Ask Me Anything

Below are questions that have been submitted for me to answer. Logged in members can upvote any question by clicking the up arrow next to it. Every few months I’ll pick some of the most upvoted questions (as well as some other questions I think are particularly good) and answer them in one of my Ask Me Anything videos.

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63

Developing an Inner Authority

The strongest people I know get their validation internally and make decisions based on their on values and metrics. However, if you are a person that doesn't really know or understand this experience that well, how… (Show more)

The strongest people I know get their validation internally and make decisions based on their on values and metrics. However, if you are a person that doesn't really know or understand this experience that well, how do you recommend we begin cultivate it in a healthy way, as opposed wanting to change from a place of self rejection?

58

Is your wife really interested in your work, or does she just kind of let you do your own thing and not pay much attention?

55

Is it better to start dating someone you like before you're in love with them, or should you just wait until you're in love, then start dating them?

51

What's the best way to overcome the anxiety you have based on previous decisions and the thought that you're too far gone to make it all right again?

50

Why do we pick up 'bad' habits so easily but have to work so hard to start a 'good' habit.

48

What do you eat? What is your diet like? Do you have an exercise regiment? Im basically asking how do you stay healthy and maintain your physique?

45

How do I cope with not belonging in my community?

I do stand up, and the most painful thing about it is not feeling valued by a majority of the comedians in my scene. They all have their tight-knit groups, yet they all act they're a… (Show more)

I do stand up, and the most painful thing about it is not feeling valued by a majority of the comedians in my scene. They all have their tight-knit groups, yet they all act they're a supportive community when I feel like they're not. I've tried being kind but my efforts get ignored. I oftentimes feel like I put on a poker face while I deal with the comedians in my scene because openness does not exist. Earlier this year, I had to put up with a comedy booker removing me from a show line up without a reason, which led me to suspect that he just does not like me. Point is, as I'm moving towards making comedy into my future career, the lack of belonging makes me feel more than just emotionally exhausted. How do I accept that the people in my local comedy scene will never like me for whatever reason without it hurting my career chances?

45

How does your advice about not trusting what our intuition says reconcile with "Fuck Yes or No"?

You often talk about the fact that we shouldn't trust our intuition and emotions, and that personal development advice that tells you to listen to your gut all the time is bad for this reason. How… (Show more)

You often talk about the fact that we shouldn't trust our intuition and emotions, and that personal development advice that tells you to listen to your gut all the time is bad for this reason. How does this idea reconcile with the law of "Fuck Yes or No", which states that we should listen to our gut feeling about how we feel about somebody to determine if we should date them or not? Rather than maybe using our brain and logically determine this, for example.

35

How often do you daydream about your future, your goals, and does that ever get in the way of actually accomplishing your wishes, goals, etc.?

35

What advice could you give to someone trying to give up binge eating?

Hi Mark. I've been wanting to write to you about this for a while. Thank you for the opportunity! I've read your post about the boy who lost huge amount of weight and also your post… (Show more)

Hi Mark. I've been wanting to write to you about this for a while. Thank you for the opportunity! I've read your post about the boy who lost huge amount of weight and also your post on how you quit smoking. I find these very inspiring and relatable. I began binge eating years ago and even though I try to break the cycle, I still do it. Feeling anxious and having the urge, the overeating, the horrible effects from this including guilt and gaining weight and then realising this has to stop. Then trying to loose this weight, be healthy and not sucumbe to the urges. I guess my question is, what advice could you give me and people that seem to be in this specific cycle with food? Why can't I stop it??
Any thoughts or advice would be most welcome. There are other things I wanted to ask but I've upvoted similar ones to the ones I had in mind.
Looking forward to your video,
Best wishes
Gaby
From Oxford

35

Should you continue to endure toxic relationships if they are with your family members, like your mother? Or better to cut off contact completely?

If your mother is a functioning alcoholic who generally makes you very unhappy because of her own issues, and you have tried to help her many times and fix the relationship without progress, is it wiser… (Show more)

If your mother is a functioning alcoholic who generally makes you very unhappy because of her own issues, and you have tried to help her many times and fix the relationship without progress, is it wiser to just accept that you cant help her if she doesn't want to get better and live your life without her because you feel better when there is no contact?

34

How do I not feel like my whole life revolves around my job?

Don't get it wrong, I love what I do, but sometimes I feel like my work becomes my life. I can't completely disconnect from work. My brain keeps thinking about pending research and ideas I want… (Show more)

Don't get it wrong, I love what I do, but sometimes I feel like my work becomes my life. I can't completely disconnect from work. My brain keeps thinking about pending research and ideas I want to explore. Sometimes it feels just too much.

33

Good social habits?

ex: make eye contact, stand up straight, instead of questions make statements. Track 15 of "Models" audiobook

32

When are you standards for dating too high, and how should you moderate/lower them to a more balanced one?

I seem to only be attracted to the most beautiful people, or to decently looking people when I find them very interesting. I've noticed that I'm specially drawn to physical beauty, and in this regard people… (Show more)

I seem to only be attracted to the most beautiful people, or to decently looking people when I find them very interesting. I've noticed that I'm specially drawn to physical beauty, and in this regard people I know have a much lower standard than I.

This is just a very short background; I'm mostly interested in the question in general, not how it applies to my particular case.

31

What is your opinion on human existence that lasts about a "blink of an eye" metaphorically speaking on a tiny rock in a massive universe(assuming you hold no religious belief)?

Life in the universe appears to be an "accident" and at some point in the future no-one will know we were ever here - so what's the point of anything(sorry for sounding morbid),probably think too much… (Show more)

Life in the universe appears to be an "accident" and at some point in the future no-one will know we were ever here - so what's the point of anything(sorry for sounding morbid),probably think too much about shit like this!

31

Why is it that so many men (e.g., Roger Ales, Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein) who achieve positions of power think it’s OK to sexually harass women?

30

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

I've suffering from BPD since teenage years. I was an unwanted child, given away less than one week from birth, to an unloving family. At the age of one, I was transferred to another family. I… (Show more)

I've suffering from BPD since teenage years. I was an unwanted child, given away less than one week from birth, to an unloving family. At the age of one, I was transferred to another family. I was abused by my foster mother. She physically and verbally tortured me. She made sure that I was reduced to nothing. I have attempted suicide since I was a teenager, but the fighter (or chicken?) in me wouldn't do anything irreversible. So far, I managed to get through life, with much turbulences and craziness, dosing myself with various kind of antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds. I am sick and tired of living with this brain of mine. I tried all ways to get rid of its demons - pain, fear and rage. I am highly intelligent but lack the emotional stability to be successful in life. I have zero capability to make any friend. I hate people. Dear Mark, is there a way out for me?

29

How to secelect the right non fiction books for me to read?

There are of course several options like some ranking sites etc. But still, also crapy books may score pretty high in those. So I would like to ask how and where to look for books which… (Show more)

There are of course several options like some ranking sites etc. But still, also crapy books may score pretty high in those. So I would like to ask how and where to look for books which may give me the most value? And what is your attitude to summerize them for database? Do you take notes while reading, or do you sum them up in the end? Some tips on this topic?

29

What are the best practices when texting a dating partner ?

I worked a lot on myself and I'm confortable having dates and seeing the person "in real life". Though, everytime I seem to sabotage myself when it comes to texting : I get ahead of myself,… (Show more)

I worked a lot on myself and I'm confortable having dates and seeing the person "in real life". Though, everytime I seem to sabotage myself when it comes to texting : I get ahead of myself, I feel impatient, show neediness by texts and I often realize it only when it's too late.

29

What do you think you'll give a fuck about when you're 60?

I'm 62!

25

What is a best friend?

I feel like in today’s society the term “best friend” is thrown around so casually so I wanted to hear your thoughts more on the topic and how you know if someone is your best friend… (Show more)

I feel like in today’s society the term “best friend” is thrown around so casually so I wanted to hear your thoughts more on the topic and how you know if someone is your best friend and distinguishing that and a close friend. I found your article on the five different types of relationships with people/friendships very interesting and just wanted to understand your views on friendships more.

25

I want to be less focused on certain physical aspects of my girlfriend

My GF had double a mastectomy, the surgeon botched the reconstructive surgery, the nipple did not survive on either breast, both implants are fucked up with a lot of scaring, doesn't look to pretty. Everything about… (Show more)

My GF had double a mastectomy, the surgeon botched the reconstructive surgery, the nipple did not survive on either breast, both implants are fucked up with a lot of scaring, doesn't look to pretty. Everything about this woman is amazing, but I find myself obsessing over what she doesn't have, those were my favorite parts if you know what I mean. I feel like a shallow, lame person.

23

Why do I fear having friends in different circles meet each other?

It would be far simpler to have most of my friends in their mid to late twenties come to events that I'm interested, and yet I find myself trying to come up with the perfect cocktail… (Show more)

It would be far simpler to have most of my friends in their mid to late twenties come to events that I'm interested, and yet I find myself trying to come up with the perfect cocktail of who will get along with who. How do I relinquish this social control and lean into the fact that some friends could potentially not get along, and not see this as a reflection of their thoughts about me?

22

Is striving for perfectionism self-defeating?

Whenever I commit to doing something that would benefit me and my life, be it eliminating bad habits, a change in diet, working out, etc. I always put a lot of pressure on myself to doing… (Show more)

Whenever I commit to doing something that would benefit me and my life, be it eliminating bad habits, a change in diet, working out, etc. I always put a lot of pressure on myself to doing things right, without fail.

'I can't miss my workout today, no matter what'

'I have to eat only specific types of food everyday and not go over my calorie limit'

'I need to wake up everyday at 5:30AM without fail'

These are just some examples of what goes on in my head, but it goes for everything I set my sights on.

This need to do things right and to not skip new habits takes a lot out of me. It takes a lot of discipline and willpower to stick with it, and ultimately, I end up failing to meet my own standards, which results in me feeling bad and reverting back to old habits.

My brother keeps telling me 'These are just made-up rules in your head. You don't need to attain perfection. These self-imposed rules only hurt your progress at anything you want to achieve.'

I know the answer is that perfectionism is a made-up ideal in our heads and nobody can attain it, and that it's okay to fail, but I'd really love for you to give a detailed answer on how to overcome the tendency to want to be perfect all the time whilst trying to build new habits and eliminating old ones.

Thank you.

21

With everything you've accomplished in your life, would you say you've found happiness?

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