5 Best Personal Traits for Life

Mark Manson


What if I told you there’s a hidden treasure trove of personal traits that could turn your life around?

Are you curious?

Are you dying to know what they are?

Are you wondering why I’m asking so many questions instead of getting to the point?

OK, OK — fine.

Here, I’ll uncover the five good qualities that I think will help you make it through this chaotic, unpredictable, and utterly hilarious thing we call life.

And hey, if you’re lucky, you might even come out of this with a chiseled chin and a newfound appreciation for your own glorious disaster of a self.


1. Self-Awareness: the Ultimate Operating System

Before you can change anything in your life, you need to know what’s going on inside your head. Self-awareness is like the operating system that keeps your psychological machinery running smoothly. Without it, you won’t learn from your failures, adjust your habits, or notice when you’re being a narcissistic douche canoe.

So how do you develop self-awareness? It’s all about questioning your thoughts and feelings, and practicing introspection. Meditate, journal, hire a therapist, or even ask a trusted family member to point out your not-so-stellar qualities. Most importantly, make it a habit to keep asking yourself the tough questions. Need a little more guidance? Check out my articles on self-awareness, ya beautiful bastards.

2. Risk Tolerance: Embrace the Art of Failing and Embarrassing Yourself

Life is all about trade-offs and taking risks. If you want to get anywhere, you need to develop a tolerance for failure and embarrassment. Why? Because great rewards often come with a side of risk.

Remember that smoking hottie at the bookstore? Talking to them has an insanely good risk-to-reward ratio. The worst-case scenario is a few seconds of awkwardness, while the best-case scenario could be a life-changing relationship. So, muster up the courage to face risks head-on and embrace the possibility of failure. It’s all part of the journey.

3. Skepticism: Question Everything (Even This Post)

There’s a crap-ton of BS out there, so in the 21st century, skepticism needs to be your default mode. Demand evidence, think rationally, and be prepared to live with uncertainty. Remember, skepticism isn’t just about questioning the mainstream; it’s about questioning everything, even conspiracy theories and flat-earthers.

So, be a skeptic when you read articles, watch videos, or follow people on social media. And yes, even question me, your humble and oh-so-wise guide, as you read this post. Just remember: healthy skepticism is about being open to possibilities, not being stubbornly anti-everything.

4. Compassion: We’re All Fucked Up, so Let’s Love Each Other Anyway

Here’s the harsh truth: we’re all a mess. Everyone’s a fuck-up in some way, and that’s okay. That’s why we need to have compassion for one another. When you see someone screw up, try to understand what they were trying to achieve and empathize with their struggle.

Embrace the idea of Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by ignorance or stupidity.” We’re all just trying to do our best, and sometimes, our best is pretty damn terrible. So, let’s take care of each other and offer a little compassion when things go awry.

5. Patience: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Our attention spans are shrinking, and instant gratification is the name of the game. But guess what? Patience is still a virtue, and it’s more important than ever. If you can develop the patience to weather the storm and focus on the long-term rewards, you’ll be ahead of the curve.

So, embrace the slow burn, and learn to be okay with waiting for the payoff. After all, the tortoise still wins the race, and the impatient hare is left wondering where it all went wrong.


I wrote a 50-page guide on personal values to help you do just that. Check it out.



Mark Manson

Author of #1 NYTimes Bestseller ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’. OG Blogger. Psychology Nerd. I enjoy cats and whiskey. But not at the same time.