Ashton Kutcher On What His Twin Brother Taught Him About Appreciating Life

‘He's a huge motivator for me, and one of my best friends.’

On the most recent episode of The Thrive Global Podcast, Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington sat down with television and film actor, venture capitalist, philanthropist, producer and—the role that matters most to him—father Ashton Kutcher. In a wide-ranging conversation, Huffington and Kutcher spoke about everything from family, social media and privacy to sleeping, time management and the impact his twin brother, Michael, has had on his life. 

“Everything in my entire life was shared, from my birthdays, to holidays, to my bedroom, to everything,” Kutcher said. “My brother was born with a mild form of cerebral palsy, so I always had this reflection of 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 achieve.”

“When we were, I think, 12, he had a cardiomyopathy,” Kutcher said, “which is a virus that attacked his heart, and he basically went from being a normal kid to being a kid who was in the hospital, having to have a heart transplant, within days.”

Michael eventually received a heart transplant and was the youngest person at the time to have an artificial heart, Kutcher said, adding that his brother is doing great now. He has two sons and he continues to inspire Kutcher.

“He’s a constant litmus for me, that gives me a different level of understanding,” Kutcher said. “It makes me appreciate life every day in a different way, because I’ve known since I was a kid that it can be taken away, for no reason at all.”

For these reasons and more, Kutcher said, “he’s a huge motivator for me, and one of my best friends.”

To hear the full conversation, click here.

You can also listen to the Thrive Global podcast internationally for free on iTunes and Stitcher.

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