Published February 2023 on Spotfiy

791: Mark Manson | Giving a F*ck About What Really Matters

1. Introduction

Mark Manson discusses how learning can often be a form of procrastination and how it may not always lead to progress, despite feeling productive.

2. Red Pill Resurgence

Almost F*cked Up:Jordan and Mark discuss their past experiences in the pickup artist subculture and how they almost screwed up their lives. They reflect on the evolution of men's self-help and personal growth, and how it became difficult to separate from the negative aspects of the red pill movement.
Red Pill Resurgence:Mark Manson and Jordan Harbinger discuss the resurgence of toxic masculinity and misogyny in the form of the red pill movement. They reflect on how this phenomenon is disheartening and how it negatively affects young men. They also discuss how some people believe that red pill influencers are only using this as a shtick to get clicks.

3. Dangerous Public Figures

The Danger of Controversial Public Figures:Mark Manson and Jordan Harbinger discuss the danger of controversial public figures who spread harmful beliefs and ideas, and how it's worse when they do it intentionally for attention or profit. They also touch on the decline of the pickup artist industry due to its harmful nature.
The Pick-Up Artist Industry:Mark and Jordan discuss the dark side of the pick-up artist industry and how it perpetuates toxic masculinity. They also talk about the importance of teaching men to improve their social and emotional lives in a healthy way.

4. Self-Help Insights

Self-Help for Men:Mark and Jordan discuss the need for self-help topics to appeal to young men and how deep work and developing healthy social skills can replace the need for pickup artists or unnecessary training. They also touch on the importance of recognizing when therapy is needed.
Book Title Fail:Jordan and Mark discuss the success of Mark's book, "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck," despite Jordan's initial belief that the title was terrible. They joke about their own lack of creativity when it comes to naming things and the importance of marketing in the success of a book.
Book Virality:Mark Manson discusses the unplanned publicity his book received after being featured in a viral photo and video, including being read by Katie Porter on the house floor and held up by Chris Hemsworth. He also mentions his books being censored in Russia.

5. Troublemaker Teen

Kasparov & Putin's Government:Mark shares his experience of receiving redacted pages from Russian readers and discusses Garry Kasparov's political activism against Putin's government, highlighting the importance of acknowledging the atrocities and horrors of the past.
Troublemaker Teen:Mark Manson talks about his rebellious teenage years, where he enjoyed breaking rules and pushing boundaries. He reflects on his behavior and the psychological satisfaction he felt from upsetting authority figures.
Family Dysfunction:Mark shares how his family's emotional dysfunction led to his adolescent acting out, including getting in legal trouble and ending up in juvenile hall. The incident was a wake-up call for him and his family, and it marked the beginning of the collapse of his family.

6. Sponsors

Boost Your Health:Jordan and Jen discuss how Athletic Greens' AG1 can help busy people get the nutrients they need for optimal health. They highlight the benefits of the all-in-one supplement, including its 75 vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.
Beat Jet Lag:Jordan shares his personal experience with FlyKitt, a solution to jet lag that has worked for him every single time. He explains how it's based on research with Navy SEALs and how it leverages cutting-edge AI to solve inflammation and circadian rhythm challenges. He also offers a discount code for listeners to try it out.

7. Delusional Positivity

Delusional Positivity:Mark Manson discusses the difference between using positivity as a tool to get through difficult situations versus treating it as a way of life. Compulsive positivity can actually be damaging to personal relationships as it involves detaching oneself from reality and ignoring negative emotions.
The Positivity Trap:Mark and Jordan discuss how compulsive positivity can hinder growth and improvement, and how negative emotions can be indicators of deeper issues that need to be addressed instead of just suppressed. They also touch on the dangers of culty self-help seminars that promote quick fixes for emotional issues.
Emotional State vs. Root Causes:Mark discusses how changing your emotional state can be useful in dealing with negative emotions, but it's important to also address the root causes. He warns against self-help becoming a form of avoidance and emphasizes the importance of actually changing behavior in day-to-day life.

8. Learning vs Progress

Learning vs Progress:Mark and Jordan discuss how learning can often be a form of procrastination, and how it's important to take action and make progress towards your goals instead of just constantly seeking more knowledge. They share personal experiences from their time as dating coaches and how their clients often got caught up in intellectualizing the process instead of taking action.
Managing Negative Emotions:Mark discusses the importance of sitting with negative emotions and finding the positive reactions to them. He emphasizes that negative emotions are supposed to happen and can be valuable in preparing us for future situations. However, he also acknowledges the importance of seeking therapy or medication if necessary for prolonged periods of negative emotions.

9. Life Problems and Positive Emotions

Life Problems:Mark and Jordan discuss the types of life problems that they can and cannot help with. They emphasize the importance of seeking professional help for serious mental health issues and trauma. They also touch on the idea that positive emotions are not always trustworthy.
Positive Emotions' Dark Side:Mark and Jordan discuss how positive emotions can lead us astray and the importance of being skeptical of things that make us feel good. They use examples like substance addiction and loving a dangerous job to illustrate their point.
Escaping Nomads:Jordan and Mark discuss the trend of digital nomads and how a fair percentage of them are running away from something, chasing positive feelings around the world and reinventing themselves. Mark shares his experience as a digital nomad and how it can be a healthy way to reinvent oneself, but at some point, it's important to stop running and face what's there.

10. Life as a Digital Nomad

Traveling as a Digital Nomad:Mark and Jordan discuss the pros and cons of being a digital nomad. Mark shares his experience of traveling for several years and how it was a valuable investment of his time and energy, but also how the diminishing returns kicked in after a certain point. They also discuss the different types of people who become digital nomads and how it can be a fulfilling lifestyle for those who are driven and curious.
The Nomad Life:Jordan and Mark discuss the trend of people constantly moving to new places in search of a better life, only to find the same problems and bad beliefs. They share their experiences as nomads and how it dispelled their naive beliefs about different cultures and countries. They also talk about the trade-offs of living in different places and how every place has its own set of problems.
Choosing a Home:Mark and Jordan discuss the challenges of choosing where to live when you plan on settling down and starting a family. They talk about the differences between experiencing a culture temporarily versus committing to a long-term life in a different country.

11. Sponsors

Jordan Harbinger shares his fitness routine and how Peloton helps him stay consistent with thousands of classes to choose from, including their top-notch rowing machine.

12. Self-Esteem Revolution

Self-Esteem Revolution:Mark discusses the origins of the self-esteem movement and how it created a generation of entitled people. He explains the nuanced definition of self-esteem and how it got mixed up in the process.
Self-Esteem's Dark Side:Mark explains how self-esteem can be a double-edged sword and how it can be used to justify entitled and selfish behavior. He cites a study that shows how violent criminals have high self-esteem, and discusses how the emphasis on self-esteem can lead to compulsive positivity about self-image.
Healthy Self-Esteem:Mark and Jordan discuss the difference between healthy and entitled self-esteem. They explain how a healthy evaluation of self-esteem is not just about feeling good about oneself, but also acknowledging and working on one's weaknesses. They also emphasize the importance of growth and how it drives happiness.

13. Overcoming Avoidance

Overcoming Avoidance:Mark Manson discusses how avoiding uncomfortable conversations and situations can hinder personal and relational growth. He emphasizes the importance of embracing challenges and shortcomings to achieve long-term happiness and intimacy in relationships. Jordan Harbinger shares his own experiences with avoidance and relates to Manson's Law of Avoidance.
Growth is Hard:Mark Manson discusses his Law of Avoidance and how people resist experiences that could have a positive impact on their lives because they threaten to change how they see themselves. He emphasizes that growth is difficult and scary, and people need to have a realistic perspective on it. Jordan Harbinger shares his experiences of growth, which were often unpleasant.

14. Happiness vs. Meaning

Happiness vs. Meaning:Mark and Jordan discuss the constant tension between happiness and meaning, and how a certain amount of struggle and suffering is necessary for growth and a sense of meaning and satisfaction. They also touch on the importance of finding a balance between happiness and challenge to keep the wheel of happiness spinning.
Lost in the Jungle:Mark Manson shares the cautionary tale of Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who spent 27 years hiding in the jungle because he wasn't mentally flexible enough to take in new information. Manson emphasizes the importance of being aligned with the right values and being willing to question and alter those values as circumstances change, rather than just focusing on productivity.

15. Extreme Stories

Extreme Stories:Mark Manson and Jordan Harbinger discuss how extreme stories can grab and hold people's attention and how the principles in those stories are clear. They also talk about how we all tend to reframe events to fit our worldview and how it's important to look for doubt instead of certainty.
Escaping Dissatisfaction:Jordan and Mark discuss the concept of escapism and how it relates to dissatisfaction. They explore the idea of constantly seeking happiness elsewhere and how it can lead to comparison and the hedonic treadmill. Ultimately, they conclude that dissatisfaction is a natural motivator, but it becomes a problem when it takes over.

16. Will Smith's Autobiography

Jordan talks with Mark, who wrote Will Smith's autobiography, about Will's public altercation with Chris Rock at the Oscars and how it showed his worst side to the world. Mark also shares insights on the scarcity of trust when you're rich and famous, despite everything else being abundant.

17. Outro

Jordan shares his insights on how to build and maintain relationships with people using software, systems, and tiny habits that he uses every day. He emphasizes the importance of building relationships before you need them and shares his Six-Minute Networking course that is free and has no upsells.