The Residential Library

The sometimes demented, frequently irreverent, and occasionally stupid musings of Ron Hargrove

Game Changers

By Dave Asprey   [2018]

Our bodies and minds are controlled by a single “operating system”. Unfortunately, our OS was built around the needs of our prehistoric ancestors who evolved in a world much more hostile than ours – a world in which mere survival was their paramount objective. We need to upgrade our OS to be more in sync with higher-level goals than just survival.
Our OS evolved to focus on three things: food, fear and sex. That was good enough for cavemen. But in today’s world, allowing our OS to focus only on these 3 urges – which is our default setting – prevents us from achieving goals and setting priorities.
If you were a billionaire and had a happy home life, what would you do? Whatever your answers are, those are your true passions, your end goals – because you want to do them for their own sake, not as a means to get something else.
End goals tend to fall into one of 3 categories:
  • have experiences
  • achieve growth (e.g. learning), or
  • contribute to the world
When you plan your day, it’s crucial to remember your end goals, because it’s all too easy to fixate on subordinate goals (e.g. how to make more money) and forget why we wanted them in the first place.
Biohacking to overcome our default settings
1. Avoid decision fatigue. Automate as much decision-making in your life as you can, such as what to wear and what to eat. Will power is a finite resource, like a muscle, and every decision you make reduces its capacity. Save your will power for important decisions.
2. Control emotional eating. When we feel sad, stressed, angry or bored, our brain equates the emptiness with hunger. So we eat. If you feel hungry when you wouldn’t normally, try to identify one of these triggers and deal with it.
3. Avoid the modern food industry. The content and portion sizes of our modern food industry is unhealthy. Eat lots of vegetables, protein-rich foods and a daily tablespoon of fish oil. This will provide energy, build muscles and reduce inflammation. You should be able to eat a small meal and go 5 hours without getting hungry again.
4. Adjust your sleep schedule. Your natural sleep pattern is genetically determined, so identify it and adjust your sleep schedule accordingly. For example, if you’re a “night owl”, don’t force yourself to get up early.
5. Be smart about exercise.
  • Don’t be sedentary, move.
  • Avoid high-risk sports, including running.
  • Do both aerobic exercise and strength training. Aerobic exercise by itself is not good because it triggers oxidants that make us age faster and cause inflammation. Strength training combats oxidation.
6. Manage your fear. Fear saps your energy, takes you out of the present moment, and discourages you from taking healthy risks. To keep fear at a rational level try these:
  • Listen to peaceful music
  • Do guided meditation
  • Feel gratitude for as many things, people and events in your life as possible


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