Hope in A Sea of Endless Calamity with Mark Manson
We love you. Hey, everybody, What's up? Chase here. Welcome to another episode of the Chase. Germans live show here on Creativelive. We're live from the apartment attempts to my house in my basement, and I'm very, very excited. Teoh be with you today. Help! Everyone is safe on. But you and you and yours are doing what you can to help in this time of uncertainty in need. We're gonna try and bring some entertainments. Enjoy some inspiration information, Uh, and amazing guest to you today, all in the next 60 to 90 minutes. Um, my guess you can also participate by the way, I have a little tool that is aggregating questions from all over the world that I know we're on Facebook live. We are on YouTube live or on creativelive dot com slash tv. So we're streaming to a bunch of different sources on def. You have those questions that you'd like answered, Assumes I just my guest. I'm quite certain you will find that some questions and want to participate. I just know that I'll be looking out for ...
you and your questions in the comments. But without further ado, I would love to introduce my next guest, Mr Mark Manson, is the number one New York Times bestselling author of the book that I thoroughly enjoyed It rocked my world when it came out. Um, it's called Well, there are two books deserve mention here. Everything is fucked. Ah, book about hope that is his most recent released and the subtle art of not giving a fuck A book that is, by my count and my sources in the book world has sold more than 10. Count them 10 million copies. Um, and this I mean this This is a mega bestseller. Someone who just put a book out last year hit the best seller list like Marx books are still there and have been there since they were launched. Um, he writes at mark Manson dot net a blawg with millions of monthly readers. He's got 1/2 1,000,000 subscribers to it. If you're not dialed into his world, follow him on Instagram, Uh, and all the places that he finds that he presents himself on the Internet. I am overjoyed to have him on the show. It's been a long time coming very, very excited to welcome you to the show, Mark thanks for being here, but it's good to be here. Thanks for having me. Um, where and where is here? First of all, I know we're on this show, but where you physically Right now? I'm in Seattle and you are in New York. New York City. Oh, man. What's it like over there? Right now? Give me a snapshot. Have you been outside? I You know, honestly, you probably know as much as I dio, um, I think I I haven't been outside in 16 days. Well, I'm counting. Um, it's I see the statistics, and I'm I just like I'm comfortable, so might as well not risk it. I'm with you and there's not much upside up. We're in Seattle. We've got a lot more space than you have in Manhattan. So I get to and I'm live by a little lake with the running past. I do get to get outside full exercise, but, um, is there a part of you that is, um, in some way, all of the mishaps and unfortunate downstream effects of the covert virus? Is there any part of you that is feeling productive or they're part of your life? That stealing valuable right now Or is it all given destruction? Uh, you know, it's It's been very strange in that. Like, I kind of compartmentalize my life into two different work World's you know. So I have my creative work, which is writing, outlining, brainstorming. And then I have I guess what I kind of like think of is a grown up work meetings, interviews, Ah, lunches with people, administrative stuff, dealing with my team, dealing with marketing people. And like that whole world, the administrative world has just collapsed. Like every meeting has been cancelled. Everything has been delayed indefinitely. Um, and so I feel like I'm in college again. Like I know there's like this nebulous feeling that work needs to be done. But there's also no strict deadline any time soon. And ah, so a lot of video games of dignity played and, um ah, lot of like, just kind of ambient anxiety that I feel like I'm wasting time because, like my brain knows that this is generally what time wasting looks like. But then, at the same time, there's absolutely no repercussions for it. Uh, so like that. That's the downside that the upside of, though, is that actually like the writing has been going very well, and I have been having a lot of great ideas. Um, so isolation is, Ah, I feel like is good for to get the creative juices going. Yeah, I think that's well, said Mom. And this That's a theme that him I'm coming across more and more in the first team. That first week or two of this universe was not just doom and gloom and not just the awareness of people who were, actually, you know, struggling in the hospital, dying the negative aspects of it. But it seems like now for the people who are safe and healthy, there's a little bit of like, Okay, we finally got our chin up a little bit. You know, the SOC would have kids. I don't I'm I'm a fun uncle on the phone call. But for those who have kids like the school's stuff is starting to be figured out that there's a little bit of a routine shaping up and you're your statement about finding some productivity's and creativity is that I'm hearing more of and it's a little bit of a relief. Um, not just I don't think just for me. I think you know, I've been sharing a lot lot going live here on the Internet and hosting a bunch of conversations like this. And I'm hoping that somewhere in there, this is this massive silver lining and I'm seeing people from all over the world right now from New York. See New York City from, uh, Lebanon. Wow, we've got your vet says thank you so much for reading your own audiobook. Um, a bunch of New York chins up gave in lights. Um, living grown up work, Jen. Um gen Finley, um, and see, yet see it be Ted Montero. And sure, there's a lot of people listening, and I'm hoping that the sentiment that you shared is resonating with them. That's an opportunity for creativity for a different kind of connection and by creativity don't mean productivity. I don't mean making lists and tidying up. I don't a lot of people that are doing that, um, it makes me want to dig a little bit deeper on when you say you're writing right now, after you've had a you know, But it's sold 10 million. And, you know, I have no idea how many billions fucked. A book about hope is sold. But what is someone who has had that dramatic level of success? How do you ever like, What's the what's the follow on? And we're so many creators and entrepreneurs listening here that, um what? Where do you go from there? Uh, that's what it's a really good question because I feel like the law, like there's a little bit of ah contradiction in terms of what happens to you after you experience its success that big on the one hand, like, isn't this wise? The thing that makes the most sense is just run it again, right? Like to just try toe, take whatever ingredients made that book work, and then just try toe, run it back and repeat it, um, kind of milk the most out of it. It's possible. The problem is, is that like, emotionally, that's I don't know. It's just for me. At least it's soul destroying and defeats the whole purpose of why I I wanted to be on offer in the first place. So, um, but then if you try to work on something new, then you feel like kind of it. Idiot, because you're like, Well, why am I Why am I risking doing a new thing when I know this other thing works so well and can make so much money? Um so for me, there's there's been ah, real tension, uh, over the last few years in terms of what I what I want to dio um my my second book, Everything is fucked. I was intentionally, intentionally I tried to make it different, make it a little bit deeper, making a bit more challenging in almost in a way to like, ah, just to challenge myself And just to prove to myself that the world's not gonna end if I don't sells many copies or if I don't kind of reproduce the same sort of success this I get time around. Ah, and that was that was really great because now I feel very liberated to work on what I want and kind of, um, let me put it this way. I like Immediately after subtle art came out, it almost felt like a prison. A little bit of like, Oh, shit. Now I'm gonna be the fuck guy for the rest of my life. This is all I can do where is now? I've kind of arrived at a point where I see it is almost like, um, it's an opportunity. It's just it's bought me the freedom to pursue and write whatever I want to over the coming years. Yeah, there's something I wrote about in my book that I have experience, and I can't even fathom the success that you have had, so it's gotta be exponentially worse. But the concept of when you're starting out, you truly have nothing to lose right for for a lot of folks, ideally, if you set yourself up to, you know, pursue the creative outlets that you want to or create a business or living our life, doing what it is that you want and then once you managed to just stick your closet and that just a little bit the corner of the the couch and pull yourself up and then all of sudden you're on the couch and then you and then all of a sudden you have things, then you have an audience and you have a bank account and then you maybe have a house, and then you, like all of a sudden you get things that you can lose. Yeah, I'm not suggesting that you you know that you or anyone in this position has gone off the rails. And now you're living, you know, some crazy ass 1% life. But the same is true, whether it's financially or just even your own comfort. You've achieved that. As you said, you've now had the freedom to feel the right where you want to write, and do you ever you know, and I am trying to explore the success side of what you've been able to accomplish. Do you feel that sense of, you know you can lose things now Total is pure freedom. No. Mm. It's one of those things that you never think about when you're kind of starting out in dreaming of success, which is there's a riel, that freedom of nothing to lose, that freedom to be able to try anything and fail. And have nobody really noticed that you failed or care. Um, there's a that's a real asset that you never get back. Um, and I mean, generally speaking, psychology has shown for for years now that humans the pain of losing something is much greater than the happiness of achieving it, right? So it's there is that constant anxiety now of like, Oh, shit, What if What if I alienate the readership? What if I put out a book that bombs and kills my relationship with the publisher? Like, What if, um, you know, like, what if my next advances 1/4 of what this one was like. There's always that nine anxiety, but I think it's just it come like at any point along the journey of a creative career. There are emotional challenges, and I those emotional challenges never really go away. They simply shift in nature, you know, it's like when you don't have an audience. You're very anxious and worried about other things. And then when you have a big audience, that anxiety is still there. It's just shifted. It's a different type of anxiety. And so I tried to Ah, so I try to not fall into the trap of like, trying to get away from anxiety. I try to just understand whatever anxiety and feeling and work through it. Mm same or say more. How do you do that? Ah, you know, it's I don't know. A lot of It's just being honest with yourself being honest of Of what? What are you afraid of? What is the pressure? Um, because a lot of us tell like, Ah, lot of us kind of create these explanations for anxiety or for the stress that we feel, but it's it's often not so obvious, you know. So, like with with everything is fucked there was a lot of pressure coming from the publisher about getting that book out quickly, Um, trying to make it a follow up the subtle art. And I felt a lot of pressure from them, But I was I was very, very stressed. And so for a long time, I kind of blame the publisher for all of my emotional problems. But if I'm being honest, like, really a lot of the stress of that book was much more internal, it was. The stress of that book was much more about, you know, What do you do like if you once you achieve a dream or once you achieve a goal like where do you go from there, like, how do you create new dreams for yourself? Or how do you create new goals? Um, like that that when I look back. That's actually where most of my stress was coming from. Was like, I didn't really know what the hope for after subtle art. Um, but because I had this obnoxious publisher bothering me every other week, it was easy to just blame them for my stress instead of owning it myself. Yeah, I wanted, um I think you just alluded to sort of having no expectations. And we backtracked 3 to 5 minutes. You said something about like, there's this time to cherish. And right now you have anxiety about all these things that you're not doing. And I found it any super enlightening that you're like, This is an asset. I think you call it hats that to not have a bunch of people, whether it's your crazy publisher or espouse a partner breathing down your neck. So before we go way back to the beginning where you hadn't written this little art talk to me. Give me another nugget. Another thought of what's in your brain like, Can you see more about how someone might view that as an asset? I think that is incredibly powerful. Well, one of the core, I guess, principles of my work like one of the main things I write about in general is Ah, I I argue that negative emotions generally have some sort of benefit. Um, you know, biologically speaking, we evolved negative emotions because they help us in a lot of situations. And so I for me Ah, lot of what I try to focus on is if I am feeling anxiety or anger or stress, uh, or fear. I asked myself, Like what? What is the silver lining to this? Like, what is the benefit that can come out of this? Um, because anxiety is an incredible motivator. Um, it can also be, ah, a great way to get you to make decisions or crystallize what you want in your life. And so I try to It's very hard because our natural instinct is to always avoid unpleasant feelings or avoid negative emotions. But, you know, kind of the practice I come back to over and over, and my creative life is just It's, um you know, how can I use whatever I'm going through at this moment? How can I use it? I mean, right now, I've been kind of struggling under this quarantine and everything like I have been struggling with apathy and and to be, honestly, boredom. Ah, and so I I've been challenging myself to entertain myself. And I have, like, in through doing that, I've come up with some pretty wacky outlines for, ah, new book and a few articles, you know? So it's And when I come up with it, it feels completely off the wall. But, you know, then I come back to it. I'm like, actually, this is like, this is some pretty cool stuff. So there might, you know, it might be that, like my next book was born out of this quarantine. You never know. Yeah, I like the concept of negative emotions and how to use them. It is We are one layer deeper for anyone who is curious about Mark said We are biologically wired over index on a negative bias. That means like, it's when you think like, oh, my God, what was wrong with me with drama? The situation. How am I gonna fail? Like all these negative self talk click. That's actually biology. And you have to train yourself a lot of them, um, folks that I'm most familiar with their work have done a lot to train that out of their brain. And I think it's fascinating when I look at your work and read a little bit, Um, well, there's just a really great article just came out about. You will share that in a second, but maybe not so complete in the comments. Um, but making use of that negative fuel And, um, I'm gonna say, leaning into its that feels like I'm putting words into your world, but, like, how do you? Is it just a motivator? Is there? Is there anything beneath the that top layer? Is there anything deeper about using negative emotions rather than trying to cultivate a positive attitude, if you will? Yeah, I I think for me it's less a question of like, how do I feel good or feel better, Which is, I think most self help is kind of pushes people in that direction. Most self help is say, you know, fine. Find the part of the negative experience that you can be happy about, which that's important. But I think in the context of, um, being creative, my career, my work life and everything, it's more how can I make this useful. Like if I'm pissed off, like, how can I make this anger useful? What? Where can I channel it That will actually be beneficial for me. Um and so that that That's kind of a question I'm always trying to ask myself. And by the way, like you have to ask yourself these things of positive emotions to like, it's very easy to become very satisfied with yourself. Uh, you know, and be like, Hey, I put out this song and it did really well, like I was going vacation. Yeah, like, I don't need to do anything else. Um, it's, you know, on the flip side of that, if I have something that's going very well, Like, I had an article go viral a few weeks ago, and my first instinct is like, Okay, how do we take advantage of this? Like, how do we We've got hundreds of thousands of new people come into the site. Um, you know what? What can we do to leverage? This was that, uh, how to forgive, but not forget or the great meeting trend. Ah, it was the Corona virus. One risk by surprise. Yeah, so, no, I I think that that, you know, we just had a couple of comments chime in about it. So, Mark absolutely. Mark from this is from Senate. Be to make, um, making Plus is out of minuses. And to me, that someone thing that struck me about your work and, you know, the title is so jarring of your works. And as you said, I am. I like the guy who only says F bombs and his titles. But there's there's this profound positivity underneath the sort of the brash titling which is so thoughtful, so introspective, so self aware. Where does that come from? I've I don't know. I I've always been like a pretty introspective in philosophical guy. Um, I started reading about psychology and philosophy when I was in high school and I don't know. It's like this was always kind of like a nerdy hobby for myself, And, um, I got really into study in religions for a while in college, and I meditated for very seriously for a number of years, and, um, it's just something I've been really into, and even before, I mean, I never even really thought this would be a career. I started a blawg in 2008 and I originally just started it because my roommates head blog's and, you know, like dogs were like, the cool thing to do, right? So for miss authors of our time, right were logging, so I thought I would do it, too. I love it. Yeah, I mean, I didn't even know I could write. Um, I didn't really get good grades in in English class growing up. Ah, and it's funny, because looking back, I realize now that I got bad grades because I didn't follow the assignment, not because I was actually a bad writer. So, um, but I you know, being being young and not knowing any better, I just kind of assume like, oh, you know, writings, Not my thing. Um, so it kind of everything kind of took me by surprise. Um, in my mid twenties, when the blog's started taking off and tons of people started reading it, who it was to me, this was just stuff that I had read about and thought about pretty much my whole life. I never occurred to me that, um, I had something to share with others, but there's an absolute Pearl in there. I think that is this. Like, I couldn't have written that out in the script and asked you say it any better like that? To be able to understand that there is a lake, there's gold in them there, hills and the parts that you don't a serially are not inclined to look at or if you start to explore them. So, you know, I want to keep my promise on what I said earlier. We go back, and so now, um, it was a great, uh, pathway for us to go back to your You said you get some roommates, they're blogging. You start writing, even though you don't think you can write what so many people are listening for their calling. That was the title of my book Creative calling. And like, they're out there. Where do I look for this thing that I'm supposed to be doing? And so I'm curious if you yourself didn't think you were a good writer. Turns out you just weren't good at following directions. But what if what made you start to look there and did you explore a bunch of other things and suck at them and then end up back at writing. So tell me like, how did you arrive at Okay? Writings? My thing. I'm I'm your own words were nerdy, a nerdy philosopher, but was was writing just the vehicles to get out the nerdy philosophy. Or what process did you go to figure it out? That's what I find so many people want to know about. No, I actually thought my calling was was music for most of my young life. Um, I even went to music school for a couple of years, and it's you know, when people come to me with that question of like, how do you find your calling or how do you find your passion? Uh, my answer is it's usually under your nose because generally the the thing that you love doing, like the thing that you're so the thing that comes easiest to you and that you are most talented at generally it feels so natural to you that you don't even realize that you're doing it. And most people aren't, you know, for so for me, like I didn't I was always kind of like a forum junkie back in the 2000 so I was like that guy. I go on like music forums and I was that guy who would Ah, you know, anything I disagreed with I would write like a four page reply going like bullet point by bullet point Why you are wrong about everything. And it like I was just that this, like, really obnoxious 20 year old that just wrote pages and pages on forums. And I thought that was normal. Like, I didn't realize that most people didn't do that or that that most people didn't enjoy that. And so when when I started blogging, you know, my my buddies like they would post these little like three or four cents block posts, and I would post like a five page blawg post it because I know I was fun, like I had, like, a I go on like a date and I get too drunk and like something stupid would happen. And so I just write about it and and then my friends would be like, Oh, my God, how much time did you spend writing that? I don't know, like an hour like it. It didn't strike me as a big deal, and so it took me many, many years to realize that. What? What felt very natural to me, which was sitting down at a computer and writing like multiple pages. Um, it was very difficult for other people, and it was not fun for other people. Like for me, it was It was like a cool way to spend a wooden Wednesday night. Um, where is for most people, it was like a chore. And Ah, and that's when I started Kind of piece it together that like, Oh, yeah, maybe this is a thing, you know, like maybe this is something I should be doing a lot more of. Did you explore that? That's fascinating. Hey, thanks for sharing. Could you explore other things? Or when you said I'd love you said, you know, it's hiding right underneath your nose or when you discovered rather that Oh, you mean you don't like writing five pages on a Wednesday night for fun? And you know, did you just found all of your focus and interest in writing? Or maybe, can you talk a little bit about your music exploration or any other sort of jobs that you found yourself being pulled? Teoh or that parents are the social pressures kick you into only to then return or help me understand that. Sure. Uh, well, you know, my experience in music school was very helpful in that regard as well, Because, like I said, I thought music was my calling. And I ended up dropping out of music school for the simple reason that ah, practicing music six hours a day made me miserable. And I looked at the people in my music program who are like, clearly, you know, like they were gonna make it there have careers and everything, Uh, and they didn't seem to be miserable. If they seem to be more than happy to practice six hours a day, they didn't mind it. Ah, and so I kind of just put two and two together, like, you know, I'm probably not built for this the way some people are, um, and maybe like, maybe my passion for music is listening to music more more than it is playing it or performing it, Um, in terms of what I did from there, I was. So I transferred Teoh a normal university. I actually studied international politics and business. Um, which is a degree that you can't do anything with. So, uh, it's basically it's one of those. It's one of those degrees that you get to go to grad school. Um, because it's like you might as well you might as well just have a blank piece of paper. And Ah, and I got out of school right when I graduated from school, uh, was the crash of 2008 so there were there were no jobs, and a bunch of my friends were going in the finance and I lived in Boston, so I tried to get a job in finance, but around the same time I read, Ah, Tim Ferriss is for our work week and I knew a little bit of Web design and caught like I had done a little bit of freelance Web design in college, and I read that book and I'm like, Oh my God, this is easy. I can go to Argentina and only work four hours. That's amazing. And, uh, so I decided to, ah, to quit everything and then just create, start creating some websites, and lo and behold, it actually takes more than four hours a week. Teoh Well, the successful online business. You know not to disappoint anybody out there, but it's Ah, uh, I think that that's really but I like playing title. It is a really entitle you said. I know, Um, but it's I ended up. I had a friend back then who who also was trying to build websites, and he used to joke. He said, Yeah, we were. We work 16 hours a day so we could make money while we sleep. Uh, so I started doing that for a few years, and, you know, back then blogging was blogging was like, hugely popular. It was It was kind of like Blog's were like the new hot thing. It was kind of like how podcasts and YouTube are now like That's what blog's were back in those days. And so if you wanted to get traffic, if you wanted, ah, to rank well on Google, he needed to create blog's for your websites. And so I started doing that, and I I that I kind of muddled about for about 2 2.5 years trying to create some e commerce sites trying to do affiliate marketing, trying toe, you know, do scrape, scrape anything together to kind of make a living. And, um and invite was 2010. I kind of came to the realization that ah, I was I was shitty at marketing, but people really liked my writing. Like like my blog's were developing a riel readership, uh, people who interacted and cared, um, and followed me. And so I kind of took a note from that. And then it was in 2011. I think I kind of made the transition. I'm like, Okay, you know what? I'm gonna I'm going to be a writer, like, I'm gonna be a blogger and a writer, and one day I'd like to be an author and, like, this is I'm gonna The whole Internet marketing e commerce thing didn't go so hot. So let's see if this Ah, let's see if it focusing on writing works out better. And, um and it did who so I love how music helped because if anything and help decide what you don't want to do, And I also find that that is a great um in a weird way. It's a lighthouse for so many people, and they're just bashing their heads against the thing that their mom or their parents or some story told themselves when they were 10. You know that they need to be do this thing. How long did you figure that out? Like from, Was it like, you know, a year? And did you or did you go to music school for two years and then you're a year in your, like, this is a shit sandwich. Like, how long did that take you? Because so many people, I do that for years. And then they end up in a career as a musician only to find out that they should have listened to their, you know, 21 year old self. Yeah, it took me, um, a semester and 1/2. Really? You know? So I played guitar and I went to a jazz program. Um, and it's it was funny when we the first week. So it was guitar. So, like, you know, everybody fucking plays guitar. Um, and so there's, like, 40 guys in the class and the teacher stands up, and he's like, Look, look around the room. There's, like, 42 people in here. Look around the room. Um, statistically, only five of you are gonna graduate like it's that this is that competitive? Um, so think very hard. If this is what you want to do, it's gonna be very, very difficult, blah, blah, blah. And we got through the first semester, and like that, 40 40 people got whittled down to about 12 I think. And so far I was, like, pretty comfortable with it. I mean, I was trying really hard, but I was I was one of the 12 and so I I still kind of felt like I could do this. And then it was that second semester that it it just passed me up. And I remember going into I remember playing, practicing and playing so much that my fingers hurt my wrist. Her, um I was so burnt out I hated my guts. Like I didn't want to look at music. I didn't want to listen to music. Um, I was becoming depressed, and I remember going into my weekly guitar lesson and my teacher looking at me, and he's like, you know, I I just I think you don't practice enough. And I was like, Are you fucking kidding me? Like if this isn't enough that I'm done like I can't. I really And And, you know, looking back, I think that probably gave me more confidence to leave. Is that is knowing that, like, I gave it everything like I gave it 100%? Um, so, yeah, I'd say, you know, how long is that? That's probably like 78 months. Yeah, there's so much wisdom. There I was, one of the really dumb, stubborn people who tried to keep that up in graduate school for two years. Kicked me like 50 grand into debt. A zoo, A philosopher you mentioned you'd like to read philosophy. I went to graduate school in philosophy after failing on medical school. Another thing. I realized that however many years of study and and cat and all that shit that I bailed on and it was pure torture. And I think right now there are people out there who are tortured and they're doing shit that they don't love. And it may be isn't even love. But there's this energy when you're doing something that you're supposed to be doing, I guess is the day we have thinking about it, and it's It's I equated to the tractor being in Star Wars. When you're just like feeling pulled towards something, maybe that's against your will. So it's about example. But like there's just something. It's like a path. And things start to feel different than you know, like writing on Wednesday night to take your earlier um, no phrase relative to six hours and playing the guitar. Contrast those for me, was it? I mean, the way I describe it in my work is is it's you choose the struggles that you enjoy having or to put it even more extremely like What are you what? Sort of like Massa kissed, Are you, um so the difference for me and I think a lot of this gets lost because there's so much emphasis in our culture on, you know, never quit. Persistence wins out. You know, you should, uh, discipline yourself. All this stuff and it's the truth is is you should quit. Most things you dio it's you know you are the the the amount of leverage that comes with doing the thing that your best that and that you enjoy most is so high. Like the returns air such a multiple higher than other things that you should be quitting most things that you dio. So for me, it's It's the way you know, you've truly found something is you enjoy the hard times like there's never a moment like when I was in music school and I was struggling, and I actually started to hate the guitar like I started to hate the music. I was playing that to me like that is immediately assigned that I'm in the wrong place, you know, with writing even in the times where I'm so frustrated with writing so frustrated with the book I'm working on. Ah, it never crosses my mind that this isn't what I want. This isn't what I chose. You know, a good analogy for this is like it's the same way of recognizing your like a good or a bad relationship. Um, you know, if you're in a good relationship and you have a fight with your partner, it's it brings you closer together like it's it's not. You never think to yourself like, Why am I with this person? I'm such an idiot for dating this person, like if if those things were coming into your mind and it's probably a red flag, whereas when you're with the right person and you have a fight, it it just brings you closer together. Ultimately, I think there's like If you are not watching this live on, I'll re acquaint those people who just trying it. But if you're not watching this live and you can rewind that second repress on your podcast like go back 30 seconds, go back 30 seconds. Just listen to that again. There's nothing that is such a simple but profound distinction that you know, having surveyed so many people across lots of especially creators and entrepreneurs when were sold and dream of the thing we're supposed to be doing. And then the thing we really want to be doing is, you know, over there and there's this distance between us and it, like people are so frustrated in their met, smashing their head against the wall, the priest, please, somebody else and you just you nailed that. So thank you for putting an eloquent cherry on top of ah tough Sunday for a lot of people. And I want to go back to this process where your, um you do feel the thing that you're supposed to be doing, Um, and a lot of people, I think when they start to feel that thing and starts on Nike nights and weekends or they can't afford to just drop it and you go websites and try to make some money doing some other things to facilitate it. What was the described? The actual process from writing your blawg and getting traction, if you will on the Internet, building your community and actually doing the things like putting a book out there in the world like What was that process for you? Because and be his details as you can, because this is a huge Boyer blocks for so many people who there is this gap from there doing the thing on the side, and they have this vision and there's all kinds of fear between here and there like them, or be doing with my partner, gonna saying like all these things. But give us some painful detail tradition. Sure, Um, I mean the thing to understand about a content business online, which I mean, so a blogger podcast you to channel whatever. Like they're all content businesses, essentially, So the thing about content businesses is that they take a long time to ramp up. And I think this is what a lot of people don't understand. Um, you know, I I I used to get a lot of emails from people saying like, I just started a blawg. You know, how much traffic do I need to, like, quit my job? And I'm like, Ah, you're You're probably looking at that the wrong way because it's wrong West. Yeah, exactly. Like it's a content businesses like a snowball, and it takes a long time to get that snowball built up. And it's There's a lot of micro decisions that have to happen over the course of months and months and years and years, and you have to consistently be creating like a narc. I've of content that entire time. So in terms of blogging, it was just it was paying attention and being able to adapt and take advantage of opportunities as they as they arrived, Um, over the course of, say, through 2015 so early on, that was primarily through interlinking with other blog's, um, that was when podcasts were just starting up. So I you know, I used to try to get on the podcasts and stuff. Um, just try annals, all sorts of different tactics. And then around 2013 is when Facebook really opened up its news feed. Teoh published content. And so I and I noticed pretty early on, I had ah article go viral in the summer 2000 12 fall of 2012. Um, and I was like, Holy shit, that's a lot of traffic. That's a lot of traffic really fast. And so I kind of became obsessed with Facebook's algorithm, and I realized I studied. I understood that, like what Facebook was doing at the time was Facebook wanted to start competing with news, and they wanted Facebook basically wanted to be the world's home page, and, um and so they were syndicating published, good published content from other sources, giving a very high priority on people's news feeds. So if you could write something that people really liked and wanted to share, it could go viral very quickly and very easily. This is kind of like a golden age of higher ality. It's It's much, much harder these days. Uh, and so I I feel like I figured that out about a year before most people. And so I started leveraging that and really just like finding content and trying to, uh, kind of maximize Ah, the Facebook output. Essentially. And so I build. That's how I went from, you know, over the course of I guess, 2008 to 2012. Ah, I slowly built up to maybe 100,000 followers a month. And then, from to 2000 14 I went from 100,000. 2,001,000 are a 1,000,100, to a 1,000,000 per month. And then, by 2015 2016 it was closer to two million per month. Um, and so it's just it's like anything, right? Like it's it's a craft. But you also developed, like a sensibility to understand how the flows of Internet traffic function and how they work and how to, you know, slightly report. You know, if I reposition a couple things this way, I'll be better position to take advantage of it. Um, you know, for instance, just just the last year or two, we've been Ah, we've noticed that, you know, Facebook's basically dead now um so a lot of this stuff that I wrote back then is still it needs to be updated. Revised, re titled. Um and so we're updating it. Teoh try to take advantage of like, S e O, Google s CEO. You know, with the success of the book and everything, Google really likes my site now, um, so it's you're constantly having to I think being a creator these day is if you want to be an independent creator, you have tohave kind of a business for marketers, mindset about your own work. I think of it is wearing two different hats. So, like, I have my author hat that I wear in the morning. Like I said earlier, um, and and author is just all he cares about is just writing something really cool and good. And then I go to lunch, and when I come back from lunch, I take the author hat off and I put the marketer hat on, and I look at what I've written and I say, OK, what what can I do to serve this piece of writing the best I possibly can? What title can I put on it? How Where on the site. Can I put it? How can I promote it on social media that it's going to reach the most people? Um, and I think for a lot of artists that feels very like, uh, icky, like it feels very objectifying and in gross. But I think it's just a reality of being a creator in the 21st century, like you have to play that game. And if you don't, um, you know you're gonna get left behind. And in terms of your question, like, how do you transition in the books? Well, it's It's funny because it's the publishing industry these days. So much of it is very reliant on finding people who have platforms and audiences online already. Um, it's That sounds depressing, though. A lot of people, like a lot of people, get upset like you back in the day. All you needed was a really good book idea and a good proposal, and and you could get, like, $100,000 advance from Penguin or whatever. Um, these days you still need a good good book idea. But really, what they're looking at is, um, do you have a Twitter following do you have a YouTube channel? Do you have a podcast? You have relationships with people with podcasts. Ah, and that sounds, um, it's easy to criticize that, but ultimately it's It's just the Internet has become like the the filter for the more conventional media industries. Um, it's It's like you kind of have to, like, prove yourself in the arena of the Internet, um, to to show the publishers that you have concepts they're gonna work well, that that people are gonna be interested in. Um, so, you know, once you've been once with with that following I built in 2015 I started getting approached by publishers and agents, and, um, I started working on subtle art and in 2014 and so I was about halfway through the book. Ah, and I I signed on with my agent and went and pitched publishers. And that was it, Man, I love the idea that there's this proving ground. And, um, I've talked about a lot. Many others have. It is not unique, but the gatekeepers are largely gone. But in a world they're just they just backed up. Backed up into the castle One extra tier right now they're into the interior and the the four yea of the castle, if you will, is now able to be run amok. But there's still an aspect of it that they're gay keeping. It's just is it Is it accurate to say that, um, that they're using the foyer of the castle as the test ground? And it's up to creators who want to make an impact to find, create, rather some sense of success in that in the foyer? Yeah, I think you know the idea that they backed up a little bit. It makes sense to me, and it's it's honestly, I think this system is way better than it used to be. You know, he used to be. It was all or nothing, right? You either got a book deal or you're completely screwed. There was nowhere you couldn't just, like, show up in public like they're all these old stories about Stephen King and these old authors who they used to collect rejection slips. You know, like they had piles of like, hundreds of rejection slips like that's that's what it used to be like. I've never gotten rejected in my life. It's just simply because I blogged for 10 years first, you know? So it's like, I know it works. I built in audience. I know what people like to read, Um, so I don't have to go through that, like, soul destroying process of sending an essay to eight different magazines and having all eight of them reject me over and over again. Um, so there's it's opened up this middle ground like you can You can make a full time living online, you know, producing content online. Now you don't need a publisher. You don't You don't need ah to be on TV. You don't need all these things like if you If you're good at what you do and you're putting good content in the world, you can ah, you know, you can have a middle class income within a few years of work. So it to me it's opened up this whole new middle ground now where it's not all or nothing anymore. Now it's kind of like this gradual scale that you climb and the the conventional media is kind of just moved themselves to the top of the ladder and that, like, that's all they inhabit. Now No, that's brilliant. And there's a sense of the rejection letters or thing of the past. And now the hard part is not in getting rejection letters, but it's in writing for 10 years before anyone knows your shit, right? Yep, exactly. I have todo shifting the pain. The pain is still there, but I think exactly it's, um but at least somebody's reading it. You know? It's like exactly, you know, your mom and your roommates are or what? Um, all right, you find some success. We started off the broadcast talking about like when you have a book that sells 10 million copies. Um, you know, that changes your world. And then we covered off the really a bit of how you went from when I call 01 like, you know, not having a career doing the things I wanted to do that having that career. Um, one thing is that to me, the big mystery is now what is your you mentioned early on? You know, fear of apathy and boredom. And then you mentioned your creative process. So, you know, between the next now, in the next mega success in between going from 0 to 1. There's just a lot of grinding and doing. And so I'm hoping that you can take a minute and paint a picture of what your your days look like, what your creative processes and before you do, I want to welcome people who are coming in from all over the world. We've got New York. We had an Indonesia. We've got Oslo, Norway. So many people writing in saying how your book is affected and changed them and just a reminder. If you're tuning in, it's yours truly. Chase Jervis with Mark Manson, the number one New York Times best selling author of a number of books, one of which is Everything Is Fucked, a book about hope and the soul art of not giving a fuck. A counterintuitive approach to living a good life again. Thanks for for being on the show, Mark. So do me the favor, if you would, and talk about your creative process and this between figuring out what you're supposed to be doing and doing it and, you know, make a success in the next. Make a success. There's like if they're rungs on the ladder, the successor, the handholds and there's a gap between each handhold When you do it, What are you doing? Tell me. Well, I I think there's kind of an internal ladder. And then there's an external latter. You know, the internal ladder is just trying to be a better writer trying to find new ways to challenge myself creatively, um, trying to find new new ideas, deeper ideas, more difficult topics, you know. So for me, that's always kind of been, Ah, the thing that keeps me excited. A lot of times I asked, you know, like what would feels challenging what feels difficult like I don't want to just write the same thing over and over again. Um, on a more external ladder is again these days because everything plays out so much online, like there is you can very much kind of track how you're doing via metrics online, like how many, Uh, how much traffic is your site getting? How many shares have you gotten? If you're publishing on others, like if you're syndicating on other sites, how many page views are the articles getting? How much we getting paid for each article like those are all things that you can work to improve on from an external standpoint, but it's, you know, ultimately the creative process. It's just mean at this point. I've done it for so long. I don't even I realize that I do it, you know, it's kind of like she's, like, breathing and like breakfast. You know, it's just it's like what I do. Uh, so basically, I mean my my mornings. I've noticed that I most productive and, um, most creative in the morning, So I generally my mornings are kind of sacred. Um, it's only reading and writing, um, and afternoons or for everything else. And I try to maintain that. Generally, I get 2 to 3 hours of writing in per morning. Ah, lot of times lesson that I get distracted or procrastinate. Um, everyone trial. If I'm having a really, really good day, I'll do more than that. But generally it's like if I've got three good hours of riding my my brains kind of fried by that point anyway, um, so I don't I used to, you know, when I was younger and I think less experience, I usedto to fall into the trap of, like, just pushing myself through the burnout like you know, Fuck this 1000 more words. Let's go. And it just what I discovered is that pushing yourself when it comes to creative energy producing bad work actually creates more work than just doing nothing. And, um, you know, So it's like, if I If I If I write 10 pages that are really bad, I not only that, I waste the time it took to write those 10 pages, but now I created more work for myself because I'm gonna have to go back and decide if anything in that is worth keeping or not. Um, so I've kind of learned it like a soon as my brain is kind of like my creative juices gone for the day. I just hanging up and I don't I don't feel guilty or beat myself up over, um and yeah, it's just it's crazy. I was thinking about this, uh, just a couple months ago, but, like, I've basically been writing almost every day almost every week day, um, since like 9 and it just adds up like you don't you don't think about it right like it's and there's so much intangible value that comes from that that repetition and that grinding and just getting in those reps. Um, so it's I think there's a lot of it can't be measured, you know? It's like the what I've consistently found is that whenever I go and read something I wrote more than three or four years ago, I like cringe a little bit. I'm like, Oh, that's bad. Like, who didn't somebody should have cut that sentence like, What the fuck was my editor thinking one of you fuckers with No, exactly. And it But it's I like having that feeling. I don't want to ever lose that feeling because that that means I'm I'm improving. Um, and I think that that kind of intangible improvement it really just comes from the repetition. Thanks for that insight. I There's so much, um, we're doing a beautiful job of helping people understand the black box. I think they just look at success from a long ways away and say Shit, man, I need some of that, Um, so thanks for keeping it real. It's no surprise because that's what your your books or just this, you know, hit it straight on. Um, and I, one of things. I really, really appreciate the work. Appreciate about the work. I let it uncover a little bit about your inspirations. Um, and also, I think it's prudent to talk about, um, the audible book that you just released called Love Is Not Enough, which just for like, a week ago. So congrats on that. Probably a weird time to be putting something out in the world and shouting from the rooftops about your work. And but, um, there's a great guardian article that ties some of that work back to Neil Strauss, who is a mutual friend of ours on the show. Um, really appreciate his rage. He's seen an amazing career arc. Super talented. If maybe you can connect the dots for us. You know, Neil and some other people that you have taken inspiration from and your most recent audiobook, which is dropped on Thursday from inaudible. Sure. Um, you know, I I generally, this is not gonna surprise anybody, but I get most of my inspiration from other books and other authors. Um, you know, Neil was a a big influence of mine back when I started. I still think he's one of the most readable authors that I've ever come across like he's that feeling when you open a book and start reading and then suddenly, like, 45 minutes has gone by and you're like You've read 30 pages and you're like Wait, what the hell, like you know, he's the topic and really like his. You think you could write about anything? It just flows so smoothly. Um, you know, he's incredible at that. Early on, Tim Fares was an influence as well. Um, you know, I feel like Tim is when all is said and done, you know, he's very much going to be kind of Sina's. Ah, a voice of a generation in terms of just how we approach life, how we think about life. Um, you know? So when I was starting out, he he was very important. Ah, as time has gone on my you know, my inspiration has shifted its these days I get I felt I try to focus a lot more on just really, really good nonfiction like classic nonfiction Eso ah, authors like David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion, Hunter s Thompson. Um you know, people who have written who are kind of like the greats of the nonfiction s A, um, or the nonfiction piece. You know, I went through a phase where I really studied them and read them a lot. Um, and then these days, I'm actually getting a lot more inspiration from, I guess, philosophy and kind of tangential topics to my own, you know? So I primarily write about psychology in self help. But, um, most of my reading these days is either it's either philosophy or it's like economics and politics because I feel like those things. You know, everything kind of ties in together. Ah, but it's like I'm very I feel like I'm very after almost 15 years like I'm very knowledgeable about the psychological psychology literature. Um and so it's Maura. I'm kind of looking to these tangential subjects toe kind of see, like how things connect in ways that maybe I didn't consider Think about before. But I you know, I think the important thing is to just keep finding what light you up and what excites you. Um and then in terms of the new project, So I released on on audiobooks on Audible last week. It's called Love Is Not Enough. It is a super weird time to be washing anything like 2/3 of my interviews were Kant's told, uh couldn't leave the house I was supposed to like, you know, go on TV and do an event and do a launch party and all this stuff, and it's like it's all cancelled. Eso. But if you're at home so as the title would suggest, it's an audio book about relationships if you're at home, it's a really cool thing, toe kind of dive into. It's basically me sitting down with five different people with relationship problems and, um, you know, rather than like, coach them like most most of things on Audible. It's kind of like Coach Teen with me, it's more. I just talked with them and get their stories, and then we tracked them over six months, and we kind of see how each of their stories resolves. And I try to pull lessons from each one of their Um, I guess they're their misfortunes, you could say, but it's it's a really fun project, and it's Ah, there's a lot of cool, um, in Lino, psychology of relationships and love and sex and intimacy and all those things. So check it out. If you have a chance, it's on audible everywhere. Awesome. Yeah, it's getting promoted there again. It's a weird time to be launching and promoting my my sympathies, man. That's got to be crazy. But that's not stopping audible from promoting it. So it's just downloaded it right before we got on the phone today and, uh, excited to take it up, part of what we were talking there. There's some piece of the like You're in a relationship most people think of. Relationship is about a minute is that may be a stretch here, so just sheriff rocks. But you're in a relationship. A lot of people, most people, I will say, think that relationships about love And here you've got this this title love is not enough and you've done the research or the study whatever you want to call tracking all that stuff and it it reminds me super uh, like it's He seems like a direct overland. This does wire. May I ask you Tell me if I'm wrong. Go back to being a creator and a lot of people think about being a creator when entrepreneurs just about creating you were also very clear than just creating is not enough. You did a lot of work. You have the first half of your day, which is the creative part in the second half, which is the promotional part in the news part in the algorithm part. And, like, how am I gonna be best served this thing that I just wrote, And is there a connection between those two or, um, I just digging. Weather's no bold, uh, I think there is. You know, I think it's this idea of passion and commitment. You know, it kind of it's the thread that ties a lot of these different subjects together. You know, whether you're talking about health, wealth, love, business, whatever. Um, but it's one of the things that I say are that I've written a few times on my site is even if you have your dream job, even your dream job is gonna suck about 30% of the time. And I feel like that's true with relationships to like, even if you're with, like, the love of your life, they're gonna annoy the shit out of you about 20 to 30% of the time, like that's just that's just life. That's just how it is. You're never gonna escape it. So, um so again, you want to find something or someone that that Ah, the difficult times air worth it. They feel worth it. Um, like the upside vastly outweighs the downside. And so, yeah, that's definitely true of business. And I think it's it's true in love as well. What made you want, uh, diving the love for someone who's talking about not giving a fuck? Love is like a right. That's almost the same pivot that Neil made from being the pick up artist to now his most recent book about being in a relationship with someone he loves it is this is inside of the same coin. Is this like Oh my God, I had it wrong before. What? Why the pivot to love? Well, it's funny, because dating relationships was kind of my It was my wheelhouse back in the day, like my ice when I started my first blogged That, like, kind of took off was a dating relationships blawg. Um, and so it's It's actually the subject I'm most comfortable with, but but really, the truth is that Audible approached me about doing this project. They said, You know, we want to have you in studio talking to people kind of through their problems and basically being like the disappointment panda for them, which is tell, basically, tell me the person that's going to tell them truths that they don't really want to hear. And I we sent out applications and everything started and started interviewing people for the project. And I went to Audible. I said, Honestly, like, the thing that's gonna be the most interesting is to get people with relationship problems. People who are cheating on their partner being cheated on by their partner, who are like hopeless e you know, they just got dumped in a horrible way like this is this is gonna be the most interesting um, A because it's the most emotional. But be it's like generally, relationship problems are kind of a gateway to your personal problems, like any problem that shows up in your relationship. It's not the relationship like it's, it's It's a reflection of some issue that you have not dealt with yourself. Um, and so I I thought it was a very interesting way to get at people's problems via um, you know, they're spectacular drama, was it, Um, is there something about seeking it outside? You write a lot in your earlier works about your challenges and the way that you see the world. Um, and I guess, in a way, when you're commenting about someone else's relationship, your it's still external. But was there any pivot or part of your creative process that was, um, been in perspective for a long time? And now, I mean, I noticed that from the subtle Are not giving a fuck is very is very, um, personal. Like, this is what it's like for Mark Manson. And then your next book was a lot more extra like the world is fucked. Yeah. And is there something about, uh, relationships that you know that it was another was It was easy to throw stones out. Was it just like, um, you know that easy Pickens or what? What made you know there besides just looking for telling a lot of people like you wanted some real drama. Here's what we're gonna find. It was it was a combination of being the topic that I felt very comfortable that I could talk people through Um, but also just being the most entertaining. You know, it's because when we were initially interviewing subjects like people would come in you like I talked to a woman who, ah, what was it like? Thought she wanted to change careers and was nervous about it. And then, you know, So we start to get into it and it turns out, well, it's the thing that's really holding her back is that her parents depend on her financially, and ah, and we talked about that for a little bit. But then it kind of felt like OK, well, like I can't tell you what to do. So good luck. You like there's not really any where to go from there. Where's like relationships? It's just this, like endless fountain of interesting, juicy information. You know, you start getting you getting the people's childhoods, you get into people's fantasies. You get in the people like you know, the awful thing that her college boyfriend did to her, that she still thinks about all the time. You know, like it's just, um, it's a much juice, your topic to get into ah rather than than some of the some of the other things that came up always looking for a fertile ground as a creator, right? Exactly what? Extract value and what it was the saying in the particular live the universal right. You tell a story about a person, and we really know that it's about everybody or are about most people. Yeah. I wanna retrace some of our steps and again echo sentiments coming in from the Philippines from New York, Plenty from California, Los Angeles, San Francisco. Ah, a lot of people being expressing a lot of gratitude for your work on. I want to take a second and acknowledge how profound your work is, how it's made an imprint on ah generation. You've talked about Neil and Tim and a handful of other authors, but you've really captured a spirit. And, um, I don't know the zeitgeist, if you will. And so I want to take a second and say thank you and recognize you're, um, brilliance. Appreciate you. And thanks again for being on the show. Expect. Yeah, I appreciate it. And before we scoot, um, I think it's impossible for us. It's possible for me on this to not acknowledge that we're in a sort of different time. Right now we're recording this on the 31st of March in we call it sort of mid Orpik. Covic virus were all locked down. And this is this sort of global pandemic is different than so many other tragedies. 9 11 was very us centric, even the financial crisis and was felt around the world. But it was, um I guess it was still, uh, there was a distance for some. And this, however, is is, um, uniting in connecting because it's pretty much everywhere. And if it's not everywhere, either not there yet or you don't know about it. And so if we can wrap our arms around that and agree that it's a crazy and strange time, I want it get really particular. What are you doing now that is different. Aside from just staying. And you mentioned earlier things that created practice you mentioned earlier meditating that you talked about it in the past tense. You've also talked about protecting your mornings and having your work be in the afternoon. What? You know, how can you explicate for us if you will What it's like and what are you doing differently? And if you've got any advice again? People from the Philippines and from Puerto Rico. And we just got Emmerich from Portugal. Everyone wants to know what you're doing. Um, you know, it's a struggle. And I for me, I guess the two best things that have come out of this is one I am having mawr conversations and phone calls with friends and family that I have in a long time, Uh, which That's nice. And I hope that a lot of these communication habits that we're picking up during this time continue, Uh, even once we're out back into the world. And the other thing I'm doing is is, you know, because we're stuck at home with wife and I are cooking every night. So I've actually this is the healthiest I've eaten in my God since I was a kid. Probably. It's just I was trying to cover my I shouldn't distributed, started laughing and taking the same thing. I'm like I weighed myself, and I was like, Yo, this is like working. I know I've lost three or £4 like I'm feeling super healthy. Um, so those are the two good things, and I do think that uh, I'm actually working on an article for my site next week. Kind of about like managing mental health during this period. Um, you know, finding finding some sort of routine, finding some sort of health practices, keeping relationships tight. I think those are the best things to do, but I'll be honest to like, it's hard. Some days like today was actually pretty rough. Umm, for some reason. For me, it's like days are very hit and miss Ah, I'd say a couple days a week. I am just like a total slug and can barely get out of bed. And I'm just like, you know, what's the point? Let's just watch TV. And ah, and so I try not to hammer on myself too much for that. But it's It's definitely something that I need to get better on to. So it's a weird time. It is weird time. That's the reason for the question. I'm super grateful for you taking the time, uh, to be here on this show. And for those of your tuning tuning in late, you need to rewind this, keeping out on creative life dot com where we're going to be sharing this all of the sites there and as a close. What is the best place? Where would you direct folks? Teoh? Uh, sample your work, Of course. The books. The bookstores, Amazon, of course. You type your name and anywhere on the Internet, you get lots of stuff is their preferred. Is that mark Manson dot Net or what would wait for Tracked it down. Yeah. Goto mark Manson dot net Check out some of the articles there. There's hundreds of pages of free content there, and ah, if you like it, sign up for the weekly newsletter. Um, I send a newsletter out each Monday, which is It's called motherfuckin Monday, Of course. Um and then the books subtle are not giving a fuck. Everything's fucked. The book about hope and then the audible original love is not enough. Check him out. Awesome. Thanks so much for being on this show. For those of you who are turning in from all over the world, Thanks for joining us. Live on all of the platform. Stay more or stay tuned for more stuff like read aloud dot com slash tv, where we're basically airing coverted content from paraders entrepreneurs from all over the world. And Mark, thank you so much for being on the show. We'll make sure to share this with you when we put out the audible or so that the audio and the video versions and couldn't thank you for your time. I appreciate it. Thanks. Appreciate it.