“Your brother, your friend, your dietitian” is the way Mark Jones starts each of his YouTube videos. In each video he exudes a confident, cheerful and focused demeanor, intent on motivating his viewers to achieve a life of abundance. I am so extremely grateful that Mark granted me the opportunity to interview him!
It was such a pleasure to pick his brain about topics affecting millennials getting started in life and career. I myself am on a bit of a self-discovery journey and I admit I binge watch his videos from time to time. His YouTube channel has been one of my favorites for quite some time now.
His content focuses on inspiration, positive mindset, goal setting, and money management for individuals seeking to discover their life purpose and passions. As a registered Dietitian in Los Angeles, he also discusses the impact of healthy eating on our lives. Check out the interview between Mark and myself below:
1) How did you get started as a dietitian and life coach?
Starting out as a dietitian came about because of my family history. When I was 12 years old my mother told me she had some good news and bad news. She told me I would be having a little sister and then she told me that she had cancer. At that age I didn’t understand the severity of the disease but I knew it was bad.
For the next five years I saw my mother completely transform her lifestyle to one of health and wellness. Unfortunately by the time she discovered she had cancer it was already at a late and aggressive stage so she passed away when I was 17. But during those five years she directly and indirectly taught me about herbs, nutrition, Dr. Sebi, the alkaline diet, pescatarianism, veganism, etc. It totally changed my perspective on nutrition and the value of life. I became a dietitian to continue the tradition of what my mother taught me and to inspire and educate others to live healthily as well.
Regarding being a life coach, it’s actually funny because I didn’t intend to become one. I became one naturally. I was initiated by life. A life coach is someone who counsels people through personal challenges or career challenges. Well for about half of my life I faced immense challenges. I lost my mother at 17, I lost the childhood home I grew up in, my father went to prison for trafficking cocaine, I lived in poverty, etc. All of these things happened simultaneously, yet I ultimately became successful. That didn’t happen by chance. It happened because of books that I read, principles that I applied, and people that helped me along the way. So I feel like a life coach that is an example of what they teach is the best type of life coach. My goal with being a motivational speaker and life coach is to bring out bright success in clients, however that is defined by them.
2) What motivated you to do Youtube?
Well if you look at my oldest videos you’ll see I used YouTube just to share my thoughts and my knowledge. I started uploading YouTube about a year or so after it became public. I was uploading videos on YouTube before people were called “YouTubers.” People didn’t even make money off of YouTube back then. I was a kid when I started. Nowadays my motivation for YouTube is to inspire others, and to let them know that they can have bright success. I do YouTube to share the message that we can have whatever we want to have and be whatever we want to be. Most of my videos are about self-development. If an individual improves, the life of that individual will always improve. It’s law. If I can do it, seeing what I went through and where I came from, anyone can do it.
3) What advice do you have for millennials that are unsure of their life purpose?
I would say it’s okay to be unsure about what your life purpose is. Knock and the door will be opened; seek and you will find. If you start seeking you will find your purpose. The answer starts with self-knowledge. Knowledge of self. Once we get a clear idea about who we are, what our inclinations are, where our life has brought us in terms of what skills we have, what we love to do and what we have to offer our fellow man, then we will know our life purpose.
I would encourage millennials to experiment with and explore different things. Paul Carrick Brunson talks about how he spent a year trying to find out what he was world-class at. He tried a bunch of different things for about a year and a half, failed fast, and discovered he was a world-class mentor. So now he focuses on that.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t know your life purpose, keep seeking it out. But I will say that once you do know your life purpose it will allow you to focus all your energy on it, and to achieve extraordinary results.
4) What are your top tips for living a healthy lifestyle?
In my opinion, a healthy lifestyle is more than just nutrition, it is holistic. Therefore, my top tips would be:
- Improve your emotional and mental health: Fall in love with yourself; build a healthy and strong self image. Realize that what you think about you become, and also that you can control all your thoughts. No one can control your thoughts but you. You’re in the seat of control.
- Eat a whole foods plant-based diet: All the science backs this advice up. Whether you’re young, old, you have a disease, or you’re disease free, your diet should be 75%+ whole (minimally processed) plant foods. This means your food isn’t overly processed and is prepared in a health-promoting manner (not fried). Whole plant-based foods are the most health-promoting and will have you at your best.
- Live an active lifestyle: There are over 200 bones and over 500 muscles in the human body. This means that we are hard-wired to move. Your activity could be walking, swimming, hiking, Zumba, karate, tennis or jogging. Pick something that you like doing and do it 5+ days a week. The world’s healthiest people all lead active lives.
- Primarily associate with happy people who love, support and care about you: We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. That means our life expectancy is the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Our diet will be the average, our health will be the average, etc. We need healthy associations and also support in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
5) Why is it important for millennials to know about money and financial planning?
It is said that money isn’t that important, but it’s right up there with oxygen. [LOL].
As millennials, it’s important to realize that we live in a society and world that has agreed to use money as our medium of exchange. We’ve agreed that money is a symbol for services rendered or a symbol for future services we can buy. What do I mean by that? Anytime I want a service I have to exchange money for it. So if I want a new car, which is a form of service, from the BMW company or Honda company, I can get it with money. If I want breakfast, a new apartment, flowers for my mother, or anything else, it requires money.
On the flip side, if we don’t have money we cannot purchase the necessities nor the luxuries of life. Without money we can’t buy organic food, or internet service, or pay for transportation or clothes. Without sufficient money we would be in poverty or if not be poverty we would have to limit our standard of living/lifestyle to match our money means.
Since money plays such an essential role in our everyday lives it’s a good idea for us to know about what money is, how to have plenty of it and how to be in control of it, so it doesn’t control us.
Therefore money is one of the major themes that I talk about on my YouTube because money allows you to express your individuality and buy the material things and the experiences that will bring you happiness.
So when we as millennials understand money we can start controlling it via a financial plan. A shrewd financial plan will allow you to reach financial freedom within 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 years. Financial freedom is defined as the ability to live off the income of your own personal resources or investments.
What’s the opposite of financial freedom or independence? Financial enslavement or dependence. It means you are dependent upon the income from someone else’s resources or their business. This means you will have to forever work for someone else and run on the hamster wheel of working for a paycheck.
I don’t think this interview is the place to really expound on the subject of money but the secret about money and having a lot of it is to focus not on money, but to focus on the cause of it. Service is the cause and money is the effect. We should focus on providing high quality service in a high quantity, and money will come.
As human beings we’ve each been endowed with the privilege to create a unique service for humanity, and to be paid for it depending on it’s quality and quantity. So we don’t have to be dependent on someone else. As millennials with technology at our fingertips, now more than ever, we have no reason why we can’t obtain financial freedom.
6) What is your morning routine?
Every morning I’m up just before 5am. Depending on how I’m feeling I either have some Newman’s Own Organic Decaf Coffee or Dark Roast Starbucks coffee mixed with a scoop of Garden of Life Raw Vegan protein powder. After that I spend the first 1.5-2 hours of my day reading and working on my major life goal, whatever that is at the moment. I then hit the gym for about 45 minutes and start my day. I’d like to say I review my dreams and goals daily but I do that about every other day.
7) How does a person create a vision for the life that they want?
A person creates a vision for the life they want with definiteness, clarity, and specificity. If you haven’t definitized, clarified or made your vision specific you cannot create a clear vision. Let me pose a question: Can you see something, can you have a vision of something if it is blurry? If it is unclear or opaque? No. Of course not. In order for you to create a vision for the life you want you must be extremely detailed and specific of how you life will look. It can change later, but it must be specific now.
By making a specific and clear vision you can begin to use your imagination to experience things and states that don’t exist yet or that you haven’t experienced yet. You can put your imagination and subconscious mind to work when you are specific. If you aren’t specific you can’t go after an ideal life because you won’t know what it is.
8) What is your favorite quote?
At the moment it is, “It is our privilege to be whatever we want to be and to have whatever we want to have.”
9) What books are you currently reading?
Currently I am reading GRE Strategy guide books because I’m studying for the GRE (LOL). Outside of that I am reading a book by Jim Jones called “If You Can Count to Four: You can be whatever you want to be and have whatever you want to have.” It is one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life.
I’m also reading a book called “The Money Code: Become a Millionaire With the Ancient Jewish Code.” by H.W. Charles. It’s a compelling book because Jewish people make up about 30% of the Forbes Richest List and you will never find a poor Jewish community anywhere on the planet. It’s because of their philosophy and this book talks about it.
10) Many studies have shown that social media can be detrimental to our health. For example comparing ourselves to other people on Instagram. How can we use social media to positively impact our health?
If used incorrectly, social media, just like anything else, can be detrimental to our health. We are in an age where we can connect with people from all over the world via the internet and social media. We are in an age where billionaires, millionaires, and massively successful people are sharing their lives, their secrets, their path, and their ideas with us via social media.
To use social media for a positive impact I suggest you:
- Follow people who post high quality, positive content, in a high quantity: There’s a lot of negativity so we need consistent positivity to outweigh it.
- Follow people who share detailed “how-to” content: When content shows you “how” it is more transformational. It’s not just glorification of the end-result of success but it shows you step-by-step how to obtain success. This will definitely have a positive impact on your life.
- Negate the negative and Emulate instead of Envy: Instead of following friends or pages that are negative, simply unfriend, unfollow and ignore them. Also when you see someone with bright success, do not envy them, emulate them so that you can share a similar level of success.
Special thanks again to Mark for his poignant answers. I hope this inspires you to follow your dreams, set goals, and achieve the life you want!