, here it comes. These little things that I've struggled with my whole life to a certain, not huge things. The big things I've tackled. He would fly into fits of rage sometimes and repress things. Repress things till they bottled up and then exploded. Those things I had to work through earlier and I put my diligence in. Because that affected the people that I was in partnership with, it affected a lot of people. And it even affected employees. I lost my temper with an employee one time. It was just an awful situation. I was like, fucking never again. You're never going to do that again. And so, I've worked on the big stuff that passed. But so much of the little stuff, I've just put off. I don't want to have my child pick up on all of these little things that I've been too lazy to actually fix within myself. Because it's not that big a deal when it's only me because I can withstand it, my own little neurotic anxieties, and my own little bullshit. But when I have a kid that's learning from me, not by what I'm teaching them, but by what they're sensing and feeling, fuck yeah, all right, let's go. It's time to really, fully heal all of this so that they have a chance. Sure, they can develop their own neuroses, but they're not going to get them from me.

KYLE: I think Jordan Pearson recently said. It's almost impossible to mature until you become a parent. And I would have been someone to disagree with that wholeheartedly years ago. But once you become a parent, exactly what you're saying, you no longer have the excuse to ignore the little things about yourself that you know you should fix. And my son's only 13 months now, but he'll pick up on things like tonality. He can't produce a bunch of words yet, but he'll mimic back noises to you in a tone that was very similar to the way I just said something. If I lose my temper and I'm frustrated for a bit, I can see in his face that he's scared of me at that moment. If I'm on a phone call or if I'm talking to someone and my son just happens to be witnessing it, it's a hard thing to see. Because you realize that even though he's young, he's picking up your energy, he's picking up your tone, and he's starting to learn how to process things already. He's starting to parrot stuff back to you. And it's like they say, your children are a reflection of you. They mirror back all the bad behaviors you have.

AUBREY: And the good ones.

KYLE: And the good ones. And that's what I've really enjoyed about writing a book during this period of having my son as young as he is it's forcing me, like we talked about earlier, re-parent myself. But as I go back and think, when did I pick up this habit? What caused me to have this habit? Is it something I could have avoided? I's just been so interesting to look at my past in a way I'd never would have approached if I hadn't become a dad. If you're someone who enjoys learning, which I know you are, it's fun. It's painful but it's fun. Because you feel like every day you're progressing. You don't get in that rut feeling of everyday being the same if you look at it from a different perspective. It's been so fucking enjoyable. I remember when I first found out I was going to be a dad. I wasn't ready. And I was a horrible partner to my girlfriend for probably the first couple of weeks. Because I was so paranoid that it was going to strip away any bit of my life I enjoyed, and I started drinking really heavily again. And I hadn't drank much up to that point. I'd stopped and was over it. I started drinking heavily again and I just had the hardest time coming to terms with the fact that I was going to be a father. A lot of it came from, I realized I was surrounding myself with the wrong people. Because when I announced that I was going to be a dad and it got out, most of the messages I received from men were the messages along the lines of, oh shit, your life is over. What are you going to do now? Even from other fathers. I had people who were dads say that to me. And I'm just thinking, whoa. And I was at a point of just being so emotionally vulnerable because I was struggling with it that I internalized that. And it made me terrible. And it wasn't till I had a talk with an old acquaintance of mine. And he has five kids. And he told me, he said, Kyle, being a dad is the best thing that ever happened to me because it made me more motivated. It's made me more successful. It's made me just try harder in life. It's given me a whole new motivation. And he was someone who's very financially successful. He had a fun lifestyle. He told me that and it just jostled something loose in my head because he was the first... Aside from my dad and my brothers, immediate family members, he was the first male in my life who said something positive to me about it. And then I remember thinking, man, every single person that has given me negative feedback lives a lifestyle that I think is fucking awful. I can't think of one person that I want to emulate their life. Why am I internalizing any of that? Their life is terrible. My life's going to be what I want to make it. My parenthood journey is going to be what I want to make it. And it completely flipped it on its head. And the next day I woke up and I was just stoked. I was ready to be a dad. This is going to be so awesome. I'm going to get so much inspiration. I'm going to learn so much about myself. I'm going to have a bond that otherwise I'll never have. And it just completely filled my life with joy. And even to this day, I'm remorseful when I think of how I was the first month when I see him smile or laugh. It's just one of those things that I'm happy to talk about even though it's shameful, because I know I'm not the only man that's felt that way or is going to feel that way. And I'm pretty fervent in mentioning it because I want other people, if they do ever get filled with that doubt, to know that it's just complete bullshit. I had someone else say to me, it was like a joke. Someone said, I don't want to have kids because I want to fly business class. And I told them, I said, my buddy has five kids and just bought his second jet. So, it really is a difference of just perspective. There's absolutely nothing kids are going to hold you back from. I love it. And I'm stoked for you to become a dad. It's funny, because I actually remember listening to some of your older podcasts six months ago when I started digging into your back catalogue. And I remember thinking, I wonder if this guy's going to have kids. Is this the kind of dude who doesn't want to have kids? Because I feel like he's the kind of person that should have kids. And when I heard you talk about it in a recent episode, you're going to start trying, I was like, fuck yeah. This is someone who should have a kid.

AUBREY: And I think for current dads who are listening, I think one of the things that I think is the most powerful, even if you can't change yourself right now, if you can bring awareness to what you're doing, and I think kids are always smarter than you think they are. And you bring awareness to what you're doing, and you own your own neuroses, and you own your own shit, like, you see how I talked to mom there? Well, this is a really bad habit that dad has. And I picked up this habit from my dad. And I get this feeling and it comes up and then I stop thinking clearly. And I start imagining that mom did something when really she didn't because I'm not seeing from her perspective. And then later, right now, I recognize what I did. And then I go apologize to mom for it. And you walk him the actual inner intricacies of what's happening. That's, I think, the necessary first step. It'll help you change, first of all, but also, that brings the child on the inside of the experience. And so, they actually get to learn from you directly. Even though some of the imprinting may still happen, it'll mitigate so much of the subconscious patterning that's happening, because you're going to create a pattern interrupt where you explain what happened. And they'll understand the world. They'll understand the fallibility of being a human. They'll understand so many things. And even though I'm not a parent yet, I know that from all my sisters and all the people in my own, being a child myself. If I could just have understood everything a little bit better and really gotten it, and really been able to be on the inside, I think that's the first most important step.

KYLE: I would agree. I think you and Aaron talked about it when you said learning out loud. It's that ability to own up to your mistakes and admit that you're still human yourself. And it's probably the best thing you can pass on to any child is just not having shame or guilt when you make mistakes. That happens. You own them and you learn from it. And it's okay to talk about it. And that's something that I, whether it was intentional or not, I can imagine it was not intentional. I didn't have a lot of that grown up because of the religious aspect. Because it seemed like the answer to everything was scripture or prayer and stuff. And it's something that I just do not want my child to feel in any way, shape, or form. I don't want him to feel like there's someone looming over him judging him for everything he does. I remember a super stupid story. I remember when I was 14 or 15, I remember thinking the reason I couldn't get a girlfriend is because I looked at porn. I thought that God had seen me looking porn and was punishing me for looking at porn. And at that age in my life, I didn't have enough to really pull back from and realize that was a bullshit belief. But that kind of shame and guilt and feeling like something's always judging you, it's awful.

AUBREY: No. It's not the way. Kyle, let's do this again when I have kids, man.

KYLE: Absolutely.

AUBREY: I want to come back and have conversation with you. And it's been a real pleasure, brother.

KYLE: Thanks for having me on. It's been—

AUBREY: It's been a good time. You got a bunch of books. You got a new one coming out, right?

KYLE: That's the newest one. "Speech Therapy" is the newest one. I have one in the—

AUBREY: What's the book signing for?

KYLE: Book signing is actually for my older books called "Fucking History." It's like a humorous approach on a bunch of historical stuff that people might not have known. So, I'll actually be doing the book signing tomorrow for that one, because that one went through a major publisher and the publishers are the ones that set all that up.

AUBREY: Dope, man. This is awesome. Follow you where? Where can people find more of your stuff and content?

KYLE: If you go on Instagram or Twitter, SGRSTK or just type The Captain and you should find it.

AUBREY: Right on, brother. Thanks for coming on. And much love everybody. Peace. Thanks for tuning into this video. Make sure you hit subscribe, follow me at Aubrey Marcus, check out the Aubrey Marcus podcast available everywhere, and leave a comment. Let me know if this video resonated or what else you would like to hear from me in the future. Thank you so much.