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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17

How do you decide which battles are worth fighting?

17

How do you know if you've written something good?

I want to be a writer but whenever I produce something I end up feeling like it's terrible. We submitted some creating writings in my class at Uni and I specifically asked the professor to comment… (Show more)

I want to be a writer but whenever I produce something I end up feeling like it's terrible. We submitted some creating writings in my class at Uni and I specifically asked the professor to comment on mine but he didn't respond. I know he's said earlier that you should try to get something published somewhere and that's how you know - but that seems like such a huge step, especially if you don't believe in your ability to do what you're doing (yet).

17

How do you deal with people who treat you as if you were inferior?

... If you really don't want to play their headgames right back at them because it's exhausting, a waste of energy and makes you feel ugly inside.

16

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?

16

How do I learn to cope with feeling severely embarrassed? I'm a college student and when something embarrassing happens to me I shut down and feel awful about myself and over think everything.

I shut down when something embarrassing happens. It usually ends up with me crying and becoming even more self conscious. I know low self esteem has a lot to do with it, but I would love a suggested coping method.

16

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!

16

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

16

What are some tips/advice to help overcome intellectualization?

You mentioned intellectualization in one of your past videos which made me realize that is something I do.. in almost every aspect of my life.. so I started to research it. In the video you had… (Show more)

You mentioned intellectualization in one of your past videos which made me realize that is something I do.. in almost every aspect of my life.. so I started to research it. In the video you had said the best thing to do is to stop so I researched how to stop... see what I mean?

16

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?

15

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! ??

15

Sex & marriage : how do you keep it spicy?

15

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. :)

15

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?

14

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.

14

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.

14

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)

14

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.

14

How do I prevent and deal with regret.

I guess half my life has gone by right now, and I feel sorry for opportunities I've missed and decisions I've taken. How can one deal with such. I don't want to become or stay bitter.

14

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.

13

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?

13

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.

13

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

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

13

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?

12

He's dating her, but still communicating with me on a daily basis. We can't seem to just let go of each other. Do I tell him to fuck off, even when I really don't want to?

It's like he's something that I never want to leave my life, and as long as he's giving me the attention, I'm going to soak it up. Fucking weakness, man.

12

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

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