podcast

Chapter 29: Michael Harris on queer questions and the quest for quiet

I flew to Vancouver, BC to chat with Michael Harris.

I flew to Vancouver, BC to chat with Michael Harris.

Loneliness rates have doubled since the 1980s and Vivek Murthy, former US Surgeon General, says loneliness will be the next major epidemic. So if loneliness is being alone and sad … then what’s being alone and happy?

Solitude.

Michael in his home in Vancouver.

Michael in his home in Vancouver.

Last year, I picked up an incredible book called Solitude by Michael Harris, bestselling author and winner of the Governor General's Award for his writing. It completely blew me away. Why? Because in our era of endless machine-gun blasts at our brains, I feel strongly that the ability to be alone, and to be alone well, is a muscle that is quickly atrophying.

Michael shares why we need to develop the strength and capacity to live and be by ourselves and how exactly we go about cultivating a rich interior life. I think after this conversation you’ll agree the benefits are enormous and this true “strength of mind” is a crucial aspect of living an intentional life.

For Chapter 29 of 3 Books, I flew to Michael’s home in Vancouver, BC. We discuss: How do we cultivate the area between wakefulness and sleep? What does a healthy media diet look like? Why shouldn’t you talk about anything serious over texts? And how do parents and children navigate the conversation about coming out of the closet?

Welcome to Chapter 29 with Michael Harris.

Listen to Chapter 29:

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What You'll Learn:

  • What’s the difference between solitude and loneliness?

  • How do you find love and intimacy in a world of pornography?

  • How can we help children become more self-sufficient?

  • Why can’t you improve your connection with other people until you improve your connection with yourself?

  • How can you prime your brain for creativity?

  • How can we learn to live more intentionally?

  • What is the gateway to help people get into different genres of books?

  • Why is it important to invite ‘weirdness’ into our cultural consumption?

  • Why should you never trust Netflix’s recommendations?

  • How can we avoid miscommunication with people online?

  • Should any books be banned from children, and should we censor content from kids?

Ideas Worth TWEETING:

“I don’t want to watch something that the dredge sludge of masses picked out for me.” @vancouverharris #3bookspodcast

“There is a need to design weirdness back into our lives.” @vancouverharris #3bookspodcast

“In the same way that you can’t fall in love unless you love yourself, you can’t really engage with other people unless you’re deeply and generously engaged with who you are.” @vancouverharris #3bookspodcast

CONNECT With Mark:

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Resources Mentioned:

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Chapter 28: Mark Manson on constant careful cursing and clearing commercial clutter

I sat down with Mark Manson while he was visiting my home town, Toronto!

I sat down with Mark Manson while he was visiting my home town, Toronto!

Have you by chance heard of a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck?

I’m guessing you have since it’s sold, oh, no big deal, over six million copies over the past three years in the US alone. Is there a bigger book in the world right now? No. There is not. And there hasn’t been a non-fiction book this big and this disruptive in a long, long time… So: Is Mark Manson a one-hit wonder? A one-trick pony? Was the success of his book a total random fluke? His fifteen minutes of fame?

I met Mark at The Drake Hotel, a boutique hotel in the downtown core.

I met Mark at The Drake Hotel, a boutique hotel in the downtown core.

I’m gonna say it straight up.

No.

Absolutely not.

Mark’s first book, and it’s meteoric success, is the ultimate product of an unbelievably large mind which has mastered the art of taking the biggest, densest books on the planet and then simmering, simmering, and simmering them down into beautifully simple, profanity-laced models and stories that hit you like a ton of bricks.

The world is so loud! So busy. So full. Everything is screaming at us to buy this, buy that, do this, do that. And you know what we need in this wild crazy world? We need guides. We need clear voices. We need people to give us simple and practical advice that we can follow and put into place…

A blurry selfie of me and Mark in his hotel room!

A blurry selfie of me and Mark in his hotel room!

Mark Manson is one of those guides for me and millions of others.

So in his cramped hotel room at The Drake Hotel in Toronto, on the eve of his release of his second book Everything is Fucked: A Book About Hope (which is mind-expandingly beautiful), Mark and I go deep, really deep, on how to build trust in an era of clutter, why he swears so much in his writing, why he poo-poos self-help gurus, what is the root problem with the “advertising model”, why Mark played video games for months straight after the success of his first book, and what his writing routines and principles are…

Welcome to Chapter 28 with Mark Manson.

Listen to Chapter 28:

Click here to Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, StitcherOvercast, Spotify, Youtube or Google Play.

What You'll Learn:

  • Why is it important to be selfish when it comes to your writing?

  • Why is swearing an important form of self expression?

  • What is the root problem with the “advertising model”?

  • How do we make the most of our time in our short, tiny lives?

  • How are science and spirituality interrelated?

  • How does knowledge from ancient philosophers relate to modern psychology?

  • How do we choose the path that’s most aligned with our morals instead of most profitable?

  • Why is there no such thing as atheism?

  • Why do we need to be more comfortable with quitting?

  • How can you chew on and digest huge, complicated topics?

  • Why should you consider unfollowing all news?

  • How can you read more without losing your free time?

Ideas Worth TWEETING:

“The purpose of profanity is to put a fence around words. A side effect is that those words grab attention more than anything else. They kind of shock you.” @IAMMarkManson #3bookspodcast www.3books.co/chapters/28

“I didn’t want to be like Tony Robbins and sell out arenas … because if people are not discovering the answers for themselves then it’s not worth anything.” @IAMMarkManson #3bookspodcast www.3books.co/chapters/28

“Ultimately, what I love is playing with ideas. And writing is just a byproduct of that. Getting caught up in the success and business side of The Subtle Art made me lose track of that for a while.” @IAMMarkManson #3bookspodcast www.3books.co/chapters/28

CONNECT With Mark:

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Resources Mentioned:

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