Mark Manson is a writer, blogger and author of the "New York Times" bestseller, "The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F-ck". Visit his blog, markmanson.net, to read some of his best articles on self improvement, dating and relationships, culture and life choices.
2 mins - I tell Mark why I didn't initially want him in the show... and why I changed my mind
4 mins - Mark and I first met at a friend’s poker game. then I ran into him a few weeks later. But I didn't remember meeting. “Hi I'm James,” I said. Then I remembered. And I realized he was the guy from the poker game… the guy who's name I kept trying to figure out all night. “I just thought you were a chill guy,” Mark said. We laughed. That's how I'd like to start all new moments in life. With a laugh.
8 min - Mark says where he got the inspiration to write his bestselling book, "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck"
10 min - We talk about what “giving a fuck” actually means. And how to decide what's worthwhile. “I joke around with a lot of people,” Mark said. “I say I wanted to write a book about values...but I knew if I wrote a book about values no one would read it. So I put the F word everywhere. Because essentially what giving a fuck is is you are deciding what you care about. You are deciding what you value in your life.”
12 min - So then I ask Mark how you get started?
14 min - We talk about people pleasing. And self absorption. “It’s very common in the self help world to say, ‘Be true to yourself and follow your feelings.’ That’s nice and everything, but if I went out to 6th Avenue and started peeing on the corner just because I feel like it…” I interrupted. “Is that your true passion? Peeing in 6th Ave. That’s your truth?” “Yes this is my truth at the moment…” Then he got serious. “We live in a society. We’re inner-dependent on each other in many ways. So there’s tension between what you yourself want and what’s also good for the community around you. And that’s hard. I think a lot of people suffer because that balance has gotten out of whack too far one way or the other. Either their constantly people-pleasing or they’re constantly selfish and self-absorbed.”
15 min - I feel everyone starts out people pleasing. And adulthood is when you cross into being more independent. Not necessary self absorbed, but the part of your brain that works to increase your livelihood and sense of survival kicks in. And the struggle is to let go of the “people pleasing” aspect. The part of you that needs approval. I still struggle with this. “Choosing yourself” is choosing to give yourself the stamp of approval. I try this everyday.
17 min - Mark sold drugs when he was 13. Someone told the principal and he got kicked out of school. Six months later his parents got a divorce.
22 min - So I asked, “What do you think your parents could have or should have done differently in this situation?”
28 min - There's a trick to having a good relationship, he told me… it's sort of an equation. Or a scale.
31 min - He fell into a “bottomless pit” of approval. He chased every woman on campus. And learned the rules of attraction. He told me about the really sleazy pick up lines he'd use. “Does that stuff work?”I asked. “It attracts really insecure women,” he said. And that led to his dating theory: you end up attracting what you put out.
33 min - He took what he learned about dating to build a coaching business.
35 min - We talk about Tucker Max’s books and how they’re often taken the wrong way.
41 min - Mark started traveling and living off his online business. He got serious about his writing.
43 min - Mark explains the attachment theory
45 min - He read “The Four Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss. And based his nomadic life around it. But traveling forced Mark into avoiding intimacy. He kept leaving friends behind. And later learned what he really wanted...
47 min - I asked Mark, “When did you start giving a fuck?”
48 min - He told me how he got back to his roots to see what made him happiest
50 min - Mark explains how new and exciting experiences start to fade as you get older...
53 min - And he told me why putting down roots and building a community was his newly discovered biggest value.
55 min - Then I wanted to learn the art of. It giving a fuck. There are a lot of subtleties. So I asked, “What steps do I need to take today to stop insecurities and not care as much?”
58 min - People always ask me how to find customers or readers or a marker. The first rule is this: if you make something that’s valuable, people will show up.
1 hour 2 minutes - We talk about constantly finding different metrics to measure your success by.
1 hour 3 minutes - We talk about a chapter in Chuck Klosterman’s book, But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past, on what survives and how it correlates with a chapter in Mark’s book.
1 hour 6 minutes - What is the subtle art, how do you do it?
1 hour 9 minutes - There are a few fundamental principles to stop giving time and energy into things that really don't matter to you. We break them down.
1 hour 12 minutes - Mark talks about starting to write his next book about relationships and how he’s already been comparing it to his first book… that's the death to all creativity. You need a free, unstressed mind to be creative everyday. Comparison is creativity’s heart attack.
1 hour 15 minutes - Every time you switch tribes, you switch the metrics of comparison. Pay attention to your tribes values. And disown any that don't matter to your heart.
1 hour 18 minutes - Your brain is always going to find a problem or a comparison, the trick it to figure out the game and trust it a little less.
James Altucher is a successful entrepreneur, investor, board member, and the writer of 11 books including the recent WSJ Bestseller, "Choose Yourself!" (foreword by Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter).
He has started and sold several companies for eight figure exits. He's on the board of a billion revenue company, has written for The Financial Times, The New York Observer, and over a dozen popular websites for the past 15 years. He's run several hedge funds, venture capital funds, and is a successful angel investor in technology, energy, and biotech.
He has also lost all his money, made it back, lost it, made it back several times and openly discusses how he did it in his columns and books.