Firstly, if you’re not familiar with Brown we recommend firing up Netflix and watching her documentary Call To Courage immediately. It’s an extension of her 2010 TEDx talk on the power of vulnerability that’s still one of the most watched TED Talks ever, with more than 45 million views.

In a chat with Tim Ferris on his podcast, the 45-year-old explains how the 80/20 “hack” has helped maintain her marriage for the last 25 years – the hardest thing she’s ever done.

“Everyone says marriage should be 50/50; it’s the biggest crock of bull sh** I’ve ever heard,” she says. “It’s never 50/50—ever.”

Instead of the unrealistic expectation to match each other’s energy, kindness, investment and patience, the pair are just brutally honest about where they’re at on a day-to-day basis and will do their best to make up for one another.

If one is 20, the other puts in 80. 


“Marriage isn’t something that’s 50/50; a partnership works when you can carry their 20 per cent, and they can carry your 20 per cent, and when you both just have 20 percent, you figure out a plan,” she says.

During the times when they’re less than 100 combined, they sit down together and work out a plan of kindness towards each other. This often means making life easier for each other by ordering takeaway, hiring the house keeper for an extra day and cancelling unnecessary plans, for example.

Genius. 

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