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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29

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.

26

How do you know what you want in a partner?

If you have limited relationship experience, knowing what works and what doesn’t for you is not always clear. You may want x, but y is healthier for you. How do you get a better handle on… (Show more)

If you have limited relationship experience, knowing what works and what doesn’t for you is not always clear. You may want x, but y is healthier for you. How do you get a better handle on what values are important in a partner?

26

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?

26

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.

25

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

24

How can I short-circuit my craving for instant gratification?

I have a lot of goals for my future that require a lot of planning, strategy, and patience. For example: I'm a writer and, as you know, it can take years just to finish the first… (Show more)

I have a lot of goals for my future that require a lot of planning, strategy, and patience. For example: I'm a writer and, as you know, it can take years just to finish the first draft of a body of work. But I find myself constantly getting distracted by social media for no other reason than the shot of dopamine, or frustrated with the slog of writing -- even though I'm passionate about it -- just because it doesn't come with a big shot of endorphins the way other, less fulfilling activities might. How do I stop this craving for instant gratification from getting in the way of achieving my goals?

24

Why we care so much about what others think?

Why most of the times we’re more concerned on how something looks for others rather than how it does for us? Why are we deeply trapped into this external judgement dependancy?

24

What’s the best advice for people in their 20’s who feel lost about what to do with their life?

23

How do you find purpose in life?

My daughter bought me the book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free" and it emphasizes the importance of having a purpose in life--something that gets you out of the bed in the morning. My problem… (Show more)

My daughter bought me the book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free" and it emphasizes the importance of having a purpose in life--something that gets you out of the bed in the morning. My problem is that I suffer from what the Johnson-O'Connor Institute calls "too many aptitudes". Thus I find many different things interesting, but nothing that I could call a purpose in life. So how do you find that interest/activity/cause that gets you out of bed in retirement?

22

You emphasize in your book and articles the importance of saying and hearing NO in healthy relationships. How do I know if I'm a selfish asshole who says no too often?

22

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?

22

How do I start over after feeling like I lost it all?

I lost my home/city, relationship, and I'm separated from my friends. I realize I have to move on, but to what? It's just not possible for me have what I had. How do I find a… (Show more)

I lost my home/city, relationship, and I'm separated from my friends. I realize I have to move on, but to what? It's just not possible for me have what I had. How do I find a way to be happy without the shadow of that former and better life? I'm 38, feel and look a lot younger. I feel like I should have something good to live for.

20

If someone must see just one place in the world, what should it be?

Do you have a specific thing or place someone must see and you can only name one? A monument, national park, street, city, country, festival,etc.

20

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

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.

19

Can you give us the hard-core version of "Negative Self-Help" (your preferred/desired title for the book that became "Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck")

Ok Mark, with your avid readers listening and you don't have to listen to asshole publishers saying what will and won't sell, tell us how "Negative Self-Help" really works, what are some unique but transformational ways… (Show more)

Ok Mark, with your avid readers listening and you don't have to listen to asshole publishers saying what will and won't sell, tell us how "Negative Self-Help" really works, what are some unique but transformational ways we can apply it in our lives, and how can I continue to apply it even though it SEEMS LIKE things are breaking down and falling apart.

Case in point, I started reading your book about 6 months ago and soon thereafter, my co-dependent relationship became too painful and I broke up with my girlfriend, and a month after that, I quit my job, moved to a competitor, and started learning new skills in a different industry. My life has changed for the better but I want more ideas to apply negative self-help.

18

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?

18

What if you don't have a "passion" in life?

What if you truly don't have a "passion" in life, as you define it? Should it be to find what drives you? Can your passion identify itself late in life?

16

Why we don't do the things we want and know that we if we do them our life will get better?

16

How can you accept and still be positive when you have been diagnosed with an illness that is not curable and life threatening ( example cancer)?

15

What do you do when you and someone else are "fuck yes" for each other, but at different "levels"?

For example, take Bob and Sally. Bob is "fuck yes" for being more than friends with Sally, but Sally is only "fuck yes" for being close friends with Bob. How do they handle this situation? Is… (Show more)

For example, take Bob and Sally. Bob is "fuck yes" for being more than friends with Sally, but Sally is only "fuck yes" for being close friends with Bob. How do they handle this situation? Is it possible for them to land at the lowest denominator (in this case, being close friends) and be content with that, or is the relationship doomed to always to have tension between these two "levels"?

15

Do you feel a drive to change the world for the better? (sustainability, climate change)

15

What do you think are the biggest factors in the commercial success of your book The Subtle Art of...?

I love your recent book. Obviously you're a great writer with a superb title but these things don't always guarantee commercial success. What do you think most contributed to your book's impressive sales? (I'm an author myself)

15

What are your top tips to toughen the fuck up emotionally ( and physically if you like)?

I am asking because I think although I believe it is good to be open, sensitive and aware of your feelings I also think there is a need to be resilient as well. So..do you have… (Show more)

I am asking because I think although I believe it is good to be open, sensitive and aware of your feelings I also think there is a need to be resilient as well. So..do you have any practical tips that can help with this? Is it even something you can practice and improve on Of your own accord ?

15

“Each person must never be treated only as a means to some other end, but must also be treated as an end themselves.”

Is it practically possible to live by this rule and make a living out of it? What are the industries that encourages this?

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