Cover art for podcast The Human Upgrade with Dave Asprey—formerly Bulletproof Radio

The Human Upgrade with Dave Asprey—formerly Bulletproof Radio

937 EpisodesProduced by Dave AspreyWebsite

For a decade, Dave Asprey, “the father of biohacking,” elevated what you knew about the capabilities of your mind and body across a thousand episodes of Bulletproof Radio. Now, he’s evolving it even further in his plan to upgrade humanity. You’re invited to expand your knowledge, explore your own pe… read more


Mimetic Desire Shatters the Myth of Why You Want – Luke Burgis with Dave Asprey : 865


Find Out Your Biological Age:, use code DAVE to get 20% off testing packages 

Get Salty AF:, from unflavored to classy combos like mango chili to the new watermelon

Control Blood Glucose:, sign up for membership to get monthly supply delivery, use code DAVE20 to save $20 on your first shipment


Do you know why you make choices that are bad for you? Or why you end up with burnout, bad diets and other things that cause you harm, when you know you’d be better off choosing something else? 

This episode cuts through the noise, everything you’re sold and told to want, and helps you answer those very questions.

Luke Burgis researched and studied the theory that underlies your tendency to follow other peoples’ wants, called mimetic desire. Explored by prominent French thinker René Girard, mimetic theory of desire says humans don’t want anything autonomously and independently. 

“Girard discovered that we come to desire certain things not through biological drives or pure reason, nor as the longing of our deepest, most authentic selves, but through imitation,” Luke says in his book, “Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life.” Desire, as Girard used the word, does not mean the drive for food or sex or shelter or security. But after meeting those needs, we enter the domain of desire. And knowing what to want is much harder than knowing what to need.”

In studying the work of Gerard, Luke realized that his goals and dreams were a product of other people’s expectations of him and he was actually following the desire of what he was seeing in others (that’s why he was miserable, burnt out, in poor physical health and felt horrible).  

“The truth is that desires are derivative, contagious, and therefore competitive, and that’s why they often lead to conflict,” Luke explains. “The lie is that I want things entirely on my own, uninfluenced by others. By rejecting the truth, I deny the consequences of my desires on other people, and theirs on me.”

Luke and I dive into how to get past the innate desires of success and wealth that most of us are taught to value and really move into your own individual dreams and self-desires. 

“Mimetic desire exists on a spectrum,” he says. “And that there are some things that can't be explained medically at all. Something beautiful like a sunset, or like a beautiful woman that I'm attracted to. There are very clear scientific sort of physiological things going on there. So, let's make a distinction. Mimetic desire exists on a spectrum where those hardwired physiological things like thirst and hunger, those have been met, right? And we're sort of now in a more abstract world.”

Armed with this knowledge, you can make better choices about who you trust and build self-awareness around your choices to empower your own life. You can find holistic models that work for you in all areas of your life (not just at your job), and why those models are important to find sooner rather than later.

“​​The constant looking to what other people are doing or saying or wanting, or achieving, is just the fastest way to be miserable for one thing, but also the fastest way to miss opportunities, because we're just constantly looking to our right and our left rather than forward or up,” Luke says.

Enjoy! And get more resources at Dave.Asprey/podcasts. Got a comment, idea or question for the podcast? Submit via this form.

See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Are you the creator of this podcast?

Verify your account

and pick the featured episodes for your show.

Listen to The Human Upgrade with Dave Asprey—formerly Bulletproof Radio


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens