Creator Culture

S3 E1 | Andrew Murnane, the creator helping millions of people live in the present

Episode Summary

Andrew is the digestible version of Eckhart Tolle's book, The Power of Now. His videos are a charismatic gateway to understanding how identity impacts our lives.

Episode Notes

Today's guest is Andrew Murnane. If I were to sum up who he is as a creator, it would be a thing explainer for the book The Power of Now by Eckart Tole. Andrew has a gift for helping us understand identity's role in our lives and how to live in the present. Over one million people follow him on TikTok, and he has a podcast called, Dualistic Unity, with thousands of listeners. 

As always, before we get to the episode, here are three things about Andrew that you should know  

  1. Andrew started creating content because he felt that he would regret it if he didn't try
  2. He works a full-time job in digital advertising while creating videos and his own podcast on the side
  3. Andrew might be the world's greatest walker — there's a good chance you'll run into him if you're wandering around lower Manhattan

Check out all of Andrew's stuff:

TikTok, Instagram, Patreon and his Podcast

Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Danny: Hey, I'm Danny Desatnik. And this is a podcast all about creators, but not just any creators. I'm talking about captivating storytellers, masterful, videographers, and generational writers. These are people I feel are underrated and people I'd love to invest in no matter how big or small their current following is.

Each conversation explores the impact these creators have on the people around them. And what you'll find is not only astonishing, but inspiring today's guest is Andrew Murnane. If I were to sum up who he is as a creator, He would almost be a thing explainer for the book, the power of now by Eckhart Tolle.

What I mean by this is that Andrew has an amazing gift for helping all of us understand the role identity plays into our lives and how to live in the present. He has over 1 million people following him on TikTok. And he also has a podcast called dualistic unity with thousands of listeners. As always, before we get to the episode, here's three things about Andrew. I think you should. The first is that Andrew started creating content because he felt that he would regret. If he didn't try it two, he works a full-time job in digital advertising while creating these videos and running his own podcast. It's unbelievable. And three, Andrew might be the world's greatest Walker.

If you watch his content. You'll know what I mean. And with that, let's get to the good stuff. Here's my conversation with Andrew Murnane.

How do you balance being a creator, but then also trying to be yourself in content and in and around people

[00:03:16] Andrew: Fantastic question, cuz that is something that I've been, it's been very prevalent for me recently in my life. Trying to sort of almost break down this persona that I've built a little bit it's, it's interesting to see, and I don't want there to be this, this persona that I'm like. A monk or some fucking shit like that, you know, like I'm a super normal 27 year old single dude who lives in New York city.

Like it, I go out with my friends on weekends. I drink sometimes I drink too much and I'm hung over as balls the next day, you know, it's like, I think, part of me got caught up in this idea that people have of me, because I knew that they did cuz there was, one time at a party. Uh, I was over SantaCon this past year.

so like six months ago and I was there and I'd been there for like, Two hours. I was playing beer pong with my friends. So I was, like, I don't know, probably like seven, eight beers deep. So like feeling pretty good, like a little bit drunk. And a kid recognized me from TikTok and he was like, Hey man, what's up?

Like, I love your stuff. And I was like, Hey, what's up, man. Like put, put my arm around him and being super friendly. He's like, honestly, like I'm kind of surprised to see you at this party and like, and drinking and stuff. And I was like, what. Why? And he's like, well, I don't know. I guess not really a great reason.

I was like, in that moment, I was like, oh fuck, I gotta start showing more of myself because I've met other people too. And they were like, oh, I, I didn't expect you to, go out or, or be like, So normal. And so recently, because I sort of got caught up in the idea, that idea, and I was like, Hmm, should I, should I not be drinking as much?

Is that, is that showing that I don't follow the shit, but like, none of the, none of the videos I post about are like, you shouldn't drink, you shouldn't do this. You shouldn't do that. Like I smoke, I take mushrooms, I drink alcohol. Like I do all that stuff. I'm, I'm very conscious of it. And I'm aware of.

What I'm doing and I'm not doing it to escape anything. And I think that's the most important part is, is recognizing why you do it. And if it's just to go out and have a good time and, and you're not getting lost in it, or U utilizing it as an escape from your regular, you know, quote unquote sober life, um, which isn't what I'm doing.

That it's perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with it. So recently I have been. Sharing more. And like the night out we went to catch, uh, in New York fucking great time, by the way. Um, yeah, like I posted that on my story and then there was a time I did a Q and a, and like, I, I posted on my Instagram story and I was just like super hungover, doing a Q and a, and, and even just putting that out there that like, I am feeling hungover.

That's not something I would've been as comfortable doing like a year ago and then sort of making jokes about it, like lying on my couch, just being clearly like not feeling great and being opening up that side of me has been honestly, incredibly freeing. Cause I didn't realize how much of that I was sort of repressing and I think it's so important because you.

People build up ideas of people that they follow, and it's rarely what they actually are, but a lot of people play into that and they'll play into this idea that, oh, my life is perfect. And I do all these things. Follow my lifestyle, look at me like you can be just like me and have this, you know, quote unquote, perfect life.

If you just, you know, do these things or buy these products that I'm selling. And I don't want to be like that. I want to be. Open and maybe not share like every little tiny detail about my life, but definitely a little bit more. And so I've been starting to do that and it's actually been incredibly freeing for myself.

[00:06:52] Danny: as you're talking about this, this idea of almost like breaking down. The persona so that people can see that you're just a human and you're the same as everyone else. You're just your care and what you love and what you think about all the time goes towards this idea of like mindfulness and purpose and, and being in the moment.

It reminds me of what hot ones does for celebrities, you know, hot ones, the show where that you like hot wings with Sean Evans. That show is unbelievable because it does exactly that it's like, instead of someone like. Jack Harlow going on his IG story and talking about all his vices and talking about everything that is wrong with him as a person that people wouldn't have seen, Sean Evans gets to break that all down because it's hot wings.

He starts swearing. And like the answers that come out are just the first thing that comes to his mind. So he has no media training. It was it's so cool to see that. And then to hear what you're saying, it's almost like it's really important for just creators in general, to have that same realization that you're having.

[00:07:51] Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. I actually have seen that. I watched that aha. One. I watch 'em sometimes I saw the Jack Harlow one, but yeah, with, with that authenticity stuff, I've always been good about it. When I'm going through like mental struggles when I'm having like a tough week or dealing with some shit, I've, I've been open about that because I think that's super important.

And I oftentimes see creators, you know, maybe they are oftentimes positive and people come to their page to get motivated or whatever. and so I've, I've actually seen some videos where people are like, Hey guys, I know this isn't my normal stuff, but like just feeling kind of down, I know you come to my page for positivity, like, sorry I'm doing this.

And it's like, in my mind, I'm like them being able to see you being vulnerable and see this side of you and see that someone. Who understands all the things that you understand and lives, the life that you live and seems in a lot of people like potentially perfect in their eyes. If they can see that you still struggle and you deal with shit in your life as well, that might be the best message they hear in months.

Like just being able to see that you struggle because there are a lot of. Creators and influencers and celebrities out there that don't show that side because they think they shouldn't. Meanwhile, people need to see that. And that's what distorts people's view. And I think that's in my mind is, is the issue with social media is that people, you know, they have their life and they understand a hundred percent of their life.

And then they see someone else's quote. Life or their Instagram life or their fucking highlight reel. And they think that's their entire life. And it's like, that's the curated 1% that they want people to see. So you have to recognize that fact. And then on the content creator side, I think there's a little bit of a responsibility.

It's not, I'm not saying that everyone has to do this and it's not, definitely not a requirement, but you shouldn't look

at it as having, a weakness. Yeah, you shouldn't look at sharing that vulnerability as being a weakness. It is very much a strength and it might be the most helpful thing you offer your audience.

And, but so many people think of it as like, you know, weakness and something they shouldn't do. And it's, it's very much the opposite.

[00:10:00] Danny: Yeah. again, it's like hearing you say all this puts me in the mindset of the young artist, the young creator that's coming. In TikTok era, let's call it IG era in my mind goes Billy Eilish. And I think she's spoken about this so often. And again, she's wise beyond her years and I think she's had to mature faster than many other people, but I think she's always said, like, I'm just gonna be who I'm gonna be.

Cuz this is laying the foundations for how people see me as a celebrity. And so if they see me burp on. It's not gonna surprise them when that happens in, in the future, or if I walk by them and I say, what's up and maybe I smell a little bit, I dunno if she said that, but like, this is essentially what she's getting to.

And I think it's smart. I honestly think it's so smart. But to your point, you don't wanna share everything, but painting an actual picture for who you are, unless you want to be extremely performative. And that's who you are as a creator is super, super important. let me ask you this, like who are the creators?

That you follow that you really connect with because of what it feels to be just completely authentic

[00:11:01] Andrew: Ooh. That is a very good question.

[00:11:05] Danny: outside of Tim

[00:11:06] Andrew: yeah, I, I was gonna toss him in there, but we've already given him enough praise before, before we got on here. Yeah. I think honestly, people like Victoria Paris comes to mind immediately. I've followed her for a couple months.

Emma Chamberlain, those are like the first two that come to mind, I think because they really do show all of those sides of them and like really don't give a fuck, especially Victoria. I admire her. no fuck. Given attitude so much. It's like incredibly inspiring, I think. And that's how she's been able to build such, such a massive close knit, following and such a passionate following because she is open.

She does share all those things. She shows, when she's not all dulled up and when she's. Working out, you know, whatever she's doing. Like she shows all of it and shows the struggles. And when she's dealing with stuff with her family, like she, she talks about that stuff. And a lot of people at least hide a few of those things.

And so I think that vulnerability and authenticity, like those two things are very underrated aspects of being a content creator. And the more you can offer that as much as. it absolutely be a balancing act like there, there may be a level to that that you don't wanna share. Like, I, I mean then again, we have, call her daddy that podcast that shares like.

Super in depth stuff. And again, that's like one of the top podcasts out there. So I'm absolutely not anti sharing that stuff whatsoever. It's like to each his own and let the market decide and, and see what they want to to see. But yeah, so I think, I think Victoria Paris honestly, is, is like one of the top ones that come to mind.

And I'm trying to think of some, some dudes who share. That, but yeah, none, none are coming to mind right now, but, uh, yeah, her and her and Emma Chamberlain, for sure.

[00:13:05] Danny: Men aren't supposed to share their feelings. So it makes

[00:13:08] Andrew: Yeah. Right.

[00:13:09] Danny: one comes to mind. Now I'm kidding. but tell me this with all of this said and being vulnerable, building up your who you are as a creator, I was listening to a podcast you were on with a mutual friend, also named Danny shadow, Danny Miranda for being one of the best podcast hosts in the world.

And in the podcast, you're talking about how. You started creating a couple years ago and it felt kind of freeing and you were this quiet kid when you were younger, but you said that you had this feeling that you always wanted to create content. When did that start? And like, what was the first instance that you can remember that you're like, kind of wanna do this or like, or you did something, but you just didn't tell people.

[00:13:47] Andrew: I don't know when there was like the initial sort of inklings, I guess when going through high school through college, it's almost one of those things where people always tell you to do the thing you're most afraid of. Cuz on the other side of that is like freedom and success and all of that.

And so I think content creation and just putting myself out there was always the thing I was most afraid of. So deep down it's it's like You know that simultaneously it's like the thing you most wanna do almost, but, I've always been super passionate about different things like fitness, nutrition, health, I got into.

Like mental health mindset, spirituality related stuff towards the end of college. And after that, I just started learning a lot and I was able to sort of overcome a lot of my social anxieties and, and fears and, and worries that constantly plagued me all the time and fear of like what people thought of me and all that stuff.

And. Then I got into, you know, I got hardcore into like intermittent fasting and I've worked out since I was like 13. So I've always been passionate about like nutrition, fitness. I played a bunch of sports growing up and I think it was maybe like 2019. I remember some friends at work. My friends, Hailey and Amita, I think I had just gotten done giving a presentation about intermittent fasting to my office and how it's like can be beneficial. And I've since, toned it down on that and recognized that like a lot of the people I was listening to back then were a little bit full of shit and like, it can be a helpful tool, but it's definitely not like this magic pill that I thought it was back, you know, four years ago or so.

so they mentioned like, Andrew, when are you gonna be an influencer? Like when are you gonna start? You. Post it on social media and be like a, an influencer. And I was like, oh yeah. And I kinda laughed. It, laughed it off, but that might have been the seed. I don't know. but I would always laugh it off and just be like, yeah, haha.

Maybe, maybe one day. And then I started going through this practice where. I would imagine. So I, I had a pretty strict morning routine for a while. Probably a good three years up until around six months ago where I would meditate, just like observe my thoughts. And I would go through this exercise where I imagined I was a hundred years old and I would close my eyes and, and spend probably like two or three minutes really feeling.

I'm old and wrinkly and, and close to dying. And then I would think back on my life and think about what I regretted about my life, what I had wished I had done. If I could go back to being, you know, 24, 25, 26, and like every day for over a year, the one thing that came up was. Not creating content. That was the one future regret that I had.

I don't really have a good answer as to why that was the thing, but it always was. And I went through that exercise for over a year. Probably 400 days straight. And I still wasn't creating content because I was afraid. I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid of putting myself out there and finally it got to a point it was during COVID and I was watching some other creators and I started to get this idea that like, oh, maybe this is something I could do.

And so finally in July of 2020, I was just like, ah, fuck it. And I wasn't even sure I. Be doing TikTok. I actually started doing some YouTube videos and posting more on my Instagram story. Just like turning the camera around, talking into it and then took a piece of that YouTube video. Put it on TikTok. It went viral.

I had posted one TikTok before that gained like a couple thousand followers. Then I was like, oh, alright. I guess I'm gonna be doing TikTok along with this other stuff. And then since then, that's obviously been my main sort of.

[00:17:36] Danny: There's so many things there that are fascinating. First. It's funny that you talk about that practice of. Putting yourself in the mindset of someone who's a hundred years old, you're about to pass away and you're looking back on your life. I didn't go through the same thing, but I had the same thought I used to be in accounting.

And I remember thinking if I'm gonna continue with this, I can write my life. maybe like, I won't know the exact number of kids, but like I'll write my life and I'll tell you exactly how it's gonna go. And that is not what I want. Like, I, I live for the UN the unknown in the uncertainty. And so that relates to me a hundred percent. And then the other thing that I'm so fascinated about is why content creation kept coming up as the thing that you wanted to do. And you just don't know why were you into movies or did you watch a lot of YouTube when you were younger or.

[00:18:24] Andrew: Honestly, no, and it wasn't even till pandemic that I started. I started watching YouTube a lot more. that was like my main form of content was actually a lot of fitness YouTubers. and just like watching their stuff, cuz I just felt like losing, trying to lose 10 pounds.

And so I started out by eating less of the same food. And then I found like high volume eating and like quote unquote anabolic diet type stuff from Greg Duce will tenon Jesse James, those guys and. Yeah. And then, so like through them, I started to recognize like, oh, these, these guys are all around my age.

they just have a camera. Sometimes they use their iPhone and they just film themself. Like I could do that. And I started to like, the wheel started spinning, but the initial inclination that started back, probably early 20, 19. A year and a half before I ended up actually starting.

I don't know why it was. I think it's always just, I've had a lot of different interests and I've been passionate about a lot of different things and I've had things to share, but I've always just been too afraid to, so, yeah. I don't know why exactly though. It was. Something that deep inside me felt like needed to happen.

And I'm just glad that I finally got the, uh, confidence to pull the trigger.

[00:19:45] Danny: Yeah, I was gonna say, thankfully you did. I think it's so comforting to have a presence like yours on IG, on TikTok. It's. It's like you have coffee in the morning. You can meditate in the morning and then it's okay. Watch an Andrew video in the morning. Cause it's just like, it feels like it just grounds you.

And sometimes earlier on, I love watching your earlier videos, cuz you're a little bit more ruthless in your earlier videos than you are in your current videos. and I love it, but what's it like realizing that you've been creating content for two and a bit years and it's only two and a bit years that of your like 27 year of existence and you have. 50 years left 7 60, 70 years left. Like it must be ridiculous to see how fast you've grown. You're nearly at a million on TikTok in two and a half years for someone that didn't want to create content before didn't really wanna speak on stuff before. it must be unbelievable to be in this position to think like, where is this all gonna go?

[00:20:37] Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. And like at this point in my life, kind of like you were saying before, like the uncertainty, like not really being sure what's gonna happen next is very exciting for me. It used to not be so exciting. I used to be very rigid and, and, you know, goal oriented and structured and. Now I pretty like my, I don't really have many goals.

Like in the back of my head, I'm like, oh, it'd be cool to hit a million followers. But I know that if I have that sort of energy in my videos where I'm like, I, this is gonna be the one that's gonna get me to a million followers. It'll, it'll come out in the video and it's not gonna happen. So I, I kind of like.

Keep that in the back of my head and know that it it's gonna happen. And it, it doesn't actually change anything. Like it's literally a number on my profile, but besides that, it's, it's really just continuing to do the things that I'm doing and see what happens, like continuing to do my podcast, continuing to.

Be open to any opportunities that arise, just say, yes, continue making videos. Like you never really know who's gonna come across a video. And so it's, it's interesting though. Cause I, I still, it's still weird for me to think, especially recently, cause I've gained like a couple hundred thousand in the last like month or two and it's just weird.

Conceptualizing having that many followers. And I really don't think about it that much. I've gotten a lot more used to people like coming up to me and saying hi, especially in New York, cuz I walk around a lot. So I'm always out and about. So I get recognized decent amount, but that'll, I'll never get used to that.

I've gotten much better about like kind of being able to feel when someone's looking at me and. Looking at me in a different way where they're like, they recognize me. So I, I kind of can prepare myself and I make sure to be like very friendly and, and introduce myself and ask their name and stuff. Cuz like I've gone up to people who I recognize from, you know, whatever.

And I know it can be like a nerve-wracking situation where it's like someone you've finally seen in person that you've seen like. A couple hundred times on a, on your phone or whatever, but yeah, it's, it's still not, I don't think it's something that's really set in yet. I, I don't think about the numbers too much or I try not to.

but it's been a lot of fun and it's been awesome to like, just be able to meet so many cool people in the spaces for sure.

[00:22:52] Danny: hundred. I was at. Basketball game last night. So J Cole, one of my favorite rappers signed to like the Canadian semipro elite basketball league. And he went to come play for the team that like is literally 30 minutes west of Toronto called the Scarborough shooting stars. And I was like, I have to go see this.

It means so much to me, it means so much to him. So even though we're not friends and we'll never, well, hopefully we'll be, we'll be friends, but like I've never met him, obviously. Like I know how much it means to him. And I go there. I'm sitting with my friend. And Drake is like sitting with his manager and his friends and boy one and all these guys.

And you can see the amount of people taking out their phones, snapping, trying to zoom in on Drake, FaceTiming their friends and their parents to be like, yo, look, that's Drake. You'll look that's Drake. That must suck, man. though like yours is such a smaller scale. Yes. It's great that people are coming up to you and recognizing you for who you are because of what you put out.

But. That must just be tough to walk around with, like, it's kind of like that skepticism that you have to walk around with. Unfortunately.

[00:23:51] Andrew: Yeah. I, I mean, Drake to, to compare the, the interactions Drake gets to the interactions I get. Yeah. But yeah, there, there gets to be a point, I think, where it can be super tough and it is unfortunate and, and just having like a tiny taste for it. I rarely will like go up to a celebrity. Like I see him. Dinner or something I'll just like, give 'em a wave or something like that, but it's yeah. it's fascinating too, just like getting into, you know, the, the whole identity thing and, and these like identities that we like to build. And the only reason anyone for the most part, wants to get a picture with someone is to show other people that they.

Met them, because if this person is thought of as like having higher status, then by design, it makes you seem like you have higher status or like that you interacted with them or hung out with them or something. It's like, they, people love telling those stories, but it doesn't actually mean anything in reality.

It's, it's all those fictitious sort of ideas that we clinging to. But yeah, I think, I think I'm very happy with. The space that I'm at, where it's like, if I walk around, it's getting to the point where it's pretty much like every day as I'm walking around, someone will just say like, Hey, love your tos, but it's usually in passing and it's just like, it's not even close to the point where it's.

Annoying. It's still like super cool. Especially if I'm with my friends, they're like, wait, did they just recognize you? And I'm like, yeah. Yeah, it happens sometimes. but I can see, you know, getting to a point where you're like a mega celebrity where it's just gotta be really tough cuz you it's so hard to go out in public, but you know, that's, that's life, that's kind of the, the trade offs that we.

That we have, and, and everything has its trade offs and consequences and, and things like that.

[00:25:46] Danny: definitely. Yeah. You talk. Identity. And I feel like this whole conversation we've had such a fun conversation, kind of go moving around in and around being a creator. What does it mean to be a creator? How you deal with it, how you don't give me like a 32nd explanation of who are you as a creator? Like what is the stuff you talk about?

Because it's super unique.

[00:26:06] Andrew: I think it's really rooted. In the recognition that the story you tell yourself, the thing that you think you are is never what you actually are. That sort of ego identity that we oftentimes rely on to make ourselves feel better. You know, like people will pat us on the back and say, we did a great job and, and blah, blah, blah.

But then at the same time, someone judges us or makes fun of us. Like, that's the same, that's the same set of tracks that you're living on. If you are relying on it for your sense of worth, and then getting pulled down and beaten up and, and feeling so depressed when someone on the flip side, you know, judges that, that concept or idea.

So the only thing I'm trying to get to is. To help people recognize that they're whole and complete exactly as they are right now, there is nothing that anyone could ever do or anything that they could ever do to make them more or less complete than they are in every single moment. Because you are not that idea.

You are not that identity. You're not your past. You're not your name. You're not the story that you tell you yourself. You're not the thing that other people think you are. You're never any of those things. You're just reality. You're just this. Right now. And as you're able to let go of like the positive side of that ego and, and you know, that story and your accomplishments, it'll get a lot easier to not take those judgements so seriously.

because I think that is the root of everyone's suffering is the confusion that you're something inherently separate from the world, separate from the universe. Like we are, we are the earth, we're just the earth wandering around. Like, if you can strip down. What you think you are and recognize that, even the name you were given, like that's just the sound that your parents attached to this grouping of cells.

But then we bring, and create this identity around this and this, I quote unquote idea of ourselves, but it's never what we actually are. And, and that idea is what separates us from everything, but it only exists inside of our mind. It's only mental that that identity doesn't actually exist in.

Reality. So as you're able to let go of those things, you become more and more free and you're still. Human here. Now you can still utilize those tools, like, like your name and, and whatnot for a tool of reference. But as you recognize that it's not the truth of what you are and your past doesn't define, you can be very freeing and allow you to, make pivots in your life and, and do the things that you actually want to do as opposed to being held down by.

What you think you are or what someone else thinks you are, or, you know, what you think someone else thinks you are that whole, that whole deal. Um, so that's that, that wasn't 30 seconds, but that's more or less, uh, what I'm trying to get across.

[00:29:01] Danny: Yeah, one. Super useful for creators. every creator in the world should be following you one. Cause you're a great dude, but two, because this stuff is so useful for them every single day. Like you hear that even just that minute or whatever that was, you explaining that to me and everyone listening, it was comforting.

It's like, yeah, you're right. Okay. Like there are other ways to conceive of who I am, how I feel and how I'm gonna deal with certain things. and only today and not tomorrow, but it also makes me feel of this fact that it's hard to get. I feel like it's very hard to understand what you understand and to try and understand what you understand without watching your videos.

You have to read the power of now you gotta read these like big, thick, deep books that a lot of us have a hard time digesting yet. Here you are is almost like. The translator for the average person to help them jump into this mindset, which I think is the coolest thing. It's like, you make it easy for someone 18, 19 75, to be able to get into this mindset. And I feel like that's a superpower.

[00:30:06] Andrew: I very much appreciate that. Um, yeah. Thank you, cuz that's honestly, it's, it's above all else. I've thought about this for a bit and it's might be my favorite thing to do. Just taking concepts that I understand that. May not always be the most easily digestible and making them a little bit more digestible without diminishing.

The message. Like it was always something even at work before I started creating content, like I loved figuring out analogies cause I have a job in digital advertising and it's, it's like, there's a whole other language that everyone just assumes that, you know, when you start and I spent six months, like, I didn't even know what optimizing a campaign meant.

And it's like, if someone had just told me, like updating the settings to help it perform better, it. Oh, that would've saved me, you know, six months of beating my head against the wall, cuz I was too afraid to ask about it. but yeah, so I, I always enjoyed it at work and I've always sort of enjoyed it.

And I think my dad helped me to understand that a lot. Cuz there was actually a point in college. I went to UPenn and I played baseball there and I wouldn't have gotten in if I hadn't played baseball. I'll tell you that. Like I'll tell

anyone that like. There was pretty much no chance I was going there.

so when I got there, I had a lot of imposter syndrome and I was in these classes and I was in the business school, which is a pretty good business school. And I was with all these kids who were like, you know, super scholar, like some of the smartest kids on earth and I'm in the class. And I I'm like, I don't understand even.

They're saying not only do I not understand the question that the teacher's asking, but I I'm, I have less of an understanding of what the students are responding. And so I was talking to my dad about this one day. I think it was probably my freshman year. And he was like, Andrew. In terms of when you look at the entire population, you're, you're a pretty damn smart kid.

If you can't understand what they're saying, they probably don't understand it as well, themselves as they think they do. They're probably just regurgitating something that they learn. Cuz if you can't explain something to a 10 year old and help them to understand a concept that you feel like you understand, you probably don't understand it as well as you think.

and so that stuck with me. And so ever since then, when it came to work or content, it's kind of in the back of my head, I don't think about it every video, but it's, it's stuck with me, I think, and, and kind of have, has a undertone, all of my videos that I want. People to be able to understand this that have no previous knowledge of the concept.

And if I can get it into a 45 second video, like that's great, cuz I think that's very important. And if you can't explain it to someone who is, you know, maybe not 10, but maybe 15 or something, you probably don't understand it as well as you think.

[00:32:56] Danny: Such a superpower, I think from a marketing advertising perspective, it's one of the most important things. My VP and my manager, who I, I definitely would say as a mentor would always remind us is like, go the Donald Trump route. strip away who he is as a person, but he would just make everything so simple for people that it was so easy to be like, oh, okay.

There's only two factors in the world that I have to consider about this decision. You're making. Makes sense. Like I'm down. What I think I'm gonna do is I'm gonna send you this book right here. It's called thing explainer. It's my favorite book ever. And it just takes these more at larger abstract, more complex systems and environments and breaks them down into just what each element is at its simplest form.

So it's like space and it's like thing that rotates like mass that burns that rotates around. Earth. And you're like, oh, okay, sun. But like, it does that for everything. That's so intricate. I feel like it is right up your alley. What I'd wanna know though is how do you come up with the stuff you're gonna say, what's your process for coming up with new ideas, speaking on new topics?

It, it seems like you have endless things to say, which is a great thing.

[00:34:05] Andrew: so that's been a bit of a process too. I think early on a lot of my stuff was from books that I'd read or, or things that I'd learned from other people. And I don't even like going back to my, my old tos, cuz there's definitely a different. Energy. Like I've gotten way more comfortable and just free in the way that I speak and, and portray messages.

It used to be like, there was a point, probably like six or seven months that I started every video with like, what if I told you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it's. So if you go back to my old tos, it's just that. And like I'm standing very straight up, and just like always have the same background.

And it was just it's it's funny thinking back, cause I didn't sound different. Whereas now. They're pretty much all cause I'm in New York. Now, there was a point where I was away for like a few months. but I pretty much just like walk around New York for the most part. But when it comes to coming up with things, a lot of it now is through experience and.

Sometimes it's even through, when I talk on my podcast, like we have no agenda. I, I co-host it with this guy named Ray. he's on TikTok and Instagram also, and we just connected through social media and he talks about a lot of the similar stuff that I do. so some of the stuff, sometimes it's just like, we're going back and forth.

We're talking about a certain thing, having a conversation and then like an analogy or something just kind of comes up in it. But there's definitely a lot of base level. Knowledge that I understand and things I've learned about how to handle certain situations. And I've been able to, I, I enjoy kind of like trying to rework different messages to see what hits and, and to try and help videos.

You know, what's gonna get a little bit more watch time cuz at the end of the day, like as much as. I don't worry too much about that. I also know the message is gonna be helpful, so I want it to get to more people. And so there was this, uh, thing that basically. One of the most freeing things I've ever sort of recognized is last summer, I imagined that I, I didn't have a past and it was after a week of like going through a bunch of intrusive thoughts and sort of like struggling with different things.

And then I was able to, to recognize that, you know, the past doesn't exist, which I had recognized before and I made videos about it, but then I was able to go step further and imagine that, like, I literally didn't have a pass and I was just aware of my environment. I was walking around New York, aware of what I could see aware.

Of the thoughts in my head, but it wasn't like what I was. so that was one of those freeing things I ever recognized. And like, I haven't been the same since that. Cause I was able to see that like that idea of Andrew is just the past. Like that whole idea of Andrew is just things that, I've accomplished or, or trauma I've been through or things I've experienced, but that's all the past.

And if I'm just this moment right now, there's like this, this sort of gap there. So, so I recognize that, oh, maybe I'm not Andrew. Maybe I'm closer to like this awareness of Andrew, but if Andrew's just made up to begin with, and maybe I'm just the awareness of the universe experiencing itself. Um, but anyway, So that was an exercise that I knew that was like, cuz it freed me from like one of the worst weeks of my life and it's it.

My life hasn't been the same since. And so I think I made like five videos all having to do with that exercise of imagining that you don't have a past. And I just knew it was gonna hit at some point. And I think the first five maybe got like 10 to 40,000 views, which is definitely not bad. Also, definitely not viral.

And then finally I got one and it sort of hit, ended up getting like 6 million views just cuz I knew I had so much faith in that message because it helped me so much, like this is gonna hit at some point. Um, so yeah, sometimes it's like reworking messages, but a lot of it's, you know, there's. There's not a ton of different things out there, you know, when it comes to messages and whatnot, but it's, it's how you can portray it.

And the energy that you bring, that, that matters a lot.

[00:38:18] Danny: I like that a lot. I really do. I think there is one there's value and obviously confidence. Like I, I heard here six videos knowing that like one is actually going to hit, which is cool, but two that freeing idea, regardless, even though this isn't like, A therapy or a mindfulness or a purpose driven podcast, just hearing that makes a ton of sense.

It's almost like a reset every single day, but on that idea of resetting every single day, you say that you're very curious. So you reset quite often and you think that the past doesn't exist often, but you're very curious. How do you go about chasing C.

[00:39:02] Andrew: I think all of it boils down to the recognition. the only thing you ever are is the moment that you're experiencing. So as much as people get caught up in in saying like, oh, you know, the past and future, like people argue the past and future do exist, but it's like when the PA the past never happens as the past when the past happened, it was right now when the future happens.

It's right now. So any curiosity that you experience is happening now, anything you ever experience is only ever happening now. And people get caught up in the, in the concepts and in the ideas and it takes them out of the recognition that this moment is all they are because they want to define themselves and people even.

People get uncomfortable when they don't have a solid idea of themself, because everyone's going around saying like, oh, you have to know yourself. You it's the most important thing you can ever do. And I would argue that you can't know yourself. It's, it's actually impossible to know yourself because even just saying that I know myself that implies there's two beings.

The eye that is the knower and the self that is known. But last time I checked, there's only ever one of us. And it's that idea of ourself that gets us confused and leads to pretty much all of our suffering is thinking that we're a concept, but we are just the awareness. We're the deeper. Observer of the universe itself and the observer of this, this human character that we sort of build an identity around, but we're just aware of it, just like we're aware of our thoughts, just like we're aware of our environment.

We're that deeper awareness that, that can't be knocked down and, and can't be built up. It it's a neutral awareness that has always been like, that's that. The eternal awareness of the universe in the eternal now that we all are. And, you know, I, I that's, that's sort of where we get to on my podcast is that recognition that beyond all the things that you think you are, you're just right now.

And as you're able to question all those things that you think you are, you can more clearly recognize that you're just the moment. So bringing it back to your initial question of, of how do you stay curious. or how do you experience curiosity is, is like the only thing you ever experience is the moment that you're in.

And it doesn't mean that you can't utilize, planning for the future. Like I absolutely plan for the future, but when you plan for the future, you plan right now, you don't plan in the future. You plan for the future now. So everything you've ever done or experienced or that's happened to you has happened now, but the psychological suffering comes in when we bring that thing that happened into.

Moments moving forward. And, but as you're more easily and more quickly able to let go of those things, a lot of that psychological suffering will begin to get less severe and, and sort of

tone down.

[00:41:57] Danny: Random question, but what pops in my mind after hearing all say all of this, which again is freeing. And it's a really interesting perspective that we might be able to conceive, but especially someone like myself, I don't think I have ADHD, but I'm probably like somewhere close to it. Like my mind just runs, like I'm going all the time.

Like, I don't even have time to think about myself. Like, it's just always a new thing that I'm trying to chase. How does your family. Interact with you now that there's like this period of enlightenment, you are this modern day philosopher on TikTok is your family about philosophy and, and the self and the identity and mindfulness and such, or are these now two very different and distant worlds that's been created?

Cause I heard you say you

were close with your parents.

[00:42:45] Andrew: yeah. Yeah, I'm very close with my family. I have a younger brother and sister also. Um, it really hasn't. Changed much. And that's the thing, like, that's what I'm trying to like get away from is that people, a lot of people out there probably follow me on social media, like have this idea of me. And it's like, as much as I recognize these things and recognize that, you know, I'm not this.

Idea of myself. I'm not this separate self that's separate from anything. Like I'm, I'm very much seamlessly connected with, with everything. And I'm not what I think I am. like, it changes everything about my perception, but it also doesn't change anything at the same time. Like, it's still, I'm still here now.

It's just with less of. Psychological suffering and baggage that comes with it. So, I definitely have found an ability to sort of. Find a balance only through going back and forth and like testing the limits. Like I, there have been points where I've tried to push meditation on my family or friends or people close to me who I know like deal with intrusive thoughts a lot.

I'm like, just give it a shot please. And I've had people who have tried it and have like teared up because they didn't realize how much their mind was racing and then they never do it again. And so. That used to frustrate me more. I have found that the more you push someone or try to get someone to do something, the less likely it is that they'll actually derive any benefit from it.

Like for almost everyone, it has to come from within. So I very much let go of trying to change people because another aspect of these recognitions is that there are no actual. Other people like it's all, it's all me deep down. And everyone just has that idea of themself that drives that separation.

So people get caught up in wanting to, you know, change the world, but when you see yourself as the world, then all you ever have to do is change yourself. And, and when you see that you can kind of more clearly recognize that. Trying to change other people almost always only does the opposite. It only inflicts more damage on your relationship with them on them, on the situation at hand, doesn't actually lead to any benefit in the world.

So it's sort of freeing It maybe is frustrating at first for people, but it's also very freeing when you see that, like the only thing you really ever have to do is change yourself. And that's more than enough.

[00:45:24] Danny: Damn, you're 27 in gut the mindset and got the knowledge of that a hundred year old that has already lived life and knows exactly where they want to be. It's so cool to see. I know you have to go in a couple of minutes, so I wanna ask a couple things. One I will state on this podcast. If it hasn't been stated before that you will be a best selling author.

It that has to happen, bro. Like your TikTok is your book, man. Your TikTok is your book and you just take all your talks and you put into a book, like, are you writing a book? Come on, you have to write a book.

[00:45:58] Andrew: I have a ebook, which is like a summary of a lot of the stuff. I, it has like 14 chapters on just like I picked 14 different topics and just kind of expanded on them a little bit. Um, but yeah, there was another podcast I was on that asked me that and they asked what the title of my autobiography would be if I ever wrote one.

And I said, I eventually got to, I am not Andrew MENA. And then it would be like written by Andrew MENA and just talking about sort of what I've been talking about, how that idea of yourself, that identity that we clinging to, for a sense of, uh, false sense of security and all of that is more or less the root of all of our suffering.

Like it's very, It's not super common that someone has a fear or worry that doesn't have to do with their idea of themself or something attached to their idea of themself. So as you're able to let go of that, you realize, oh, there, there, maybe isn't so much to fear psychologically. so yeah, maybe, maybe one day, but I've, I've been thinking about it a little bit.

probably not immediately, but yeah, one day

[00:47:04] Danny: All right. Fair play. Well, your TikTok is proof to any publisher that you want to potentially go to. Anyway, I'll be your salesperson. Not that you need one, but if you do, I see the vision. The other thing I wanted to ask is brand deals. do you actively do brand deals? I feel like there's a natural connection with like a head space or a calm you gave me a head shake.

Is that because you don't want to, or they just haven't come in.

[00:47:27] Andrew: I mean, those two specifically haven't come in. Um, but I also have just stayed away from brand deals, I think.

Initially, like I have stuff, my own stuff that I sell. Um, I think there's a side of me that just doesn't wanna go down that road. I. I would, if it was absolutely like a perfect match made in heaven type thing.

but yeah, I've gotten reached out to, by a bunch of brands and it's never been something I'm super interested in. but you know, never say never.

[00:48:02] Danny: Okay, fair play. this is what fascinates me, man is outside of what you want to do as a creator and working with brand deals and how that fits into your life as a creator, your income streams as a creator. to me, it's insane that Headspace and calm or a similar type of company.

Haven't come across you and haven't offered, honestly, haven't offered you the world. Like it's just this, these are the people that go after. These are the messages that they're trying to get people to listen to, but to get them to pay for those messages, it goes back to what you were saying of, if you try to get someone to change, there's probably gonna be more pain or more damage done if they don't really want to. You're like the perfect bridge there. So common Headspace, if you're listening to this, like, what are you doing, man? Get your act together and, and find a way to just give you the world. That's one. The second thing, man, is almost, we haven't covered like a 10th of what you do, but what's the one thing that you do right now as a creator that you enjoy the most.

You've got your audio, you've got your talks and your videos. You've got your podcast. You've got your e-book. I think there might be some retreats in there too. Like, what is it that, which element of it gives you the most fulfillment?

[00:49:13] Andrew: I'm definitely excited for that retreat. Uh, that's coming in November. That's just like through our, we have like a Patreon and discord through our podcast and we're kind of just like keeping it contained in there. I may. Post about it on my stuff at some point, if we need to, but I don't think we're gonna need to.

I love the podcast. I love doing the podcast. I honestly, I love doing guest appearances on podcasts a lot. there are a lot of fun, especially with a host like you that's, that's very good and, and has a lot of awesome questions like this. and I like, Q and as, and I, I'm just saying a bunch of stuff.

I like a lot of aspects of it, but, we'll do live, live group chats too through like Patreon, or sometimes we'll just do some free ones, like sort of, as an aspect of, of my podcast and, and Ray, my co-host, we'll just co-host them. And I, I really enjoy. being asked questions and like having to respond off the cuff.

It's something that was like one of my biggest fears. It used to be, it was like, well, fuck, what if, what if you don't know the answer? And even, even after I started opposing content, like my first couple guest appearances on podcasts, like I was very nervous for them. And I was, I would almost try and like, Prepare for hypothetical questions that I thought I might get.

Like, that was the point I was at. And now it's like, I, if someone asks, if I want the questions, I'll tell them no, like I'd rather not know them and just see what hits me sort of while I'm there. but yeah, between podcasts and like live group calls, I love making the videos too, but I think I prefer the longer form as opposed as much as, you know, tos helped me a lot.

I definitely prefer the longer form content.

[00:50:46] Danny: Well, let's bring this full circle. We started off talking about our friend, Tim Chiana before we even recorded. Let's end talking about our friend, Tim Chiana. When are you two gonna man.

[00:50:55] Andrew: That's a great question. I actually, we were actually talking about doing a. Sort of podcast together. There's a place in New York, called 360 8. it's uh, Casey, nice stats, old stomp and grounds basically. And, so I've been there a few times. I got like invited to sort of like open door whenever I want and they have a little, uh, podcast, couch, studio type set up.

And I, I messaged him a little while ago. We haven't, we, we were talking about it for a bit, but just like sitting down and doing like a joint co-host podcast where we just like ask host each other and like ask each other questions would be, would be kind of cool. I've been in a couple of. Videos, just like when I've seen him for dinner or something.

but yeah, I think that might be in the works, hopefully at some point this summer. but yeah, we'll see, cuz yeah, Tim's Tim's the fucking man.

[00:51:45] Danny: Tim is the fucking man I'm waiting for that. That collab needs to happen. Man, been an absolute pleasure having you on crazy out. It's only been like two and a half years. It's also, I'm glad we ran into each other around a month. Uh, I'm glad that Tim told me to reach out to you for my event a month or whatever ago.

Glad that happened. Where can people find you if they want to connect with you? If they want to hear your pod and such, gimme the rundown.

[00:52:09] Andrew: podcast is dualistic, unity, uh, TikTok, not Andrew MENA, Instagram Ana

and yeah, I have a YouTube. I don't post about it on it too.

Twitter, I'm on there sometimes. a lot of times I'll post like video ideas. I'll tweet them first. that's Andrew underscore name, I think. but yeah, that's, that's pretty much it.

[00:52:31] Danny: It's been awesome having you on man. Enjoy that dinner. Make sure that that alarm doesn't go off again and uh, we'll catch you soon.

[00:52:37] Andrew: Yeah, sounds great. Thank you so much for having me, Danny. I really appreciate it. Had a great time chatting with you

[00:52:45] Danny: Another episode in the books. This one with Andrew was amazing. It was insightful. It was inspiring. He is such a cool human being and the path that he's on as a creator, again, super unique, but also super powerful. If you like this episode, be awesome. If you could rate or review the podcast on either Spotify or apple podcasts, and if there are other creators that you feel are underrated or creators that you would want to invest in that maybe you want a greater look into and want to ask a certain number of questions.

Let me know. I'm at D a T K E E D on all socials. And I would love to hear who you think is underrated, and maybe we can help others discover those creator. Have an awesome week. We'll see you next.