LRS 054: Life Lessons from Mark Manson on How to Care Less and Live More 60

Life Lessons from Mark Manson on How to Care Less and Live More - The Let's Reach Success podcast

One of the main problems we all have, that leads to not reaching goals, being negative and disappointed, and ruining relationships, is that we care too much.

We take everything personally, and even though it’s never really about us, we make it so. We live in an illusion, full of great expectations, going back to the past, and constantly thinking about the future as if it’s more important than the present.

We also lie to ourselves quite a lot, blame others instead of taking responsibility, and ultimately complicate our whole lives, and become unhappy, even though we seem to have everything we need.

With a big part of my posts here on the blog I aim to uncover some universal truths, no matter how harsh they sound, to share some important conclusions we should all come to, to remind people of how simpler everything in life actually is, and to encourage opening our eyes for what’s really happening.

And while my attempts serve me well, as writing itself is therapeutic and is what I love doing, I’m in no way teaching people how to live, or saying I’m knowledgeable.

One person I follow online though is pretty good at this. That’s Mark Manson, and you may have seen me mention him often and link to his terrific articles.

In this episode of the Let’s Reach Success podcast, I’ll share some life lessons extracted from his blog posts.

Show Notes:

  • Who is Mark Manson [2:35]
  • What’s the Feedback Loop from Hell and why not giving a fuck can save the world [3:26]
  • The counterintuitive solution to being happy [6:25]
  • What to do about our tendency to take things too personally [9:05]

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Why Top Executives Meditate (and Why Should You) 27

Why Top Executives Meditate (and Why Should You)

If you want to perform at a high level – whether in tennis, chess or at work – you either have to study how the masters in that field train and operate, or you need to be so stupendously talented that nobody is in a position to give you any advice at all.

For most of us, the latter doesn’t apply, so getting better is partly a question of emulating what we see those we admire doing. At the C level in top companies, this obviously includes things like actively networking, knowing as much as possible about your industry and training your subordinates.

A less visible habit is becoming more popular among top executives, though: meditation. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why some business superstars consider this a vital part of their daily routine:

Rebooting a Negative Mindset

When you have to deal with dozens of issues each day, it’s inevitable that you’ll have some successes and some failures.

The problem arises when our responses to setbacks start bleeding over into other matters. Meditation helps us to dispassionately examine our negative thoughts and get back on an even keel before the next meeting.

Most of us will have experienced days where we hit an upsetting snag first thing in the morning, after which nothing we try seems to go right. Rationally speaking, this can’t be because your horoscope says that your day will suck or accidents come in threes: the most likely explanation is simply that suffering a reverse conditions us to act in a way that doesn’t lead to success.

Remaining Objective

Although we’d like to deny it, our “rational” decisions are shaped at least as much by our emotions as by the relevant facts. This becomes even more true when we’re under pressure; anyone interested in how this works will find plenty of examples in Ben Horowitz’s book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things.”

Simply put, when our emotions are engaged, we become less able to find creative solutions to problems, see the wood for the trees and tell our needs from our wants.

Meditating, even if only briefly, helps us separate fact from perception and feeling from thought, leading to better judgment and more a consistent management style.

Releasing Stress

Although closely related to the previous points, the negative impact of persistent stress on our health makes it worthwhile discussing this separately.

The roots of stress are many: frustration, anger, disappointment, anxiety. These feelings can’t really be avoided in a management position, so many executives turn to a therapist or therapy, exercise or uninterrupted time with their family for release.

These approaches are all effective, but meditation has the advantage that doing it regularly trains our minds to enter a “centered” state within a very short time of closing our eyes and stilling our thoughts.

Once the habit has been established, whenever things get to the point where our palms are sweaty and we feel the need to yell at the wallpaper, we need only take two or five minutes to get back to the “real” us. This ability is simply invaluable for anyone who has to be at their best all the time, which means that it’s great news that meditation can be learned by anyone.