Top 8 Personal Upgrades: Series Introduction
By: Dave Asprey
June 5, 2012
“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:
- Try what should work (Either science, individual variation or dogma, you won’t know until you try.)
- Ignore what doesn’t actually work (Discard what doesn’t fit and the dogma labeled as science.)
- Try what shouldn’t work to see if it does (Do the science.)
- 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.
- I am in the lowest risk category for cardiovascular disease, stroke, or metabolic derangement.
- I weigh 210 pounds with solid muscle mass and I’m lean.
- I sleep less than 5 hours a night (sometimes 2) and show lower cortisol (stress) hormone levels than when I slept more.
- I didn’t exercise for two years but actually gained muscle.
- I’ve increased my IQ by at least 20 points.
- I travel constantly and present to large audiences every week without hesitation or signs of stress.
- In 90 days, I transformed my vision from 20/60 to 20/15 and cured an astigmatism without drugs or surgery.
- My brain is wired to handle more information daily than most people manage in a week.
- I have awesome authentic relationships, a lovely wife, and two kids who I would give up everything on this list for.
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.
- Executives and entrepreneurs (like me) can increase their IQ and creativity and become better at what they do.
- Senior citizens can increase their joint mobility and bone strength – and prevent cognitive decline.
- Stay-at-home parents can improve their ability to handle stress so they don’t go crazy when their kids still won’t take their shoes off before heading inside.
- Top level athletes looking for a competitive edge can use these principles to beat their opponents.
- Nurses and other shift workers can learn to function well at any time of the day or night and sleep less if they want to.
- People starting their careers can hack their lives to gain an “unfair” advantage in their chosen careers.
- People who feel tired and weak can learn to literally radiate power.
Everyone can upgrade their bodies and minds and learn to simply live more
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 4: Learn To Use Your Body
Step 5: Improve Your Sleep
Step 6: Upgrade Your Brain
Step 8: Hack Your Happiness
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