Top 8 Personal Upgrades: Series Introduction

Top 8 Personal Upgrades
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“Just tell me what to do!”

People ask me this a lot.  After years of being fat, sick, and underutilizing my brain, it would have been great to have known someone who could outline exactly how to upgrade my body and mind.  I’ve spent fifteen years and $250,000 finding what works for the least amount of time and energy invested. This series is the distilled essence of the most important things I wish someone had told me about upgrading myself when I was 20 (or right after birth!).

It turns out I did know some people who could tell me a lot of these things, although some of my findings are simply not known even by most physicians. The problem is that there are thousands of sincere people who will offer to tell you what to do, and if you do some of that stuff, you can die or (maybe even worse) you can not live your life as fully as you should. My path has been one of sorting out the myths from the facts by working with world-class experts and then verifying with self-experiments.

This series – and this blog – are here to help you make your own decisions about what to do to be more than you are today. It’s based on my integrity and credibility – you can see what I’ve done for myself and you can test everything on your own to verify you’re getting the results you want.  Everyone has their own risk tolerance, figure out what yours is, and try the what seems like the best fit for you.  When you succeed, try more.  Here are some success stories: how others are benefiting from these principles.

It would be unfair to try to take credit for everything in this series.  Through my work as the President of the nineteen year old non-profit  Silicon Valley Health Institute, I’ve had the pleasure of working with visionaries such as Steve Fowkes, Bruce Lipton, Aubrey de Grey, and about 100 others.  I stand on the shoulders of both tall and small giants, all experts in different fields. By implementing their knowledge and testing their theories on myself, I’ve become a smarter, healthier, happier person.  Now you can too, without spending a quarter million dollars.

An optimized system is a simple one.  It doesn’t make sense to spend more energy to get something done than absolutely necessary, because there are always more exciting things in the world.  I could work on increasing my IQ to the maximum, or get to an unhealthy five percent body fat, or become a super athlete, but at what cost?  It would take hours of time I could spend having fun with my family or working on more interesting stuff.

This kind of thinking has resulted in this four-part formula which filters out the BS that makes up most health & self improvement advice:

  1. Try what should work (Either science, individual variation or dogma, you won’t know until you try.)
  2. Ignore what doesn’t actually work (Discard what doesn’t fit and the dogma labeled as science.)
  3. Try what shouldn’t work to see if it does (Do the science.)
  4. Keep doing what works (Become Bulletproof.)

Before we continue, look at what this process has done for me.

  • In 1993, I was 300 pounds.
  • I was in the highest risk category for dying of stroke and/or heart disease.
  • I suffered from low energy, migraines, and mild depression.
  • My vision was so bad I had to wear glasses to see anything.
  • I had significant symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome for the first half of my life.
  • My joints hurt to the point where I was diagnosed arthritis in my knees at age 14 & I’ve had 3 knee surgeries.
  • I worked out 90 minutes a day six days a week: 45 minutes of heavy weight training and 45 minutes of jogging on an incline.  I didn’t lose a pound.

Compare my situation then to where I am now.

The Bulletproof Executive is how I share my methods for total body and mind  transformation.  Through years of trial and error, I’ve found the most effective ways to upgrade performance at nearly everything.  It doesn’t matter if you’re overweight, underweight, poor, rich, smart, or, well… a complete jerk.  Anyone can upgrade their body and mind. It’s what humans do when we get out of our own way.

Everyone can upgrade their bodies and minds and learn to simply live more

Who can’t benefit from avoiding illness year round, exercising less and getting better results, losing fat and gaining muscle, improving their IQ, conquering stress, and sleeping more soundly?

It’s sad to see otherwise genius entrepreneurs trying to fuel their brains with “healthy” bagels, diet coke, and cereal bars.  It’s terrible to watch overworked parents break down and lose patience under the weight of poor diet, lack of sleep, and stress.  It’s a crime to have kids grow up without learning how to sleep, handle stress, or be able to reach their full intellectual and human potential.

Being Bulletproof is about achieving happiness and health – without compromising either. Along with those things comes peace and often wealth.

In this series, you’ll learn the top eight things that have enabled me to hack my body and mind and achieve unlikely – but repeatable – results. I came from behind – I started out obese and with a misfiring brain. If I can get to the level of top performance, imagine what you can do starting from where you are.

The Top 8 Personal Upgrades

Here are the top 8 personal upgrades I’ll be writing about in the following series. You’ve heard me talk about some of these in my public presentations, and now these posts will provide more detail than you’ve seen before.

Step 1: Maintain Your Body’s Hardware: Bulletproof Your Diet

Step 2: Upgrade Your Energy Supply: Optimize Your Supplements

Step 3: Hack Your Nervous System To Consciously Manage Stress

Step 4: Learn To Use Your Body

Step 5: Improve Your Sleep

Step 6:  Upgrade Your Brain

Step 7:  Identify & Remove Toxins That Limit You

Step 8:  Hack Your Happiness

If you know anyone who can benefit from this series, please point them towards the blog where they can sign up for email or RSS updates.


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By Dave Asprey

  • Phils_mails

    Wow, I am beyond excited for this series!

  • manom

    can you upgrade your teeth? making them stronger and whiter?

    • Yes, more on that soon. Short story is to eat lots of grass-fed animal fat and avoid food toxins. See the Bulletproof Diet for details.

  • Dan Williams

    Wow. This series is going to rock. A couple Q’s:

    1) check out my adrenal/leptin question on the “Top 3 Mistakes..” blog if you have a chance please; it’s come up a few times in the forums

    2) how do you feel about Bruce Lipton’s “Psych-K” connection / method for hacking our subconscious? I’ve read his”Biology of Belief” book and read the Psych-K book, but I’m not sure if I’m up to doing the program without some unbiased feedback on it…

    3) it seems there could be a #9 for “Cultivating Passion for What You Do” – by that I mean…some people (me?) may be lacking in true purpose/passion for their careers/causes…which could lead them to seek validation in the form of say, endurance sports…I imagine there are many of us who could benefit from becoming Bulletproof AND having a worthy place/cause/career to apply our upgraded selves to…so we aren’t just optimizing with no end but a self-serving one…thoughts?

    • I’d like to 2nd the question about Psy-K.. i posted about this in the forum as well.. thanks

    • Sean

      2) Hack the subconscious… Read “Self Therapy” based on Internal Family Systems…

      …For me, psychology and physiology are inseparably interdeveloped… Look into “SAM-e” to supplement as you’re hacking your mind.

  • Quest

    Answer to my ‘prayer’ after less than a week of finding and then slowly consuming all the insightful information on your site!

  • Erica

    I may have missed this on your blog before, but how did you fix your eyesight? Specifically with astigmatism. I have astigmatism. I was “diagnosed” in the 3rd or 4th grade and wore my glasses or contacts for about 1-2 yrs. Then I ditched them as I hated them and haven’t used any since, but my eyesight has progressively gotten worse (I’m 29). I do think not using the glasses has made the progression slower, but would love to fix my eyesight w/out surgery and especially in 90 days!

    • Dave Asprey

      I haven’t blogged much about vision hacking yet. Start with “Yoga for Your Eyes” by Schnier.

    • Dave Asprey

      I haven’t blogged much about vision hacking yet. Start with “Yoga for Your Eyes” by Schnier.

  • Sarah N.

    I’m super excited for this series! I’m also hoping it will serve as the outline for your next book.

    Would live to hear about improving your eyesight – I read the book “seeing better without eyeglasses” years ago, but all the fixes were short term (at least for me). Permanent improvement is the holy grail!

  • This is going to be awesome Dave, psyched!

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  • Dave – In eating low-carb do I count stevia and/or xylitol as carbs? As far as I know the body derives no energy from stevia so I’m no sure about that but there are calories in xylitol so I assume it counts. Thanks!

    • Dave Asprey

      Xylitol doesn’t raise insulin; limited amounts are ok.

  • CES, PZIZZ, and PEMF… oh my! I know I’m impatient, but I’d like to know the latest on Sleep Hacking:

    1. CES– list several devices, what’s the latest recommendation?
    2. PZIZZ–they are AWOL and site is down. What gives?
    3. PEMF– from Papimi-style to Bemer pads. any input on this Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field tech?


    • I’ve bought the recommended supplements; my new grinder has coffee beans from 4 Barrel and i’m ready to roll!

      NEXT, I really want to choose a CES device. Recommendation, Dave?

      • Dave Asprey

        Not all 4barrel works. Many are natural process…choose wisely!

  • Zack_Leman

    Do you have any good recommendations for some bright halogen lights that can be used around the home (Certain brand or style)? Do they tend to get hot? Thanks

    • Dave Asprey

      They do get hot. I use 2 500 watt exterior grade permanent mount halogen utility lights in my office.

  • Jon_Fredrick

    You mentioned improving vision and curing an astigmatism. Do you have any forthcoming information on how you were able to accomplish this? Thanks for all the useful information. I love your site!

    • Jon_Fredrick

      Just saw the reply below regarding, “yoga for your eyes.” Again, thanks for the ideas and looking forward to more articles.

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  • Please blog about vision!!!