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Welcome to another Mindf*ck Monday, the only weekly newsletter that brings up philosophy on a first date. Each week, I send you three potentially life-changing ideas to help you become a slightly less awful human being.
1. To Stoic or Not to Stoic? – For many years now, a lot of people have mistaken my work for Stoicism. If you don’t know, Stoicism is a form of ancient Greek philosophy that has made a notable comeback in popularity the past few years. Stoics believe in weathering pain, choosing rationality over emotion, and not being a selfish twat.
While there’s certainly a lot of overlap between my work and Stoicism, I don’t agree with everything in Stoicism and don’t personally identify as a Stoic. Yet, despite this, year after year, I see more and more people classifying my work as Stoicism.
So, I decided to sit down and write an extensive article describing Stoicism and then also explaining how my personal beliefs differ. The TL;DR is that my background and beliefs are more existentialist and Buddhist. So if you want to nerd out on lengthy comparisons of Stoicism, Buddhism, and existentialism—how they’re different; how they’re the same—then I’ve got the article for you:
Read: Why I Am Not a Stoic
2. How to Change Your Mind – Long-time readers of the newsletter know that I often argue that changing one’s mind should be something admired and encouraged in people, rather than shamed or ridiculed. Changing your mind means you’re growing. It means you’re changing and re-evaluating your priorities.
Not to mention, the world is changing—so if you’re not changing with it, then you’re getting left behind.
Whenever I bring this up, I often get asked about ways in which my own views have changed over the years. A lot of readers ask this particularly in relation to my books and older articles on my website. They ask if I still stand by the advice.
The thing is, changing your beliefs about something rarely happens quickly—when they change, it’s over an extended period of time.
Changing your mind usually requires a number of life circumstances that contradict your prior beliefs. It requires discovering new information and/or perspectives. And it also usually requires meeting and getting to know people with different views from your own.
I decided to write out four major ways my views have changed over the years. The first shift is in the role of genetics in discussions about mental health and self-help. The second is the importance of culture. The third is how I’ve become more capitalist (especially since the pandemic). And the last is about how important I’ve found trust to be for, well, everything.
I’ve limited the article to site members—partly because I try to keep some of my personal and political views out of the public, but mostly because I know site members won’t send me stupid fucking emails when they disagree with me.
If you’re not a site member, signing up gets you access to a number of online courses on topics such as social skills, dating and relationships and handling anxiety. It also gives you access to dozens of member-only articles and the full archive of MFM newsletters. It’s only a few bucks a month, so if you’re interested, you can sign up here.
3. New Ways to Learn – We’ve finally completed an Android version of the MarkManson.net app. The iOS app has been out for almost a year now and has a 4.8 rating. If you read a lot of my articles, the app is a great way to bookmark, highlight, save your favorite articles, read quotes, get access to videos, and get personalized recommendations of what to read or listen to next. You can also download all of the content to your phone so you can have it when you’re offline.
Note that it’s a new app, so there will inevitably be some bugs. If you come across any, please shoot them to me at this email address and we’ll get them taken care of.
Until next week,