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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27

Can chemistry be created?

I've been in an essentially sexless marriage for 10 years. We've always been best friends and never had that time when we were all over each other. In the beginning we both had our emotional shortcomings… (Show more)

I've been in an essentially sexless marriage for 10 years. We've always been best friends and never had that time when we were all over each other. In the beginning we both had our emotional shortcomings and married for security and companionship. Over the years I have grown and matured to a point where I can now see that my husband and I have compatibility but no chemistry. I know I want more intamacy, sex, and excitement in my life. I don't know if this is something that can be created between us or if it's time to let go so we can experience that with someone else.

24

What is the best thing that I can do for my 10 -year old kid today?

When I was a kid (in 70s and 80s) the recipe for raising kids to build themselves a meaningful life was to study hard in the school, get into a university, land in a stable well… (Show more)

When I was a kid (in 70s and 80s) the recipe for raising kids to build themselves a meaningful life was to study hard in the school, get into a university, land in a stable well paid job and family life. What is the best recipe for raising today's kids and 2030 adults?

24

You’ve dated MANY woman. Why did you ‘choose’ your wife?

You’ve likely emotionally connected deeply with many women. So how did you know to ‘pick’ this one instead of another? Why not one of the earlier women, or why not wait longer for a different woman… (Show more)

You’ve likely emotionally connected deeply with many women. So how did you know to ‘pick’ this one instead of another? Why not one of the earlier women, or why not wait longer for a different woman - what made you decide to commit / marry to this one?

24

When to intervene?

We all witness things that we believe to be wrong — you see a man yelling at his girlfriend on the street, someone verbally assaults someone for speaking a different language, a frustrated mother slaps her… (Show more)

We all witness things that we believe to be wrong — you see a man yelling at his girlfriend on the street, someone verbally assaults someone for speaking a different language, a frustrated mother slaps her child, etc. All of those examples are clear — we all probably think we'd step in and stand up for the victim. My question is about when the line is not so clear... My sister, for instance, is in a crap marriage due in large part to some deep self-esteem issues which manifest into very controlling, un-empathetic behavior. My stance to-date has been, "It's her life; leave it alone; you can't change her anyway." But now they are thinking about having a child, and I think *both* of them are not at all healthy enough — neither as individuals nor as a couple — to raise a child. My thinking has morphed into, "You can fuck up your own lives all you want, but don't bring an innocent kid into your shitshow." Do I have any responsibility to say something?

23

Mark, what's a day in the life of a writer like for you?

I'm curious about what the day-to-day of a writer is like (i.e. how you structure your working hours, what your setup is like, who you meet and collaborate with, etc.) My guess is your routine is… (Show more)

I'm curious about what the day-to-day of a writer is like (i.e. how you structure your working hours, what your setup is like, who you meet and collaborate with, etc.) My guess is your routine is a bit atypical, at least compared to that of the average working person in the US, and you don't subscribe to a M-F, 9-5 routine where you have people to report to, deadlines to meet, etc. Thanks for sharing!

23

What are things that I can do to show myself love?

I find that my neediness comes from my lack of self love so I need to find it from another person. So how do I fill that gap within myself.

23

Are there insecurities/anxieties from your past that you still wrestle with today?

You've been very open about stuff that you've had to work through. Sexual anxiety, avoidant attachment, apathy as a defense mechanism, etc... I think your readers (or at least this one) would benefit from knowing if… (Show more)

You've been very open about stuff that you've had to work through. Sexual anxiety, avoidant attachment, apathy as a defense mechanism, etc...

I think your readers (or at least this one) would benefit from knowing if you still struggle with old patterns. When I get in a rut I find that I have to go back, work through the issue again, hopefully come out the other side a bit quicker than I did the time before, and that is progress.

Do you find there are specific insecurities/anxieties you are still prone to fall into? Or have you worked through it enough to where they are no longer issues.

23

How do you get over the shame/guilt/embarrassment of shitty things you've done in your past?

I was a shitty person for several years of my life. I drank too much, got arrested a few times, pushed away all the positive people in my life and filled it with extremely toxic relationships.… (Show more)

I was a shitty person for several years of my life. I drank too much, got arrested a few times, pushed away all the positive people in my life and filled it with extremely toxic relationships. My life is completely different now. I have a beautiful family, good job, and an overall happy existence. No one in my life shames me for my past but I constantly find myself thinking about how awful I used to be. How do I let my self destructive past go and enjoy my life as it is now?

22

What exactly is compatibility?

You've written about compatibility a lot, but mainly about the fact that it is important for a fulfilling relationship. So I've understood that "Love Is Not Enough", but which areas does compatibility include? Sorry for asking… (Show more)

You've written about compatibility a lot, but mainly about the fact that it is important for a fulfilling relationship. So I've understood that "Love Is Not Enough", but which areas does compatibility include?
Sorry for asking again, but your answer in the last AMA was rather short and I am interested in a more in-depth answer, because your concept opened a new way of dealing with relationships. :)

22

Is dating harder for guys than for women?

I have this impression that when it comes to dating, guys have to put a lot more effort in the process, such as reaching up, taking the first step, setting meetings, and so on. For example,… (Show more)

I have this impression that when it comes to dating, guys have to put a lot more effort in the process, such as reaching up, taking the first step, setting meetings, and so on. For example, if on one hand when my female friends quit a relationship they have tons of guys reach to them (sometimes in the same day!) I cannot tell such thing of my guy friends.

What are your thoughts on this subject? As I am a guy with basically no experience in dating, I wonder if this is an accurate analysis or there's some part of the proccess which is worst to women, which I don't see.

22

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.

21

How would you define healthy or normal insecurities?

I believe everyone has some insecurities or fears. I do not think they should consume you, but to what extent would it make you a toxic or an unhealthy person?

21

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?

20

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! ??

20

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.

20

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?

19

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?

19

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.

19

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

18

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?

17

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)

16

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

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

16

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

16

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

15

Where's one place you've always wanted to travel to but haven't gone yet?

Name a place you've been wanting to see but haven't been yet?

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