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Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimised practices for waking, working, learning, eating, training, playing, sleeping and sex

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Revolutionise your life one day at a time with this empowering handbook designed for men and women which provides simple strategies for each element of your day. Aubrey Marcus, author of the book is CEO of Onnit, a human performance company that he has built into one of the fastest growing companies in the world.

How can we get the most out of our body and mind on a daily basis? Want to change your life for the better?

Aubrey Marcus answers these questions in this handbook that guides the reader to optimise each moment of the day. With small, actionable changes implemented throughout the course of one day we can feel better, perform more efficiently and live happier. And these habits turn into weekly routines, ultimately becoming part of a lifelong healthy choice.

From workouts and diet to inbox triage, mindfulness, shower temperature and sex this groundbreaking manual provides strategies for each element of your day. Drawing on the latest studies and traditional practices from around the world, this book delivers cutting-edge life hacks, nutritional expertise, brain upgrades and fitness regimes.

Own the Day presents a path to change. It guides readers through a single 24-hour day of positive choices and optimal living that will form the groundwork for all their days to come. From foundational elements like workouts, diet, and mindfulness, to more routine opportunities to optimize your choices, such as shower temperature and inbox triage, readers will learn to make the most of every moment.

Ultimately, Marcus creates a choose-your-own-adventure guide to living that brings the reader's mind, body, and spirit to life. It is a promise delivered on the back of real, concrete strategies for better living. And the all-encompassing results are what make this book's simplistic approach so successful. By focusing on optimal decision making for just one day —by making several small, key changes in your daily approach—you end up addressing your health at every level. And owning your day.

453 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 2018

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About the author

Aubrey Marcus

5 books100 followers
Aubrey Marcus (IG: @aubreymarcus) is the founder and CEO of Onnit, a lifestyle brand based on a holistic health philosophy he calls Total Human Optimization. Onnit is an Inc. 500 company and an industry leader with products optimizing millions of lives, including many top professional athletes around the world.

Aubrey currently hosts the Aubrey Marcus Podcast, a motivational destination for conversations with the brightest minds in athletics, business, science, relationships and spirituality with over 25 million downloads on iTunes. He regularly provides commentary to outlets like Entrepreneur, Forbes, The Doctors and The Joe Rogan Experience. He has been featured on the cover of Men’s Health, is the host of the Fit For Service Mastermind, and is the author of the NYT Bestselling book Own The Day, Own Your Life from HarperCollins.

If you ask Aubrey the cause he is most passionate about, it is raising awareness for psychedelic medicine, through organizations like MAPS.org and Heffter Institute. He is a 20 year native of Austin, Texas where he currently resides.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 520 reviews
Profile Image for Allan.
14 reviews6 followers
August 18, 2018
Sometimes I make mistakes. Sometimes I give the benefit of the doubt and I'm left feeling like a sucker.

This book made me the sucker.

In short it's "Bro science" done really poorly. There is so much bad science that it makes the few good points disappear into the ether. The writing is so bad and it tries to be the author's version of accessible that comes off as condescending. Oh and the use of pop culture phrases like "HAM." That will age well into the next decade. Using "Fuck" liberally. Throughout the text expletives are used to punctuate the poor writing.

What was good? Use kettlebells, fat isn't bad for you, cholesterol is a non-issue, cold acclimatization can be helpful, loneliness is a killer.

There is a consistent misunderstanding of statistics. "Up to 13%, 54% etc... " is repeated as support for various health claims and health interventions. The problem is reporting "up to" is not valid. Reporting the maximum effect is not a confidence interval is not a report of the variation observed in the population. And populations! Seldom was a study purporting various health claims and interventions was reported by the size of the study. Epidemiological claims without thousands of individuals examined have little statistical power. And then there is the name-dropping of institutions "Harvard scientists," "Stanford researchers" etc. It is as though science can only be sound if it is from an elite institution. This is likely the authors complete ignorance of basic statistics and science. He substitutes the reputation of institutions for citing studies with sound methodology.

Blatant misrepresentations of science surround various claims. Here are some of said claims paraphrased in no order: "roundup wheat [is bad]." Wheat is not genetically modified. Look up wheat ploidy. Wheat is not modified at all. Period. "Eggs with dark yolks are healthier." Nope again. Different varieties of hens lay eggs with different properties. Sweetners are toxic. Again no. They are not health food but they are not toxic. Thousands of epidemiological tests support their safety. Cigarette smoke is bad. Marijuana smoke is good if smoked after work to relax. Goat milk has DNA (implicitly saying goat milk is a self replicating biological entity). Claims like these arm laypeople with science-sounding information that is completely wrong but sounds plausible. The last thing needed is more misinformed persons.

If you want to know more about human nutrition read Taubes' books especially "the case against sugar." Read "the salt fix" by DiNicolantonio. Read Phinney and Volek's books. For a generalist approach to human optimization read Tim Ferris' 4-hour body. It is vastly superior to this eye-rolling book.
Profile Image for Brian.
34 reviews3 followers
June 6, 2018
This book takes you chronologically from waking to sleeping and suggests different ways to improve the routines you face each day.

It could be summarized in a few pages and, in fact, if you're interested in this at all I would suggest just browsing it at a store or library and going to the end of each chapter where there are '3 point' summaries.
2 reviews
June 6, 2018
Very basic. Not really anything new here. Besides that, the facts about nutrition and supplements are more than doubtful and stand in stark contrast to leading scientific literature (author recommends saturated fats, butter and „animal fats“)
Profile Image for Nathan.
98 reviews11 followers
May 1, 2018
As a regular consumer of the Aubrey Marcus podcast, I was expecting another piece of excellent work created by him. Own the Day was no exception and I am happy to say that it was a fantastic read. For people who want to start reading about health and also seasoned readers/consumers of health and nutrition information, this book will certainly add value to most people’s lives.

Mainly, I loved Aubrey’s unique approach to adding something to the ever growing self-improvement culture. Basically, as stated in the title, this book focuses on optimizing a single day. Each chapter outlines a little part of the typical salaried American workers day and offers Aubrey’s tips on how to possibly enhance that part. Put it all together, and you have one hell of an optimized and productive day.

Admittedly, from having listened to his podcast for a while, I was actually expecting more vulgarity in this book. I am quite glad there weren’t as many expletives in the writing though. In conversation, it would feel more normal, but in writing it would not have come across great. So I think he had a nice balance of serious writing and humor, both vulgar and not. Equally, I think he also had a good mix of digestible writing and more serious science information.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to people who want some easy information on making small changes to their everyday life. And enough small changes done long enough could possibly result in big changes.
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,377 reviews1,439 followers
February 19, 2021
Aubrey Marcus shares different life hacks in an effort to improve your day. Because, as he reminds us: "To live one day well is the same as to live ten thousand days well. To master twenty-four hours is to master your life." pg 7, ebook

There's not a lot of new information here, especially not for aficionados of the self help genre. But there are some interesting strategies to try that I enjoyed.

One is to use your commute time to listen to a book or a podcast. As Aubrey points out, if you're going to be spending the time anyway, you may as well use it to invest in yourself.

"These minutes are precious things. They are the only currency we spend every day whose value fluctuates wildly. Spend your minutes investing in your future self, filling your emotional coffers, and building value and enjoyment, or spend minutes depleting your emotional bank account." pg 82, ebook

Nothing new, as I said, and also it doesn't take too much encouragement to get me to read. :) But for anybody who hasn't tried it yet, I highly recommend incorporating this into your morning commute.

Another strategy suggested in Own the Day, Own Your Life that I attempted to hilarious, yet effective, results was a method for waking yourself up. Basically, you practice deep breathing and then stand under cold water in your shower.

The basic principle behind it, if I understand it correctly, is that our bodies have evolved to handle stress in ways that are completely outdated in the modern world. We react to an emotional email or digital comment as if a tiger was running at us. But it's not.

All of those chemicals go into us and have no where to go, leading to chronic stress and all of the symptoms that go along with that. The deep breathing and cold water cause a stress reaction too, but it's one that you control and can switch off at will. The exposure teaches your body how to handle it when you can't switch it off.

In addition to these other supposed benefits, it wakes you the heck up. I can vouch for that. Come on, Heidi, I can hear you say. You really needed a book to tell you to take a cold shower? Well, apparently I did. And that part really works as promised.

If you've already got your diet and exercise routines locked down, you're already well on your way to living your best life and probably don't need this book. But, for anybody looking for a few pointers or are willing to try new things, this could be the book you're looking for.
Profile Image for Kyla Squires.
374 reviews3 followers
July 24, 2018
Well, the basic take away is that if you take care of your physical and mental health you'll have enough energy to do the things you want to do. Which is great, except his advice for taking care of your physical and mental health is just a round-up of all the latest quack diets and fads delivered in that ardent bro style.

I recommend reading Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang instead.
Profile Image for Mika Hel.
7 reviews1 follower
April 24, 2018
Well written and funny

While it is true that there was nothing really new for me in terms of practices to optimize the day, it was a great reminder of what I already know.

I did change the timing of some things (caffeine and hydration).

Aubrey wrote the book much like he speaks about pretty much anything on the podcast. A combination of serious and humor that I really like.

Great work putting together this book. Super good information in here. I haven’t gone to the bottom of the science behind it. Mostly because so much of it I have experience with already and it works for me.
Profile Image for John Hannan.
49 reviews
July 9, 2018
Some good stuff at the beginning and the end, but the huge broscience chunk in the middle was agonizing. No, I do not want to use a literal mace to work out. What gym even has maces? Where could I even get one?
Profile Image for Ashley.
311 reviews
July 16, 2018
This book was full of little useful bits of science and suggestions on how to improve your life. Not to be read for those turned off by profanity. The best part about it, in my opinion, is his recommendation to be mindful and forgiving. It's really his attitude that I like most of all.

page 300: "If we broke our bodies down into the trillions of cells that they are, and imagined those cells as our loyal subjects, and our conscious mind as their ruler, what kind of ruler would we be? Most of us would be sadistic tyrants. We feed our cells things that aren't helpful, we chastise them for the appearance they create, we force them into unnatural positions for long periods of time, and then we take all manner of drugs to shut out what they are trying to communicate with us."

page 370-371: Ho'oponopono (self talk)
1. I love you
2. I'm sorry
3. Forgive me
4. Thank you
"The hero is simply someone who does battle with his demons every day."

And finally, after you've done your best and forgive yourself for your imperfections, he believes in doing what you can for others. People are suffering. Help out.
Profile Image for Tomislav Gracin.
16 reviews
October 5, 2018
There are some decent ideas (out of quite many presented). But that's about it.
I'll paraphrase the author (from one of last chapters) - "This should have been a five-page PDF".
Profile Image for ORKUN.
35 reviews
January 4, 2020
There are some good life hacks that are backed by meaningful attitudes, like taking a cold shower to improve your mental strength, or using journaling to get out of the needless thought loops. Even though the ideas are well known and sometimes obvious, going through all the good options for a whole day was refreshing.
Profile Image for Cory Vance.
53 reviews5 followers
January 19, 2019
A good aggregation of a bunch of ideas on how to make it a great day. Aubrey has some different opinions on certain topics, but it is always good to listen to a different perspective. A worthwhile read to pick up at least a couple tips on how to Own Your Day.
Profile Image for Tinea Smith.
62 reviews
January 26, 2019
Excellent book full of great motivational stories and the author reads with passion and speaks piercing truth.
7 reviews
May 29, 2018
Well thought out optimization guide for the modern era. Marcus hits the points he claims to: trying to find optimal ways to improve every aspect of your life.
Good tips
Good recipes
Upbeat, motivational

Lackluster science behind the claims of this book. Marcus often introduces a concept or a fad and takes it for gospel going forward. For example, he makes the claim that consuming more than 30g of protein in one sitting is wasteful as your body cannot synthesize it. That claim is hotly debated, with no conclusive evidence being drawn one way or the other. I would have liked to have seen more references for each claim, as well as less black and white claims. The book would see saw between researched guide and woke-bro wikipedia.

Cheesy, often childish remarks about sex, bathroom humor, etc. I lost count of the amount of forced sexual innuendoes. Many of his points about sex are valid but it read like having your horned up friend crack lame one-liners every other page.

Lots of product recommendation. Yes, it makes sense that he would push his own company, Onnit, but the sheer volume of 'things' he swears by surprised me. His vibe is minimal but this book suggests buying all sorts of random items like five finger shoes, oil diffusers, anything with the word "Himalayan" or "oil" in it and virtually everything Onnit sells. I enjoy product recommendations from the pros, but the supplement recommendations outlined in this book would cost $200+/month alone.

Defending everything he likes. I originally saw this is in another review of this book, but he rolls out the positives of something like nicotine and doesn't give much weight to the negatives of said suggestions (i.e. gum disease, cancer, etc.). I enjoy nicotine as much as the next guy, but I'm not adding it my workout recommendations like some surgeon general from the 1950's.

Final thoughts: I like this guy. He's clearly charismatic and successful. However, I wanted more scientific research to backup his counter-culture ideas.
Profile Image for Travis McKinstry.
95 reviews2 followers
September 4, 2018
Let me start by saying I honestly really wanted to like this book, and I tried. There is some good information in here for sure. The nutritional advice as well as cold/hot water therapy advice and living life is great. But throughout the book I felt like I was being sold something. This wasn’t the only problem I had with the book because I’ve read plenty of books that were written to sell to the reader and enjoyed them.

Another problem I had with it was the author’s overall advice. The author tends to throw the baby out with the bath water with any information that disagrees with what they believe. For example, the author made a strong argument for why most of us should take supplements (which many studies have shown don’t actually help most of those who take it). They started with vilifying our current health care model, which has many flaws but which has also increased our life span by many years when comparing age-of-death now to back in the caveman/woman days. Antibiotics can be a bad thing and they have been recently. But they’ve also saved billions of lives. Washing one’s food does strip it of particular minerals and trace minerals but it also can reduce food borne illnesses. The author mentions all the bad of our current health care model, none of the good, in hopes to strengthen their argument and, seemingly, to increase their bottom line.
Profile Image for Tj.
1 review1 follower
September 30, 2019
I was skeptical about a few things in this book from the start, but the first time I audibly groaned was when the author recommended not using sunscreen because of the health benefits of direct sun exposure. Cool cool, except UV radiation from the sun is just the #1 cause of skin cancer, NBD. I audibly groaned again, and ultimately put down this book for good, when the author highlighted the health benefits of nicotine through smokeless tobacco. Cool cool, except smokeless tobacco is directly linked to no less than 6 types of cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. I did not finish this book and could not feel more strongly that anyone who has purchased this book needs to promptly throw it in the trash.
Profile Image for Paul.
1,203 reviews192 followers
June 3, 2018
Some great information in this book but there are also a lot of things in this book that I just don't buy into. At times it felt like Marcus was giving me a sale pitch for a special store, vitamin, or supplement and those things I'm just not interested in. However, his tips about waking up, nutrition, health, and sleeping were really good. I started to implement some of the things that he shared in this book into my own life. A good read but would recommend with caveats.
Profile Image for Shells Legoullon.
39 reviews1 follower
July 26, 2018
I loved Aubrey's energy in this book-listened to it on audio. He's most definitely at a different time in his life than I am which made me laugh a few times with some of his ideas on how life should be for the average person. I'd like to hear his take after he's married, older, and has a few kids running around. I did enjoy it though and think just about anyone who wants to "own" their day can take something away from this read.
Profile Image for Michael Huang.
831 reviews37 followers
February 6, 2019
Some easy to follow advices:

* Drink water when you get up. Don’t go for coffee. You are dehydrated after sleep. Coffee can be too stimulating.

* Sugar-heavy diet is bad. Don’t eat sugary cereal for breakfast.

* We don’t have healthy diets as our hunter-gatherer ancestors. They eat grass fed animal we eat corn-fed ones. So supplement minerals and Vitamin D.

* Naps are good. Do it.

Profile Image for Ryan Belworthy.
15 reviews2 followers
April 12, 2019
You could listen to hundreds of health, nutrition and human optimization podcasts with different approaches opinions and methods on the latest research, then take an average and work from there... or you could read this book and pretty much have it summed up in an easy going, easily actionable starting platform to optimize or tweak your habbits.
Profile Image for Dustan Woodhouse.
Author 7 books189 followers
February 10, 2019
I took my time with this one.

And I took some notes. Also made a few purchases on amazon, but gave away the bits before I could try them myself. Re-ordering today.

Loads of greats data and great tips for a sharper life.
Profile Image for Pinar.
503 reviews22 followers
July 12, 2020
Beslenme, sağlık vs. ile ilgili kitaplar okumayı/dinlemeyi seviyorum, ama bu kesinlikle çok yanlışmış.

Herhangi bilimsel bir alt yapısı olmayan bir insanın sattığı yardımcı beslenme malzemelerini pazarlamak için yazdığı bir kitap. Dolayısıyla içinde bilimsel bir bilgi yok varsa bile bana pek iyi gelmeyen "amerikan gazı" şeklinde.

"Araştırmaların söylediği gibi tuz yararlı/ yumurta sorun yaratmıyor/hindistancevizi yoğurdu yiyin/avakadoyu kesin unutmayın/kiril yağı muhteşem" şeklinde ifadeler. Hatta yazar kiril yağı kullandıktan sonra vücudundaki enflamasyonu attığını hissetmiş falan.

İçinde son moda sağlık malzemelerinden, internetten kopyala yapıştır şeklinde, ilk aramada karşınıza çıkacak bilgiler. İlaveten marihuana kullanımını şiddetle tavsiye ediyor yazar. Seks tavsiyeleri konusunda konuşmayı ve Grinin 50 Tonu kitabını falan tavsiye ediyor. Kitabın bilimselliği konusunda tek bir örnek koyayım (bu başka bi salak kitabın iddiası olarak rastlayıp google'lamıştım, Grinin 50 tonu kitabının bütün dünyada satılan bütün Harry Potter kitaplarından daha fazla sattığını söylüyor. Böyle basit bir bilgiyi bile araştırmadan süper doğruymuş gibi sallamış. Kitabın başlığında geçen konularda bir kaç best seller kitabı alıp özetlerini kitabına koymuş bence.

Audible'dan iki kitap biri bedava kampanyasında aceleyle seçmiştim. Pişmanım.
Profile Image for Diego Parada Herrera.
62 reviews2 followers
August 20, 2021
In one point in this book, Aubrey Marcus says he doesn’t read business books because they explain in 200 pages what can be contained in 10. Ironically, that’s what his book feels like. Some chapters and sections go on and on trying to make a point that could have easily be made on a single paragraph. That was my main issue with this book.

With that in mind, that doesn’t mean that it has no value. The book offers some good tips for eating, drinking, exercising, working and forming habits. You shoukd have it available for consulting recipes, routines and tips. The main idea is that if you get the most of your day, your life will follow. I can definitely get behind that! But generally, this was not a great fit for me. But I can see that some people may find it useful and even life changing.
Profile Image for Alex Devero.
540 reviews54 followers
May 12, 2018
A well written and entertaining book that offers many solid advice, ideas and tips to improve all areas of our daily lives, from working, training and playing to drugs, sleeping, sex and many more. It doesn't matter who are you or how old are you. This book has at least one useful advice for anyone. A big plus is that all ideas and tips introduced in the book are actionable. Meaning, Aubrey offers instructions on how to implemented all of them right away, and to implement them in the right way. All these ideas and tips are also summarized at the end of every chapter. So, even if you forget something, don't worry. You will probably recall it later when you reach the summary.

A very good book worth reading for all people who want to improve their daily lives.
Profile Image for Buck Wilde.
811 reviews43 followers
May 12, 2019
Didn't even clear the first chapter. Too many embarrassing bro science buzzwords. Only started it in the first place because I'm a sucker for optimization, but not enough of one to weather a book that unironically used the word "ownage" in 2018.
Profile Image for K R N.
149 reviews22 followers
November 19, 2020
on the way to swim at Walden today, i coincidentally listened to Ch. 2, about jumping into cold water and how it's good for you... so i felt a lot more enthusiastic about the water being cold by the time I got there :) High five for that! it already changed me from thinking it's uncomfortable but tolerable to thinking of the health benefits of the shock to the system. i'm going to see how far into the winter i can keep that up ;-).

it has made me laugh outloud a couple of times so far, so that's cool too.
i'm only on chapter 3.
UPDATE: i got sick *immediately* after the coldwater swimming.

UPDATE #2: This is a great book! As shown above, interpret the advice to fit your own limits, but still, it was great. I appreciated not only the advice, but the careful wording -- he didn't fall into the over-generalization traps many self-help authors do. He frequently said things like "most" or "many" instead of "all" people (which I find to be a huge turnoff - authors lose me when they do this), qualified his advice often, etc. I appreciated it!

This has good advice throughout - not at all one of those self-help books that expands one idea into a book.

Extra high fives for the varied references from literature, religion, etc., and for making me laugh outloud so many times.

I listened to the audiobook and also liked the narration (on 1.7x at first, then changed to 1.2 because I kept having to go back).
Profile Image for Sam.
373 reviews4 followers
October 26, 2019
 I really enjoyed listening to Aubrey Marcus and his passion for how to Own the Day. Although a lot of what he discusses can be found in lots of other literature, he delivers it in a way that encompasses and summarises the essentials of what you need to take care of, in order to achieve the most out of your life. I particularly enjoyed the discussion about nutrition and the impact that certain foods have on the various parts of your body. Whilst his delivery style is informal and quite laddish, and I disagreed with some of his opinions on using drugs to improve performance, I got a lot out of this book. I have changed various things, such as ensuring I’m more hydrated with the use of salt, limiting coffee to post fat eating, including a more varied array of foods into my diet and viewing exercise as a way to train my body for life. I also enjoyed how within the book there is also discussion of mindfulness, replacing dead time with active time, and focusing on what your mission and values are. Whilst other books only focus on one aspect of life in more depth, I feel Marcus has written this to give you a way in; to start making positive changes that you can do more research on later to further enhance yourself. If you want to be a better human, this book is a great start. 
Profile Image for Brad Lockey.
241 reviews2 followers
February 17, 2019
5* for one simple idea implemented.
I've turbo charged my body by consuming Pink Himalayan Sea Salt + Lemon Juice + filtered water as the very first thing in the morning to replenish my body of what I sweat out during the night. On to the next biohack.
It's a very similar title to the Bulletproof Diet with respect to food, rest, etc ... but there are some deeper conceptual, day to day teachings as well.
Oh, and a chapter on sex. Who doesn't want better, and more, sex?
I listened to the Audiobook and will purchase the hardcover as well.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 520 reviews

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