Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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Category: Personal Improvement

How to Develop Emotional Resilience in the Modern World

Job stress, social conflict, illness (sometimes serious illness), financial hardship, our children’s struggles, a move across country, a divorce, a death of a loved one…they’re all events that can test our mental fortitude or—in more extreme cases—leave us emotionally adrift. Some people turn into a puddle during a critical emergency, while others jump in the middle of it to save the day. Yet, watch those same people face a protracted struggle like the death of a spouse or a child, and the one who managed the momentary crisis may have a much harder time. Adversity varies and challenges us in different ways. But our ability to endure and bounce back from stress, struggle, and loss is what emotional resilience is all about. What can our ancestors’ examples teach us about psychological hardiness and mental fortitude?

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How a Primal Lifestyle Can Help You Find Your Passion

I saw someone wearing a t-shirt the other day that read “Do More of What You Love.” It was a simple message but a welcome shift from the deluge of difficult news and negative media we’re often met with. I wasn’t in a hurry that day and let my mind wander with it while I waited for a friend. The fact is, over the years I’ve managed to revamp my life in such a way that I am indeed doing more of what I love. It’s taken time, but I’ve combined what I should do to take care of myself with what I enjoy doing. Trading hours of training each day for beach sprints, surfing and Ultimate has been a part of that. But so has taking more time to be in community and to write. I’m in a profession now that I find fulfilling, and I pursue a whole range of hobbies that bring me a good share of joy in addition to well-being. Going Primal rebuilt my health, but it’s also transformed my life and helped me stumble into passions I didn’t realize I had. Beyond being in the business itself, however, I think there’s truly something to just living the Primal way that’s conducive to discovering what you love.

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How to Handle Constructive Criticism as a Primal Advocate

It’s a role that’s probably more often thrust upon us than one we individually choose—that of Primal advocate. There we are minding our own healthy business, and somebody’s question or comment fixes the spotlight (or interrogation light) on us. Why do we eat “so much” protein? What could possibly be wrong with bread? Why do we wear the shoes we do or race down the street like we stole something?

Sometimes it’s the people in our inner circle who are the inquiring minds. Other times it’s co-workers or even strangers. It might even be our doctors. Whatever the case, what might begin as a simple question can often devolve into a full-blown harangue about how we’re putting our health in grave peril. On the flip side, it may be we who descend into an extended diatribe on all things Primal as the other person tries to slink away, having just been intrigued by our lettuce wrapped “un-wich.” How do we respond in these conversations without losing all patience or perspective?

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9 Primal Ways to Become a Better Communicator

Eons ago, an evolutionary shift took root that would change the human story. In fact, it would write it. I’m talking of course about the capacity for complex language. The development spurred collaborative ability and, as a result, social organization. Where visceral reality once ruled, other conceptual layers came into play—cosmological narratives, genealogical stories, inter-band negotiations just to get things started. Perhaps rudimentary drawings or food offerings might have put us on a path to the above, but it wasn’t until language that these came to real fruition. With language, culture and all that comes with it was born. The ability to communicate didn’t eradicate raw instinct by any means, but it spoke back to it and opened up options for human social connection.

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Minimalist Living: Is It Primal?

In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick imagines a world overflowing with “kipple,” useless objects like junk mail, paperclips, empty matchboxes, old lightbulbs, depleted batteries, and gum wrappers that reproduce when no one’s around. It’s a drab, dreary, depressing vision of the future. It’s not that bad yet, but we definitely have a problem with stuff. Our oceans contain vast swirling vortexes of microplastics. The average American house contains over 300,000 objects, most of them we’ve long since forgotten. “Hoarders” is a popular, horrifying reality TV show. The growing minimalist movement is a response to all this: a concerted effort to declutter, remove non-essentials, and simplify one’s life. Dozens of minimalist blogs, podcastsbooks, and decluttering/organizing businesses have popped up. One of the best-selling books in 2014 was the English translation of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, which asks readers to discard or donate every possession that does not immediately “spark joy.” Her most recent book is already topping charts and spawning a cult of personality. It’s big.

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7 Primal Ways to Be a Better Leader

Everywhere you go these days it seems like there’s big talk about leadership. Schools build curricula around it. Businesses feel the need to train their employees in it, including those who aren’t in management roles. Whereas leadership used to be seen primarily as a function, it’s now touted as a virtue. We’re told everybody should want to be one and is, of course, in need of whatever x, y, z leadership program is being sold that day. I guess I see both sides of the coin here. While I think pushing leadership ad nausea demotes other equally valuable skills and roles like the specialist and artisan (among others), I also believe there’s purpose in cultivating a deeper command of one’s own life and in understanding how to bring self-management to bear in leading others.

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