Life Advice from Mark Cuban

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This story originally appeared in the February 2010 issue of Men's Journal. 

What’s the secret to surviving controversy?

When you’re getting beat down on every front page and newscast and blog, remind yourself that in three weeks it will all be forgotten. There is always another train wreck people will turn to.

What should every man know about money?

It won’t make you happy. But it sure opens a lot of doors to Happyland.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

My dad told me, “Today is the youngest you will ever be. Live like it.”

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What skill should every man possess?

At my high school prom, when I realized how moronic I looked in my too-small powder-blue tux, I figured I could either laugh at myself along with everyone else, or I could freak out. Not taking myself so seriously has worked well ever since.

Do you have a scar that tells a story?

I played rugby for 15 years. That plus genetics led to me having nothing but bone against bone in my left hip. In the summer of 2007, they cut off the top of it and completely replaced it with a Smith & Nephew titanium hip that’s held in place with a long rod in my leg. Best thing I ever did. I was so pain-free that seven weeks later I was dancing on Dancing with the Stars.

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What piece of gear should every man own?

A PDA with internet access from anywhere in the world. I’ve made NBA trades and finalized deals with free agents while sitting on the beach in Greece. One reason I bought my house in Grand Cayman is that the internet access there is as good as, if not better than, the Time Warner connection I have at my house in Dallas.

What’s the best way to end a relationship?

Twitter it, right?

Have you ever cheated death?

I was in a car with a bunch of high school buddies. It was pouring rain and I was driving too fast. I remember we were yukking it up, bullshitting about something, when we hit some water and started to hydroplane. I’m sure it was seconds that we were doing 360s, but it seemed like forever. Only through sheer random luck did we stay on our side of the highway. When it was over, we were all wide-eyed, but dead silent. I don’t remember us saying anything the rest of the trip home, and I haven’t talked to any of the people in that car about it since.

What’s the best meal you know how to make?

I go to McDonald’s and pick up two salads. Then I put them both in a huge bowl, add corn, cottage cheese, relish, and for croutons, some crunchy cereal. My big ol’ salad, a comfy couch, the game on TV — to me, that is the ultimate meal.

What piece of clothing should a man never wear?

A bow tie. It’s cute on a 12-year-old, but past then, I just don’t get it.

What skill would you still like to master?

I took piano lessons for a few months when I was a kid. I can play the first minute of David Bowie’s “Changes,” the first few minutes of “Stairway to Heaven” — but nothing else. I would love to learn how to play for real so I could get my kids into instruments.

How should a man best face his fears?

Don’t. I’m terrified of heights. One day my friends “helped” me decide that I should ride some nasty roller coaster over and over until I was cured. I rode it six times, and every time I was just as miserable as the last. I haven’t ridden one since. There are plenty of ways I get pumped up — letting gravity do its job isn’t one of them.

What advice would you give to the younger you?

Do it the exact same way, except don’t punch Michael Cooper, a kid I went to school with.

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