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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32

I struggle to make true friendships but I am quite social. How can I differentiate between having to change something with myself or embracing the person that I am?

Mark, I have always wanted to ask this question. I am not shy and I like socialising and don’t mind public speaking just to give you an example of the type of personality I have but… (Show more)

Mark, I have always wanted to ask this question. I am not shy and I like socialising and don’t mind public speaking just to give you an example of the type of personality I have but I truly struggle making friends and I am not quite sure whether there is something wrong with me or whether it is the person that I am and the person I should embrace.

31

I recently did your build a better life course. When I look at what I have to do now, I don't feel like doing any of it. Why?

30

What are your thoughts on Stoicism?

I read a lot of your stuff and Ryan Holiday which led me into Stoicism. What are your thoughts on it? Do you think that not letting our emotions impact our decisions is realistic? How can… (Show more)

I read a lot of your stuff and Ryan Holiday which led me into Stoicism. What are your thoughts on it? Do you think that not letting our emotions impact our decisions is realistic? How can one keep working on a project when they've just made a huge fuck up and lost a girl for example? How can you just watch that emotion and carry on with life without it impacting you? I love the teachings but in the real world can be hard to apply. Would love to know your thoughts as I'm sure you've read into it

28

Do you think we all take ourselves and life too seriously?

I’ve had a really tough few years in terms of figuring myself out and balancing business school/work. I burnt myself out and developed anxiety/depression and unceasingly pondered the most perplexing questions. Recently I watched South Park… (Show more)

I’ve had a really tough few years in terms of figuring myself out and balancing business school/work. I burnt myself out and developed anxiety/depression and unceasingly pondered the most perplexing questions. Recently I watched South Park and realized that we’re all just irrational, close minded, and take this gift of life way too seriously(us being the people in the first world). Do you think if we all just learned to laugh more at how silly we all can be we can solve a lot of societies neuroses?

28

How to live the fucking moment?

We're always striving for a new friends, more stuff, more sex in order to have a better life. But living like this makes life empty and you're not living in the moment. How the fuck can… (Show more)

We're always striving for a new friends, more stuff, more sex in order to have a better life. But living like this makes life empty and you're not living in the moment. How the fuck can we stop kidding ourselves and not procrastinate our enjoyment?

27

What do you think are the best or most beneficial 3-5 characteristics a person could embody?

The last time I sat down to really think about the most important traits I wanted to embody, I came up with 1) empathy, 2) accountability, and 3) open-mindedness. But there are so many, and I'd love to hear what you think.

27

What's the point of being single?

I've jumped from relationship to relationship, knowing that I wasn't ready to settle down for good. I've learned how to establish strong connections, relationship skills, and have had many epiphanies about myself during those times. Some… (Show more)

I've jumped from relationship to relationship, knowing that I wasn't ready to settle down for good. I've learned how to establish strong connections, relationship skills, and have had many epiphanies about myself during those times. Some even ended mutually, and my average relationship lasts 2 years (longest was 6 years) with little to no lag time between them.

I'm 32 and am getting to the point where I'm ready to settle down and am done with casual and short term relationships. There's just one thing I haven't conquered.

I've never really been single for more than a few months.

I'm recently single and am ready to give it a good effort, but I'm having trouble understanding the point of being single. What should I be looking to get out of single life?

I have an awesome job, and I'm financially free and don't need to work. I'm very goal-oriented and have personal, family,career, financial, social, fitness, spiritual, and other goals that I work on regularly. I travel a lot (maybe too much) for fun with friends/lovers. I see all my close friends at least once a week and finally have a good relationship with my family. I'm happy with myself and my station in life. I practice gratitude and meditation daily, and I've got good control over my emotions and understanding about the triggers that cause them. I'm always learning/trying new things and have lots of hobbies/interests. I like working on my routines and am pretty good with staying productive.

Is the point of single life to just do more of these things? Should I be working towards my goals more fervently without the distraction of women? Is my desire to understand single life even valid since I have my veritable ducks in a row? Do I need to be celibate? Do I need to work more on understanding myself? What resources do you recommend for single peeps (I've read your books!)? When do I know that enough singleness is enough?

26

Grief relief

In the last four years I have watched my dad and Mom die in a nursing home. My brother (best friend) die from hep C. My sister in law and her husband die in a head… (Show more)

In the last four years I have watched my dad and Mom die in a nursing home. My brother (best friend) die from hep C. My sister in law and her husband die in a head on with a semi truck SD just a couple of weeks ago. They were so close myself and my wife! And then my rock-roll- brother hung himself in his backyard. Him and I were roadies togeather in mid 70s. We had loved each other as brothers. So life is pretty tough as I type this. tears again. hd
I also was rapped by a fucking close friend of my parents when I was about about 12 or 13. That last issue is still fucking with me. I only told my wife a few months ago. She was and still is the only person I’ve ever told.... (this is the one that still fucks with my head! ??

25

How to break away from the algorithmic life hell?

Procrastination, anxiety, procrastination, anxiety. Repeat. Wanting to do everything while knowing I can’t do everything at once. So I buy more courses , more books, and becomes more anxious and depressed with every passing minute knowing… (Show more)

Procrastination, anxiety, procrastination, anxiety. Repeat.

Wanting to do everything while knowing I can’t do everything at once.

So I buy more courses , more books, and becomes more anxious and depressed with every passing minute knowing that I’m wasting my life.

I know the reason is the fear of uncertainty and caring so much what others would think of me.

How do I break away from the hell of the algorithmic life which is the o my way I know how to live for 30 years?

25

How do you stop feeling inferior to other people?

24

How do I deal with paradigms?

My father often said things that were basically installed in my mind: “If it was that simple someone else would have already done it” or “Starting Monday I will change everything” meaning being on a diet,… (Show more)

My father often said things that were basically installed in my mind: “If it was that simple someone else would have already done it” or “Starting Monday I will change everything” meaning being on a diet, working on XYZ, etc.

I know that and believe I have come a long way dealing with this. But I still catch myself sometimes procrastinating (waiting for Monday) or not putting in the effort (fearing it might be for nothing). The latter does not only happen in my career but also in my marriage, which I am very afraid of.

Do you have any idea how to deal with this?

23

Are people who are in the self-help realm the most fucked up?

Are the people who give out self-help advice the ones who actually the most fucked up and have had the most trauma in their lives? Are those who seek it ficked up as well or are we all just crazy?

23

How do you suggest understanding where your spouse is coming from regarding sex/intimacy needs?

We get along great; in almost every aspect of our lives. But we can't get on the same page in terms of sex and intimacy needs. It's really difficult to put ourselves in each others' shoes… (Show more)

We get along great; in almost every aspect of our lives. But we can't get on the same page in terms of sex and intimacy needs. It's really difficult to put ourselves in each others' shoes and overcome the struggle without tearing each others' faces off in the process.

21

What are the most important characteristics in a friendship?

We see all sorts of dating advice and our romance lives are analyzed half to death by ourselves and loved ones, but yet friendships are hardly talked about. What separates those who have lots of fun… (Show more)

We see all sorts of dating advice and our romance lives are analyzed half to death by ourselves and loved ones, but yet friendships are hardly talked about. What separates those who have lots of fun meaningful friendships to those who experience few? (demographics, personality and communication, vulnerability, purpose and beliefs, interests etc etc)

21

How do I stay relevant as I grow older?

The New York Times has recently published an article seeking young writers 'who know what their peers want to read about.' That makes sense. There'll always be demand for the young. Almost every company out there… (Show more)

The New York Times has recently published an article seeking young writers 'who know what their peers want to read about.' That makes sense. There'll always be demand for the young. Almost every company out there tries to cater to the young/youth audience. They are the primary target audience for the majority of campaigns -- social, branding, etc. -- from a variety of organizations -- governmental, telecom companies, publishing house, entertainment, etc.

I understand why that is. But my concern is how does one make sure that as they grow old, they don't become obsolete? I'm a tech writer myself and I live and breathe tech and gadgets. I see comments all the time that most CNET editors are old and boring. They're not really relevant anymore/they can't write targeting the young audience anymore is a common expression found among the younger tech audience. You'll rarely find young audience reading CNET articles. They read Engadget, The Verge, and other publications like that.

The expression that 'CNET editors are old and boring' is something I've heard more often than I can remember. And after seeing this NYT article, I'm wondering, how do I stay relevant as I grow old? I want to be in tech journalism eventually, but growing up in a third-world country, I don't see that happening anytime soon. But when the time comes, how do I make sure I've not already lost the 'mojo' that will cater to the most desired target audience of that time?

With thanks,
A.I. Sajib,
ais.blog

21

Why do we respect strangers more than loved ones?

Recently I was disgusted by a mom offering me politely to go ahead in supermarket cue, after she slapped her child for touching the sweets. Then I drove home, greeted my neighbor respectfully, and entering home… (Show more)

Recently I was disgusted by a mom offering me politely to go ahead in supermarket cue, after she slapped her child for touching the sweets. Then I drove home, greeted my neighbor respectfully, and entering home started complaining about the mess to my spouse.
Josh, 34

20

Mark ... Do you believe that envirnoment is 80% of who you are ?

How much of who we are is Nature vs Nurture ?? Thoughts

19

How to deal with a toxic family member? Remove them/talk to them is not an option.

19

Any tricks for dealing with PTSD?

I will be charging along and doing fairly well, when out of nowhere something triggers my PTSD issues. Any advice?

19

How do you define maturity ?

When you're growing up, in your twenties what are the things that you're mature or not? Is it self knowledge is it responsability is it something emotional?

19

Getting over the feeling of lost time?

This relates to the latest blogpost, which while being focused on loss, was very relation-centric. The question is how to get over the feeling like you have lost a lot of good time, to the point… (Show more)

This relates to the latest blogpost, which while being focused on loss, was very relation-centric. The question is how to get over the feeling like you have lost a lot of good time, to the point it's no longer crippling you from taking actions toward making the future better and you're not daydreaming about what you could have done better in your past. BTW, if it's relevant, I'm a 22 yo about to enter the "real world", feeling like he wasted all the high school and college years and feeling like a loser in general.

19

Social Media: How do I co-exist with it (and even enjoy it) without comparing myself?

18

Why isn't there a forum or comment section on this site?

When I read one of your articles, I usually wish I had someone to discuss it with. I would love to hear about the experiences and opinions of others on some of these topics.

18

What is your advice to people who have tried improving their dating life for years and failed?

Should the focus change from improving the current situation to accepting it completely? What would you tell a 40 year old virgin who is probably never going to get laid? Surely not every single person who… (Show more)

Should the focus change from improving the current situation to accepting it completely? What would you tell a 40 year old virgin who is probably never going to get laid? Surely not every single person who tried to improve his dating life will succeed. How do you accept something like that?

18

What books do you recommend to get better at setting boundaries with people in your life?

I've read all of your posts and Models multiple times. I'm curious to know which book(s) you found the most helpful when it came to getting better with boundaries.

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