Mental Health

#39: Mark Metry — Social Anxiety and Reprogramming Your Mind for Success

Hosted by Josh Gonsalves
1 HR 35 MIN
Get new episodes delivered to your inbox
Listen on your favorite podcast app

Episode Description

Mark Metry joins Josh to talk about his book Screw Being Shy, social anxiety, mental health and reprogramming your mind for success.

We also get into topics like podcasting, and how to use it for personal development, we talk about how virtual reality and psychedelics will have an impact on mental health, and we touch on mystical experiences during meditation.

About Mark Metry

Mark Metry is the author of Screw Being Shy: Learn how to manage social anxiety and be yourself in front of anyone. Mark is also the Host of the Global Top 100 podcast Humans 2.0.

Mark is a TEDx Keynote speaker delivering mind-blowing talks centered around human potential, mindset, social anxiety, mental health, transformation and using podcasting / marketing to grow awareness & business.

Mark is also the founder of Growcasts, a podcast acceleration network teaching entrepreneurs, creators, and executives how to start, manage, and grow social movements by starting a podcast.

Mark Metry consults & educates Fortune 500 companies, conscious organizations, entrepreneurs & startups on podcasting, company communication, marketing, and authentic branding.

Connect with Mark Metry

If you enjoy the podcast

would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts

Because it takes less than 60 seconds, and it really makes a difference in helping to convince hard-to-get guests.

Stalk Josh on the Internet

  • 00:18 — Intro
  • 02:24 — Conversation begins
  • 03:18 — Mark describes himself and his journey up until now.
  • 05:13 — Mark describing Social Anxiety: "ever since then, my brain has been in like what I would call like this mental prison."
  • 11:31 — How Mark discovered that social anxiety was a real thing
  • 12:46 — Mark: "the biggest thing that really helped me was the fact that I became obese."
  • 13:27 — The story of Pinocchio & Jimminy Cricket representing your consciousness.
  • 15:56 — Mark did the Bulletproof diet
  • 16:12 — Mark: "changing my diet, removing all the junk food, removing all the chemicals and then starting to eat like healthy fats. And then vegetables literally completely changed my life."
  • 18:41 — Taking control of your own mental programming
  • 22:23 — Mark's Humans 2.0 podcast was one of the real reasons why Josh decided to do this podcast
  • 22:38 — Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mindvalley
  • 24:01 — Showing up as yourself and being authentic
  • 25:11 — Mark's podcasting journey
  • 25:57 — Mark started his podcast because he felt like he needed to upgrade himself in every way.
  • 26:43 — Using podcasting as a networking tool to access to some of the smartest people in the world.
  • 27:02 — Make used podcasting as his own self development tool. He didn't really think about his audience or anything like that.
  • 27:26 — Mark saw things take off at the end of 2018 when he had Seth Godin on his podcast
  • 29:56 — the optionality approach to podcasting
  • 29:59 — book: Optionality by Richard Meadows
  • 31:34 — Going through two modes: the explore mode and then exploit mode.
  • 32:20 — Mark started writing his book in 2019 and is about his life story, social anxiety, and shyness.
  • 32:32 — Book: Screw Being Shy by Mark Metry
  • 33:41 — Mark describing seeing his younger self come up to him after his speaking engagements.
  • 34:44 — Mark: "Some people experienced a natural level of shyness, but then there's like a totally different kind of person, which is the kind of person I was, which was being socially anxious. And that's like a mental health problem that leads to substance abuse, social isolation, and suicide, which is like literally like my stole whole, my whole story played out."
  • 36:46 — Mark starting a company called Growcasts
  • 37:59 — Mark: "it's funny because I already had clients that were hiring me for marketing, but in reality, it was just like a CEO who had social anxiety."
  • 39:12 — Mark wants to create like a database, a library for anyone whoever experiences social anxiety so if they have questions, they're able to search and directly go to answers.
  • 39:37 — Mark: "no matter what I do in life, I'm always going to experience problems. I'm always going to experience, you know, anxiety, stress, that's all part of it, but it has to be worth it."
  • 40:39 — Feeling out of place in college
  • 42:39 — Mark was on the Mindvalley superhumans at work podcast
  • 42:54 — Book: the Buddha and the Badass by Vishen Lakhiani
  • 43:13 — Be Extraordinary at Work course on Mindvalley
  • 43:56 — Vishen's book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind
  • 44:23 — Mark: "once you sort of go do through an experience and then you have like a shift in perspective, you have this 10,000 foot view, then it actually makes you like a hundred times smarter because you're able to connect the dots in ways that people can't."
  • 44:46 — virtual reality is going to be one of the biggest tools that is going to help the mental health crisis
  • 45:32 — experiencing serendipity
  • 46:00 — Mark tells a story of how he experienced serendipity first-hand in New York City while listening to a Jordan Peterson podcast.
  • 49:42 — one of the biggest things people need is feedback telling people that what they're doing is actually working.
  • 52:34 — Mind Meld episode with Marie Poulin, where she talks about her document to fight her imposter syndrome
  • 53:17 — Using a journaling practice to create a feedback loop for yourself when the world doesn't give it to you.
  • 53:56 — Mark: "getting the feeling of pee is like an anxiety trigger for me. So when that comes, I'm just like, I need to pee right away."
  • 54:03 — Jason Silva: "most of the time when we're feeling anxiety, we really just need to pee or something."
  • 55:17 — everybody has different trigger points and oftentimes they have deep underlying roots.
  • 57:14 — Mark describes his journaling practice
  • 58:57 — Mark learned about entrepreneurship for the first time from Gary Vee
  • 01:00:27 — Mark has this concept of a dream list. He asks himself, Mark, what are the three things that you can do today that can get you as close to your dream life as possible?
  • 01:00:37 — Mark hates the word "to-do list" and has a very negative association in his brain
  • 01:01:47 — how to change the way you think about yourself
  • 01:02:05 — the way that we think about our memory and our past it's not linear.
  • 01:05:08 — Thinking of your own character like you think about your character in an RPG game.
  • 01:06:37 — mental models of you being in reality and how you view yourself in the world
  • 01:07:21 — Mark believes in a spiritual, metaphysical dimension, and in universal consciousness
  • 01:08:12 — Mark describes a mystical experience in 2017 when he was meditating in his house
  • 01:10:56 — Josh's mystical experience where he experienced life in 3rd person for the first time as a child.
  • 01:12:03 — one of the biggest, revolutions in mental health in our generation will be psychedelics.
  • 01:15:30 — Mark's psychedelic experience after taking an edible
  • 01:16:16 — Mark: "With psychedelics, what I've heard, like it has to call you, like, you have to have like this not urge, but you have to have like, the sense of like, I think I need to do this."
  • 01:16:44 — Mark: "I think probably psychedelics and a true immersive virtual reality, because that can also mimic experiences. Those, I think are the only two ways to truly change somebody's brain."
  • 01:17:18 — Josh: "I read something where it's like, after the age of 25 or maybe even 20. Yeah. Um, it's really hard for you to learn new things in general or stop really bad habits. And what it really takes is a traumatic experience."
  • 01:18:27 — There's a company called Lobe Sciences in Canada that uses psychedelics and virtual reality for therapy.
  • 01:19:59 — Using virtual reality to treat PTSD and schizophrenia
  • 01:21:17 — security safeguards for the human brain
  • 01:22:23 — iOS has been around for 15 before they added the screen time feature as a safeguard for their users.
  • 01:23:16 — "learn your own hardware and software first before you can even start programming it."
  • 01:23:22 — Mark reads a quote on the evolution of man and consciousness
  • 01:24:22 — Mark: "the second chapter of my book is the state of human existence. And I literally go into like every cognitive bias, literally like the brain, like the research that I did, like all the shortcuts that our brain tries to create. Um, and the mechanisms that do so."
  • 01:24:44 — Book: The End of Mental Illness by Dr. Daniel Amen.
  • 01:25:20 — Josh describes Notion and how Mark could use it himself.
  • 01:25:39 — Marie Poulin's Notion Mastery course
  • 01:26:00 — Josh's public Notion / Josh's book list in Notion.
  • 01:26:11 — Josh writes all of his journals in Notion.
  • 01:27:21 — on the other side of COVID when things are opening up again, Josh thinks that social anxiety is going to be a big issue for some people.
  • 01:28:35 — we may see like an emergence of a new, different mental health problem because of COVID.
  • 01:30:51 — Mark: "As people I think get richer, but more unhappy because of this, it's going to lead them to like spending all of their money on basically trying to manage their addictions in their minds."
  • 01:31:34 — "studies that show kids or teenagers who experience a shit ton of stimuli from fame or from money, their pleasure centers in your brain are literally destroyed because you've increased an unnatural amount that your brain can't even handle sustainably."
  • 01:32:37 — Connect with Mark on LinkedIn or Instagram
  • 01:34:42 — Mark is getting the COVID-19 vaccine the day after recording this podcast.

[00:00:00] Mark: I think probably psychedelics and a true immersive virtual reality, those, I think are the only two ways to truly change somebody's brain, if they have only been living in this certain game and this certain game that they can never win because they're trying to punch the blocks and nothing is happening.

[00:00:18] Josh:  Hello, and welcome to Mind Meld. I'm Josh Gonsalves. And this is a podcast where I have in-depth conversations with some of the brightest people in the known universe. My aim is to spark deep conversations around interesting topics to find the tools, tactics, strategies, and philosophies that we can all use in our daily and creative lives.

[00:00:52]In this episode, I sat down with Mark Metry. Mark is the author of Screw Being Shy, Learn How to Manage Social Anxiety and be Yourself in Front of Anyone. And he's the host of the global top 100 podcast Humans. 2.0.

[00:01:06]Mark is also a TEDx keynote speaker delivering mindblowing talks centered around human potential mindset, social anxiety, mental health, and transformation.

[00:01:16]In this episode, our wide ranging conversation centers around social anxiety, mental health, and reprogramming your mind for success. We also get into things like podcasting and how to use it for personal development. We talk about how virtual reality in psychedelics will have a huge impact on mental health, and we touch on having mystical experiences during meditation.

[00:01:36]if you found this podcast helpful or interesting, please share it with your friends or anyone you think needs to hear this.

[00:01:42]And if you haven't already please subscribe to the podcast. You can subscribe on your favorite podcast app or whichever one you're listening to on right now. So that way you can get notified when I publish new episodes every Monday.  

[00:01:53]And if you want to get direct links to any of the resources, people, or tools that we mentioned in this podcast, you can find everything in the show notes. For this episode, you can find the link to the show notes in the description of this podcast, or you can find it directly at Mind, Meld dot FM. That's M I N D M E L D dot F M.

[00:02:12] I hope you enjoy this episode, so let's get right into it. I'm Josh Gonsalves and this is Mind Meld with Mark Metry.   Mark Metry. Thanks for joining me on Mind Meld, man. I'm so excited to have you here, man. I'm so excited to finally do this and to have a podcast with you. I've been listening to Humans 2.0 forever. So, so cool to actually have a dialogue with you and say, I've just like listening to you talk to you all these amazing people.

[00:02:39]Mark: Dude, I'm happy to be here. And I'm always trying to meld my mind if I know the proper definition for that. So thanks for having me.

[00:02:47]Josh: Yeah, man, don't worry. We'll be a Mind Meld and don't worry. And the cool thing is we'll be mind melding with whoever's tuning in whoever's listening to this or watching the videos. That's the whole point of podcasting, right? And like, you know, the whole gig you've done what like 600 episodes of your own podcast. And then like how many, like over 200 other podcasts, like tell me a little bit about your podcasting journey.

[00:03:07] And maybe after that, we can get into your journey for anyone who doesn't really know you, who is listening to this podcast and you're a new face to them. I'd love for you to kind of go through your story and then your whole podcasting journey.

[00:03:18]Mark:  You know, really th th this is the best way I've found to describe myself. Um, I spent every single, mostly every single day of my life, uh, just trying to hide from the world, wanting to be an invisible number, some person who just like blended into the crowd. And that was my life for every single day.

[00:03:38] And it wasn't until. Um, I was about 18 years old where it really started to change my life around. And, you know, personally for me, my parents immigrated to America from Egypt. A couple of years before I was born, they came to America with like $200 in their pocket. And, uh, you know, we just kinda grew up with like this immigrant lifestyle, moving to different apartment buildings.

[00:04:02] My parents were always working and there was this period in between like zoos, young kids, second to third grade, where we moved out of the like inner city, Boston's inner city to like this small town and kind of rural America. And there was about like five, six, 7,000 people in this town. So very small town.

[00:04:30] And the really interesting part about this place where I moved to is it had no racial diversity. And so I'm basically the only person who's not who's, who's not white at the school. And it's really the first time in my life where I started to experience racism for the first time and then bullying and all these different things.

[00:04:51] And, you know, really what happened was, you know, basically I had a series of like, you know, different traumatic moments as a kid that really enabled for my brain to just like step into this mode unknowingly at the time where it was just like, Hey, we have to defend ourselves and we're just not going to talk again.

[00:05:13] And ever since then, my brain has been in like what I would call like this mental prison. And basically anytime I would try to talk to someone, all of a sudden my heartbeat was start to raise my throat would clench would tighten up. My thoughts would start to race. And then I just wouldn't say anything or like randomly say something or just walk away.

[00:05:35] And, um, and that's social anxiety. And so I remember growing up, not having any friends, just being alone, um, always being that kid like in the back of the classroom, never wasn't good at school. Never did any sports, nothing like that. Um, and so for me, the way that I dealt, I coped with that was by being on the internet.

[00:05:56] And I remember like 11, 12 years old, starting a YouTube channel. I learned how to make websites. The iPhone came out and learned how to make iPhone apps. I did, uh, all kinds of stuff. And one of my online ventures kind of became I'm successful. And I started making like six figures, hundreds of thousands of dollars when I was like 16 years old, which totally changed my life, changed my family's life.

[00:06:22] Um, and so it was good in that sense, but it was also really interesting because, you know, it was almost as if, when I made the money, my anxiety and kind of like my general hope for life or my lack of hope got worse. And I was successful on paper, but on the inside, I was still like that same old loser who had no friends and was depressed.

[00:06:44] And it wasn't until I was 18. And I went off to college where I actually realized that I had social anxiety and, you know, I did what a lot of people with social anxiety do. I try to try harder. I try to work harder. I try to be more confident and all these other like top 10 networking tips that people give for introverts, um, or whatever it is.

[00:07:07] And I basically just saw myself fail and I would try to make friends and I just couldn't do it. And eventually it was just so much pain that I just wanted to like escape from my life. And so I remember. Just like using food, using alcohol drugs, Netflix, too many video games, pornography, whatever it was to just try to escape from life.

[00:07:27] And next thing I knew I became over, I became obese and my S my lifelong social anxiety transformed into social isolation. And I became depressed for the first time in my life. I couldn't go to sleep at night. Um, and then eventually that led me to being suicidal, where I was basically like trying to kill myself.

[00:07:47] And it was really going through that experience as to where I basically just realized that I really have to change my life inside out just who I am, my brain, my mind, how I think about myself, me spiritually. Um, and so, and so, yeah, I mean, it was really just experiencing that to where I kind of feel like God gave me some sort of like a second chance.

[00:08:12] And ever since then, Mo that moment, I've just been on like this crazy journey of unlocking my own mind. My brain later, a couple of years later, starting a podcast to try to meet people so I can learn more myself trying to find solutions to my problems. And then I'm, I dunno, dude, I've done a hundred different things.

[00:08:31] My life story has been featured in a documentary. I can keep, I can list things, but yeah, I mean, I've been on this journey for the last five, six years and it's been really beautiful. I really enjoyed it. It's a, it's crazy. Um, but I'm super grateful.

[00:08:45]Josh: Yeah. I mean, clearly it was like a tough time and like, you have to kind of make your way through like an insane, just insane circumstances really, but no one comes out of that, not being great, right? Like just obviously, you know, you have all of the accolades, you know, to kind of show for it and not even the accolades, just the things that you've done, just by means of going through it, not even going through the motions, but going through this journey.

[00:09:09] So I think this will be really good for people listening, um, where you can share your journey because some of the biggest things is a lot of people just get stuck in it. They get stuck in that victim mentality. But man, you like trudged through it. And then you went out the other end, like a fucking Polish, a diamond, like, you know, you went through that pressure and came out like a polished diamond. Um, so maybe, maybe we can kind of get into that first may.

[00:09:31] Cause I really want to know, how did you first even notice your own social anxiety? And then what was that mindset that like woke you up to that? Because obviously you must have had some kind of like awakening moment and you're talking about spirituality.

[00:09:46] Um, did you have like an S like a spiritual awakening and then how did you start going on that journey of like, you know, starting to find stuff? Cause a lot of people just get stuck. They get stuck down there at the bottom, but man, you pulled yourself out. I want to know how you, how you woke up to that.

[00:09:59]Mark: yes. I remember, um, you know, my parents had taught me, never do alcohol or drugs. Right. And so I never really, like, I never really did that stuff. And so I remember going into like my first college party that my friend just kind of like took me to, and I remember getting basically drunk for the first time in my life.

[00:10:20] And getting drunk all of a sudden, like I could talk to anybody. Right. And I just sort of had like this super weird, like existential moment where I was like, Whoa, wait. So I just like, obviously I knew how drugs worked, of course, but I was like, man. So I just poured like this liquid into my body. And all of a sudden it changed my, my chemistry to make me act in a different way.

[00:10:45] And I was like, wait, what? And I remember it was only until like, I saw that direct contrast in front of my eyes of what it was like to, to like be social and talk to somebody without feeling like your brain is about to melt down or sh or run away for the first time in my life. And I, and I saw like this very physical, you know, contrast in front of me.

[00:11:07] And I remember the next day just being like, what the hell happened. And I remember I just started Googling things and basically like, I don't know how, but I came across like, Oh, like this thing called social anxiety. And I started to read about it and I was like, Oh my God. And all of a sudden, all these different connections in my brain started to wire.

[00:11:29] And so that for me, like just discovering that social anxiety was a real thing, really, really helped change my perspective eventually. Oh, no, I didn't, it didn't click right away, but basically, you know, for me, whenever I was a kid and I would kind of go through my, you know, my mental experiences daily and I would, you know, fail socially and I'd get depressed, all these different things.

[00:11:55] Every single time that happened, I would be like, Oh wow. I suck. Like, there's must be something wrong with me. I'm never going to be able to talk to people. And I always, like, I would say, I took myself as like a moral failure. Like I took it personally. And when I realized that social anxiety was a real thing, that was my way of being like, Oh shit, like this isn't, this doesn't have to do with Mark Metry.

[00:12:17] This is just like, if you have a computer and like a virus gets into your computer. Right. And so like, that's what I realized. And I was like, Oh my God. And, and like, even the fact that I knew that, and then I tried to work out of it. And then me seeing myself fail and sort of have no more faith. It definitely was struggling I out of then.

[00:12:38] Um, but really in terms of like, w like what was the first thing that I did? I think the biggest thing was I didn't the biggest thing that really helped me was the fact that I became obese. And I remember, you know, gaining like 70, 75 pounds in like a couple months. And, and really, like, I was never aware of kind of like the spiritual world, the mental world, the emotional world at that point.

[00:13:05] And it's interesting because when I was in rock bottom, I actually had no idea I was in rock bottom. And there's like, there's that quote that says, when you are in the picture, you can't see the frame. And that's what I learned in our consciousness is almost always like delayed. Right. And like, you know, I, um, I'm not going to mention who,

[00:13:23] but a famous fellow out of your area of Canada, he talks about the story of like Pinocchio. And he talks about how, uh, you know, like if anyone's familiar with Pinocchio, like the wooden boy, and there's like this little cricket, Jimminy, cricket, and that's to represent like your consciousness. And, and a lot of the times, like in the movie, the cricket always arrives late and it's meant to show us like a theme of like, when you go through life, you go through it first and then your consciousness then kicks in and it's like, Oh crap.

[00:13:52] Like that's, that's what happened here at cause and effect, Oh, that's how we connect the dots. And so, you know, for me, the reason why I said one of the best things was to happen to me was that I became overweight was because I was never aware of any of these other sort of, um, what do I call them?

[00:14:10] Dimensions or realms of reality. I was only aware of the physical one. And when you open your eyes, it's what you see. And I remember. I had this moment too, where I was obese. And you know, for me, the way I was suicidal was I basically walked in the worst areas of my city in the dead of the night where I knew there was muggings and sh and so I would literally just walk there every single day for like a period of like two or three weeks.

[00:14:37] And I remember there was one of those nights where I came back and this was like 2:33 AM. And I remember looking at myself in the mirror and like, no idea what happened, but I remember just like, it was almost like I saw myself for the first time and I just sort of saw myself physically. I looked at my, lifted myself in the mirror and like all of a sudden, for the first time I like looked down and I felt that like, my jeans, like my pants, the one I was wearing were all of a sudden, like super tight on my waistline.

[00:15:09] And I was like, huh, why, why my pants tight? And it was loaded the first moment where I consciously realized. Like what was happening to me and that I had gained weight and I, it never occurred to me. And so it was only then to where I was just sort of, yo, let me try to lose weight, let me try to get healthy.

[00:15:28] And I remember spending like the summer reading books, trying to learn about how to lose weight. And I came across like every single, you know, like the billion dollar health, wellness industries, all these trends like, Hey dude, do this detox eat six times a day, eat once a day, uh, you know, go vegan or go keto or go carnivore or whatever it is.

[00:15:50] And I was basically just so confused, but eventually I came across this diet called, uh, like the Bulletproof diet. And like, it's, it's known as like Bulletproof coffee and putting butter in your coffee and all this stuff. And I did that and that completely changed my life because it turned out my brain for the first time in my life.

[00:16:10] Eating like, uh, changing my diet, removing all the junk food, removing all the chemicals and then starting to eat like healthy fats. And then vegetables literally completely changed my life. It made my brain turn on for the first time in my life. And it gave me energy for the first time in my life.

[00:16:27] And all of a sudden I had the energy to be myself because what a lot of people don't realize is if you, like, if you're listening to this and sort of like, my upbringing may be similar to you or you have social anxiety or something like that, it literally is so draining.

[00:16:44] It takes up so much cognitive energy that a lot of the times people just don't have the energy to be themselves. And especially if you combine that with not really taking care of their health, whether it's because they choose not to, or they're not aware of, of health and physical health and how it correlates with mental health.

[00:17:02] And so I went through this experience where all of a sudden I had the energy. To be myself. And then all of a sudden, once I had the energy to myself, I started to go for walks and I started to go for walks. Next thing I knew I started to sleep well for the first time in my entire life. I had literally every single night of my entire life, I had sleeping problems, starting eating healthy, slept like a baby.

[00:17:22] And all of a sudden I start sleeping. Well, next thing you know, I'm like, huh, I got this energy. What can I do now? Then you start reading books. Then you start to unlock your brain. And so it was a very, just like one, two, three step for me, like, Hey, what can I literally do to lose weight? Okay. What can I do to become healthier?

[00:17:41] Okay. What foods do I need to eat to be healthy? What foods do I need to remove out of my diet to be healthier? Okay. What can I do with this energy? It was literally a very logical next step. Next step. Next step. Looking back at it. And honestly, it was just like a kid who was just trying to get help and, and, you know, in a, in a world where.

[00:17:59] I just kind of felt like I was never really given the answers and none of us are given the answers. You have to find that on your own. And so it was very like that next step, next step. And there's different. I did like literally hundreds, thousands of things I can get into, but that was, that was like the beginning

[00:18:15] Josh: Wow. Okay. I think you bring up a good point though. It's like everyone has their own entry point into this world. So like, I think like, You can probably agree with this. It's sort of like that self-development, self-help, personal development world, whatever this is where you, you kinda mentioned it, you, you realize that your mind is this basically a fucking computer.

[00:18:33] It's basically a goddamn computer that is affected by so many different things, but obviously chemistry being one, um, the food that you bring in, but once you take control of your programming, that's what I'm trying to get at here is like, you somehow just like, figured out that you're able to like, take this computer and start programming it yourself, you know?

[00:18:52] And there's something there on the mindset. Most people would have stopped at maybe eating healthier, kind of get, get good. I'm gonna, you know, lose weight, but then there's like the second step man. Like you, you kind of burst through again. And I think maybe do you think that's something that you just had already?

[00:19:05] Cause like you've had this entrepreneurial mindset since you were like a kid, right.

[00:19:10] Mark: Yeah,

[00:19:10] Josh: Do you think, is that, does that it maybe.

[00:19:12] Mark: it's, it's interesting. I feel like I was thinking of thought that I've never thought before, so I don't know if this is right, but, so I think for me, like how to program, I think for me, I understood that because I was, I, I faced racism and bullying from maybe until like from nine until 15 - 16.

[00:19:35] And by the time I was in high school, nobody really bullied me. Right. But, but at that time I had social anxiety. And so I think for me, and then, and then all of a sudden when I'm 18. I go off to college and I'm in a different environment, I'm in a new environment for the first time. And so I think for me, I sort of learned that not necessarily the fact that I could program my brain, but the fact that my brain is programmable and someone else or something else programmed it.

[00:20:06] And the reason why I say that is because I remember when I would go on like my long walks when I was suicidal. And I would just like go for like these dark walks and just be alone with them thoughts. Oh God, it's crazy. I think back on now. Um, and I remember like doing that for hours every single night.

[00:20:27] And I think like one of the realizations that I had on one of the night was I think I had some kind of awareness of my thoughts for the first time. I think it was this awareness of. Me walking at night and there were no other, like there's no other sound. There was no other noise. There was no other car, no other person walking in the street.

[00:20:47] And I th I feel like I hit some level of physical silence to where all of a sudden I could take a sort of like a magnifying glass inward into my brain and almost see like some glimmer of my thoughts. And I remember kind of seeing like my thoughts of like, you suck, you're never going to amount to anything you're terrible.

[00:21:07] And then me having a moment of introspection and being like, wait, who, who said that? Like, like, wait, what? And then me realizing, and then me realizing like, Oh my God, these things came from when I faced racism and bullying as a kid. But that happened to me many, many years ago. How was something that happened to me many years ago?

[00:21:31] All of a sudden now impacting me. That means that that program my brain. And so when I realized that, it made me almost realize that I could do the opposite and do that. I just want to say thank you. I've never said that on a podcast before. I honestly never knew that.

[00:21:46] Josh: That's why we Mind Meld, man, this is, this is Mind Meld. That's really cool, man. I'm so glad you're able to, or I was able to help you unlock a new, a new part in your brain there, man. That's fucking awesome. That's really, really cool. Hopefully we can keep going down that rabbit hole and new areas, cause I'm sure new, new things will come.

[00:22:03] And that's what I think is so awesome about podcasting and just conversation in general, right? Because you know, we're a series of these programs. Like you're a series of programs and software running around in your head and I am as well. And then when we connect and become together, new thoughts, new ideas start forming. And that is kind of the reason why I did the podcast.

[00:22:21] But I mentioned to you before your podcast Humans 2.0 was actually one of the real reasons why I decided to do this podcast because man, like the fact that you're out there. Yeah. You're doing like hundreds of episodes with some of the most impressive fucking people ever like. Like we, we have mutual respect for Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of, um, Mind Valley. You've had him on, I've listened both those episodes. I've listened to hundreds of your episodes, man.

[00:22:46] And I was just like, man, this is like a kid he's younger than me. He has this, all this confidence to speak with these people. How is he getting with these people? And the fact that you're telling me now that you are going through all of this doubt, all of this, like just bullshit in your mind, and you were able to overcome that.

[00:23:01] I was like, wow, like if this guy can do it, like this is going to give me the strength and courage to go ahead and do it myself. So I just want to thank you right now as well, man, for helping me kind of get into this podcasting world. Cause it's, it's been amazing.

[00:23:14] Mark: dude. I appreciate that, man. And, uh, yeah, I mean, at this point it's like so crazy to me. And like, I literally get messages like on a regular basis. Like for example, if someone, someone will randomly tell me, like, yo, I, I found out about you three years ago. I never reached out to you. I'd never messaged you, but I just want it to say, like, I went through the same thing that you went through.

[00:23:36] I was, I was suicidal. I would have had no idea what to do. And like seeing your posts on LinkedIn or your podcast or whatever it like showed me that there are other people going through this. And then all of a sudden they're like, yo, today I have a job. I have a girlfriend, like all this stuff. And I'm just like, And honestly, it happens to me all the time.

[00:23:52] Now that I'm just at this point where I'm like, okay, let me just, you know, keep doing this. Let me keep doing what I love and let me just like, I honestly don't even remember. And I think the biggest thing that I've learned is like, if you can show up as yourself and create strategies on how you can be your authentic self, because I don't think it's as easy as people, as it seems then it like, you don't have to be strategic then, like whatever podcasts, whatever phone call, whatever thing that you get invited towards, and you're just your true self, then people see through that that are, you know, neat to see that in the world.

[00:24:31] And so like, you know, there's all these people out here that have all these strategies and like, I'm going to network with this person. I want to go on these podcasts or whatever. And I'm just like, yo, I'm, I'm just out here. I'm trying to be my true self. Trying to be honest, not trying to hide anything from anybody, not trying to be anything that I'm not.

[00:24:47] And so. Dude, I am glad that you started your podcast. I'm very glad

[00:24:51] Josh: Yeah. Yeah. Thanks man. And it's cool because like you said, you're, you're just being your authentic self. But I think the big point is there is that you are at least taking that step to post it online. Right? Like you have these platforms, whether it's your LinkedIn, whether it's your podcast, like you create them for yourself and you're just putting stuff out there.

[00:25:08] I'm sure it didn't start off big. So I'd love to hear a man. I'd love to hear you, your beginning journeys, like when you started the podcast and stuff. And then I also want to know, like, at what point did, did you notice it start to take off? Because it seems like you did not think that it would be as big as it is and you would have like all these connections and it would just be this big.

[00:25:27] Maybe some tips from people who are like, Hey, like I, I kind of want to post something. Maybe I want to blog. Maybe I want to do a podcast. So maybe some of your words of, uh, of inspiration will help them as well.

[00:25:37]Mark: I remember it was like 2017 and I had been in about like a year, year and a half, two years into my journey. And I just like, basically reached this point where I was like, Oh shit, I don't know. I don't know what to do again. You know, at least this time, I'm not, I'm not suicidal. I'm not obese. I'm not like dying, but I don't know what to do.

[00:25:57] And it was this time where I was like, man, I really need to sort of like upgrade myself in every kind of way again. And. It was this period where I was just like, I need to set up some sort of a system, some sort of a practice like repetitive that can put me in front of just the best teachers, just so I can kind of learn from them myself, because I had basically realized that, you know, like there's different people out there on the internet.

[00:26:24] There's people out there who, who spew crap, there's people out there who have no idea what they're talking about. There's people out there who do know what they're talking about and practice what they talk about every single day. And I try to do that. And, and for me, I realized like the people who are actually practicing what they do, they're at the top of the top and they're probably very busy.

[00:26:43] And so I was like 20 years old at the time. And so I was like, man, there's, there's no way if I emailed these people to ask them to like pick their brain and there's no way they're going to say yes, there's no way. And so I was like, Hey, let me start like this podcast thing as a system, as a way to get me in front of people And honestly just kind of used as like my own self development tool. I didn't really think about my audience or anything like that. And it just became like, Hey, I was interested in this topic. Then I switched to this topic. Then I switched to this topic that I was interested about. yeah, that, and that was that.

[00:27:16] And, and, you know, I really saw things take off maybe in about, at the end of 2018. Uh, when I, when I had Seth Godin on my podcast and a few other people, um, and then my, and then I had started to take off on LinkedIn as well at that time. And so I was really just like growing and then, and then all of a sudden, like different people, different, like entrepreneurs would start to reach out to me and they'd be like, Hey, I have this podcast, but nobody really listens to it or I want to start a podcast.

[00:27:43] And so it opened my eyes to a different business world. Um, but yeah, I mean, previously opt to them. I was in, I was in the, you know, the VR, the virtual reality AR industry.

[00:27:56]Honestly, what I realized is that, you know, being an entrepreneur school, I've always been entrepreneurial. I'll always be an entrepreneur. It's like, it's a great, um, it's a great thing for me personally. Uh, it's like who I am, but also I'm definitely not a CEO. I'm definitely not a COO. I don't want to, like, not, not necessarily, it's too much responsibility for me, but I honestly just don't want to do that. And, and something that I've learned as someone who like really, really cares about, um, just like the Mind and like life itself, is I feel like I have to be doing the most important thing.

[00:28:34] And for me, like the fact that I wasn't speaking on what I thought was the most important thing, which has mental health that created like a dis almost like a discrepancy in my identity. And I just like became not that passionate. Right. And so I'm always trying to do that. And I did that back then, and I'm still doing that today.

[00:28:51]And so, yeah, you know, I, it really just became like, in my opinion, like a, Hey, if people are going to take time out of their lives, and I understand that that there's value in it, not just information, but entertainment at times, and it's not as black and white, but basically I was like, if I'm going to take time out of people's day for them to look at their phone or to look at wherever, I feel like whatever they're looking at has to be upgrading their lives. And I felt like I wasn't really doing that.

[00:29:18]And then also like interviewing people on my podcast and then learning about all these people's stories and then knowing them like backstage and then eventually becoming friends with some of them basically telling me, I'm like, Oh, if I, if they can do that, I can do that. Like, there's literally no difference.

[00:29:31] And so it really became the system and I started to learn how to storytell and all these different things. and so, yeah, it was very much like a very gradual process. I just started the podcast just for myself. Um, and, and yeah, man, it's been an interesting journey throughout and, uh, and I'm glad that people resonate.

[00:29:52] Josh: Yeah, dude. That's awesome. And I love how you take the sort of like, uh, are you familiar with like the optionality approach? Have you heard, have you heard of the book optionality or know of the term. Oh, man. It's awesome. I think this is probably like the sixth time. I've mentioned it on this podcast. I really want to get the author on here.

[00:30:08] And it's funny that you, you talked about this, cause I'm like now I actually have a platform. I can talk to them, you know, we can actually talk to them and more people will learn about it. So I, I resonate with that so hard.

[00:30:17] That's exactly why I started the podcast. Again. It's not for like to be like entertainer per se. It's exactly this man to learn from you, for us to be able to chat. And that's the exact reason why I did it, but this optionality approach from this book, man, it, it really blew my mind.

[00:30:32] It's just like, you don't really know what you'll even want in like 10 years, like, think about who you were 10 years ago. You're literally a different person. It's like choosing the future for that a random person on the street. Just be like, Hey, like I know exactly what you want to do 10 years from now. Like you don't, you don't know what you want. Right.

[00:30:49] So having the optionality approach, just keeping it, open-ended I'm sure you didn't go into the podcast make I'm doing this because I want to be like, I want to be a speaker, I want to like speak on stage and I want to be a best-selling author. Your optionality approach is like, I just want to like have access to the coolest people, the most interesting people and learn from them.

[00:31:06] So I love that approach, man. And have you been taking that, um, that same approach now? Like what, with what you're doing now? Cause I know you're doing a lot of speaking gigs. Um, you're kind of going on to the next step, cause I know, I know we're just talking about the podcast, but you were mentioning to me before that you're kind of stepping away from your own podcast to do some other things and talk about mental health.

[00:31:24] So are you taking that same approach now that, that, now that you're talking about this one specific topic, um, cause it seems like you did like, again with this optionality approach, there's like sort of two modes you go in and I think you'll resonate with this. It's like you have the explore mode and then exploit mode.

[00:31:41] So that one point you, like, I'm just exploring stuff. Literally. I'm just like, I'm exploring, exploring, exploring. Then you find that thing, then you exploited and like not exploited in like a negative sense that people think about that word, but in the actual sense of exploiting that thing. So for you, it's been with, with mental health and talking about this one subject, you found this one thing that you now know is your life's purpose, your life's calling, and you want to go all in on this.

[00:32:05] So are you taking the same approach now? And I want to know how you, how you found that one thing. Was it just from, you know, your whole journey that we just spoke about? Was it like, Hey, I just, I know I need to talk about this or was there something that kind of sparked it to, Hey, no, this is it going all in.

[00:32:20]Mark: so I started writing my book basically in like 2019 and, and my, and my book is about like, you know, my life story, social anxiety, shyness, all this stuff. Um, it's called the Screw Being Shy, I wrote that book because, you know, number one, I was trying to find out like, okay, what's like the number one biggest value add that I can create personally for myself.

[00:32:44] And I was like, and I was like, yo dude, I'm like 20 at the time, I was like 22 years old. I was like, you know, like, uh, you know, I'm, I'm a smart guy, but I'm definitely like no, you know, national expert or something. And so I was just like, I can only speak on my life experience and sort of like what I did directly.

[00:33:02] And, and I, you know, went on the speaking tour in 2019, just sorta like randomly kind of happened. Um, and I went across like the biggest cities in America. And like at these events that I would speak out, I want to say like, half of them were kind of like business marketing, oriented entrepreneurship, stuff like that. And then the other half of it was kind of like self-development and mental health.

[00:33:30] And I would notice. And I, you know, I touched briefly on my story in both, in both of the events, both of the kinds of events. Um, and so people will know who I am and knew where I come from. And there was at least one person in every single city that I visited that, you know, after I'd be done speaking and people would like line up to like, ask me a question or take a picture with me or whatever. There would always be that one person who would walk up to me and, you know, maybe they'd be stuttering. Maybe they'd be looking down, not making eye contact. Their voice was shaking. And like, literally in that moment, I was like, Oh, that's my younger self. And they would ask me the same exact question they would say, Hey Mark, how did you go from someone who went from being like, you know, crippling, shy, socially anxious, how you described yourself to like being able to go on a stage and, you know, talk about like your story in front of hundreds of people.

[00:34:29] And eventually it was just people just saying that again and again, and again, and again to where I was like, dude, I can't give, like, there is no one, two, three tips for this because it's okay to be an introvert. There's nothing wrong with being an introvert. Some people experienced a natural level of shyness, but then there's like a totally different kind of person, which is the kind of person I was, which was being socially anxious. And that's like a mental health problem that leads to substance abuse, social isolation, and suicide, which is like literally like my stole whole, my whole story played out. And then I just realized that. Like in this space, all the space was around like, Oh, here's how to build your confidence. Uh, try harder here, like the best networking tips.

[00:35:13] And I had always tried those, but they just never worked for me. And then me looking back on my journey over like what I did from suicidal to being able to do like exposure therapy, to understanding like my state of the nerve of my neuro-transmitters in my gut microbiome and all these different things that I had to figure out for my social anxiety.

[00:35:33] I was like, Holy shit, this is, this is the thing that people actually need right now that I can actually give people right now. And of course I'm always growing. I'm always evolving, I'm always learning, but that, for me, it was really it.

[00:35:45] And then my book came out. In literally the day, the world shut down in March of 2020 literally the day, the world shut down. And, and then like also later that month I had like a TEDx schedule. I had, like, I was going to be in a documentary, all these different things, like as sure everybody did. And of course everything got canceled. And then like every, like the whole world was freaking out about COVID and then a month kind of came later and then, you know, it kinda, everything revolving around, um, like black lives matter, police brutality in America, a lot of crazy stuff went down

[00:36:19] And I almost kind of like lost my purpose in that sense, because I was like, man, people are inside all day. Like, why did I even write this book? Like they're not even going to be talking to people like what? And so I just like, kind of went through this period where. I just like kind of lost touch with literally all I was working for.

[00:36:36] And, you know, I was still fine financially, I wasn't thank God I wasn't suffering financially. But, um, but I, but I'm also like an entrepreneur. I'm also, I'm always trying to make money. And so I ended up starting this company called the grow casts. That's like a podcast network, which was what I was already doing beforehand. I was kind of like already being, I was like already working with entrepreneurs, helping them with their podcasts, but this was like a more like official like organization to do it.

[00:37:03]And, and I, and I mostly did that just because I wanted to help leaders. I like saw people like you. And I was like, damn, Josh is a smart dude. Imagine if he could do what I could do. Um, but then honestly I did that. It's great. You know, I learned a lot, made a lot of money. I mean, it's still up. Like I saw, I saw, I saw hire people for it and everything,

[00:37:21] but I've just like been reflecting since like 2021. And I'm just like, like, what am I doing? Like, why did I write this book about Screw Being Shy? What's my purpose. And then now I'm just out here trying to like start podcasts. And I'm just basically just making like people who already well off who are rich, just richer.

[00:37:40] And again, I know that's not the full story. Most of my clients were doing great things. Like nothing like that. Never worked with anybody who I didn't respect or anything, but now I'm just at this point where I'm just like, I need to directly take what I'm doing in my book. And just like do it in as many ways as I can, whether that's like working one-on-one with people.

[00:37:59] And it's funny because I already had clients that were hiring me for marketing, but in reality, it was just like a CEO who had social anxiety. And so I was already doing this. Um, and so I've just sort of been all, you know, operating under that, um, and kind of pushing myself towards that, trying to kind of not necessarily remove myself, but trying to separate myself from like the whole marketing world, because I have like a LinkedIn course, I have a podcast course, which I think are great.

[00:38:28] I think I'm always going to have those, but I've just been moving more towards, in like moving with my purpose and like, you know, I've been doing different things on clubhouse. I'm still gonna interview people. But like, one thing that I'm trying to do now is I'm trying to start a different podcast where basically I want it to be like this, um, like this anonymous talk show, not talk show, but basically what I want to do is like, I want to create this platform and say, Hey, if you, if you experienced social anxiety, if you're shy, introvert, whatever you have any questions you want to share your experience, submit like a voice memo here.

[00:39:05] You can, we can make it anonymous. We can, you know, change the voice or whatever. You don't have to say your name. And then I'll just answer that question. And like, really what I want to do is like, I want to create like a database, like a library for anyone, whoever experiences this. And they have questions to be able to search and like directly go to like, Hey, what do I do if I'm this?

[00:39:23] Hey, what do I do if I'm this? And so that's what I've been recently, you know, pivoting my, um, you know, my kind of career in, and so it's been interesting, man. It's been very interesting, but it's, it's definitely what I'm the most passionate about. And, you know, I know that no matter what I do in life, I'm always going to experience problems. I'm always going to experience, you know, anxiety, stress, that's all part of it, but it has to be worth it.

[00:39:49] And I know for me, like personally for me, money is not that viable the currency for me. Like I can't do things like I know people again, I'm not trying to judge. And there's different times in your life where you have to make sacrifices and whatnot.

[00:40:02] I personally, there's no way in hell, I could be like a lawyer, for example, like, I don't give a crap how much you're paying me. If you want me to like, look at something and do like some kind of technical work for most of my living life. Like I would rather like, um, and so that's just what I've learned about myself.

[00:40:20] And it's very common for introverts or really anybody who's like experienced like a serious, like mental health problem of like, like you have to be reminded of like, why are you living your life every day. You know? And if you're doing something that's not in line with that directly, I personally can't do that.

[00:40:37] And like, that's also why when, when I was in college for a short time, that's also why, like, when I was sitting in class, I couldn't tell, I couldn't put my finger on it, but I literally felt like I was sitting in a tank of like radio active ooze and like my brain and my body was literally just like melting in a real time of just me being in a scenario where I, that I just don't want to be in that is not going to help me in my future.

[00:41:03] Now, of course, everything can be a lesson. Everything can be valuable, but at a top level, not for me, like I have to be in line with my first, I have to be directly doing it. I can't just write a book about it and then just be like, all right, that was cool. Now I have to be directly doing it every single day. And when I'm not, I just kind of feel lost, you know, or I feel confused or distracted, or I feel like I'm not focusing on the main thing. You know, I'm not focusing on the entree and I gotta be focusing on the entree.

[00:41:31] Josh: This is such a good point because I'm sure a lot of people do feel lost like that. Right. Even if they have a job, they're doing something full-time, it's like, you're not doing the right thing. You need to find that thing. So sometimes you do need to take a little bit of a, um, of a leap and you have to kind of go in that explore mode.

[00:41:45] Like I think the last year more people than ever, probably in the last a hundred years since the last fucking quarantine, uh, the last plague that we had on this fucking earth, I don't think anyone has done this amount of introspection and this amount of like soul searching or had the time to like think and sit with their thoughts.

[00:42:04] Right. Um, I'm sure a lot of people, um, went through a big change. Like even for me, man, like. I went through a big change that you probably did a couple of years ago, which is like leaving a virtual reality company because we had a VR company at Contraverse where we were focused on conferences, film, festivals, events, again, March, you got fucked in it.

[00:42:23] But what it did is it made me stop, take a 10,000 foot view of what's going on and really start thinking about, okay, what is my purpose? What do I need to be doing? And then again, serendipitously, I came across your podcast. This is fucking crazy. So your podcast on the Mind Valley superhumans at work podcast.

[00:42:43] Um, I was like Mind Valley. I've definitely heard of this somewhere. So then after I listened to episode, I just went through the down the whole Mind Valley rabbit hole. And this happened to be the week that Vishen was running his webinar to promote his new book, the Buddha and the bad-ass.

[00:42:58] Right. So, so I went through that webinar as a candidate to buy this book and he's like, okay, if you buy five copies and you can also be part of the course, I'm like, Hey, great. So this guy's already roping me into Mind Valley. I'm sold on Mind Valley. So I read the book, I did the course, uh, be extraordinary at work, and then I, I signed up for the all access.

[00:43:17] So like Mind Valley had been this like another gateway to like a whole other world for me. I'm like, Hey, this is so awesome. There's so many great resources out there. And I was able to have that time. But I think if we weren't in lockdown, if we didn't have quarantine, I probably wouldn't have done it. Cause I would have been grinding and just doing surface level stuff with my company.

[00:43:34] I think that's what you're saying you're doing. You're like, fuck that. I need to go deeper in my purpose. So that's awesome. Did you find like, were there other resources, like Mindvalley that helps you kind of, yeah, find that purpose and kind of, um, re re-engage yourself there.

[00:43:49]Mark: it's funny because I remember, I remember being in my college dorm room in 2016 and reading Vishen's book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind

[00:43:59] Josh: Oh,

[00:43:59] Mark: and it's, yeah, and it's not like that. It's not like that book was like the reason why I am where I am, but I mean, it's just like full circle, you know?

[00:44:07] And, and like that, like, for example, like I inspired you, Vision inspired me, you know what I mean? So it's like a constant cycle and like that's what makes life worth living. And in terms of what you said about purpose, you know, it's interesting because once you, once you sort of go do through an experience and then you have like a shift in perspective, you have this 10,000 foot view, then it actually makes you like a hundred times smarter because you're able to connect the dots in ways that people can't.

[00:44:37] And like, for example, I'm no longer in the virtual reality industry, but now knowing what I know, and then especially being passionate and my purpose on mental health, dude, I think in the future virtual reality is going to be one of the biggest tools that is going to help the mental health crisis that we have.

[00:44:54] And so I don't know what that's going to look like, but for all I know, maybe I know when, like the next unknown, the next billion dollar VR start-up for mental health. Maybe I can like work with them. You know, maybe I can like be an advisor. Maybe they hire me. I have no idea. And so it's like taking these things and then, and then maybe if that becomes successful, I can say like, yo, I used to have VR and then I quit and then I had to do all this and then it turns out this was all worth it and all this stuff.

[00:45:19] And so, yeah, man, it's been, it's been super interesting. And that to me is what's super exciting about life, it's like all these connecting of dots and, and, and having serendipitous moments.

[00:45:29] And I remember never really in my life experiencing serendipity. And to me experiencing serendipity and coincidence for me, that's like proof that there is like a, like a God or there is like a spiritual realm. And, and dude ever since, um, I took a break from meditating like a few months ago, but ever since I've been meditating back and then I've been like, moving my body, I've been traveling. Dude, I've literally been seeing coincidence is everywhere that just like constantly like send me these messages, send me these messages.

[00:46:00] Like for example, ran random example. So yesterday I'm in New York city. Right. And I'm trying to go back home and I'm waiting in line and the transportation trying to try to get on. And, um, and I'm just like waiting and I'm listening to the podcast and, uh, I forget who, which podcast, but he was, it was with Jordan Peterson. And, uh, yeah, he's, he's up there in Toronto with you.

[00:46:24]I remember one of the things that he said, he like gave some story on how, like one time, like some dude knocked on his house or something in the middle of the night and he was like violent and he was gonna like kill him or something like that.

[00:46:34] Like, um, and then he basically talked about like how he deescalated that situation and then what he did. And then the guy eventually just left him home alone and it was harmless. So I'm literally listened to this in real time.

[00:46:46]next thing I know this dude walks up to me, this homeless guy walks up to me and I pull out my headphones and he says, um, he says, Hey man, do you have any change? And my, I have like a phone wallet case. And so I sort of like, look at my wallet and I don't have any cash. And so I'm like, um, no, I'm sorry. Did I don't have any chains with me? And, and the guys like iron man, I'm trying to get some to eat. And, and I said, okay. I said, I'm sorry, brother. Like, maybe you can ask someone else or something.

[00:47:18] And then he, and then I, and then I had also got a bought Chipotle for myself and I had it on my bag, like on the floor. And so he points to that and he's like, what about that? and I was like, dude, that's my dinner, man. I haven't eaten for like two hours. That's going to be my only dinner for the next four, six hours.

[00:47:34] So I'm sorry, man. I can't give that to you, but maybe somebody else can give you money or can buy you food. Or, and I said, good luck. And then he basically like walked off with like th the weirdest look I've ever seen it. Wasn't it wasn't like a weird, like, like a crazy look or like, it was just like in his head, he was like, like, he went like that to me.

[00:47:54] It was very weird. And then next thing I know, he like walks above like a few people in line above me that are also waiting to get on and. The, like this guy says, Hey, um, do you have any change? Or I'm just trying to get some food. And the guy in front of me, he was like eating a bag of chips and he's like, and he's like, nah, screw off buddy.

[00:48:16] And then next thing I know the homeless guy literally starts to freak the fuck out, literally starts screaming. Like literally it sounds like he's having a mental breakdown. And I literally think he's about to pull out a knife and kill this guy and the other guy and some other guys came and then the homeless guy eventually ended up running away.

[00:48:33] But like, looking back at that, literally what Jordan Peterson was saying on the podcast. I literally did what exactly he did in that thing of like stated my intention. I looked at him directly in the eyes. I like stated my sincerity, my intentions. And then he left me alone. And then literally in front of me was literally about to kill that guy.

[00:48:54] And so I'm like literally in my head, I'm like, Like thank God for, for, like, for, for like, for everything. And I remember like going on Twitter and tweet and literally tweeting, like be nice to people and be respectful for no reason. And like, that's a great example of that. And so thank you for listening to my story, man. I want it to get that off my chest, but it was interesting.

[00:49:16] Josh: That's crazy serendipity, right? Because you could have been like, if you're hungry or getting hangry at that time, you could have been like, Hey, screw off bud, too, who knows what he would've done. Right. But you just happened to listen to that and you take those learnings like right away. I love that when that happens, man, that's fucking crazy.

[00:49:32] Mark: yeah, dude, I'm very grateful and it's beautiful. And every time, like a moment like that happens, it's like, Oh wow, what I'm doing is actually working. Oh wow. What I'm doing is actually working. And I think that's like one of the most important things that people need of like, you know, when you asked me if people they think of themselves as victims or they can't get past that one separate they're stuck.

[00:49:51] People need some sort of a feedback loop with life, with the reality to show them that what they're doing is working because there's people who, whatever it is, they've, you know, they face addiction problems, if it's various problems, they try to do these things, but life isn't sending them the messages of what they're doing is working.

[00:50:08] And that's difficult because every single thing in life requires a certain amount of time to see the results. Right. So if you start eating healthy for a week, Probably nothing is going to happen to you. You know, if you start exercising for a week and then you just quit, that was going to happen to you.

[00:50:24] There's a certain amount of time you have to do things for them to work. And so I'm just like, I love that because like, that's something that I've been able to experience that constantly reaffirms in your head and it gets, gives you that fuel to keep going. And then I go on podcasts like this, and then you're like, dude, I started my podcast, you're in a inspiration.

[00:50:42] And I'm like, Oh wow. They're like, what I'm doing is working. And then you do that, and then next thing you know, you literally have thousands of examples of like your new theory for reality working. And then that is sort of in your head, like almost like on a, on a trial, like an, a core that amount of evidence is also put and weight against the other amount of evidence in your life, which has all the negative, all the decisions and you, and like you have that more weighted choice to be like, you know what, I'm going to continue to choose this.

[00:51:15] And that's extremely helpful. Even in the times where you don't know what to do, you know, where are the times where you lose your faith? And I think like during COVID during quarantine, that definitely happened to me sometimes, but I'm glad I had all these experiences that help reaffirm that because dude, I know that if I wasn't on the journey that I wasn't on, like, and then COVID happened in quarantine.

[00:51:38] Oh God, man. I don't know where I'd be right now. I don't think I'd, I don't think it's, I don't think

[00:51:42] Josh: fall off the track. Yeah. You think you'd fall off the track, fall off the path.

[00:51:46]Mark: fall. I mean, I mean, yeah, if I had never sort of like been suicidal years ago and I had no awareness of what mental health was, but I still had these issues, I probably would have killed myself. Like I'm not even, I'm doing unfortunately I'm not exaggerating, but, um, I'm very grateful. Like, you know, I've been able to do what I've been able to do and it's just preparation. Then I know for the next five to six years, I'm going to be even better off. And so that's like all part of this mission. It never ends. It's every day.

[00:52:15] Josh: Yeah, dude. And I think, man, that brings up so many things in my mind, like one of the biggest, the feedback loop, right? So like the first thing I want to like dig in there is like, do you have some kind of document or like journaling process that you have give yourself feedback? 'cause I've, I've spoken to few people on this podcast who have talked about, I can't remember the exact name for it, but see episode for anyone listening with Marie Poulin, she had a specific document.

[00:52:38] So she does this Notion Mastery course, and she has this document. I can't remember what it was, but it was like, Honestly, I cannot remember, but it had a specific name that gave her all of the, uh, like you said, the weight and all of these experiences, her past experiences.

[00:52:53] It actually was to help her get through imposter syndrome. But I think it's good for anything, for someone to have list, all of your positive experiences. All of these things that you've done, so that way you can go back and look at it, but Hey, no, I've gone through this. I like these people told me that, that it helped them, or it is working. I got positive feedback.

[00:53:10] So I think it's like the main point of it. I can't remember the name of it. You guys go listen back to it. I'll put it in the description or something, but you'd have to like create some kind of feedback loop for yourself. So well, when the world doesn't give it to you, you, and you forget, we always forget, right? Like our memory is fucking horrible.

[00:53:28] So you got to write it down. You got to put it in Notion that, that she does. And it's like this document that just says, here's all your positive experiences. Like you won this award or you did this, you spoke to this person so-and-so told you that you achieved X. You did Y.

[00:53:41] Like, then you can look back at that and get like a good feedback loop. Right? It's like, if you're in a like, we talked about this as being a video game, like we're kind of in a virtual reality, right.

[00:53:51] Mark: Okay, did I'm so sorry. I, uh, yeah, I just really had to pee. Um, and, uh, and, and like getting the feeling of pee is like an anxiety trigger for me. So when that comes, I'm just like, I need to pee right away.

[00:54:02] Josh: That's so funny. Are you, you know, uh, Jason Silva, yeah?

[00:54:05] Mark: Of course. I mean, I don't know him personally, but

[00:54:08] Josh: yeah. Okay. I thought, I thought for some reason he was on your podcast, but yeah, he, he talked about it. I saw a talk of his and he was just like, um, it was at U of T to speak of Jordan Peterson and he was just like, most of the time when we're feeling anxiety, we really just need to pee or something. We realize it's just, we just got to pee. So that's so funny. It's so true though. Right? It's like these physical senses.

[00:54:27] But like I was just saying, um, I wonder if you have a feedback, cause like I see this world, I want to get into this too, man. I think we have the shared sort of like view of reality where it's like, it's kind of like we're in a video game, we're in a virtual reality already.

[00:54:39] So when you don't get the feedback, it's like, you're playing a video game and you're like hitting something and it's not breaking. And you're like, Oh, it's just broken. Like it's not nothing's happening. If you were playing Minecraft and you're trying to hit the thing. And it's not breaking down then you're like it's broken or, Oh, that thing just doesn't work just then you just walk away. You're like, eh, whatever.

[00:54:57] So do you have something where you give yourself feedback? Do you have a journaling process or a daily practice?

[00:55:04] Mark: Yeah, dude. I want to get it all into that. And when I was in the bathroom, I had so many thoughts and there's two things I want to say specifically, but I just want to go real quick on the whole peeing thing, because I think this is important. And what I've learned is everybody has different trigger points and oftentimes they have deep underlying roots.

[00:55:23] And so, for example, for me, what I've learned specifically is the reason why I have that or why I think I have it is because I remember when I was like, literally like eight years old being in gym class and literally being like super shy and then raising my hands and being like, Hey, can I go to the bathroom?

[00:55:42] And the teacher was like, no, And I literally peed my pants in front of the entire class. And I literally, like, I didn't know what to do. I was a kid, I had no idea. And then I remember like going and then they're like, Oh, why didn't you tell it? And then all this stuff. And then when I started to face racism and bullying, all of a sudden what began to happen to me was I either didn't go to sleep at night or when I would go to sleep, I would wet my bed. And I wet my bed literally until I was 18 years old.

[00:56:10] And it was literally because every time that would happen, it was either I wouldn't go to sleep or I wet my bed. If I did go to sleep, I would have my, my bed. And it was because every time I'd be in my dreams, I faced nightmares that my fight or flight would get triggered. Boom. You know, if anyone gets into like some sort of emergency, they pee, literally it happened to me like all the time.

[00:56:28] The third thing that I want to say. I remember going to the doctor and them telling me we had this issue, the doctor prescribing the medicine. I don't know what the exact name of the medicine is, but I remember like four years ago, five years ago looking it up, and one of the side effects of it is literally anxiety.

[00:56:46] And so, and so like all like three different layers right there of like why this happens. And so it's good because if I have this awareness, then I can just sort of do what I need to do to best manage myself. But if I don't then, um, these feelings are going to arise and I'm going to have no idea. Um, and so, I mean, I guess that is like a little bit of like a feedback.

[00:57:05] But to what you said before. So two different ways, um, in terms of like a documentation. So yeah, I mean, of course I journal, I try my best to journal every day. I think I have four main ways of like journaling. Number one is. Gratitude is like the most standard, you know, everyone write down three things you're grateful for.

[00:57:26] I try my best to like, be as specific as possible. I try my best to like, let myself like, try my best to like close my eyes and like truly feel it and like step into this present moment where I'm like really just grateful, even if it's just for 30 seconds. Um, so that's one form.

[00:57:42] Another form is, um, like I had this kind of journaling, I don't know, I call it like truth, honesty. I just made it up. But it's basically where I try to be as radically honest to myself as possible, honest about what I'm doing with my life, my emotions, my thoughts, if I think I'm doing the right or wrong thing, just like radical, like the most radical honest you can imagine to yourself. And I try to do that for like 30, 60 seconds.

[00:58:10] Um, and I don't do that every day. The reason why I don't do it every day is because what I've learned is if I'm doing that every single day, a lot of times it's a, how do I say this, it's very heavy. Um, and so I do it maybe like a few times a week or a couple of times a week or once a week. Um, and so that's one, another one is, uh, I actually just made a post about this today. Uh, funny enough.

[00:58:30] Uh, another one is a it's like visualization. And so what I'll do is, um, like sometimes I write it, not every time though, but for example, what I'll do is I'll literally just close my eyes and then just imagine whatever happening that I want to happen. And so, for example, like, you know, I remember in 2019 closing my eyes and being like, I literally cannot wait to one day speak to Gary Vee.

[00:58:56] Because I remember discovering Gary V in my college dorm room. And then that being the first person who ever told me that it was okay to be an entrepreneur and not a great student or not a great athlete. And that was the first time I had ever heard that, or even knew what the word entrepreneur was even then. That was me, my entire life. Um, So I had like this very, like this dream, like this vision, I'm like, Oh one day I'm going to speak to Gary V.

[00:59:19] And I would like, visualize about this. And then the way that I visualize about it is not like all of a sudden I like step into the crowd and I'm like, I literally imagined like what it would take for, for reality to get there. So like, I literally imagine me pulling out my phone and checking my email and then seeing an email from like Gary V or like seeing an email from someone of Gary V saying like, Hey, we're going to invite you to the event next to this speaker is Gary V and then me like traveling to get there and then going there. And then, and then speaking, and then like looking to the right. Imagine like what his facial structure would look like.

[00:59:52] And I mean, like, literally, literally like two weeks, I think after that, or like a week after that literally got an invite at a conference to speak next to GaryVee in Las Vegas, and then guess what, COVID happened.

[01:00:06] But anyway, anyway, it's definitely gonna happen one day. Um, but like I used to think that whole visualizing was complete BS until it actually started to work until I actually was like, Oh, I, I literally visualize about this two days ago. Oh my God. It's literally happening right now. And like, kind of like these coincidence, these feedback and, um, and last one,

[01:00:27] Oh, the last one is this concept that I have of like a dream list. So I asked myself, Mark, what are the three things that you can do today that can get you as close to your dream life as possible? And the reason why I say that is because I just hate the word to do list and just has a very negative association in my brain because you know, like as entrepreneurs, like people wake up in the morning and they're just like, all right, here's my to do list and then write down on these things.

[01:00:51] And then some of them get done. Some of them don't get done. And then at the end of the night, you're like sitting there, you look back on the to-do list. And then you see, like half of them are crossed out, half of them are empty, you added six things to the list, and then you're like, Holy shit. I did nothing today. I'm like a failure.

[01:01:05] And so I don't like doing that because it re like turn them about feedback. It gives you the feedback that you're not doing enough. And literally so many entrepreneurs struggle with. That's probably why they work so hard. But, um, but, uh, but yeah, that's, that's like a big one, um, that I've learned.

[01:01:22] So I just call it dream lists. And I just say the three most important, I don't, I don't do four or five. And then if I do like have to do four or five, I just like try to do those as like, bonus, like extra, like extra points, you know, sharing on top.

[01:01:34] Now, the second portion of what I wanted to say is, so I, I have a chapter or a subsection about this in my book, and it's called, um, I think it's called something like how to change the way you think about yourself.

[01:01:49] And basically what I talked about sounded similar to what that lady was saying, but basically what it is, is like, as humans, we think that our memories are like, Hey, this is what happened in year one. This is what happened in year two, year three, year four, year five, our, our, our, the way that we think about our memory and our past it's not linear.

[01:02:07]it's like connected in like these weird ways that we think we know, but we don't really know. And I know for me, like at like at least every three months or something like that, all of a sudden I'll get like some random memory that I like repressed my entire life that just like came up. I'm like, Oh shit.

[01:02:23] Like, Oh, that's why that ha Oh my God. I finally know what that is, you know? And that's just part of life. And so in this section section of my, of the fifth chapter of my book, I talk about like, you know, kind of what you said of like, you know, what are you good at? What are these awards, all these different things.

[01:02:38] Um, but I basically do it in terms of traits. Right. And so for example, like one of the big things that really messed me up was me always saying that I was stupid and I lacked intelligence because I got bad grades in school or because I had social anxiety and whenever somebody would ask me, for my opinion, my brain would enter into a fight or flight.

[01:02:59] And then I start overthinking. Then I wouldn't be able to say what I really wanted to say. And so, as a result of that, I just always thought I was like the stupid kid, but then I actually sat there and I was like, am I actually a stupid kid? Hmm. What, what is the evidence that proves the opposite of that?

[01:03:15] What's the evidence that shows that I'm actually a smart, intelligent person? Well, I'm like, Hmm. I started a six-figure business when I was like 16, when I was like lose some kid out of it, poverty. Nobody does that. you know, I, um, Like my parents or like my sister, they always tell me I'm super smart and I never understood it.

[01:03:32] And so like literally going back and trying to find like the sort of like negative connotations, there are, there are definitely such things as weaknesses, like natural weaknesses that we have, but going back into almost either traits that you think you have or that you want. And then literally creating memories, like saying like, Oh, I remember that one time I did this. I remember that one time I did that.

[01:03:54] That's like a great way to like rethink the way that you even think about yourself and your character. So that, to me, I do that all the time. I don't do it as much. I did it like a lot, like when I was first starting off, but that to me really helped shift the perspective of like my actual character.

[01:04:10] Now, the last thing I want to say of like this part is when it comes to like feedback that people give me. Whether it's like a, for example, you on this podcast, if you tell me I inspired you or someone leaves a comment or a message, that's like very nice. I always take a screenshot of it. And I have a folder in my Google drive where I literally pour that stuff in where I don't look at it every day.

[01:04:35] But on the days where I'm like, man shit, like literally nothing I do matters. Like I'm worthless. I go back and I'm like, Oh, remember that when that 65 year old woman told me she was going to kill herself, and then she found my story and she did't, and like all of these different things. And so I hope you liked my three-part answer to do that.

[01:04:53] I hope it was worth getting up in the middle and going to the bathroom.

[01:04:56] Josh: love that. That was pure gold. And it's so true, man is getting that evidence and you kind of brought something up there. It's like building your character. And this definitely leads me right back in that whole thing of this mental model of this being sort of a game,

[01:05:07] because think about it like an RPG, right? Like you and I, we love playing video games. Right. I don't know how much you still play, but I'm sure you've played an MMO RPG. Everyone's played

[01:05:17] Mark: wish I could play more videogames.

[01:05:19] Josh: Me too. Right. I kind of wish I had more time for it. I just feel like there's so many other things, but we're playing a different video game. We're already, I that's the whole point. We're already playing a

[01:05:27] video game. Like there's, this is the main video game we're already in it. Like we're already in a virtual reality, people like, let's not try to fight it. We have a character, but what's really crazy is we can rebuild this character and that's kind of what you did. Right.

[01:05:39] You can like, think of it, like, like the stats then MMO RPG, like they're really good at running or like strength and you know, you stick a bar like a health bar and stuff like that. And yours is like, it's like with intelligence and people like, okay, it could be strength if you want to be like a power lifter or something, but you have all these like abilities that we can start like mapping on.

[01:05:57] So it'd be interesting to have sort of like that. I mean, guess LinkedIn sort of like that is like, they're your Pokemon cards for humans as basically what LinkedIn profiles are, but it's kind of like that right? Where you can like rebuild your character and you can start thinking of yourself in this game in a different way.

[01:06:13] You can also program this game. You could program your character and you can program your story instead of just being like, Oh yeah, this is it. This is the game I'm playing. I'm just in it. But you can actually choose the games that you play and you can actually go and be very conscious of that. So maybe let's get into that man.

[01:06:29] Like, so do you, do you think about that? I know we talked about it briefly. Do you have sort of SIM similar mental models or mindsets when it comes to that? When it comes to just your mental models of you being in reality and how you view yourself in the world?

[01:06:42]Mark: Oh yeah, man. I mean, there's, there's so many different levels of this conversation. Um, but I mean, I think at a basic, or like at a foundational level, Like for me, basically, like when I realized that like I, like, I live 10 years of my life with social anxiety and like, my brain was like taking like all this information, like making me feel and all those different ways and, and impulses and senses it, like really just based. And then, and then when I was able to change that, and then I saw that in front of my eyes, that's like the biggest amount of proof. I was like, Oh shit, like this, like this really is a game.

[01:07:20] And, and in terms of like reality itself, you know, I definitely believe in like a higher power. I definitely believe in some sort of like a deeper spiritual, like metaphysical dimension. And I believe that, um, you know, we're all tapping into this universal life source that I think literally looks like. Just Adam's moving around in space and light and time. And I think that these atoms and these light have been able to organize themselves into like the smartest organisms on the planet, which are human beings, which is what we all are, but we are also that same energy force, but we're just a part of that. I dunno how much you've been down this rabbit hole, but I definitely believe in universal consciousness.

[01:08:10] And it's funny because I remember I had a moment in 2017 where I was meditating in my house and, uh, you know, I was meditating, same place.

[01:08:21] I always meditate in the morning. And I remember I had a fricking crazy experience that now I know is referred to as a mystical experience or a religious experience where all of a sudden. Like I was meditating and then it was almost like, I didn't, I didn't like physically come out of my body, but it was almost like the perspective of like my body shifted.

[01:08:47] And, but I was still myself. I was still like my same sense of consciousness, Mark, just like in this bubble Mind existing. But all of a sudden I like became my house and I became the trees outside and I became my not like, not like I became those things, but it was almost like the same way that when I opened my eyes and I looked down and I see my body, it was like, I just like looked down and I just like saw the world.

[01:09:08] And it's never happened to me ever since that moment. Um, but ever since I experienced that and like, I fricking Googled like crazy. He told like all my friends at school, what the up am I dying or what's happening then I like really experienced, like I realized that like, out of, out of like a crazy like metaphysical level, like I, I am just like this energy sack.

[01:09:32] And like, that's just name is Mark, but I'm also the entire universe and all energy because we all come from the same source. And so I think for me, I didn't realize that until later, but I think for me, it was almost like realizing that my entire life, I had sort of put up these, these like boundaries, uh, like these emotional, these like spiritual boundaries.

[01:09:57] And the reason why is because I had to protect myself because there were other people, other forms of energy that were, you know, I don't want to say evil, but were bad towards me. And they had their own boundaries because of their own stories. And they sent projected that virus to me. And then based on, you know, my genetics, my life experiences, it like created this, you know, form of consciousness that is me.

[01:10:23] Um, and so, yeah, I mean, I think that, uh, you know, reality itself and how we view ourselves is completely different than the normal worldview that we all experienced in like our little, you know, reality tunnel of what we think is normal. And, um, yeah, I mean,

[01:10:40] I remember ever since I experienced that my mystical experience, then you're like, Holy shit, literally anything is possible. Literally anything is possible. Like at that point there were, there was nothing that you don't think is possible, um, which can be very powerful.

[01:10:55] Josh: It can, and I, I love that, man. I definitely had a similar experience when I was very young. I remember going for a little bike ride with my friend, getting up to this bridge above a highway, and then having my first out of body experience. It was like, man, I felt like I was like, you know, like when you're in, uh, playing a video game and you get to like, sort of the outer edges of like the playable area and like, it was like, you can't go there anymore.

[01:11:15] You can't go. What happened here was like, this is the furthest I've ever gone outside of my house alone, my friend on our bikes. And as I was approaching this bridge, I had an out of body experience where my consciousness just kind of floated up and I was like, maybe, I don't know, three, four stories, uh, like higher than my body. Just looking down at myself on my bike and just seeing myself in the world.

[01:11:36] Like it was, it was so metaphorical, right. Seeing myself in this bigger world, as I was reaching this, the, the edge points of like level one. It was so weird, man. But I think like on top of that, like, I don't know how I was able to have that experience and, and like, like yourself, you're able to have this experience through meditation.

[01:11:53] I think there's a lot of people who just, they're not even open to it at all. And the one thing I always say is like, there, there are drugs for them, right? Like you talked about alcohol and that kind of drugs, but there are some, like, I think one of the biggest, revolutions in mental health in our generation will be psychedelics. Right.

[01:12:10] Um, I know, I don't know how much you've gone down that rabbit hole if you've tried it yourself, but whether it's mushrooms or LSD and especially like, Iowasca like, you're going to get that feeling of this like universal consciousness. And like intellectually, I know it I've had experiences with that through like deep dream states and meditation, but, and like intellectually.

[01:12:30] I know, but I feel like I still need to maybe try something that Iowasca to like really experienced that because like I've heard and seen then, you know, from, from my conversations with people and listening to other people's experience of it, it's like, you, you take that substance and it jacks you right into that, that a universal power. Right.

[01:12:49] And people like Aubrey Marcus, he's been doing it quite a bit recently in talking about his experience. And it's like, when you take those compounds, it's not really a drug as a compound, right. It's like, that's a software that you're downloading into your mind that it's not a matter of if it's just a matter of when that kicks in, you're going to experience that.

[01:13:08] Have you ever experienced any kind of psychedelic experiences? Have you done it yourself

[01:13:12] Mark: so let me, I just want to address something you said before about when you, and you experienced it as a kid with your friend. And, um, so one of the things that's really interesting, as I remember it was watching a video from Jason Silva and he was kind of like talking about this like universal consciousness, we're all connected.

[01:13:27] And he used this really interesting example that like locks, like, like it helps you understand that even if you haven't had experiences like this, and it's like, when you were a little kid, right. And you're like daydreaming. Right. And like, I dunno, like for example, I have a. I have like a comb in my hand.

[01:13:43] I don't know why it's just, it was just right there. So I'm just like been touching it, but like, I have a coma hand I'm like, and I'm pretending like I'm a little kid, I'm daydreaming. I'm pretending like, it's like a bus or it's like a spaceship.

[01:13:56] Right. And you're, you're in like your own world, right. But then all of a sudden somebody, uh, like walks in or somebody even comes close to you, and all of a sudden it feels like that daydream is like slowly evaporating. And it's like connecting you to a bigger sphere of, of thought consciousness. And so like that, that that's like the best way I can describe, um, sort of like what I experienced of, like, we were like all going through like these thoughts and emotions.

[01:14:26] And we think that maybe we're producing them ourselves. And I think there is a layer of that, but we're all like in like this shared. Reality together and we all impact each other. And so that's like a great example of it. And I know, like I have a, I have a year, a year and a half old niece, and sometimes for example, I, I will come in and she won't see me.

[01:14:49] I won't make any noise, but then all of a sudden I see like the toilet she's playing with and all of a sudden, she like stops for like three seconds. And the next thing, you know, she turns around and she sees me because kids, babies are way more receptive to this because you actually don't have a sense of consciousness.

[01:15:05] I believe in like the first year of your life, babies have no sense of consciousness. They have to, they have to, they actually embodied the consciousness of their mom. That's why moms hold them close to their body. And then all of a sudden, a kid can start to look in the mirror. And like, if they look in the mirror before their ages, one, they think it's a different, like a different thing. They don't know what's happening. But then as it starts to kick in, they start to realize who they are and their sense of consciousness.

[01:15:29] Um, and so in terms of psychedelics drugs, you know, here's what I will say. I remember, you know, I had an experience where, um, you know, I didn't, I didn't, uh, it wasn't any of those things, but I took like an edible and, um, you know, someone had told me, you know, like an edible, it's more, it's like psychoactive it's or it's not psychopathic, it's more psychedelic.

[01:15:52] Um, then like the, like, just normally. And so I remember taking one of those and, um, and just, I mean, nothing, nothing crazy happened. Just being more reaffirmed to that. Um, in terms of like DMT and that stuff, I haven't been called to it, you know, like I've, I've had Aubrey Marcus on my podcast. I've talked to like a ton of these guys.

[01:16:15] I hasn't like it. Hasn't and that's what I've heard, like it has to call you, like, you have to have like this not urge, but you have to have like, the sense of like, I think I need to do this. Like the next step. I don't have that yet. You know what I mean? And so. That's what I'm, I'm not going to wait for that, but like, that's, that's what I'm, you know, sort of doing, but yeah, man, I mean, I think the biggest thing is that like what you said of like, when you give people these chemicals, it lets them see that.

[01:16:39] Right. And I think under the right kind of setting, I think, I think probably psychedelics and a true immersive virtual reality, because that can also mimic experiences. Those, I think are the only two ways to truly change somebody's brain, if they have only been living in this certain game and this certain game that they can never win because they're trying to punch the blocks and nothing is happening.

[01:17:05] I think that's the only way to do it. Or unfortunately like a, like a traumatic experience, you know, I think those three ways are the ways to do it in terms of mega change.

[01:17:14] Josh: Yeah, no, that's, that's exactly it right there. And, and I think I've, I read something where it's like, after the age of 25 or maybe even 20. Yeah. Um, it's really hard for you to learn new things in general or stop really bad habits. And what it really takes is a traumatic experience. This is from, I know from a few, I think from a psychology book that I read when I was in university,

[01:17:35] something like that after 20 to 25, you, it is, you have to have like a traumatic experience to kind of wake you up and like change your thinking.

[01:17:44] Whether that's like a physical trauma or maybe it's like a breakup, whatever it is. Uh, it's gotta be something crazy like that. But I think you're right, man. You, you hit the nail on the head. I think of psychedelics either with or mixed with, um, virtual reality. Right. So

[01:17:58] Mark: shit.

[01:17:58] Josh: of get in that for a little bit.

[01:18:01] Oh, you, I thought you were saying mixed You'd

[01:18:03] Mark: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I was just saying like, if we could, if we could somehow like create a, some kind of a device that could literally like mimic reality, like experience and give anybody any experience without like the traumatic part of it, or like a good experience. That's what I meant. I dunno about mixing those two.

[01:18:20] That seems, that seems crazy.

[01:18:23] Josh: That's what I thought you were talking about. I think it is, there's a couple of companies in Canada. There's a company called Lobe sciences in Canada that does psychedelic, and I know they also do VR. I'm not sure if they mix it at the same time, but it could be something like that.

[01:18:37] Like, imagine you were talking about that Breathe app that you're using in VR. Right? Like imagine taking psychedelics and just being in that it doesn't have to be like, it doesn't even have to be LifeLock. It could be like, who knows? But

[01:18:49] Mark: Well, I, again, I haven't had, I mean, again, I haven't had like a crazy psychedelic experience or something, but from what I do know though, but when I was in different States like that, I also remember like being very turned off from technology. I also remember like wanting to integrate like naturally.

[01:19:05] And I remember going for a walk with my friend and, um, I remember like going through the walk and like my, my like, like, uh, like my park. And I remember like, just seeing like, the world is so bright, beautiful, but then all of a sudden I would see trash on the floor and it like literally looked black and white.

[01:19:23] Like, it looked like it was out of this world. And so I feel like if you did an experience like that, and then you had like this like machine, I felt

[01:19:29] that it was like, wouldn't work. You know what I

[01:19:31] mean? So I don't, I've no idea. Oh Yeah,

[01:19:34] for sure.

[01:19:35] Josh: yeah. Yeah. So I think maybe those two separately, but I think using VR as a tool for that, I think you're right. Could definitely work. Whether that's like putting people in situations, um, that would make them otherwise feel anxious. I think maybe that's the way to go.

[01:19:49] Right? You would be like, Hey, like you're, you're afraid of like flying or speaking. Let's put you in that experience to do exposure therapy or something.

[01:19:56] Mark: Yeah, I think, I don't know which company, but I was reading about this company that, um, they were using VR to treat like PTSD and like even things like schizophrenia and basically what they would do is like, they would create these simulations of not traumatic events, but, um, but sort of like a, a lower degree to that.

[01:20:16] And then they would like consistently expose them to where eventually they would be able to like go back to their trauma in a safe environment, you know? And so, yeah, I mean, I mean, I think that area, it was going to be great.

[01:20:28] And I really think, you know, like mental health has always been an issue. Um, but especially now it's definitely been highlighted. And so I don't know how as a society we're going to combat this to be quite Frank, but I definitely think we're going to have to come up with new solutions and whether that's psychedelics or VR or whatever. It's going to be a lot of work, man, because a lot of people out there need help and, and, and, you know, we see, we see the, the, the reality about this every single day, you know, from all the, all the different, bad things from happening.

[01:20:59] And I think at the end of the day, what I've learned is like, everybody has a brain. Everybody has a Mind. Right. And, and like your, your brain, your mind is beautiful. It's amazing. But it's also very flawed, you know? And so it's like understanding that and then saying like, what are the, what are the, the, the, the, I dunno, security safeguards, like, what are the things that we can do to bridge those gaps? You know?

[01:21:22] And then some part of me, as I said, that is like, it's a reality. You can't change the human brain. And then there's another part of me. That's like, wait, can you have no idea? We're able to do things in technology we've never done before. You know, so it's interesting, man. It's a little philosophical, so little,

[01:21:40] Josh: It is it's this is the thing. Yeah, man. The biggest thing between our ears, right? It's the biggest mystery we have other than the space or the deepest part of the seas, right? Like it's going to be one of those things that human beings will continue wanting to kind of explore.

[01:21:55] Whether like they get to some sort of answer in our lifetime, I don't know. Cause I'm, once they hit that part, then it gets an all tick, really philosophical with a consciousness like AI, like it's, it goes really, really deep. Right.

[01:22:07] But you put a great point. Is it putting safeguards? It's like, okay, well, however deep we're going to go with this. However much we're going to learn about the brain. The only thing that we know is everyone has one it's flawed. Um, some people are getting kind of taken over by their own brain and there needs to be some kind of safeguards.

[01:22:23] I think about what the iOS. IOS has been around for. Like, I don't know what 10 years or something like that, 12 years, maybe a little bit longer. 15 maybe. Um, And it wasn't until like two years ago that they added screen time to it, so to let people know how much time they were spending on their phone, before that everyone was just spending time on their phone, going on social media and like just, you know, kind of getting consumed by it. Then they had to step in and be like, Hey, like, yeah, people need to at least know how much time they're spending on each app.

[01:22:51] So they know if they're like wasting their life and people getting depressed. Right. So maybe we need more stuff like that with the Mind. And I think what you're doing with your book is on that right path. And eventually I'm sure I can see you creating tools or helping companies create more tools. This Mind Valley again is a great resource.

[01:23:09] Um, where else would you direct people to go to find some of these safeguards and learn about their brains? I think the first step is like,

[01:23:16] learn your own hardware and software first

[01:23:19] Mark: Yeah, yeah. Um, so real quick, I just want to read off a quote that just came to mind.  the evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness. With objective consciousness, it is possible to see and feel the unity of everything at attempts to connect these phenomena into some sort of sigh into some sort of system in the scientific or philosophical way lead to nothing, because man cannot reconstruct the idea of the whole starting from separate facts.

[01:23:54] And so I don't know, a hundred percent what that means, but to me, like, I don't think we're ever gonna find out the answer. Um, because I think that's like part of the game and like, that's, what's kept this infinite game going and who knows, like there may be different stages.

[01:24:07] There may be different fields, but we're always going to have problems. We're always going to have questions that we have no idea. How to solve, and that could be good and bad. And in terms of like resources, I mean, number one, I have to obviously shout out my book. Literally the second chapter of my book is the state of human existence. And I literally go into like every cognitive bias, literally like the brain, like the research that I did, like all the shortcuts that our brain tries to create. Um, and the mechanisms that do so. That's one.

[01:24:41] Another book that I am big fan of is called, um, The End of Mental Illness by Dr. Daniel Amen. That's a crazy book, highly recommended. Um, what's another resource. Vishen's book code of the extraordinary mind. Um, I honestly don't know. I mean, I feel like I read so many books at this point that like, they all have like their own, and going on, they're all useful, but those

[01:25:06] Josh: need like a, a book database on your website to recommend people, all the stuff that

[01:25:10] Mark: dude. I need a book list. Yeah. And I have like put out articles and I'm like, here are my books, but I need like a, like a current one that's like constantly being updated. That's a

[01:25:18] Josh: yeah, yeah, totally. Do you use Notion at all for like notes or anything?

[01:25:22] Mark: No, no. I just,

[01:25:24] like, I just heard about that. Well, I mean, I don't understand what is that? I mean, it didn't seem that much different from like the notes app

[01:25:30] Josh: it's so different, man. It's, it's crazy. It's like, I mean like myself and a lot of people, I would, I would encourage you to look up, um, Marie Poulin. She was the one that was on the podcast and she's like a notion master, but I'll give you the low down. It's essentially like it's an all-in-one space to just organize your whole life.

[01:25:51] Like basically that's it. Life and business. You can create notes. Yes. But then you can also create like databases and those databases can have different views. You have like cards, views, I'll send you mine, my like public notion. And you can see my book list. We can toggle between like a list view and like a grid view.

[01:26:07] Um, it's just different ways to visualize your thoughts and notes. And you can create like templates for pages. So for me, I do my journaling in there. So I have prompts. I know I do every day. So instead of copying and pasting it every day, I just hit new on the database. Select my daily journal and all of my prompts are there. It's pretty fucking cool.

[01:26:25]it's great. Yeah. Great. For project management and stuff. Yeah. Highly recommend it to like, it's a great way to, um, just organize your thoughts and all these different things that we do on a daily basis. Cause there's just so much out there, man. I'm sure you do a lot of reading, a lot of articles, podcasts.

[01:26:39] It's a great way to save all that stuff. Right. It's just fucking crazy. So

[01:26:43] Mark: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. My only fear with that though is like, I don't know. I feel like there's all like these note companies and stuff that I feel like if there isn't like a huge incentive. Like, I feel like what's going to happen if they shut down like five years from now, like what's going to happen to my data, you know, whereas Apple it's like, they're going to be here, like probably forever.

[01:27:00] You know what I mean? Or some, some sort of, uh, but whatever. That's like,

[01:27:04] Josh: I do download my

[01:27:04] whole database. I download my

[01:27:07] Mark: There you go. There you go,

[01:27:09] Josh: matter what. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, dude, yeah, I would love to see that book list. And just before you get going, I do have one last, well, I have two, I have one big question at the end,

[01:27:19] but you know, now that we're kind of on the other side of COVID things were opening up, I think that social anxiety is going to be a big thing. And we were talking about this, like people were just socially isolating. They've been like trained to socially isolate and people are kind of scared. Obviously it's a different reason. Like you think someone's going to give you some kind of virus.

[01:27:36] Right. But I think now people are going to be a little bit more socially anxious, you know, in big crowds. If I know I am, when I go into like even a grocery store and it's packed, I get anxious and I was never like that before. So how do you think things are going to be, um, you know, kind of on the other side of this, I think like you're going to have a lot more resources, a lot more to say about this than what you already even have and your current book.

[01:27:59] Do you have some extra thoughts that you want to add on to that

[01:28:02] Mark: Yeah. So there's, so there's like a whole branch of, um, like mental health, social disorders, social anxiety is just one of them. But for example, like being afraid of like a crowd or in public and this called agoraphobia, something like that, that's like a different thing, you know?

[01:28:22] And so I think that the general social and I think just general mental health issues. Oh yeah, for sure. You're going to get worse. And I think that the social ones were a hundred percent get worse. And I, I honestly think that we, we may see like an emergence of like, uh, a new, different mental health problem because of COVID. I have no idea what that will look like.

[01:28:43] Um, but what I will say is like anybody who has social anxiety already. and there are, and they're not on like the path that maybe someone is like I am, or they haven't at least started. Yeah. It's going to be really difficult. Um, my worst fear though, is the kids who have, or may get social anxiety in their developmental years when they're nine, 10,

[01:29:01] Josh: Oh, but do the kids that have grown up in quarantine over the last year who are maybe one, two, three year olds, right? Like they're Oh man, that's horrible.

[01:29:11] Mark: Yeah. I mean, dude, that's my niece. I mean, she's, she's just getting into the area. I mean, and she, she likes socialize people like on the playground. Um, but, but, um, but yeah, I mean, I have no idea what's going to happen to them, but, but I think that I, again, I think just the kids who are more susceptible to social anxiety due to their, their trauma, their genetics, these are the things these kids are, uh, Now I'm going to be in a good position, unfortunately.

[01:29:38] And, and I think the biggest thing of all is I think that we're going to fundamentally have the most unvalidated addicted to society in the universe. And the reason why I say that is because like we spent the last year basically getting all of our needs from a, from a screen, like, like really, if you think about it and it's going to be hard enough for, for everybody to like, start to break out of that.

[01:30:09] And I, and I tried to do my best, but I still struggle with it. But I think for kids, especially who got like all their needs met, they have their friends online and a video game, all these different things, plus quarantine plus like, you're like, there is no, there's not a single parent in the world. Who's like, don't look at your phone. Like ever since quarantine, like that's not going to be possible. Right.

[01:30:29] And so I think that there's going to be like a potential another emerging crisis that is going to, for example, like continued to fuel the bad parts of capitalism, um, because you know, more money gets spent on like addiction, like changing your state of brain than like education, for example. And so that's going to continue to happen

[01:30:51] As people I think get richer, but more unhappy because of this, it's going to lead them to like spending all of their money on basically trying to manage their addictions in their minds. Because dude, we live in, we live in a crazy, you can literally get anything you want to, like, you can literally get anything onto, like, you can literally anything, anything in the world, literally, anything you want, if you want money, literally anything except for the inner intrinsic workings of your mind and you know, like life and your emotions.

[01:31:20] And it's just like, that's a dangerous position, man. And I remember for me when I was not mentally healthy and I was 16 years old and all of a sudden I stepped into a lot of money. Dude, it messed me up. Like it, it definitely messed me up, man. Like they, and they've done studies that show, um, kids or teenagers who experience a shit ton of stimulus stimuli from fame or from money.

[01:31:46] Your pleasure centers in your brain are literally like destroyed because you've increased an unnatural amount that your brain can't even handle sustainably. And so that's like a whole other thing too, man. And I, I there's like so many different branches of this conversation that I can break into man.

[01:32:03] Part two, a man. Yeah. Hopefully in a year in a year or something, hopefully I can go to Toronto soon with the state of the world is then, but hopefully it doesn't get worse, but yeah, man, I'm like, I could go on for hours about this man and everything connects and you know what I mean?

[01:32:17] Josh: Exactly exactly. Well, I mean, for anyone listening, where can they kind of hear some of your thoughts and some of the other things that you're thinking about, cause you're still doing a weekly lives and or is it even daily now, or you're doing a lot of live sessions and clubhouses work and people follow you and start listening to some of these other ideas you got

[01:32:34] Mark: Yeah. Yeah. So if you just like, if you just add me on LinkedIn, or if you go to my website, M A R KM E T R, or you go to my Instagram or you check out my book or you check out my podcast, or I don't know when this is going to be up, but my TEDx talk is going to be up in like a month, like a late April. So check all that stuff out. Just Google my name, Mark Metry,

[01:32:59] Josh: Dude. That's awesome. Well, I honestly know that, you know, you're going to help so many people who listen to this, like this is going to live out on the internet for who knows how long, right. That's the thing like

[01:33:09] maybe Well maybe if you share this maybe, uh, you know, maybe, maybe you're,

[01:33:14] uh, you're you just, you blow me up, man. If you just posted or something, I don't know. You got a crazy following. So who knows? I'm still like day one of this journey, so I really appreciate you shooting the shit with me being super encouraging and just like, you know, jamming with me here and being open to talk about these crazy ass ideas.

[01:33:30] Uh, I hope we get to do this again, man. Seriously, like even if you're doing another clubhouse or something, or I end up doing one of those, um, maybe in a couple months, um, we do another one of these podcasts like a part too, but this was an absolute pleasure man. And this is really cool. And I really, really, really thank you for coming on the podcast.

[01:33:47] Mark: of course, dude, I appreciate you, man. Thank you for having me. And um, you know, if you want a piece of unsolicited advice, the best thing I can tell you is never lose that mindset of it being day one, that's like literally the most important thing. Maybe if you can keep that mindset, you're going to blow up and be successful, man.

[01:34:06] So I'll look forward to chatting with you again and, and thank, thank you to everyone for listening, watching. This was so much fun.

[01:34:13] Josh: Yeah, thanks so much, Mark. That was amazing. And everyone, thanks so much for listening to us. Uh, check out Mark's book. I'll put all the links in the description, connect with him on LinkedIn and follow his journey. Is this again, this is still your day one, man. He's just getting started again.

[01:34:28]And actually, before I do we sign off one last question, man, what are you excited about coming up?

[01:34:33] Mark: That's a good question. I am the most, Did I have no idea how to do by next year.

[01:34:42] so tomorrow I'm getting vaccinated.

[01:34:44] So I'm super excited about that. Um, and then on Thursday I'm going to like, basically my first, uh, like dinner with like more than one or two people in like a while with three of my other friends.

[01:34:59] So I'm very looking forward to it. I haven't seen him in a long time

[01:35:01]Josh: That's awesome, man. Yeah. Finally, things are getting back to normal. We connect with friends in person, in reality, in the flesh dude and reality we're guys we're out. We have to plug unplugged from this virtual reality. No more phones or anything. Wow, let's go. I know this summer, I'm going fucking off grid for at least a month. I don't want any technology, but man, that's super exciting.

[01:35:24] And Mark, thanks again, man. This was such a great conversation. I really appreciate you coming in Mind, Meld and all the best to you and stay safe out there once you get vaccinated. And man, I'll talk to you soon.

Thanks for coming this far! if you're reading this, it is no accident. The universe brought you to this corner of the internet for a reason, and you're on the right track. I already know that you're an amazing person and I can't wait to connect with you!

— Josh

Episode Transcript

Josh Gonsalves
Mind Meld Podcast Host

Hi, I'm Josh Gonsalves, the host and producer of Mind Meld. I'm also a Canadian Academy Award-nominated director and Co-founder of Contraverse, an immersive media company. I'm a multi-media experience designer living and working in Toronto, operating at the intersection of design and exponential technologies to develop solutions that change the world for the better.

Latest Episodes

© Josh Gonsalves 2020. All rights reserved.
Build with ❤️ in Webflow