While many may recognize his name and face from the hit series ‘Entourage’ or ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, Adrian Grenier is more than just an actor. He is a passionate investor and environmental advocate who has begun a journey to make a positive impact on the world. From leaving the bright lights of New York City for a 25-square-foot trailer in Texas, to working with environmental innovators and starting his own media company, Adrian’s story is one of inspiration and perseverance.
In this second appearance on the show, Adrian joins me to discuss his career, personal development, and the insights he’s gathered throughout both journeys.
Addressing the Ego
After spending much of his early career in the bright lights of Hollywood, Adrian found a way to pull back the layers behind needing recognition and admiration. He talks openly about the importance of self-reflection and how it’s allowed him to gain a better understanding of his own identity and motivations.
Ego, exclusivity, and fame are all tools that can be strategically used in one’s own favor. They don’t benefit you intrinsically, rather, serve as a means to capitalize upon human nature at large. And this is especially true in Hollywood, where getting ahead means putting on a show and garnering as much of people’s attention as possible. There are so many talented people out there – the difference between the ones that make it and those that don’t? Playing the game. Acting special. Making others believe you’re above them. When that all goes away, so does the appeal.
While Adrian’s lifestyle had some perks, he tells me that it was simply an unsustainable way of living. Lacking something meaningful, he was quickly on the path to burn out – or worse.
“Frankly, that life was going to kill me”.
After years of idealistic and in his words, “ignorant” thinking, Adrian realized that he wasn’t going to live forever. He began to pull at the thread of self-discovery and reevaluate what he was doing – or perhaps better said, wasn’t doing – with his life.
Unraveling the Ego
What does unraveling an ego start with, you may ask? Well, according to Adrian, it can be summed up in as little as eight words: “grow the f*** up and become a man”.
It involves recognizing and embracing sides of one’s self that were previously ignored. It also means unlearning some of the ideas that society and its culture instill in males since birth, such as, feeling ashamed of emotions and not being allowed to express them.
Throughout his own process of self-discovery, Adrian notes that he quickly became aware of the prevalence and effects of toxic masculinity in his life. Constantly trying to show off, lie or pretend to be something he wasn’t all in a bid to be accepted as a man had created an unhealthy dynamic in his interactions with both men and women.
In order to break free of this unhealthy cycle, Adrian took a no-nonsense approach that focused on addressing his own issues head-on. He found that the most effective way to do this was to remove all distractions, including negative influences and indulgences such as drinking or sex. This process allowed him to take the time for introspection and self-reflection, which led to some much needed personal growth and helped him on his transformative journey.
A major part of restructuring his lifestyle, Adrian took a hiatus from acting. He shut everything down and left his massive house in New York for Texas, where a small 25 square foot trailer became his new home. Adrian literally started putting his hands to work by building a community garden in his area, as well as tending to it on a daily basis.
Building a Sustainable Life
By utilizing the natural elements of the Earth, Adrian found solace in his new practices and was able to reconnect with his true self. The environment, meditation, reading, and breath work allowed him to remember his innate brilliance, heal himself, and feel good in his own skin.
It was not long before he and his wife found a beautiful 46 ranch in Austin, where they’ve lived for the past two years. They are both passionate about the land and have been learning permaculture, experimenting and observing nature to get a better understanding of how it works so that they can work with it to create a better life.
While of course there an abundance of things to learn about how to raise chickens, cattle and cultivate his land. Adrian has sought to connect with mentors, elders in his life that he never had before. He mentioned father figures who have been fifth and sixth generation farmers, homesteaders, who are more than happy to teach him and come help him out on the land. It’s inspired him to embody a new form of manhood, yearn for fatherhood, and become a leader in his own right. He even started creating videos to help others, although he insists he’s still a novice in many ways.
“What I have is the ability to inspire people to think twice about how they live and to consider a lifestyle in the cadence of nature over a lifestyle in the cadence of escape and indulgence” he says.
This is the passion that has driven Adrian to create and share Earth Speed, a new docu-series on environmental innovators. He tells me that he also plans on starting a media company to promote nature lifestyle content, be it short form or long form.
Adrian Grenier’s journey to self-discovery and sustainable living is an inspiring and thought-provoking one. His experiences in Hollywood and his commitment to making a positive impact on the world serve as a reminder of the importance of self-reflection, willingness to let go of who we thought we were, and grounding ourselves to find our true purpose.