ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Arianna sits down with television and film actor, venture capitalist, philanthropist, tech guru, producer and—most important to him—father Ashton Kutcher. In a deeply thought provoking and wide-ranging conversation, Arianna and Ashton talk about everything from family, social media and privacy to sleeping, time management and what it means to truly relax. The Thrive Global Podcast is brought to you by Sleep Number (sleepnumber.com/thrive).

English
United States

TRANSCRIPT

00:00:03we are grateful to have our friends at sleep number sponsoring the thrive blob of podcast the sleep number bed at Chastain each side so it works for both you and your partner experiences sleep number bed exclusively at one of the five hundred and fifty stores nationwide check them
00:00:20out that sleep number dot com slash Dr hello and welcome to the thought of global podcast on I heart radio my guest today is a venture capitalist and philanthropies that tech guru and a producer and he's also a TV and film star for thirty years I'm talking of
00:00:40course about the one and only Ashton Kutcher your aging me you said I'm a film star for thirty years I've only been doing it for twenty and you're trying to turn me into an old man and I'm well very very young even drive your and your body you
00:00:52acting this is true place junior high place yeah Yasser your outlook I saw thirty years has done high school productions almost thirty years twenty years but the amazing right yeah so that's how I introduced you but how would you introduce yourself you're really hard person to introduce given
00:01:14all the different roles you play I'm a dad your dad that's how I introduce myself I am I am widened Dimitri's dad that's my number one gig everything else is secondary and image of course is a great Greek name yes it's a great name it's also yes originally
00:01:33agreed and so one of the things you've become incredibly identified way beyond your acting for twenty eight years easy your leisure with technology you've been very successful back investor but you've also been one of the pioneer in setting boundaries to your relationship with technology which is something that
00:01:54we're very interested that thrive glob out okay enough why US celebrating technology and all that it's made possible yet how do we set boundaries to eat and how do we deal with that growing addiction to our devices M. you've done a lot of things like that starting with
00:02:11your relation with your phone would you tell us about that so I look at technology through the lens of it's a tool I look at it as a tool and I try to be very very specific relative to that which is I think it's a tool to create
00:02:28efficiencies in your life and which is all fine and dandy but it's the end part that's important which is the in your life piece which is you have to have a life that you want to create efficiencies for and I came up when I first started investing I
00:02:44came up with the thesis for investment in my thesis for investment is that true luxury is being able to afford to take your time and the sort of goes to all means whether it's you know it used to be that it would be silly to take a ride
00:03:02in a horse drawn carriage but it's actually quite romantic and quite luxurious nowadays because it's a presumed as a luxury to be able to take a horse drawn carriage somewhere I would want to take it across the United States but through Central Park is wonderful if I was
00:03:16there with your children and written letter is actually quite romantic and quite luxurious but it takes more time and more effort and and so I ate my investment thesis was technology should actually be able to support you in doing the things you don't necessarily want to be spending
00:03:34time on and be able to do it more efficiently so that you can then spend your time on the things you want to spend your time on thus have the open capacity to luxury and so with that yes actually from from my perspective create some limitations to your
00:03:52technology consumption and I've read a lot of interesting stuff about some of the creators of various technologies not allowing their kids to use them which I thought was quite interesting and I I really I try to limit my technology use to the workplace for the most part I
00:04:09try to remember that being in the moment is more valuable than capturing the moment and I basically when I get home I just put it away and so you don't sleep with your phone I don't want to be available to everyone all the time this is my journey
00:04:25that I'm on and I want to choose when I'm available and I think that the vote the do not disturb feature is actually really really wonderful like trying to read a book or something on your phone is really hard because you're costly being interrupted by Mister that of
00:04:39the other things some stock message or an email or whatever it is so I generally be my phone downstairs at dinner time I put my phone away I maybe I look at it right before I go to bed and then I put it and leave it downstairs I
00:04:52never it never goes to my room with me now if I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes I'll go now get my phone and to work so I can go back to sleep but because otherwise you have a harder time going back to sleep yeah
00:05:03if I can't if I'm not sleeping for some reason generally have something in my head I need to get out is an old use it for that but then I go put it away so if I wake up in the middle of the night and I can go
00:05:15immediately back to sleep I use it as my best meditation time this is a it's kind of amazing because you you don't have a deadline and you can really let yourself go deep fat and inevitably puts me back to sleep yeah I've tried that but sometimes you wonder
00:05:34not a great meditator it's hard to clear whatever that thought is sometimes easier thing to do is just go write it down and then go back to sleep yeah there's also the old fashioned pen and paper by a bad that works now you said something really great about
00:05:52email when you answered the thrive question now you said that %HESITATION he may is everyone else's to do list for you yeah so how do you deal with him and I just love that and I I truly believe it like I look at it as what other people
00:06:09want you to do which the generally if you go through emails and look at that's that has to be what it is so what I try to do is when I when I wake up and that I I spend like the first hour of my work not looking
00:06:22at email and actually just writing out what it is that I want to accomplish in a given day and then before I go through my emails I'll do all my outgoing outbound stuff which is what I want everyone else to do for me old old not that stuff
00:06:37out first for like an hour I'll put a limit on it and then I'll go and get reactive to whatever's going on that is such an amazing productivity hack I want everybody to pay attention because I know how inundated we all become with the mate and then to
00:06:53prioritize it well I found myself waking up every day with you know sixty seventy a hundred emails in my inbox is from when I was sleeping and I would by the time I got through it it was already like you know seven eight the eight o'clock in the
00:07:08morning and blood loss like two hours of my morning until like just responding to things and it became this impossible the hole to get out of because then every response I had had three more responses to it so all I was doing is of other people's work all
00:07:23day long and I never actually got to the things that I wanted to accomplish in a given day other than the meetings that I had to take which were like insanity making eleven selves so I've really become diligent about not bothering and in being clear with people that
00:07:42like you may not get a response to me from me on an email and I also like when when we bring in new company and our and our portfolio at some ventures we send out a mailer to every single founder saying here the team members if you want
00:07:57acts go to this person if you want why go to that person if you want to go to this person if you go to me the likelihood of me responding within twenty four to forty eight hours is very very low to go to these individuals are responsible for
00:08:10these things and it actually creates efficiency inside of our position I love that also in the thrive questionnaire we asked you when was the last time you felt burned out and that time you answered today cell is that still the case I'll have yearly charged %HESITATION I'm pretty
00:08:30rich charge right now I spent the last two months in Atlanta working remotely so I got to spend like six hours a day with my kids and then I compressed all my meetings and virtual meetings which is pretty great because it takes out like the chit chat stuff
00:08:46on either side is you just kinda go right to the guts of whatever you're talking about in a virtual meeting and so is able to compress my work load down about five hours a day so I'm actually pretty which I like hanging out my kids makes me get
00:08:58gives me energy stuff and other than hanging out with your kids how do you and and may like to unclog at home we have like a couple guilty pleasure television shows we watch we try not to watch that much TV on but we definitely have like a guilty
00:09:14pleasure like to watch the bachelorette which I think is fantastic and we laugh we tend to like spend a lot of time just the two of us talking and just hanging out or will listen to a book together which is sometimes fun like in the car in the
00:09:30car we kind of like if it's just the two of us will usually put on like a podcast or a book and just listen to it together which is kinda great because once you share an experience with a book together every dinner party you have for like the
00:09:44next like two weeks ends up being a conversation about the nuances of especially for the great book like we read sapiens together we listened to it on audible and then every dinner conversation we have like the next two weeks became like talking about the book in ID eighteen
00:10:00relative to the history of humanity in the future of humanity and you know his latest book comma Dale's fantastic is incredible chapter nine right now what I love about it is that it's really about this relationship with technology I might be like do you believe that a I
00:10:15is going to save us are you believe a eyes going to destroy us if we don said boundaries so I think it'll save us even without boundaries yeah we'll set boundaries like they'll be natural boundaries that are put on it but I think it's I think it does
00:10:30save us I mean I think if you start by thinking that in some ways is very privileged conversation that we get to have and I think like one of your missions that thrives to actually like take it from being you take sleep and take like me to rest
00:10:48from technology that make it a ubiquitous thing yet but I still feel like it's very privileged conversation when you have people that have to work two jobs and then get home from there to jobs and take care of their kids having conversations about getting enough sleep it's it's
00:11:06a a I I I would imagine that that person's listening to this going you don't understand my life actually at all the science and I've talked to a lot of people like that was struggling to put food on the table what it shows is that you are Morrissey
00:11:23land and Mara fact if the harder your life if you take time to recharge sure but when the rents to you have to write but I think what happened is off and I mean I talked to a woman red light just like you are describing whose two jobs
00:11:39and at the end of my second job she said I'd go home and this is my time to watch my shows and she would spend like four hours watching her shows falling asleep with the TV on wake up by the TV and that creates this vicious cycle that
00:11:53makes it harder that may have been that person I I on the other side had an uber driver that fell asleep at a stoplight because they he was working so hard and I had a conversation with them about it and I know and then I spoke to some
00:12:08folks over about like how do we how do we work on this and make sure that these kinds of things are happening and it's hard when people are when the gig economy working multiple jobs like how do you actually deal with that night and I think my point
00:12:20relative to this is I actually think that technology is going to be there to help a lot of these people when a lot of this work doesn't necessarily exist because technology has the capacity to do it what happens is I think we have an economy that's built on
00:12:34happiness and not built on economic incentives and I think that when the bots actually own the businesses and the bots are in charge of other bots that are running the businesses I think we get to start to rebuild an economy based on happiness where a lot of these
00:12:52things that we're talking about come into play yeah it's happened is it's also has because the consequences of running on empty are immediately felt on our health you know high blood pressure am more likely to offer I read them get diabetes so it's a it's a really fascinating
00:13:13mom and for us to look again at this delusion that in order to get stuff done we have to be always on so I had a wake up moment when I was like twenty nine may be thirty years old what I was having dinner with Eric Schmidt and
00:13:31it was like nine o'clock at night or something dinner was wrapping up and he was do any less taxing them like what he'd gotten like where dinner with these like %HESITATION I'm canceling my meetings in the morning and like what he's what it's like not if Isaac well
00:13:46the time I get home to be ten by the time I get sued the ten thirty and I will get my eight hours of sleep and he was running Google at the time and I was like what we you get eight hours sleep every night is like yes
00:13:56I operate optimally at eight hours sleep so I get eight hours every night I'll cancel my meetings in the morning if I'm not gonna get ours and I went you can do well like I was shocked and it was a wake up for me because I was probably
00:14:10operating on like five six hours of sleep a night and there was a sort of stoicism that came with like not sleeping and being tough like my step dad used to tell me he only slept on Tuesdays so I had this like notion that not sleeping meant that
00:14:28you were more manly end when Eric Schmidt told me this I I sort of had to sleep wake up calls like I wonder how much sleep I function on well and I actually realized eight hours and so now I make it a point if I demanded that I
00:14:44sleep seven hours and sleep eight if I can but I also have babies at home so that doesn't always work but I have a window for sleeping that is seven hours every night and you know that you have the science behind you because what all scientists agree that
00:15:00unless you have a genetic mutation and about one and a half percent of the population dies and they can do great on far five hours the rest of us need seven to nine hours and where we are in that spectrum is individual that same as Eric's made Jeff
00:15:14bezels wrote a piece for that I blog about and the headline was why am I getting eight hours of sleep a night is good for Amazon shareholders I mean it is eight and if you're drinking you might need more than that so you know I like fun drinking
00:15:28ninety eight if I'm not drink and it's up we're not going to take a quick break to show sleepy brought to you by our sponsors sleep because a good sleep routine is the foundation for thriving two days sleep decreased to read that far back I'd read something not
00:15:45on the screen and something that has nothing to do with what we did chapter from a classic nonviolent farm and starting a magazine article passage from history letting ourselves get drawn into a narrative taps his transition from our day to day projects and when in fact studies have
00:16:03shown that reading for us to I six minutes releases stress and tension and I bought and stay tuned for my quick chat with Pete bales the vice president of sleep science and research at sleep number at the end of this interview you have to find out what you're
00:16:20addicted to it seems like Khloe lot coffee coffee me a lot and the kids yeah leave the addicts and full full blown I John nearing the coffee addiction coffee is a big one yeah but I try to like I have to like modulate my coffee intake because like
00:16:36it it gets a little aggressive sometimes I find that as long as after two I moved to decaf coffee I who chased the because I love the taste more than that caffeine that and them so that's what works for me but you can keep going I probably like
00:16:50two or three times a week I'll do like a twenty four hour fast where I'm just having coffee and water so I'll I eat dinner the night before and then I won't eat breakfast one at lunch and I'll just have coffee and water until dinner and only dinner
00:17:07like three times a week yes that's actually called intermittent fasting right and it's yeah rather than to be very good for your health yes somebody told me that it was good for you but I don't really I'm really read up on the science of it but it works
00:17:20for you yeah I heard Cory Booker talking to Tim Ferriss show of and I was like oh okay that's good so there's actually like theory behind this but I actually feel a ton better when I'm not eating sometimes and you say you came to it on your own
00:17:35yeah I can I can do it just because I would I get so excited about work that I forget to eat and so up I'll it's I I'm not really making a conscious choice to fast answer it I just get so excited about whatever I'm doing that I
00:17:49forget the tea I'm not hungry and I just don't need it life is pretty awesome and when you start taking in all the things that life has to offer like sometimes food become secondary to all the other things you can be there and you are you are you
00:18:02kind of very careful about what you feed them are you like obsessed parents making sure it's all healthy and organic we actually it's it's almost easier than buying baby food we just got like one of those like ninja blender things and you just steam some frozen vegetables because
00:18:20apparently frozen they pick frozen vegetables moan when they're right so frozen vegetables oftentimes better produce than the stuff that's actually out %HESITATION because it's actually picked when it's right and then flash frozen and then when you saw it you just you know boil it Steven and then put
00:18:37in the blender in and away you go so the kids eat a hundred percent organic we eat the food in our houses that pretty much on a percent organic so organic food and now social media for the kids that was two and a half I don't know none
00:18:51of what I mean yet they are not on your social media we don't close the motion that's what I meant you know we expect them to be an Instagram went through and I know a and I have I've conversation with you about this I like I actually think
00:19:04that that should be a choice we have like a private thing for the player via private social network that we share some of their families the grandparents and see the kids and stuff but we don't share any photos of our kids publicly because we actually feel like being
00:19:21public is a personal choice and a long time ago like seven years ago I was on a panel with Sean Parker and he said I believe in the future privacy will be the new celebrity and I took that to heart like I my wife and I have chosen
00:19:37a career where we're in the public light but my kids have not and so I think they should have the right to choose that and I actually don't think that they should have images of them as children that are out there that somebody could potentially blackmail them with
00:19:51or do whatever you know it's their private life it's not it's not mine to give away I actually love that it is connected to what we were saying earlier that the Mar embedded you I and that knowledge you like Sean Baca was the cofounder of Facebook or you'll
00:20:06being and an early investor intact the more careful you are about allowing technology to invade your life Sean actually calls it don get high on your own supply yeah and for their kids on social media is a little bit getting high on your own supply well I also
00:20:25I also just think that your social profile is yours to create for yourself and not somebody else is great for you I firmly believe that as society continues to become more transparent public eat what you realize that everybody makes mistakes and everybody stirs up and there's an perfect
00:20:46people don't exist and I think that more people continue to exercise judgment against other people the more they'll fear judgement of themselves and therefore they'll become drastically risk averse people who don't actually know how to go for it try things because they're so worried about being judged and
00:21:05I think that that's like the sort of toxic backside of social media yes the other toxic backside is the endless comparisons comparing somebody else's life to your life in a sense is judgment yeah so if if you're looking at somebody else wondering if you're like them or not
00:21:24you're in a sense judging them in there for judging yourself so you've been in the public eye for so many years now but things have changed now that everybody has a camera and social media has created these giant market and incentive to tear down these walls of privacy
00:21:41how do you find operating in that world how has it changed I share responsibility in the popularization of these networks and the popular written popularization this behavior when I was in my twenties I did a campaign for Nikon and I'd never done a commercial campaign for a company
00:22:02before never really wanted to do it there was a woman in New York that was %HESITATION trying to solve this rare form a child's prejudices that was using a microscope that was a Nikon microscope it was on it was that she had a grant through Cornell that was
00:22:16given in the word about to take the grand Ole and I had a friend that a dummy a favor and I said if I can ever do you favor let me know he said well this one's got this Mike so can you call Nikon and see if they'll
00:22:25give for the microchip and so I did this campaign for an Nikon in exchange for the microscope this lady who ended up solving this rare form of TV and as a result I ended up advertising these point and shoot cameras which were like these cameras at the day
00:22:44that started to popularize people walking around with a camera in their pocket and suddenly I realized as I was out at night at clubs and doing whatever I was doing that there were cameras everywhere and I went oh no Sir and then the phone came out which killed
00:23:01that point and shoot industry because the phone came out with a camera in the first half and didn't have a camera but then eventually they put the camera in there and I went well it's like god privacy is done and then social networks made it in a way
00:23:18obligatory for people who wanted to be in various industries to have the social footprint so that they could promote the things that they were building and as a result of that away went more privacy as people were opening up the insides their house their lives and I was
00:23:35just as guilty of it as anyone and at a certain point I realized this doesn't yield positive returns so I just stopped and I a sickly don't I tended not post opinions and to live fully thought them through I tend to not post private photographs I tend to
00:23:57only post about relative work stuff that I think people find interesting and or other pop ads or articles or things that other people have posted that I think are interesting valuable because I think privacy is important and I think that like we're all I think some beans are
00:24:16fragile and I think that our emotional state is fragile and I think that ideas are very fragile and if you launch them out into the cycle of judgment too soon you get hurt and I don't like getting hurt but you do some great Boston on politics like cam
00:24:38after president drums fast travel ban you tweeted that your blood is boiling right now yeah so how is that going so that was one of the rare exceptions restraint of from my perspective that travel ban %HESITATION was not appropriate and having a wife who is a came to
00:25:03the United States some refugee status from the Ukraine during the Cold War %HESITATION where she's Jewish and her Jewish people were being oppressed drastically at that point time in our country and she can the United States and her family is amazing and huge contributors and what she contributes
00:25:23to our country I think is outstanding and I believe that we are a country of refugees in some way shape or form or people who of come here looking for something better and I understand the impetus of a travel ban and I understand that security is paramount and
00:25:45I understand that protecting the people that are here and protecting the beliefs of the people that are here is very important but I think that there are better ways to do it and I think right now this administration is in a very tough position where every day they
00:26:01have to make the better of probably two bad decisions and I think that they didn't make the better of two bad decisions on that particular case and I felt that it was necessary to vocalize that so I am I just like to end on something that I just
00:26:17found out about you recently and which is about your relationship with your brother which I found incredibly moving and even though I've known you for many years I didn't know and about your brother's history and that mom ending your life when you almost wanted to kill yourself in
00:26:34order to and make it possible for him to have a heart transplant so since sept there probably are others like me who don't know about that story would you tell us a little more about it and how your brother is doing now yeah my brother is doing great
00:26:49now %HESITATION he has two sons and is this an inspiring person I had the great fortune to be born a twin where you don't realize that you never have like a personal identity that is self without having it be shared so from everything in my entire life was
00:27:13share for my birthdays to holidays to my bedroom to everything my clothes what it was hours and so I grew up in a with the essence of ours for everything and my brother was born with a mild form of several polls in so I always had this reflection
00:27:36of %HESITATION this other person that was also part of me that had to struggle in different ways to achieve the same things I was trying to to achieve and when we were I think twelve hit a cardiomyopathy and which was is was a virus that attacked his heart
00:27:57and basically went from being a normal kid to being a kid that was in the hospital having have our transplant within days and %HESITATION yet like as a kid I was like what what can you have my heart is a possible and then Buckley got a heart transplant
00:28:16and was the youngest person ever at the time to be put our artificial heart which was pretty crazy and %HESITATION he's doing great is incredible but he's he's like a he's a constant litmus for me that gives me a different level of understanding I think of the way
00:28:34things can be and the way things could be and it makes me appreciate life every day in a different way because I've known since I was a kid that can be taken away for no reason at all to just just because of the circumstances of life and so
00:28:51I think it like he's a huge motivator for me and one of my best friends in Austin thank you so much for being a huge motivator for many of us and for being a real pioneer in speaking about these things them bringing compassion to what you're doing in
00:29:07your public life and also boundaries to technology in teaching us out about that thank you thank you thank Ashton Kutcher for being our guest and everybody for listening now we're going to take a minute to talk with Pete bells the vice president of sleep science and research at
00:29:26sleep number about the link between sleep and performance and the science that connects them grazing is a habit that people often think leads to eating less and most people don't get the connection it has to poor sleep so how does grazing affect our diet and I sleep well
00:29:43ironically grazing a lot of times is the result of poor sleep the hormones that regulate how hungry we are and how satisfied we are with the meal don't work really well when you're tired so you end up grazing you end up eating a little bit more than you
00:29:59should the tired brain is always hungry and never satisfied with the meal so people start to grace two things wrong with that is really hard to count calories when you're grazing all day and the second thing is you end up grazing later in the night when you shouldn't
00:30:13I'm and this is where people then abandon their their healthy eating habits and eat sugary starchy high carbohydrate foods which can interfere with sleep as well and if you eat a big meal too close to bedtime you could end up with acid reflux heartburn which really disrupt sleep
00:30:31so again balanced meal of make sure that you pay attention to what you eat and and when you eat and then you'll you'll do okay be sure to subscribe to the thrive global fought cast I heart radio on your favorite podcast app and stay tuned to thrive global
00:30:47dot com and I heart radio for updates on upcoming episodes and in the meantime go to thrive job on dot com for tapes to stop driving today we are grateful to have our friends at sleep number sponsoring the thrive job and podcast the sleep number bed at Chastain
00:31:06each side so it works for both you and your partner experiences sleep number bed exclusively at one of the five hundred and fifty stores nationwide check them out that sleep number dot com slash Dr

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