Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • In this episode of MarieTV we do have some adult language.

  • So if you have little ones around, grab your headphones now.

  • Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business

  • and life you love.

  • You know, last year I stumbled across a blog post that I loved so much.

  • And it wasn’t just me, about a million other people loved it too.

  • Now, little warning, if you are not a fan of the F-word I need you just shut off this

  • episode right now, press stop, press pause, change the channel or something, because this

  • does contain a lot of the F-word and I don't wanna get any emails, tweets, or messages

  • that I didn't warn you.

  • Ok?

  • But if youre ok with that word, I do think you should stick around because were talking

  • about something important today, which is about how to hone in on the things that really

  • matter so you can stop caring about the things that don't.

  • Mark Manson is a New York Times bestselling author, blogger, and entrepreneur.

  • Mark is known for his unique brand of life advice or, as he puts it, personal development

  • that doesn't suck.

  • His writing has been featured on Forbes, Time, and CNN among others and his website, MarkManson.net,

  • boasts over 2 million readers a month.

  • His new bestselling book is called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive

  • Approach to Living a Good Life, where he talks about how the key to living a better life

  • isn’t caring about more, but rather focusing on less.

  • Mark, thank you so much for being on the show.

  • Thanks for having me.

  • So I’m really curious, I want you to take me back to the blog post that inspired all

  • of this goodness.

  • Yeah.

  • What inspired you to write the original blog post that inspired the book?

  • I had the idea for the title for years, and the way I work with my articles is I don't…

  • I don't plan them.

  • I just kinda brainstorm a bunch of different ideas and then when it comes time to write

  • something I just look at it and pick whatever feels good.

  • So this title sat on my little sheet for like 2, 3 years, and it’s such a good title that

  • I was like I need to come up with something that, you know, deserves the fucks.

  • I can say fuck, right?

  • Weve totally given the best warning ever and I’ve told everyone, like, if they give

  • me any shit about saying fuck that they need to shut the fuck up because weve already

  • warned them.

  • Alright, cool.

  • So it was actuallyit was, like, a dreary Saturday and I just started feeling very

  • I was kind of down and when I get down I start feeling very sarcastic and irreverent and

  • just like to write a bunch of bullshit.

  • And so I was like I’m gonna sit down, I’m going to write an article, and it’s gonna

  • do two things.

  • One, it’s going to be the most offensive and vulgar thing anybody’s ever read.

  • And two, it’s going to give the best life advice that anybody’s ever read.

  • And I’m gonna do it at the same time and I want to create this, like, mixture of emotion.

  • And so yeah, I sat down, banged it out, and it went crazy.

  • It went

  • I mean, it was shared I think over a million times.

  • When I first read it I laughed so many times.

  • It was like howling out loud.

  • And I looked back in my email chain and to see, like, all the people that I sent it to,

  • because I just thought it was genius and it was lovely and wonderful and insightful, and

  • so much of what many of us think and feel but haven’t necessarily sat down to take

  • the time to articulate or to look at through that particular perspective.

  • So you make an important distinction about the subtle art of not giving a fuck near the

  • top of your book.

  • You say not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent.

  • It means being comfortable with being different.

  • Talk to us about that.

  • And this is a big hang up, because when people hear not giving a fuck they imagine, like,

  • a guy drinking beer at a funeral with sunglasses on and, like, just being really disrespectful

  • and indifferent to what’s going on around him.

  • And the truth is that indifference is notit doesn't solve any of your life problems.

  • Indifference is actually just another form of avoidance of life’s problems.

  • And so a healthy form of not giving a fuck, like, what people aspire to when they say,

  • like, I just wish I didn't give a fuck about this is they wish that they didn't give a

  • fuck about whatever adversity or struggles that they need to deal with to accomplish

  • their goals, and they have a hard time doing that.

  • So it’s… not giving a fuck is all about learning how to simply be comfortable with

  • the adversity.

  • Yeah.

  • And I also thinkagain, I read your book and loved it.

  • It’s about parsing down to what really matters so that you can focus and devote your life’s

  • heart, and energy, and attention, and creative ability to the things that genuinely matter

  • to you.

  • You have this little term in the book called the feedback loop from hell.

  • I want to talk about that and how to short circuit it.

  • You wrote, “By not giving a fuck that you feel bad, you short circuit the feedback loop

  • from hell.

  • You say to yourself, I feel like shit, but who gives a fuck?

  • And then as if sprinkled by magic fuck-giving fairy dust, you stop hating yourself for feeling

  • so bad.”

  • There was something about this that I thought was so incredibly insightful because especially

  • in the world of personal development, of self development, of spiritual growth, people seem

  • to always be striving for the state of happiness or joy or satisfaction.

  • And there’s absolute value in that, however, there is also value in another perspective

  • of not beating yourself up for not being in those states.

  • I was wondering if you could unpack that a little bit for us.

  • Yeah, I mean, one of the big points I wanted to get across with the book is that it’s

  • ok to feel bad.

  • Like, itwere allyoure gonna feel bad sometimes.

  • I don't care how successful you are, I don't care how amazing your life is, how great your

  • relationships are, everybody’s gonna feel bad sometimes.

  • And a huge component of living a healthy life is being good at accepting that.

  • Because when you stop accepting that, you know, when you try to deny your anger or you

  • get mad at yourself because youre anxious or you feel bad because you feel bad, it creates

  • this feedback loop.

  • You know?

  • You start feeling guilty at how guilty you feel all the time or you start getting angry

  • at the fact that youre angry, which makes you even more angry.

  • And then you justit starts spiraling out of control.

  • And the whole problem is this judgment that negative emotions are not acceptable.

  • You know, if you feel anxious, say fuck it.

  • Being anxious is part of life.

  • It’s normal to be anxious.

  • Youre probably anxious for a good reason.

  • If youre angry you might be angry for a good reason.

  • It’s… these negative emotions aren’t necessarily negative.

  • A lot of times theyre very helpful.

  • And so it’s just learning how to care about something deeper than the emotion itself.

  • And I think for me what I got out of that particular part of it was not beating yourself

  • up, thinking that youre a bad successful person or youre not a healthy, striving

  • human being who is, you know, joyful all the time.

  • And there was such relief in that sentence.

  • I just thought it was an incredibly fresh perspective to bring to the conversation of

  • whether it’s how to have a fantastic life or a great life or a healthy life or whatever

  • kind of umbrella people want to stick it in.

  • The other part that really made me chuckle, I loved disappointment panda.

  • The superherothe truth telling superhero that nobody wants around, but everyone really

  • needs.

  • And I love his sage wisdom.

  • Don't hope for a life without problems, there’s no such thing.

  • Instead, hope for a life full of good problems.

  • What is the disappointment panda, which I believe is really you, Mr. Mark Manson?

  • Yes.

  • Tell us about that.

  • Disappointment panda, there’s a section in the book.

  • I said I want to create a superhero that tells people uncomfortable truths about themselves.

  • And it would be a superhero that nobody would want around because it would just ruin the

  • party.

  • Andbut it’s stuff we need to hear because, honestly, the most important things that we

  • ever hear in our life are often extremely painful to hear.

  • And I think when people think about some of their key breakthroughs, they can relate to

  • that.

  • It’s often really uncomfortable to, like, learn that thing about yourself that kind

  • of sets you free.

  • And so disappointment panda would be the superhero that walks around knocking on doors and, like,

  • telling people, like, “Hey, making more money is not going to make your kids love

  • you.”

  • And it’s like a stab in the chest and the person, like, slams the door, but it’s what

  • they need to hear.

  • And it’s… in a sense, the wholethis whole book, I kind of see this whole book

  • or my work in general as being disappointment panda.

  • And that’s why you have all the humor, you have all the fucks, you have all the silly

  • language and the superheroes and everything, because ultimately I try to talk about really

  • painful stuff and it’s… the only way you get people to listen to it or to read it or

  • be interested in reading it is to make it fun and to make it kind of shocking.

  • I thought the insight about problems though is a really important one, you know, to try

  • and get rid of problems is not really the goal because, A, that’s not possible.

  • Right.

  • But, B, that actually happiness, from your perspective, and let me know if I got this

  • wrong or if there’s an adjustment, but so much happiness or satisfaction or fulfillment

  • comes from the solving of problems.

  • So to eliminate that you actually are doing yourself a disservice.

  • Yeah.

  • So problems isthat’s exactly right.

  • Problems are basically the building block of happiness, and that is really counterintuitive

  • to most people because most people think of happiness is, like, no problems, you know,

  • sitting on the beach with a piña colada doing whatever.

  • Andbut the truth is that we need some sort of struggle in our life.

  • And the point I try to make in the book is that the key to living a good life isn’t

  • getting rid of struggle, it’s finding good struggles.

  • Struggles that invigorate you, struggles that feel important to you, struggles that can

  • contribute to the people around you.

  • Because that’s where meaning comes from and, ultimately, meaning is, you know, what

  • we all need.

  • So I can hear people potentially listening to this and they say, “Ok Mark, I kinda

  • get that.

  • But what if my struggles or my problems right now are really sucky?

  • You know, what if theyre really difficult and I don't really see how they can produce

  • meaning or contribution?”

  • What would you say to that audience member?

  • Well, it’s… ultimately you need to find a way to solve them.

  • I mean, you can’t… youre never gonna get away from the problems.

  • And so really what it’s about is choosing your problems.

  • You know, so if there’s a problem, if people listening to this, like, feel stuck in some

  • way, generally when people feel stuck it’s because theyre in a situation where they

  • believe that they don't have the power to solve whatever is going on in their life.

  • And the truth is that you always have the power to, A, react to whatever is going on

  • in your life or, B, create the meaning around whatever is happening in your life.

  • So it’s usually just a matter of, first, changing perspective and then, B, doing something

  • to set about solving it.

  • And again it’s… what gets people stuck is that they justthey want to eliminate

  • their problems.

  • It’s not about eliminating problems, it’s about simply finding something more meaningful,

  • more worthwhile.

  • If that makes sense.

  • It does make sense.

  • You know, another philosophy that I think you and I share is this question, and you

  • think it’s the most important question that one can ask themselves, and I tend to agree.

  • It’s not about what will make you happy, but what pain are you willing to sustain?

  • You know, what are you willing to suffer for?

  • I would love you to tell us the story about your rockstar fantasies, because I think that

  • sets the context and the meaning for the question.

  • I… so it’s easy for people to dream and envision, like, some big success.

  • You know, we all sit around and have these big visions for ourselves.

  • That feels good.

  • That’s great.

  • The problem is is that what actually produces success is our ability to enjoy the struggle

  • involved in it.

  • So when I was young I wanted to be a rock star.

  • I played guitar, I wanted to be in bands, I always, you know, used to fantasize about

  • myself onstage and rocking out and people cheering and going crazy and everything.

  • And it took me years and years and years to realize that I didn't really like to practice,

  • I didn't like rehearsing, I didn't like dealing with, like, gear and figuring out, like, how

  • to hook everything up.

  • I didn't like getting gigs.

  • And so it turned out that really the only thing I liked was sitting around envisioning

  • myself being this awesome rock star where I didn't actually like the work.

  • And so unsurprisingly, nothing ever came from it.

  • You know, I spent over a decade dreaming about it, telling myself I was going to do it, and

  • I never did it.

  • The counterpoint I tell people is with writing.

  • So I never dreamed of being a successful writer, I never had any ambition to be a successful

  • writer.

  • The reason I became a successful writer is because I enjoyed the work of writing.

  • I… since I was a kid I was always the guy sitting on forums writing pages explaining

  • why everybody else was wrong.

  • And like, you know, being that annoying guy on Facebook who, like, starts political arguments

  • just because, you know, I just

  • I love just spilling words out.

  • And when I started my online businesses, that just naturally started to take over everything.

  • And it wasn’t ever a conscious fantasy of mine, it was just

  • I enjoyed the struggle of writing.

  • Like, things that other people hate about writing, I enjoyed.

  • Like, I just naturally thrive at.

  • You know?

  • I thought it was interesting because I had Elizabeth Gilbert on and she had mentioned

  • it because she had referenced that idea in Big Magic and we had a lot of fun with that.

  • I’m the shit sandwich guy.

  • You are the shit sandwich guy.

  • Which is awesome.

  • But it’s such an important conversation to have because I think one of the prevalent

  • situations in the time were living in right now is people, not all people, but some people

  • that are watching the show have access to a lot of potential career choices, business

  • choices, and there’s so much freedom there’s almostit’s a